Careers Education and Information, Advice and Guidance

Careers Education and Information, Advice and Guidance

Careers Education and Information, Advice and Guidance (CE/IAG) 

IAG is an acronym for Information, Advice or Guidance and CE/IAG is Careers, Education and Information, Advice or Guidance.  

In December 2017, the Government launched its “Careers strategy: making the most of everyone’s skills and talents”.  This careers strategy is part of the Government’s plan to make Britain fairer, improve social mobility and offer opportunity to everyone with a long-term plan to boost national productivity and the earning power of people throughout the country. The Government wants every person, no matter what their background is, to be able to build a rewarding career.  

The aim of the strategy is to: 

  • end the generational cycle of disadvantage which means that people from poorer backgrounds earn significantly less than those with wealthier parents, even when they have the same job, experience and qualifications 
  • break down the barriers that currently mean that people with special educational needs and disabilities, or those from disadvantaged groups, experience significantly lower employment rates 
  • Challenge perceptions and raise aspirations so that subject and career choices are free from gender bias and people look beyond their immediate environment to new and exciting possibilities. 

The Government wants: 

  • all young people to understand the full range of opportunities available to them, to learn from employers about work and the skills that are valued in the workplace and to have first-hand experience of the workplace 
  •  all young people in secondary school and college to get an excellent programme of information, advice and guidance that is delivered by individuals with the right skills and experience 
  • everyone to get information, advice and guidance support tailored to their circumstances. All adults should be able to access free face-to-face advice, with more bespoke support for those who most need it 
  • everyone to get the information, advice and guidance they need to understand the job and career opportunities available, and how their knowledge and skills can help them in considering suitable careers . 


There are a number of terms used to describe different careers interventions around information, advice and guidance and there is inevitably some overlap between them. In 2013, the Education Committee set out the working definitions of Information, Advice and Guidance below: 

  • Careers education is the delivery of learning about careers as part of the curriculum. Careers education is often closely related to work-experience and other forms of work-related learning 
  • Work-related learning is the provision of opportunities to develop knowledge and understanding of work and to develop skills for employability through direct experiences of work 
  • Careers information is the provision of information and resources about courses, occupations and career paths 
  • Careers advice is more in-depth explanation of information and how to access and use information 
  • Careers guidance or careers counselling is a deeper intervention in which an individual’s skills, attributes and interests are explored in relation to their career options. 

What should we be doing about providing Information, Advice or Guidance? 

A lot of individuals talk to their family about their future and seek guidance from them.  Research by Department for Education in 2010 shows that a majority of learners talked to their teachers and a minority received Information, Advice or Guidance from Careers Guidance professionals.  

While the quality of careers information, advice and guidance in English schools is undoubtedly patchy, there appears to be no shortage of reports setting out how it could be improved.  

Recent research was conducted by Professor Sir John Holman for the Gatsby Foundation drawn on visits to English schools and six countries where careers guidance was considered to be good. Using this research, the Gatsby Foundation’s report set out what it considered to be the eight key benchmarks of good careers guidance in schools below: 

The Gatsby Foundation’s eight benchmarks of good careers information, advice and guidance: 

  1. A stable careers programme 
  1. Learning from career and labour market information  
  1. Addressing the needs of each pupil  
  1. Linking curriculum learning to careers 
  1. Encounters with employers and employees  
  1. Experiences of workplaces 
  1. Encounters with further and higher education 
  1. Personal guidance 

A call to action 

Every person, no matter what their background is and no matter where they are from should be able build a rewarding career. Now we need to work together to provide careers education, information, advice and guidance that is dynamic and link to the real employment opportunities available in future.  

In a fast-changing economy, it is essential that we make learning and work more closely connected so that people all backgrounds have the knowledge, skills and experience to succeed in work. As the labour market evolves, it is crucial that those already in work can access the most appropriate information, advice and guidance on career change or retraining that opens up other opportunities. Let’s seize this chance to lead change and make the most of everyone’s skills and talents.  

Qualifications in Information, advice or guidance 

There are different levels of training available, however, it does depend one’s the job role, responsibilities and availability of funding.  

One can undertake the following qualifications: 

Level 1 Award in Information, Advice or Guidance which provides basic introduction to the information, advice or guidance and basic principles and skills needed in the sector.  This is a knowledge only qualification. Experience in the real work environment is not required 


Level 2 Award in Information, Advice or Guidance is suitable for those working or looking to work in a range of roles where the provision of information, advice or guidance is a requirement. The Level 2 Award in Information, Advice or Guidance qualification has been developed for those working in this field to share good practice and build confidence in their ability to effectively fulfil their role as provider of advice and guidance 


Level 3 Certificate in Information, Advice or Guidance is to provide learners with the skills and underpinning knowledge required by employers in a broad range of contexts where information, advice or guidance is provided. This qualification is appropriate for learners who have responsibility for information, advice or guidance as part of their core work and for those who may be involved in general signposting within the sector.  


Level 4 Diploma in Career Information and Advice is for those working in the career development sector. It is suitable for those already working in career guidance to clients. The qualification will provide accredited professional development opportunities and encourage progression in the sector. 


Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development is for those working or undertaking a professional role within the career development/guidance sector providing in depth career guidance to clients. The qualification will provide accredited professional development opportunities and encourage progression in the sector.  


Process for Career guidance 

  •  Current Position  
  • Identify gap in skills
  • Future aspirations
  • Opportunities for growth
  • Action plan
  • Taking action
  • Evaluation