Demonstrating the Impact of Career Guidance

  • Bryan HiebertEmail author
  • Karen Schober
  • Lester Oakes
Part of the International and Cultural Psychology book series (ICUP)


In international symposia and other professional meetings a prominent theme has emerged in response to the challenge “prove it works.” Much of the research surrounding career guidance has focused on factors that influence people’s career choices, for example, the role of significant others, career decisiveness, personality variables contributing to career satisfaction. In order to “prove it works,” approaches are needed that make it possible to create a link between the services being offered and the effects of those services on the lives of clients and on larger societal and economic impacts. In this chapter we provide background information on the factors contributing to the emphasis on demonstrating the value of career guidance services so that readers may understand the importance of attempting to address this issue. We also outline some alternative approaches for documenting the impact of career guidance services that embrace the current emphasis on evidence-based practice and outcome-focused intervention. To illustrate some potential ways to address the “prove it works” challenge, we provide examples of two approaches to dealing with this situation. One example comes from work being done in Canada to demonstrate the types of client outcomes that can be attributed to the services that clients receive. The Canadian work is focused on field testing interventions in existing settings where services are provided and documenting the impact of the interventions on the lives of clients. A second example comes from work being done in Europe to develop a Quality Assurance Framework that would create a set of common indicators of success for career guidance services. The approach in Europe is earmarked by collaboration among countries to create a Quality Assurance Matrix and high-level endorsement of the resulting matrix by senior government policymakers. The examples are offered in the spirit of proving an overview of some approaches that have been launched that could be used in other countries wanting to address the “prove it works” challenge. The chapter ends by outlining some future directions that can advance efforts to demonstrate the impact of career guidance services.


European Union Career Guidance Client Outcome Guidance Service Labor Market Integration 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.German National Guidance ForumBerlinGermany
  3. 3.International Association for Educational and Vocational GuidanceWellingtonNew Zealand

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