Academic and Career Guidance Content (ACGC-COSP)

To orient oneself in a world undergoing great transformation represents a significant challenge for our youth. As parents, we often realize the magnitude of our children’s guidance needs when it is time to make educational or career choices. For many students, these needs are latent and only manifest themselves once they are faced with the need to take a decision. In these circumstances it is common for students and their parents to experience anxiety, worry or indecision.

To respond to this important need that concerns all students at some point in their academic career, the Ministry of Education (MEQ) has made Academic and Career Guidance Content (ACGC-COSP) compulsory since 2017 for all students from Grade 5 of elementary to Secondary 5. The content establishes a structuring approach allowing students to begin developing an orientation in their careers. It is complementary to the various actions already in place in schools, including the professional services offered by guidance counsellors.

The ACGC-COSP aims to equip students in their reflections about their academic and career choices. It encourages them to engage in planning for their future in a very gradual manner, beginning in Grade 5 of elementary school, while promoting motivation and school perseverance.

This compulsory content, about 10 hours per year, is not evaluated but can nevertheless be integrated into a subject.

Over the course of a school year, students have the opportunity to experience ACGC-COSP through the subjects taught and learning activities. Nineteen elements are targeted in the ACGC-COSP continuum.

In Cycle 2 of secondary, seven exercises are compulsory, four of which must be offered to students in Secondary 4 and 5. Schools can decide when the lessons will be offered at the end of this cycle, so it can bedivided into Secondary 4 and 5 at the school’s choice. It is important, however, to ensure that students are exposed to ACGC-COSP every year.

The ACGC-COSPs are divided into three areas of knowledge associated with strategies that promote student learning.


The student learns to know himself better and identify personal characteristics:

  • Interests, abilities, values, aspirations and assets
  • Attitudes, behaviours and perceptions contributing to a sense of personal competence

Knowledge of the school world

The student learns to better prepare for the challenges of his school career:

  • School transitions (elementary to secondary, Cycle 1 to Cycle 2, high school to post-secondary)
  • The Quebec school system and school choices

Knowledge of the working world

Students learn to be better prepared for the challenges and demands of the labor market:

  • Links between self-knowledge and the worlds of school and work
  • Exploration of trades and professions

Conveying new learning to students is the responsibility of teachers and school professionals, specifically guidance counsellors. This instruction is the subject of joint planning developed by all stakeholders, which the school principal then proposes to the governing board.