The NICE Handbook offers an academic perspective on the future of higher education for Career Guidance and Counselling professionals in Europe. In addition to presenting scientifically-based arguments for the future training of career professionals, there are dedicated chapters on the Benefits of Professionalising Career Guidance and Counselling (chapter 2), on the NICE Tuning Framework (chapter 3) and on Core Competences for Career Guidance and Counselling Professionals (chapter 4). It is positive to see recognition, in the Handbook, of the need for future guidance practitioners to be able to provide an insight into the world of work.
The joint vision behind the NICE Network is that of providing Europe with professional career guidance counsellors able to encourage access to lifelong learning and, ultimately, employment. The background to the original development was the perceived need to modernise the education of career guidance practitioners, with the goal of the NICE Handbook being to provide service managers and educators with common points of reference for the development and delivery of future education programmes. Whilst initially developed with a view to infuencing the development of academic programmes, there is equal merit in using the Handbook to influence change and improvement in non-academic programmes and courses, including those that centre on continuing professioanl development among existing career guidance practitioners.