Vocational Guidance Counsellor
Vocational guidance counsellors help clients reach their career objectives by providing them with professional resources and guiding them on their career path.
The Vocational Guidance Counsellor (C.O.) designation is bestowed upon members accepted into the provincially recognized association, mandated by the Office des professions du Québec [Office of Quebec Professions], the Ordre des conseillers et conseillères d’orientation du Québec [The Order of Guidance Counsellors of Quebec] (OCCOQ).
The OCCOQ is a historically renowned organization–founded in the eighties—with seven committees dedicated to protecting the standards of guidance counselling by ensuring high-quality counselling services are provided to the residents of Québec. Additionally, they have three work groups that study and resolve current issues facing the profession which ensures the counselling community is always improving their practices. Many members recognize the importance of their profession and offer their services freely in public institutions, schools, community centres, and employment centres. Additionally, they even have their own online publications to keep members up to date on current issues facing the counselling world.
Being an order in Quebec, applicants must have a professional working proficiency of French. This designation is accessible to graduates of a recognized masters program in counselling. Although, there are no entry exams, a master’s degree is enough to apply and will take at least 5 years to obtain (with a prerequisite bachelor’s degree as well). They also offer student member status to students aspiring to become members who are nearing the end of their program. This allows future counsellors the opportunity to gradually integrate into the field.
According to their website, becoming a member of the order provides members with privileged information, access to a professional network, and the possibility to work and learn with experience professionals.