The Guiding Cities Model

The Guiding Cities Partnership has developed the following model and parameters.

It can also be downloaded here in different languages:

The project also presents comments on the 

GCities Model based on the national contexts:

National Model Chart 

A concept on “guidance”:

There is a plurality of concepts in the field of guidance and it will be useful to agree on a common one. “Education and career guidance” is the most used concept in the proposal and it has been used also by the European Commission when referring to the strategies, policies and measures to reduce Early School Leaving. We propose to analyze this concept and to pay attention to its objectives to see if it really matches with the GCities Model.


“Make easier for citizen to make realistic decisions about learning opportunities and careers, for the individual’s own sake and for the good of society as a whole”

Euroguidance Denmark


A vision of the GCities Model:

The GCities Model will focus on citizen needs. According to this, to improve guidance and therefore to reduce ESL it is necessary to define a model that better articulates all the possible guidance services and resources of a community in a local context.

The fight against ESL is not only fought by schools, others actors in the community also play a crucial role in reducing ESL and in improving education and career choices and paths. On the one hand there is a plurality of guidance services and resources provided by public and private actors; on the other hand, all levels of stakeholders in education and guidance from national or regional decision and policy makers, to local authorities and technicians or guidance practitioners, contribute to the reduction of ESL.


A policy framework:

Although guidance is a cross-sectorial field with impact on different sectors at national, regional and local levels, the evidence shows that most systems originate from a sectorial focus and do not have an inclusive national strategy. For the definition of the GCities Model we will try to foster an integrated system of guidance focusing on a lifelong learning perspective, where guidance can play a central role in increasing individuals’ engagement with learning, making clear pathways through learning and work, and supporting the acquisition of career management skills.


Main parameters:

In this section we list the main parameters to be considered in the definition of the GCities Model. Parameters are a central part of the GCities Model. They are the “building blocks” for collecting best practices, for the evaluation in the framework of the working groups, the checklist and pilot actions.

Governance and coordination A governance framework fostering coherent and coordinated guidance systems at national / regional / local levels, to better articulate and strengthen guidance services and resources that target citizens’ needs at any point in their lives. Specific strategies, plans and partnerships to fight against ESL. Strategy and policies: political priority, policies and financial and human resources commitment.
Coordination among stakeholders and actors: coordination structures or mechanisms
Cross-sectorial coordination / multi-service partnerships
Local adaptation/application: services and resources responding to concrete local needs (bottom-up approach) and engaging locally based community services (bottom-up initiatives)
Accessibility and awareness of services All citizens have the right to access guidance services throughout their lives. Services must take appropriate actions and guarantee awareness and visibility. All citizens have the right to access guidance services at any point in their lives.
To improve accessibility, guidance services should be given visibility to guarantee citizen awareness
Communication actions to improve awareness of the relationship between guidance and educational success
 Methodologies of provision A combination of delivering guidance methods determine the accessibility to available guidance services and resources, and covers a wide range of profiles and needs in addressing ESL. Groups methods, online resources and telephone services guarantee wider access to guidance
Recognition of the diversity of individuals and their individual needs – one to one methods allows best customized to individual’s needs
Progressive (from the early years) and programmatic interventions more effective than isolated single interventions
School-based guidance services vs. extra-curricular activities and externally-based guidance services  (local services, NGOs, private enterprises, …)
Measures to promote lifelong guidance and learning Guidance services and resources are very valuable in motivating people and keeping them engaged in education and lifelong learning. Prevention, intervention and compensation measures are key actions to address ESL. Measures to promote lifelong guidance (learning)
Guidance measures to prevent ESL
Guidance measures to intervene when students are at risk of leaving education
Guidance measures to compensate and re-engage early school leavers (second chance programmes, adult education curricula, …)
Guidance measures to facilitate transitions (within education or from education to employment)
Empowerment of choice and personal development Guidance is considered a general aim and a principle of the educational process supporting people to manage their choices better and take responsibility for their own personal growth and development. It is identified as beneficial in addressing ESL. Informing on the study options and works prospects available to guarantee informed choices
To improve and promote self knowledge
To support people in their choices of education and to identify the careers (paths) that may be of interest
Developing the skills (and competences) needed to make decisions about future education and work (career management skills)
Provide support to all figures within the user’s support system: families, teachers, tutors, etc.
Competences and skills for practitioners The skills, training and dispositions of the professionals who deliver guidance are key factors for efficient guidance services. Special attention must be given to those dealing with ESL. Practitioner’s competences and professional standards (and agreed terminology for the sector)
Common training programmes offered to guidance practitioners from all sectors
Additional educational training for those dealing with ESL
Promotion of professionalization and improvement of qualifications
Activities such as collecting examples of best practices and (exchange of) knowledge, experimental and developmental guidance services and resources




Common framework and quality standards Set of common principles, guidelines, criteria and tools in order to develop and assure quality in guidance delivery. Specifications for addressing ESL Quality standards: technical specifications that help clarify what to expect when delivering / using guidance services
Measurable indicators: Citizen/user involvement, practitioner competence, service provision and improvement, cost-benefits to individual/society/government
Evaluation of performance and effectiveness Planning, management, evaluation and continual improvement for guidance systems / services. Data and evaluation of guidance policies and services addressed to fight against ESL Plan for the evaluation and calculation of impact of activities through data gathering and indicators
Evaluation of performance
Evaluation of effectiveness / impact for the individual / for the society