The European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network (ELGPN) provides in its resource kit the following definition of lifelong guidance:
Lifelong guidance refers to a range of activities that enable citizens of any age, and at any point in their lives, to: identify their capacities, competences and interests; make meaningful educational, training and occupational decisions; and manage their individual life paths in learning, work and other settings in which these capacities and competences are learned and/or used. Lifelong guidance is provided in a range of settings: education, training, employment, community, and private.
Examples of such activities include information and advice giving, counselling, competence assessment, mentoring, advocacy, and teaching career decision-making and career management skills. A variety of terms is used in different countries to describe these activities. These terms include educational, vocational or career guidance, guidance and counselling, occupational guidance, and counselling. To avoid ambiguity, the term ‘guidance’ is used in the text to identify any or all of these forms of provision; the term ‘lifelong guidance’, parallel to ‘lifelong learning’, indicates the aspiration to make such guidance available on a lifelong basis.