Lifelong Guidance

Skills Norway coordinates the career guidance field in Norway through the National Unit for Lifelong Guidance.

lifelong guidance


The main objective of the Unit is to improve the quality in career guidance and to promote equal access to career guidance services for young people and adults in all life stages.

The National Unit for Lifelong Guidance was established January 1st, 2011. We are involved in the development of evidence-based practice and in undertaking new and collaborative networks that lead to the advancement of theory, policy and practice in the career guidance field.


Career guidance is a fragmented sector in Norway and the need for national coordination and for overarching guidelines was the initial motivation for establishing the National Unit.

The National Unit for Lifelong Guidance is nominated by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research and our key mandate is to promote high-quality, all-age career guidance services across the country. The overall strategy is based on a lifelong perspective; that career guidance is relevant and necessary in all the different phases and transitions a person faces throughout life.

Key areas of work

These are major focal points of the Unit:

  • Cooperation and coordination between all the different career guidance provisions and the stakeholders involved
  • Evaluation and documentation of systems and practice in the field
  • Competence development and evidence based research, both to advance career guidance as a specific professional field and to enhance competence development for professionals
  • Quality development and quality assurance

National and international cooperation

The Unit chairs a National Coordination Group at directorate level, which is set up to coordinate policy development and implementation in the different sectors. Also, a National Forum for Lifelong Guidance is established, including all relevant stakeholders. Participation in the National Forum reflects representation in the regional partnerships already established in the regions/counties.

Career Guidance Partnerships have been established in most counties in Norway. The objective is to develop cooperation and coordination between the different career guidance services in each county, as well as to enhance the quality of the services. Partnerships include regional authorities, the educational sector, the work and welfare sector, the social partners and other relevant stakeholders. Their main task is to ensure equal access to career guidance services for everybody throughout the lifespan: for young people; for adults and for the “third age”.

The Unit is also an active member of the European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network (ELGPN) and maintains strong working relationships with the Nordic Network for Adult Learning (NVL).

Contact information 

Ingjerd Espolin Gaarder

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