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Assessment in career counselling

Updated on November 17, 2014
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The Modern World


Nowsaday, students are pressured to excel academically , be popular and ultimately lead a good life. The one factor that relates to all these is the selection of one’s career.

The career choice is often decided under parental or societal pressure. However the individual may lack of job fufilment due to personal interest.

Career Counseling is the solution, designated with assessment tools helps both prospective and working individuals to attain their ideal job. (Balkin & Juhnke , 2014).

The Solution


Career assessments help to discover the aptitude , talents and skills of clients. A self-assessment aids in identifying client’s problems , strengths and weakness.


The outcome aids clients to select a job better suited with their talents and goals. Career assessments also help prospective clients make a better career decision.


They have also been important in the economy’s work productivity. Having a fulfilling job increases confidence , happiness and work productivity , thus enhancing the company’s performance. (Kidd , 2009).



According to Kidd (2009), professional career counselors , unlike general counselors , should display and specialize in proficiency and expertise for aspects of career counseling.


They are expected to be ethical and professional in their services. They also have several other roles to play.


They must not discriminate , be accurate , receptive and sincere when communicating to other professionals and the community.


They must adhere to the Code of Ethics by organizations like ACA and NCDA. They encourage positive changes to the public.

Some Important Code Of Ethics


Maintaining Professionalism

There are many responsibilities in the code of ethics to adhere to in this profession. Professional responsibilities can be found in Section C of both NCDA and ACA code of ethics.


For example C.2.A. Boundaries of Competence defines that career professionals perform solely within their capabilities, determined from their supervised training experience , educational and professional qualifications. (‘’NCDA Code of Ethics ,’’ 2007 ,p.15).


According to Balkin & Juhnke (2014) , this ensures that clients get an accurate and excellent service and prevent counselor from causing miscommunication and possibly harm to the client.


Multicultural counseling abilities is also necessary to be culturally competent as counselors need to possess the relevant skills of awareness, comprehension, sensitivity, temperament when dealing with


Clients from diverse populations. This is because the counseling services need to be customized based on the cultures the clients come from as some may get sensitive to some suggestions.


Another rule C.2.d. Monitor Effectiveness specifies that career counselors must frequently observe the effectiveness of their services and improve when needed with peer supervision . (‘’ACA Code of Ethics ,’’ 2014 ,p.8).


This ensures that clients get the most effective service and that counselors constantly upgrade themselves to be competent.


According to (‘’ACA Code of Ethics ,’’20144, p.10) another important rule is C.7.C. Harmful Practices defines that career counselors don’t utilize methods/modalities when substantial evidence indicates harm even if clients request them.


Although counselors are supposed to comply and agree with clients’ request , counselors must override this mindset when clients’ safety are compromised as their main role is to help the client in a healthy way.



Ethical Responsibilities

Other than professional responsibilities , counselors also have ethical responsibilities. Ethical responsibilities can be found in Section E of NCDA and APA Code of Ethics.


Ethics may be interpreted as the standards of conduct and moral judgment , the system or code of morals of an individual, profession or society . Career professionals must possess a moral code to accommodate with the clients’ distinctive and ethnic context. (Welfel , 2013).


For example in E.3.b.Recipients of Results and E.5.d. Refraining From Diagnosis, counselors contemplate the client’s agreements , explicit understandings and well-being before deciding the recipient of the assessment results or refrain from reporting a diagnosis if they believe clients or others may get hurt.


They must incorporate appropriate and precise explanation and consider both the positive and negative implications when releasing any assessment result .(‘’ACA Code of Ethics,’’ 2014 , p.11).


This ensures that the counselor don’t get into trouble like getting sued by the client or the result receiver if they cannot accept the assessment results or diagnosis. It is to maintain ethical standards and also protect the client from getting hurt from the results both in self-esteem and reputation.


For example , a counselor may give a renowned professional a negative assessment result stating he has schizophrenia. Being a professional , he will feel that he is highly knowledgeable and pressured to preserve his reputation thus suing the counselor for defamation and causing negativity to his reputation.


Another important concern is culture , Asian culture normally refrain from sharing negativity in mental issues and diseases as it is considered shameful and may cause the sharer to get shunned terribly , whereas in other cultures like the western culture , they are more open to such issues seeking to share about their experiences, and are even comforted and praised for their bravery to share, a stark contrast to Asian culture.


The counselor must protect the client’s privacy and protect their reputation from harm. (Balkin & Juhnke , 2014)


Another rule is E.13.d.Avoid Potentially Harmful Relationships stating that counselors should avoid possibly detrimental personal and professional relationships with close friends, family members and romantic partners related to their previous and current clients .(‘’NCDA Code of Ethics,’’ 2007 , p.26).


This is important to the reputation of the counselor as the public sees the counselor to be a professional and role model, judging such antics as immoral and unprofessional in most cultures.


A counselor’s source of customers builds with reputation and such antics will be criticized, tarnishing reputation , reducing customers.The client’s relatives and family may also get the wrong idea that the counselor may have ulterior motives such as trying to get inheritance from a rich dying client or simply getting free sex from a vulnerable client.The counselor will get into trouble and lawsuits. (Welfel , 2013).

