In 2009, CEDEFOP undertook landmark research Professionalising Career Guidance into the roles of career practitioners in EU Member States and into their initial and continuing training and qualifications. Based on the research findings, CEDEFOP proposed a competence framework for career practitioners while recognising that career practitioner roles were not homogenous between and within countries and work settings. Their new publication Digital Transitions in Lifelong Guidance, in contrast, is a collection of papers written by members of CareersNet, an EU supported network of national experts, self-nominated and then selected by CEDEFOP. The mission of the network is to develop and update an EU-wide inventory of lifelong guidance systems and practices, serve as national contact points for network consultations and activities, and engage in validation of CEDEFOP resources and tools aimed at supporting policy and practice on career guidance, careers education and career development in the EU.
Members of the network have different backgrounds – academic, public employment services, programme management, ministry officials, government agency, and EU learner mobility support. This collection of papers reflects their different country and professional roles, experiences and perspectives. Many expectations for practitioner competence development are expressed in the light of the digitalisation of public services, of changes in practitioner work practice arising from the Covid pandemic, and of developments in national contexts. These expectations can be met if the content and method of the initial and continuing training of different types of career practitioners and their occupational profiles evolve at an equal pace to such changes. To validate if such is the case, systematic country research is now required.