Becoming a Guidance Counsellor

Guidance services in the educational sector are based in post-primary schools, higher and further education colleges and through adult and second chance education programmes.

To work in guidance in different educational settings, qualifications vary according to the requirements of the role and the employee. 

For more information on the activities of guidance, administrative control, and training and qualifications of practitioners necessary to each setting see Guidance in Ireland (PDF 179 kb)

There are many opportunities to work as a Guidance Counsellor in Ireland, and there are some general ‘principles’ regarding the training and requirements needed.
If you are considering being a Guidance Counsellor in a Dept. Education & Skills Secondary School, you need to be a Qualified Teacher (Degree level + Teaching Qualification), and also to have a Guidance Counselling Qualification.
If you are interested in being a Professional Guidance Counsellor, there are considerable options to work : Many are managed through the Education Training Boards (ETBs).
ETBs are the amalgamated VEC organisations.
There are 16 ETBs nationally, for Guidance Counsellors working in ETB Adult Education Guidance services you must meet the qualification as per DES Circular 70/04 :
•             A post graduate diploma in Careers Guidance or Careers Guidance and Counselling or 
•             A Masters of Education (Guidance) or
•             A Master of Science in Counselling 
For those working in LES, TÚS, and Jobs clubs etc., regarding qualifications, there is no specific training required or provided formally for staff involved in guidance activities.
For some LES Services - the LES Mediators must have some relevant qualifications, but these are not specified.
A number of LES Mediators do have the   Maynooth University “Certificate in Adult Guidance Theory and Practice”. 
To give you a sense of how wide the FET Guidance ‘arena’ is, here is a list of the titles of people working in this field who will be engaging with Guidance: 
•             Guidance Counsellor 
•             Career Guidance Teacher / Counsellor
•             Adult Educational Guidance Co-ordinator 
•             Adult Educational Guidance Counsellor 
•             Youthreach Advocate - Youth Advocates  
•             Guidance Information Officer  
•             Guidance Project Worker  
•             Guidance Resource Worker 
•             Resource Tutor - Project Manager 
•             LES Mediator 
•             Case Officer (Intreo office)
•             Job Coach   (EmployAbility Services) 
•             Job Club Leader (Jobs clubs) 
•             Personal Advisor (Job path) 
•             Supervisor (Community Employment Scheme) 
•             Supervisor (TÚS) 
•             Training and Education Officers  


MSc in Guidance and Counselling - Dublin City University - 2 year part time

Higher Diploma in Arts: Adult Guidance & Counselling - Maynooth University - 2 year part time

MEd in Adult Guidance & Counselling - Maynooth University - 1 year

Post Graduate Diploma in School Guidance CounsellingMaynooth University - 1 year part time

Master of Education (School Guidance and Counselling) - Maynooth University - 1 year full time

NUI Certificate in Adult Guidance, Theory and PracticeMaynooth University (Level 8 - NQF)

Masters in Applied Psychology (Guidance Counselling) - University College Cork - 2 year part time

MA Guidance Counselling & Lifespan Development - University of Limerick - 2 year part time

NCGE convenes a committee of Directors of Studies of Guidance Counselling which meets to examine the provision of initial and in-service training available for guidance counsellors.