Spain is a highly decentralised country and this process of regionalization has affected to education and employment sectors with regard to lifelong guidance system and provision.

As a result, guidance is provided by different institutions and organisations of the Central Government and of the Autonomous Communities (regions):

  • Guidance services within the educational system
  • Guidance services within the employment system
  • Guidance services provided by Social Partners: Chambers of Commerce, Employers’ Organizations and Trade Unions
  • Guidance services provided by private organizations

Euroguidance Spain provides detailed information in the official Portal on Guidance and VET “TodoFP”, which is part of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport webpage. 

  • Vocational and Professional Guidance can be found here
  • Guidance Webs of the Autonomous Communities are provided here.


At present there is no integrated information and educational, vocational and professional guidance system in Spain to coordinate the efforts and resources in guidance.  However, there is a common framework currently underway, which respects the responsibilities of each provider and the responsibilities of the Autonomous Communities, to optimize the results and ensure that lifelong guidance becomes a complement and support to lifelong learning.

Education authorities and schools of the Autonomous Communities (regions) have their own bodies responsible for educational, vocational and professional guidance.

All education administrative bodies have information and guidance services. Likewise, schools which provide compulsory secondary education, baccalaureate, vocational education and training, and universities have their own guidance services which offer information, support, guidance and advice.

On the other hand, employment authorities have their own professional guidance services which are complemented by the services in this area developed by the Social Partners (trade unions and employers’ organizations).


Early Childhood Education

Information and guidance is primarily focused on early detection of learning problems and giving solutions for addressing them. Additionally curricula include simulation-based learning as part of students’ early training in trades and professions. For further information, please click here.

School Education

In primary and  compulsory secondary school programmes and baccalaureate-programmes, knowledge about professions is introduced, as well as programmes specifically intended to generate increased interest in vocational education. Curricula include simulation-based learning as part of students´ early training in trades and professions.

In the last year of compulsory secondary education (ESO), students can choose between two study programmes, one of them  more general and academic, the other more vocational-oriented. The programmes intention is to support students in making informed choices in their learning pathway by the end of the year. For further information please click here.


Training programmes during the VET students’ apprenticeship period with a company, as well as the Dual VET training programme, (both compulsory workplace training modules) comprise clearly defined common elements in the curriculum, including the compulsory modules “Business and Entrepreneurship” and “Training and career guidance”. Both modules focus mainly on long life learning and aim at improving employability. For further information please click here.

Adult Learning / Continuous Training

There are curricular adaptations in all educational levels for adult students, and for those individuals trying to reconcile work commitments with family obligations and further education. There are special schools for adults. There are also specific training offers for adults, and open and distance learning via e-learning platforms offering courses helping virtually all students at all levels of the education system.  

Higher Education

Universities in Spain have a large degree of autonomy to develop their guidance services. However, all public and private universities in Spain provide career guidance services and you can find links and information about them here.       


 The Public Employment Service is an autonomous body within the Ministry for Employment and Social Security. The service is responsible for active employment policies, as well as for information and guidance on labour issues.


Spanish guidance counsellors working for the education public sector are mainly psychologists or pedagogues (master’s degree) that have passed a competitive exam to become civil servants and work at public schools, with the following organization:

  • Multi-professional guidance teams, which work with students in pre-primary and primary education levels. These teams are dependent on the Regional Education Authorities of the Autonomous Communities.
  • Guidance and Counselling Departments at all secondary or VET Schools, that is, at all levels of secondary education and post-secondary, Baccalaureate and vocational education and training levels. They are also dependent on the regional educational authorities, but are school-based services.
  • Students’ information centres and career guidance services are also to be found at public universities. In general private schools and universities also offer career services.


Research in Spain is mainly carried out by universities. However, the main developments are addressed by the public administration, as follows:

  • Ensuring students’ learning success from an early age, through early detection of learning problems.
  • Introducing vocational guidance in compulsory secondary education as part of the guidance process, so that studentshave all the tools and skills necessary to make informed decisions at the end of compulsory education, whether they choose to further their education or enter the workforce.
  • Developing the necessary mechanisms for teacher training in vocational guidance, understanding that the teacher, especially the student´s teacher-tutor, is the closest person to the student and enjoys a credibility and influence on his/her students that makes him/her the most suitable person to perform some guidance tasks. These tasks not only correspond to personalized guidance tasks, but include encouraging and preparing students to manage their own career (Career Management Skills, CMS).
  • Ensuring the required initial and continuing training for guidance professionals, so that they can meet the different needs on the target groups: students in the education system, early school leavers, students at risk of exclusion, adult job seekers, at-risk groups, vulnerable groups, minorities, and others. The aim is to reach all people regardless of age, personal situation or geographic location.
  • Developing current, effective and efficient tools, relying on ICT to bring guidance closer to individuals or groups and widen access to all citizens.
  • Setting up a national forum on guidance that would allow the establishment of an institutional national framework for educational, vocational and professional guidance which allows cooperation between all actors involved in the field.


There are no common ethical guidelines as regards guidance in Spain.

Last updated at: April 2018