Provision of educational and vocational guidance for young people is given high priority in Denmark.

The Danish act on guidance aims to develop a transparent guidance system with easy access to high quality guidance services. Guidance is regarded as a continuous process that should help young people become more conscious of their abilities, interests and possibilities, thus enabling them to make decisions regarding education and employment on a qualified basis.

In order to ensure that all citizens have access to quality information about education and professions, different types of guidance centres work independently from sectoral and institutional interests. These types include municipal youth guidance units, regional guidance centres, online platforms such as UddannelsesGuiden (the Education Guide) and eGuidance.


The Ministry of Children and Education and the Ministry of Higher Education and Science are responsible for the policy regarding guidance and have a controlling and coordinating role in relation to the guidance system. The Ministry of Children and Education is responsible for the policy concerning: The youth guidance units, eGuidance and the national Guidance Portal (ug.dk), whereas the Ministry of Higher Education and Science is responsible for Study and Career Guidance Denmark. 

The act on guidance supports the Danish Government’s declared goal that by 2030 90% of all young people should complete a youth education programme before their 25th birthday. The Government wishes to make it easier for citizens to make realistic decisions about learning opportunities and careers - for the individual’s own sake and for the good of society as a whole. The Danish guidance system - and changes made since the reform in 2004 - should be seen in this perspective.

Both ministries are actively involved in international cooperation in the field of guidance and strive to keep the main aims and elements of the Danish guidance reform in line with the EU Resolutions on Lifelong Guidance (2004 and 2008) and with EU and OECD recommendations on guidance policies and practices.


For detailed descriptions of all guidance services, see Guidance in Denmark (pdf).

Youth guidance units (”Den kommunale Ungeindsats)

Full-time guidance practitioners at the 56 municipal youth guidance centres provide guidance in relation to the transition from compulsory education to youth education. Target groups are: pupils in lower secondary school from form 7 to form 9, pupils in the voluntary 10th form and young people under the age of 25 not involved in education, training or employment..

As from 2018 a new legislation has been adopted,  which has changed the Act on guidance and the role of the youth guidance units.

Study and Career Guidance Denmark (”Studievalg Danmark”)

Guidance is provided by full-time guidance practitioners at the seven regional guidance centres in the transition from youth education to higher education. Clients are students in youth education programmes, and young people and adults wishing to enter a higher education programme (HE). In 2018, a new structure called Studievalg Danmark will be established, with a director and a secretariat as part of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science, coordinating the work of all seven guidance centres.

Careers education in primary and lower secondary schools: “Education and Job”

Teachers provide guidance aimed at all pupils in primary and lower secondary schools. They implement the topic called “Education and Job”, see Fact sheet on Careers Education and Fact sheet on Education and Job.

Guidance in relation to completion of education within general and vocational upper secondary education

The upper secondary schools (‘gymnasium’ and VET colleges) are obliged to support their students in a way that enables them to complete their education.  The institutions are free to choose their methods and the appropriate staff to support students in completing their education.

Guidance in higher education

Guidance practitioners and students in higher education provide guidance aimed towards enrolled students and people who wish to enter a HE programme. The institutions are free to choose their methods and the appropriate staff. For HE programmes in Denmark, see: www.studyindenmark.dk

Vocational guidance at the municipal job centres (PES)

Vocational guidance counsellors and job consultants provide guidance at the 91 job centres (Public Employment Service, PES). Guidance is aimed at all individuals over the age of 18 as well as unemployed adults (through job centres) and the portal: www.jobnet.dk (in Danish only). This service is for all jobseekers and employers and provides information on job-seeking, education and looking for new employees. It contains a job-bank and a CV-bank as a help to find new employees or a new job.


eGuidance was launched in 2011 and provides individual and personal guidance to all via various virtual communication channels: chat, telephone, text message, e-mail, webinars and Facebook. It is for all citizens and can be reached seven days a week from morning to evening.

National guidance portal

The national guidance portal, launched by the Ministry of Education, is an ICT-based careers information and guidance portal. It provides citizens with substantial careers information in order for them to make qualified decisions about education, training and careers.


This national guidance portal is launched by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.  Uddannelseszoom (Educationzoom) enables the comparison of information on VET and HE across different parameters. It is a tool to support the process of choosing an education. This is done by disseminating data on the quality of the educations and their relevance in relation to the job opportunities of the labour market.


