Guidance teachers should undergo mandatory training, the General Teaching Council recommended this week. But the council warns that staff must have more time and outdated staffing complements should be reviewed.
Support from senior management is "crucial", it states. Guidance should be included under the Scottish Qualification for Headship and be a component of all initial teacher education courses.
Tony Finn, convener of the GTC's education committee, said: "Demands on guidance teachers have continued to increase in recent years without a change in the number of guidance teachers or the material support provided. Consequently our report suggests that schools must now be structured, resourced and staffed to meet these needs and that those who undertake dedicated guidance work must be appropriately trained."
Staffing complements, set in 1971, assume one promoted guidance post for every 150-200 pupils . Many guidance staff are not allocated even the minimum time of 40 minutes a week for every 15 pupils.