Development of a Web-based monitoring system

for vocational counseling, higher education advising, and career guidance in Switzerland

Background
Counseling and counseling professions are coming under increasing justification pressure in Switzerland and also internationally. There is a demand for scientific evidence of effectiveness and for professional and methodological standards according to which the quality of counseling can be checked. In vocational counseling and career guidance, there is largely no scientific and indicator-based demonstration of effectiveness as yet. For this reason, the School of Applied Psychology at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), as a service provider of vocational counseling, higher education advising, and career guidance and as an institution of higher education for prospective vocational counselors and advisors, initiated a pilot project. The study was launched in cooperation with the Beratungsdienste für Ausbildung und Beruf Aargau, Berufs-, Studien- und Laufbahnberatung des Kantons Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Berufs-, Studien- und Laufbahnberatung des Kantons Bern, Berufs- und Studienberatung des Kantons Nidwalden, Berufs- und Weiterbildungsberatung des Kantons Obwalden, Berufs- und Studienberatung des Kantons Schwyz and Berufs- und Laufbahnberatung von Stadt und Kanton Zürich.
 
Aims
The projects aims are development, implementation, and evaluation of a pilot version of a Web-based monitoring system for Occupational, Academic & Career Counselling in Switzerland. Based on a few central indicators, the system depicts the short-term and medium-term effects of vocational and career counseling for clients and counselors. It can be used in everyday counseling practice for diagnostic judgments and for the formulation of causal hypotheses on starting point and the counseling process. It can also contribute towards evaluating and localizing core processes, or the various counseling services in BSLB. The results will be made available to everyone involved in the counseling process (client, counselor, organization). At the same time, the results will be utilizable for research purposes and will form the basis of cooperation between practice and research.
 
Study design
The study will survey all clients of participating advisory centers who used counseling services and are motivated to fill out the questionnaire. Measurements will be made at three time points; prior to the counseling services, right after the counseling services, and three months after completion of the counseling services. Differences among the three measurements will allow conclusions to be drawn about how the counseling went and about its effectiveness. The client participants will also be asked about aspects of their satisfaction with the counseling services, and counselors and advisors will report on the results of the consultations and how they went.

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