The Network for Innovation in Career Guidance and Counselling in Europe (NICE) involves around 50 partners from 30 European countries. Most of them are higher education institutions that offer degree programmes in career guidance and counselling or engage in related research. Supported financially through the European Commission, the members of NICE were engaged in several activities to enhance academic cooperation in our field from 2012 to 2015. Important projects within the “NICE 2” programme included: the formulation of a joint memorandum on the role of higher education in career guidance and counselling, the development of European competence standards for the academic training of career practitioners, activities to support the exchange of lecturers, researchers and students between the participating institutions, and the development of a sustainable infrastructure for future networking, including a new website, and a newsletter. As of 2017, NICE will be organised through a foundation. The main purpose of the NICE Foundation is to ensure the sustainability of the NICE Network.
The European Society for Vocational Designing and Career Counselling (ESVDC) was founded in 2011 to stimulate and promote European and international collaboration in research and practices in the fields of life-designing, vocational guidance and career counselling. It brings together existing networks of researchers and networks of academics to facilitate the emergence of a new generation of specialists all over Europe. The ESVDC reinforces the identity of European scientists by sharing information, ideas and projects, by creating a programme of post-doc exchanges, by offering access to high-quality expert resources and by enhancing sustainable long-term developments in life designing and career counselling. Work is underway to create a marketplace for research projects and job/exchange opportunities for young researchers, and establish relations with other associations, institutions or policymakers.
In 2004 university professors and practitioners interested in promoting and spreading the specificity of vocational guidance and in giving rules to this profession, taking inspiration from the IAEVG, founded the Italian Society of Vocational Guidance (SIO). Its members must either have specific post-graduate qualifications granted by an Italian university (or equally valid credentials) or be university professors carrying out their institutional activity in the vocational guidance field. The association gives special emphasis to the diffusion of scientific knowledge and good practices. A deontological code has been devised requiring its professional members to avoid, as far as possible, confining themselves to coding and elaborating users’ experiences via diagnostic-evaluative modalities which encourage tendency to passiveness, delegation and externality.
Larios Laboratory (Laboratory for Research and Intervention in Vocational Designing and Career Counselling) of the Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology (FISPPA Department) was founded in 1994 with the aim to give impulse to both research and application in the field of Career Counselling and Guidance.
The Laboratory aims to realise highly qualified services for career counsellors and for public and private bodies that deal with career guidance and counselling. Postgraduate Master Courses in career counselling and coaching and national conferences in the field are organised regularly. Researchers of the Larios Laboratory study and implement career choices and life designing intervention programmes for children, youths and adults with and without vulnerability. Special attention is devoted to internationalisation and cross cultural collaborations.
The International Network of Social Economy RES-INT was created in 2013 in Italy by 14 territorial organisations working in the social economy and other associated partners. The member organisations of RES-INT are, in turn, socio economic local networks constituted as consortia of social cooperatives, community foundations, social farm networks, associations of family members. These organisations belong to the so-called Third Sector, but also represent entrepreneurial profit, social cooperation, associations, academic environment, research, finance and the public sector.
Coordination of Triveneto Universities for Inclusion (UNI3V) brings together all public universities of Trentino Alto Adige, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto regions of the North-East of Italy, for the creation of inclusive university contexts. Specifically, it involves the Free University of Bolzano, University of Trento, University of Trieste, University of Udine, Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, University of Verona and University of Padua. It aims to design activities to promote educational and work inclusive contexts that respond to the needs and difficulties of individuals with vulnerabilities, disabilities and learning difficulties. In addition, it aims to conduct awareness-raising and reflective activities and researches for supporting the right to education, wellbeing and a fair educational and professional life for all.
The University Network for Counselling considers the involvement of numerous Italian Universities and aims to develop guidelines for university education and training on counselling and undertaking research studies on counselling. The Network has already organized ten study days, a national conference in October 2015 “Counselling and Career Counselling in Italy and Europe”, two Round Table Conferences, and produced a series of documents and materials freely downloadable from the La.R.I.O.S. website. In addition, thanks to the involvement and collaboration of a large number of scholars and researchers of the Network, in 2016 the handbook “Il Counselling in Italia. Funzioni, criticità, prospettive ed applicazioni” [Counselling in Italy. Functions, problems, perspectives and applications], edited by Salvatore Soresi, Laura Nota and Maria Cristina Ginevra, was published.
University Center for Disability and Inclusion: was created by different departments and services of the University of Padova with the purpose of facilitating, promoting and coordinating supports for the full participation of students with disability to university life and, afterwards, for their work inclusion. In order to do this, research studies are promoted with national and international researchers, institutions and associations interested in the reduction, prevention and rehabilitation of impairments and disabilities. Several initiatives are undertaken in order to disseminate results of research studies, among which post graduate courses, conferences and workshops could be listed.