Credentials of the School Counsellor
Most professionals are guided by ethical standards for which their members may be held accountable and professional practice improved. Relatively young professions such as school counselling, develop these standards over time and they become systematized in codes.
From these standards and guidelines, the responsibilities that govern school counsellors are derived.
In Jamaican schools, counsellors are guided by the National Guidance Policy developed by the Ministry of Education and school programmes are designed based on the National Guidance Curriculum. Recent developments in the Jamaica Association of Guidance Counsellors in Education (JAGCE) suggest that in time the local professionals will develop an internationally regarded code of ethics, which could become binding for all school counsellors.
The issue of school counsellors being guided by the National Guidance Policy, which was developed by the Ministry of Education, is on the agenda of both the Ministry of Education and the Jamaica Association of Guidance Counsellors in Education (JAGCE).
Ministry officials conduct periodic appraisals of counsellors employed in schools with a view of monitoring counsellor activity and performance in the field. The JAGCE has undertaken an initiative to partner with the US-based National Board for Certified Counsellors (NBCC) in developing and establishing a NBCC credential for Jamaica. When this agreement is complete the NBCC will provide certification for suitably qualified counsellors in Jamaica.
Read more in The Guidance Counsellor’s Handbook
The Guidance Counsellor’s Handbook introduces the highlights of the psychometric movement, the trait and factor theory as well as legislation that impacted the development of present guidelines and ethical standards. It also explores the counselling process, issues of school management, school organisational structure and several counselling techniques which are apt for the school setting. The book also examines the various roles and responsibilities of a Guidance Counsellor and provides a list of resource centers.