• /wp-content/uploads/2011/02/eg_header1.png
  • /wp-content/uploads/2011/02/eg_header2.png
  • /wp-content/uploads/2011/02/eg_header3.png
  • /wp-content/uploads/2011/02/eg_header4.png

Guidance System in Poland – Introduction

Vocational guidance in Poland is carried out within institutions of three ministries as well as in the non-public sector.

The following ministries are responsible for vocational guidance:

  • domain of education – Ministry of National Education – vocational guidance for children and studying youth.
  • domain of labour – Ministry of Labour and Social Policy – vocational guidance for adults and for youth, in particular for youth at risk of social exclusion. Department of Labour Market is responsible for all matters related to vocational guidance and information.
  • domain of national defence – Ministry of National Defence – vocational guidance for professional soldiers and former professional soldiers. The Social Affairs Department is responsible for matters relating to supervision and organisation of personnel reconversion in the Ministry of National Defence.

In the non-public sector there are vocational guidance agencies and non-governmental organisations and associations which include vocational guidance in their action programmes. Many educational institutions, such as the Lifelong Learning Centres and Vocational Education Centres employ vocational counsellors who help students to select the appropriate training course.

The domain of education

The Ministry of National Education

Ministry of National Education is responsible for vocational guidance system in the educational sector, dealing with matters relating to vocational guidance and psychological and pedagogical assistance.

The main task of the education system with regard to vocational guidance is to provide students with professional assistance which enables them to choose further course of education and/or vocation in a well-considered manner, and thus increases accuracy of educational and vocational decisions, as well as to provide students with access to information about educational trends and opportunities and about the labour market.

All acts of law drawn up since the beginning of transformation in Poland governing matters related to education, counteracting unemployment, employment and labour market institutions, include provisions relating to vocational guidance.

The Act on school education and executive regulations to that Act regulate the method of providing guidance at schools and educational institutions. The Act stipulates that the education system ensures in particular preparation of students to choose future vocation and course of education. Weekly mandatory number of teaching hours for vocational counsellors conducting activities relating to selection of course of education and vocation in order to support students in making education- and profession-related decisions is specified by the school’s governing body (local self-government unit). Schools are obliged to create intraschool vocational guidance systems at lower secondary schools (gimnazja), general secondary schools (licea ogólnokształcące), technical secondary schools (technika) and basic vocational schools (zasadnicze szkoły zawodowe). The tasks pertaining to vocational guidance and information are implemented with the use of active work methods.

To ensure high quality of vocational counsellors’ services, the necessary qualifications of a teacher-vocational counsellor have been specified in the Ordinance of the Minister of National Education of 12 March 2009 on the detailed requirements concerning teacher qualifications and on the definition of schools and cases when teacher with no higher education degrees or teaching qualifications can be employed. Depending on the school or institution type, first (B.A.) or second (M.A.) degree studies in vocational counselling or first (B.A.) or second (M.A.) degree studies of any kind and postgraduate studies in vocational counselling, and having pedagogic preparation are required.

Domain of labour

Ministry of Labour and Social Policy

Vocational guidance services are one of the four basic labour market services provided by public employment services. Labour market services are provided in accordance with standards of labour market services. The tasks of the minister competent for labour that pertain to development of vocational guidance and information services include e.g. creation, recommendation and dissemination of information tools, methods and resources with regard to vocational guidance. The system of licenses for vocational counsellors employed in labour offices was created in order to improve their services relating to vocational guidance and information. The Ministry of Labour supports the institutions providing vocational guidance services in Poland through supplying methods, tools and publications relating to vocational guidance, and triggers creation of new units e.g. through financial grants. These measures are reflected in legislation e.g. by the fact that the legal basis for operations of such institutions as the Voluntary Labour Corps, Academic Career Services and non-public Vocational Guidance Agencies is provided for in the Act on employment promotion and labour market institutions.

Vocational guidance and information services under public employment services are provided in labour offices: at the poviat level, in poviat labour offices (341), and at the voivodeship level, in Information and Career Planning Centres at the Voivodeship Labour Offices (51).

The Voluntary Labour Corps are a state budget unit performing state tasks for youth over 15 years of age and for the unemployed up to 25 years of age, e.g. with regard to employment and combating marginalisation and social exclusion. The organisational structure of the VLC comprises units providing vocational guidance services: Mobile Vocational Information Centres (49), Youth Career Centres (99) and Job Clubs (106). Moreover, VLC structures include National Methodological Centre of Careers Information, which carries out methodological and implementation activity relating to vocational guidance and information.

Vocational guidance agenciesare units providing vocational guidance services in the form of business activity.

