Redundancy Counsellors

Are Back in Vogue


Informative article by Gerald Flynn on the current state

of the Irish outplacement services market published in

The Irish Times on Friday 8th August 2008


Employers wishing to offer outplacement counselling must, in the absence of regulation, ensure it is of a high standard, writes Gerald Flynn

EVERY CLOUD has a silver lining and with the standardised unemployment rate just about to top 6 per cent, 'outplacement' specialists are back in vogue having devoted much of the past decade to recruitment and head-hunting.

Job cuts which became pronounced in the construction sector last winter have now spread to auctioneering firms, specialist financial institutions, hospitality businesses and the retail sector.

Numbers on the Live Register increased by 17,439 during July and, at 238,240, there are now over 63,000 more people registered as unemployed or seeking a full week's work than this time last year.

Losing your job after years of expansion and opportunities can leave employees feeling isolated and vulnerable. It is therefore important that employers choose very carefully when considering offering professional counselling and advice on career progression to those losing their job.

A lack of regulation and consistent accreditation has meant that the services delivered by consultants in the career and outplacement industry vary in range, depth and quality and can be confusing for the individual employee, the provider and the employer.

The provision of outplacement career guidance is often undertaken when individuals might be at their most vulnerable and uncertain.





Information on Outplacement

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For that reason, the fundamental of good people management is that any range of services offered to parting employees must be delivered with high levels of individual and professional integrity.

Basically, this means that qualified counsellors or psychologists should be preferred over some fast-talking sales-person who has migrated from recruitment to redundancy services in the past year.

Consultants should be able to demonstrate they are competent in the provision of career and outplacement consultancy services by possessing membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (Chartered MCIPD or Chartered FCIPD) or holding current registration with either the British Psychological Society or the Psychological Society of Ireland as a chartered psychologist.

Psychometric testing and feedback should only be conducted by those holding the British Psychological Society Level A statement or certificate of competence in psychological testing.

Those conducting personality testing should also hold the higher level British Psychological Society Level B certificate or the equivalent additional training specified by the test supplier. Administration of psychological tests can also be carried out by holders of the British Psychological Society Test Administration Certificate.

The Level A is fairly basic, undertaking general aptitude tests; the Level B covers more personal testing of personality traits and attitudes. Often these details can be supplied out online, which can be useful for test completion away from the workplace and enhances confidentiality.

Professional outplacement consultants usually will not accept any individual for career and outplacement services without holding an initial face-to-face meeting to enable the consultant to achieve a clear understanding of their requirements. These initial meetings should be free of charge and without commitment by either party.

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