What good looks like
Every student should have opportunities for guidance interviews with a Careers Adviser, who could be internal (a member of school staff) or external, provided they are trained to an appropriate level*.
These should be available whenever significant study or career choices are being made. They should be expected for all pupils but should be timed to meet their individual needs.
Every student should have at least one such interview by the age of 16, and the opportunity for a further interview by the age of 18.
* The benchmark sets a high standard and states that staff giving one-to-one guidance to students should be qualified to an appropriate level. The CDI also specifies that to be on their register, advisers must be level 6 or above. The government recommends that schools source their providers of personal guidance from this register.
Why this matters
- Personal guidance is the provision of guidance interviews to young people in secondary education, and is one component of the Gatsby Benchmarks, which constitute a coherent and comprehensive approach to careers guidance. Access this report to understand potential return on investment (ROI) of personal guidance.
- Providing structured personal guidance time within the school enables students to focus on their future dreams and to set goals to achieve them.
- Research shows that students benefit from conversations with familiar and trusted adults who can challenge and support them.
- Access to independent and impartial professional careers guidance is strongly valued by students and parents and is a recurring feature of good provision.
- Personal guidance helps students to consolidate and reflect upon their vocational identity, career decision making and self-efficacy. It is a focal point for making sense of the vital ingredients in the careers programme including encounters with employers and higher education, experiences of workplaces and career learning in subjects.
Getting started with BM8
- Work with your Enterprise Co-ordinator, Enterprise Adviser and/or Careers link governor to undertake an analysis of the guidance needs of your students and how professional Careers Advisers can support your careers and enterprise programme
- Compare approaches with other schools in your area and identify any opportunities for collaborative arrangements.
- Consider how the National Careers Service phone, email and webchat service can complement your local offer.
- When planning staff CPD, ensure that up to date guidance information is covered and is understood by staff.
- With individual agreement, integrate records from careers interviews into student reporting systems so that tutors can support ongoing career planning.
- Monitor and review the services offered, including gathering feedback from parents and students.
- Career conversations are an ongoing part of a student’s experience and personal guidance is an integrated part of the overall careers programme.
- By following the Making it Meaningful Checklist, you can support young people to maximise the value of personal guidance by supporting students to:
- identify and explore suitable options and to consider the career implications of subject and course choice that are in their best interests;
- challenge pre-existing assumptions about what students are capable of;
- demystify learning and labour market systems and helping students understand progression pathways.
Additional resource and support can be found in the Making it Meaningful Checklist.
All Careers Leaders require Outstanding training
For further support with Benchmark 1 register for our fully funded Careers Leader training
Download our Training Catalogue which includes all the information you need and a helpful comparison guide on the 11 high-quality Training Providers we work with. Here you will be able to choose the right course to suit you and your development, so that you can embed a successful careers programme in your school/college.
Once you have chosen the right course and Training Provider for you, you are all set to register!
Careers in Context: Can Do Approaches
- The impact of Covid-19 is a heightened awareness of the need to deliver value and impact to young people through high quality personal guidance. The changing employment landscape, development of new technical education options (T-Levels and Higher Technical Education options ) and the compromised examinations process during the pandemic is causing young people to revisit options and choices and careful consideration needs to be given to the levels of appropriate personal guidance that they are given. Covid-19 has also fast tracked how we use online applications, meaning that some opportunities have been presented for personal guidance. For example, it is now possible to schedule more interviews in a day due to reduced travel time for external providers.
- The strongest models of personal guidance see it integrated across, and layered through, your progressive careers programme.
- Your careers programme should ensure an independent, impartial offer which is universal but has layers of personalisation and prioritisation. It is a key element of pastoral support to encourage/ aid engagement, progress and positive destinations for students, particularly the most vulnerable and it is recommended that you further target and support identified young people.
- Maximise the value and impact of personal guidance interviews, online or face to face.
- Work with pastoral staff (particularly as part of NEET prevention work) to understand priority cohorts and agree actions to support positive destinations for all students (also see Benchmark 3)
I am a...
This framework will help career development professionals to quality assure their career development interventions and determine any areas that may require development.
Talentino programmes have been helping to improve career outcomes for young people with a range of learning difficulties in a mixture of settings – special schools, mainstream schools, AP, PRU, SEMH, etc.
They also provide great opportunities for learning more, through their regular newsletters, annual SEND Careers Conference, and by publishing free resources.
The National Careers Service provides high quality, free and impartial careers advice, information and guidance. The service is available all year round to anyone aged 13+ no matter what stage of the careers journey they are at.
This Gatsby Benchmark-aligned profiling platform is designed to present and evidence an individual’s natural talents – and align them with real job requirements.
These lessons explore what it means to be an effective leader, how to create an impactful CV and recognise and demonstrate employability skills. The week is completed with some reflection – what could be your next steps and how to prepare for discussions with a careers adviser.
An editable resource designed to be populated by Careers Leaders to reflect local information, to be given to KS4 students before their 1:1 guidance sessions.
Launch Your Career is a transformational career search and discovery platform, that uses VIRTUAL REALITY to engage and immerse young people on a personalized journey.
Launched by the social mobility charity upReach, Aspire was created to encourage state school students all over the UK to aim high and broaden their career horizons. Aimed at Year 12 and 13 students, these resources provide detailed information about a wide range of career options that students from lower socio-economic backgrounds may have limited exposure to through existing networks.
Developed by The Leeds Trinity University.
The Inspire Programme provides activities and resources to support teachers and advisers in working towards the Gatsby benchmarks. This programme of presentations, workshops and activities is designed to inspire students to progress and succeed in higher education.
To support Careers Leaders with impact evaluation, we have created a guidance document on ‘How to write your own survey questions’.
Xello is an engaging online program that prepares students for post-secondary success in academics, career and life. With Xello, you’ll have everything you need to help your students build the skills and knowledge to create actionable plans for the future, regardless of their chosen pathway.
Empower young people to recognise their abilities and talk about their strengths – helping to improve their self-confidence and career planning skills.
This is a costed resource.