Academic Career Services

(approximately 200) are units supporting professional activation of students and graduates, managed by universities or student organisations.

The Domain of National Defence

Ministry of National Defence

The core of reconversion of the Polish Armed Forces is a set of legally standardised projects addressed at soldiers being discharged and already discharged from professional military service, aimed at their preparation for taking up jobs or to launch their own business activity. Personnel reconversion system functions on the basis of specialised institutions, so-called Professional Activation Centres, seated in eight cities. In Warsaw, it is the task of the National Professional Activation Centre.

Acts of law regulating vocational guidance in Poland

The core of reconversion of the Polish Armed Forces is a set of legally standardised projects addressed at soldiers being discharged and already discharged from professional military service, aimed at their preparation for taking up jobs or to launch their own business activity. Personnel reconversion system functions on the basis of specialised institutions, so-called Professional Activation Centres, seated in eight cities. In Warsaw, it is the task of the National Professional Activation Centre.

The main act of law governing organisation and support of vocational guidance by public authorities is the Constitution of the Republic of Poland of 2 April 1997 (Dz. U. of 1997 No. 78, item 483).

Respective ministries issue acts of law regulating vocational guidance services in their subordinated institutions.

Acts of law regulating matters relating to vocational guidance in the domain of education:

  • the Act of 7 September 1991 on school education (cons. Dz. U. of 2004 No. 256, item 2572 as amended
  • the Act of 26 January 1982 – Teachers’ Charter (Dz. U. of 1997 No. 56, item 357 as amended),
  •  the Ordinance of the Minister of National Education of 21 May 2001 on framework statutes of public kindergartens and public schools (Dz. U. of 2001 No. 61, item 624),
  •  the Ordinance of the Minister of National Education and Sport of 7 January 2003 on the rules of providing and organising psychological and pedagogical assistance in public kindergartens, schools and institutions (Dz. U. of 2003 No. 11, item 114),
  •  the Ordinance of the Minister of National Education and Sport of 11 December 2002 on detailed rules of operation of psychological and pedagogical counselling centres, including public specialist counselling centres (Dz. U. of 2003 No. 5, item 46),
  •  the Ordinance of the Minister of National Education of 12 March 2009 on the detailed requirements concerning teacher qualifications and on the definition of schools and cases when teacher with no higher education degrees or teaching qualifications can be employed (Dz. U. of 2009 No. 50, item 400).

Acts of law regulating matters relating to vocational guidance in the domain of labour and labour market institutions:

  • the Act of 20 April 2004 on employment promotion and labour market institutions (cons. Dz. U. of 2008 No. 69, item 415 as amended),
  • the Ordinance of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy of 2 March 2007 on standards of labour market services (Dz. U. of 2007 No. 47, item 314),
  • the Ordinance of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy of 2 March 2007 on detailed conditions for providing labour market services by public employment services (Dz. U. of 2007 No. 47, item 315),
  • the Ordinance of the Minister of Economy and Labour of 20 October 2004 on procedure for granting professional licenses of employment agent and vocational counsellor (Dz. U. of 2004 No. 238, item 2393),
  • the Ordinance of the Minister of Economy and Labour of 30 December 2004 on detailed tasks and organisation of the Voluntary Labour Corps (Dz. U. of 2005 No. 6, item 41),
  •   the Ordinance of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy of 14 October 2008 on adaptation period and aptitude test in the course of proceedings aimed at recognition of qualifications for performing the profession of employment agent and vocational counsellor (Dz. U. of 2008 No. 185, item 1148).

Acts of law regulating matters relating to vocational guidance in the domain of national defence:

  •   the Act of 11 September 2003 on military service for professional soldiers (Dz. U. of 2003 No. 179, item 1750 as amended),
  • the Act of 21 November 1967 on the common obligation to defend the Republic of Poland (cons. Dz. U. of 2004 No. 241 item 2416 as amended),
  • the Act of 10 June 2010 amending the Act on proceeds due in the case of accidents and diseases relating to military service, and certain other acts of law (Dz. U. of 2010 No. 113, item 745),
  • the Ordinance of the Minister of National Defence of 30 April 2010 on assistance relating to vocational counselling, vocational retraining, employment agency and work practices (Dz. U. of 2010 No. 87, item 566).

Acts of law regulating matters relating to vocational guidance in vocational guidance agencies:

  • the Act of 20 April 2004 on employment promotion and labour market institutions (cons. Dz. U. of 2008 No. 69, item 415 as amended),the Ordinance of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy of 26 January 2009 on employment agencies (Dz. U. of 2009 No. 17, item 91).