Week 2: Key principles of information, advice and guidance.

Advice is based on a person’s judgment rather than fact. It is normally given by people with experience who do not always need a specific qualification and again this is not normally reviewed. For example, a senior member of the helpdesk advising a client of the best person to talk to.

Guidance is also based on a person’s judgement rather than fact. It is normally given out by more experienced members of staff with specific qualifications and is reviewed over time. For example, a careers officer giving guidance to a client regarding work opportunities.

Information is considered to be any fact, set of facts or knowledge. Information is communicated by others or obtained by personal study or investigation.

  • Advice is a recommendation with some action and is not always based on fact.
  • Guidance is commonly known as the act of guiding, leading or providing direction.

Information can be found in many places within different organisations, for example:

  • The website – this may inform clients about opening times, phone numbers and members of staff
  • Help desk staff
  • Reception staff
  • Company materials such as leaflets, newspaper articles and flyers.

In a place of work, different types of information can be used by members of staff as well as clients. For example, when an employee starts in a new organisation, they receive information as part of their induction to their role. This is to make sure they are aware of their responsibilities and workplace policies and procedures.


The main difference between advice and information relates to staff having more experience, these staff can draw upon their knowledge and judgements to provide advice. Junior staff with less experience may need to pass information on where more than simple facts are required.

Clients are likely to gather advice from:

  • Phone and face to face contact with experienced staff.
  • Previous users of the service perhaps advising them of the best time to attend or the best person to speak to.

You may well have received advice from your school careers advisor about which sixth form or work opportunities are right for you. Or perhaps advice from a peer mentor about the best options for you.

Guidance is normally given by staff with specific knowledge, experience and even qualifications in a given area. For example, an environmental health officer will work with restaurants to provide guidance on the regulations they need to comply with. This will be done over a period of time and the environmental health officer will be qualified and have experience within their role.

You might have experienced guidance by your line manager or perhaps senior colleague in your work, which might involve setting objectives and reviewing them over a period of time.

Take a look at these examples of information advice and guidance.

Here is a guidance video made by Yorkshire Bank. The video provides clients with a step-by-step guide of how to set up mobile banking on their smart phone.

Below is a sample of social media assets provided by the NHS during to pandemic, to share information with the public.

Award winning personal finance expert Andy Webb from BeCleverWithYourCash.com shares his advice with his listens via podcast.

Think about examples of information, advice or guidance that you have given others in a personal, voluntary or work situation.

Share an example of a time you have given IAG and write this in the comment box.