ACA Code of Ethics
ACA Code of Ethics | Source
NCDA Code of Ethics
NCDA Code of Ethics | Source

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Assessment Procedures


The assessment procedures utilize 3 tools which are traits , values and skills. Some techniques for measuring traits include DISC assessment , Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Taylor Johnson Temperament Analysis ( TJTA).


DISC is the fastest to complete as it is forced to be finished in 7 minutes unlike the rest. Myer Briggs short version would take an average of 10 minutes to complete with several questions to answer.


TJTA is the longer , average duration to be 30 minutes to complete as it has 180 answers to complete and is more accurate and methods to detect dishonesty in the answers. (Nathan & Hill , 2009).


Values can be measured by value list Milton Rokeach compiled consisting of terminal and instrumental values.


Terminal values are aspirations that people want to achieve (e.g. Happiness (contentedness) , Self-respect (self esteem) , True Friendship (close companionship)).


Clients will pick which options best describes them. Instrumental Values are desired modes of behavior (e.g. Clean(Orderly) , Broadminded (Open-minded) , Cheerful( Joyous)). ( Rokeach , 1973).


For skills assessment , the counselor will first form a relationship to understand client before doing problem exploration then problem solving.


During the process , the counselor has to engage the client in a conversation asking meaningful questions like why do you hate your job and so on. Also , through the previous test results from traits and values assessment , the counselor can analyze and pinpoint the client’s strengths, weaknesses and jobs they are best suited to.


The counselor would then slowly explain to the client based on the tests and conversations so that clients can understand and be convinced what best suits them. ( Weiner , Graham , & Naglieri , 2012, p. 7).

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Administering the Psychological Test


To administer the psychological tests to clients , counselors must first be qualified and certified while take note of assessment responsibilities. To prepare the test, they must secure test materials before, during, and after the test.


The test materials should be locked safely away from parents , public and student to prevent tampering and unethical distribution. ( Zucker , 2004).


Some factors can affect test scores so counselors must standardize features of the test to minimize variability from factors other than capability. Standardized testing help clients to perform and maximize their capabilities and potential.


Picking an appropriate testing environment is critical to limit distractions. The test shouldn’t be administered during eating period or hunger will break candidates’concentration. The counselor should also get familiarize with the test materials and instructions so that they can answer candidates quickly if they are unsure about instructions during the test.


Counselors will also have to inform and seek client’s consent before they administer the test. The candidate must know why they are tested , what is it used for and who will see the results. ( Aikens , 2014).


During the test , Instructions should be verbally given to ensure candidates hear the proper directions at least once. Directions should be slowly read and easy to understand. Informing clients the how much time will be allowed for each test is important so clients can prioritize time in answering questions. Counselors must be alert and prevent cheating.


They can deter this by walking around candidates’ tables and looking out for any attempts of cheating. ( Shumway , 2014). According to Aikens (2014) , The counselor must collect all the test materials from the candidates immediately when testing ends. This ensures the test materials are secure , easily accounted for checking quantity matches candidate’s quantity and prevent candidates from exchanging answers.


After test administration , the counselor should usher the candidates out of the testing room to prevent any tampering of the test materials. The counselor should slowly check for names on the test sheet and match with the attendance , if there is more than 1 test material missing names , the counselor should include notes of any problems and irregularities in the test report.


The counselor should reschedule a retest if the candidate answers too little questions for analyzing. Based on the results , the counselor should consider how to explain and the interpret the results to the client in the most positive and accurate way possible. (Shumway , 2014).

Success


In conclusion , a successful career counselor has many responsibilities and rules both to avoid and follow in order offer quality services to help clients. In addition , the counselor has to intervene and probably disregard rules if an exceptional case that concerns the safety of clients crops up.

References


Aikens , A. (2014). Test Administration and Scoring. Retrieved 31/10/14 From: http://homepages.rpi.edu/~verwyc/Chap3tm.htm

American Counseling Association (2014). ACA Code of Ethnics. Alexandria, VA: Author.

Balkin, R. S., & Juhnke, G.A. (2014). Theory and Practice of Assessment in Counseling. Upper Saddle River , NJ: Pearson Education Inc.

Kidd, J. M. (2009). Understanding career counseling: Theory, research and practice. London: Sage.

Nathan, R., & Hill, L. (2009). Career Counselling. ( 2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications Inc.

National Career Development Association. (2007). Code of Ethics. Retrieved 31/10/14 From: ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/fli/4725/false

Rokeach , M. (1973). Value List Of Milton Rokeach. Retrieved 31/10/14 From: http://www.mio-ecsde.org/protarea/Annex_4_3_values_lists.pdf

Shumway, K.L. (2014). Standard Test Administration and Testing Ethics Policy . Salt Lake City, UT: Utah State Office of Education

Weiner, B. I., Graham, R.J., & Naglieri, A.J. (2012). Handbook of Psychology, Assessment Psychology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Welfel, R. E. (2013). Ethnics in Counseling and Psychotherapy . Retrieved 31/10/14 From : http://books.google.com.sg/books/about/Ethics_in_Counseling_and_Psychotherapy.html?id=4glHAAAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y

Zucker, S. (2004). Administration Practices for Standardized Assessments. Upper Saddle River , NJ: Pearson Education Inc.

Career Counselling- Exploring what you do not know

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