For guidance practitioners working in municipal youth guidance units, the reional guidance centres and eGuidance it is a requirement that they complete the Diploma or Master’s programme in educational and vocational guidance or the Bachelor’s degree programme in public administration. Alternatively, guidance practitioners with extensive experience in the field can apply for assessment and recognition of their competencies and prior learning. The diploma programme is not a requirement for guidance practitioners working in other institutions.

Both the Diploma programme in Careers Guidance and the Master’s programme in guidance are offered within the framework of the Danish adult education and training system. It is aimed at adults who already have another higher education degree and two years of relevant experience.

Diploma programme in careers guidance: The programme consists of three obligatory modules, two elective modules and a final project, equivalent to one year of full-time studies (60 ECTS points). Five University Colleges across Denmark offer the diploma programme:  University College UCC, University College Lillebælt, University College Syd, University College Sjælland and VIA University College.

Master’s programme in guidance: The programme consists of three modules and a final project, equivalent to one year of full-time studies (60 ECTS points). The programme is offered at the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University.

Bachelor’s degree programme in public administrationFive of the university colleges offer the programme which consists of both obligatory and elective modules. It is a 3,5 year full-time programme (210 ECTS points). Admission requirement: upper secondary education or relevant vocational education.


The Guidance Research Unit, the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University

The Guidance Research Unit works with guidance practices in different institutional contexts such as educational, social and health care contexts. In these settings, the unit uses participatory methods and draws on different theoretical approaches in the investigation of how professionals and users experience transition and decision-making processes, and the way in which various guidance practices (individual and collective) can play a part in overcoming and managing transitions for both professionals and users.

Specific areas of research:

  • Career learning, career management skills and professional competence development in guidance and counselling practices in educational contexts such as secondary schools, universities and health care contexts.
  • Social justice and ethical issues in guidance practices.
  • Collective supervision practices in educational and health care contexts.
  • Cross-disciplinary and -sectorial collaboration and guidance practices in educational and health care contexts.

The Danish network of guidance researchers

This network was founded at the Danish School of Education and members come from a range of research and development institutions throughout Denmark. The network meets biannually to discuss trends, ideas and results of their research. Once a year in November, the Danish School of Education and the network members arrange the dissemination and engagement conference ‘Insight and inspiration in guidance research’ with the aim of getting inspired by practitioners and researchers from other fields and disseminate research to a wider public. Contact person: Associate professor Rie Thomsen

Programme for Career Counselling, VIA University College
VIA Lifelong Learning – Centre for Research and Development
The programme aims at contributing to research and development in educational, vocational and career guidance in a national and international perspective. It understands career as a broad concept that is about exploring and handling life, learning and work, and the interplay between them, in changes and transitions across life. The programme focuses on career guidance in depth as well as in width, including career guidance measures in compulsory school, in upper secondary education and vocational education and training, in higher education and the transition between these, and from education to occupation. Furthermore, the programme focuses on career guidance for adults in employment and outside the labour market.

Research and development take place within areas such as:

  • The interplay between career guidance and school, e.g. career learning understood as experience with and reflection on education, work, oneself and others.
  • The organisation of career guidance and cooperation with other players such as schools, higher education, companies, etc.
  • Potentials and roles for parents regarding young people’s career learning and educational and occupational choice, including the cooperation between guidance counsellors and/or teachers and parents.
  • The possibility of career guidance to support enhanced social justice and sustainability.
  • The development of career guidance as a profession, including inter-professional cooperation, professional ethic and the guidance counsellor as agent for professional development and change.

The Danish Centre for Youth Research (Center for Ungdomsforskning, CEFU)

The Danish Centre for Youth Research (CEFU) carries out research on youth and their life. CEFU’s work is multidisciplinary, problem-oriented and close to practice. Specific areas of interest for CEFU are: youth from primarily sociological, cultural, anthropological, pedagogical and socio-psychological angles: work, education, democracy, marginalisation and health and lifestyle.


The Danish Association “The Joint Council for Associations for Educational and Vocational Guidance” (Fællesrådet for foreninger for Uddannelses- og Erhvervsvejledning, FUE) has formulated “Principles for Ethics in Educational and Vocational Guidance” in Denmark. All Danish guidance practitioners who are members of a Danish guidance association are encouraged to work according to these ethical principles. Following the disorganization of FUE, intellectual property right is now placed with the Forum of Educational and Vocational Guidance (UUVF and The Danish Association of Guidance Counsellors).

Last updated at: October 2020