In designing the physical environment of the Information Centre of the Guidance Service consideration should be given to:
- clear signposting (both internally and externally);
- accessible ICT facilities
- accessibility for clients with disabilities;
- comfortable and appropriate furniture, such as desks and easy chairs;
- good lighting and ventilation with a comfortable working temperature;
- attractive and well maintained appearance;
Clearly displayed information in relation to resources such as:
- media and free literature,
- photocopying facilities including copyright legislation and assurances on confidentiality and data protection legislation
A user-friendly library or resource area which has up to date information relevant to target groups and the general public
Space / spaces should be attractive and well equipped
All materials and notice boards on display are in accessible units so that clients can freely browse.
A well-equipped information technology area with workstations, PCs, web access, photocopying and video viewing facilities.
A positive environment which may be achieved through the use of:
- video or sound recording
Group guidance sessions:
To provide a professional guidance service and confidential space for clients to engage with the guidance counsellor, the guidance environment is key.
Group guidance involves individual clients working together with a qualified guidance counsellor facilitating the session. Often, in a group context, people share quite a lot about their individual experiences, their career aspirations, together with their challenges and achievements. Therefore, it is very important that the space/environment is conducive to the aims and objectives of the group work
Information and communications technology (ICT)
Guidance Services require access to broadband and appropriate Wifi to ensure provision of onine information to clients.
Guidance services can consider provision of information using E-Guidance, telephone access and social media. In this context guidance services should develop a Social media policy.
When guidance counsellors meet with their clients for ‘one to one’ sessions in an Outreach Centre, the space they work in should:
- be a dedicated room for the use of the Guidance Service at specific times;
- be located in a quiet area with no distractions (such as noise);
- explain the need for privacy without interruptions - consider placing a ‘Do not disturb’ sign on the door when the room is in use;
- be a suitable environment - suitably lit, heated and ventilated with adequate seating and ideally, a table;
- have a cupboard or storage area for the most commonly used materials and resources;
- have internet access to link in to the guidance counsellor’s laptop;
- be visible and integrated within the Centre