Establishing Career Development as a Profession
Leaders in our sector are making a concerted effort to build awareness of the importance of career development and its significance to the complete outcome of a person’s work and life. Organizations like Career Professionals of Canada are working together to ensure that people outside of our sector understand the need for career development. This requires us to first establish career development as a recognized profession across Canada.
What’s Happening in the Profession
Key players are moving toward formalizing the industry. We are working together to build a consistent standard of professionalism for Career Development Professionals (CDPs) across Canada. To this end, we have made significant strides:
- Career Professionals of Canada, academic institutions, and provincial associations across Canada have created and now offer exemplary courses, certifications, and awards programs that bring structure and visibility to the work of CDPs.
- The Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF) has worked tirelessly to build consensus and develop our profession’s National Competency Profile for Career Development Professionals. This is an outstanding example of a “world-class” model that has been adopted by many countries around the globe.
- The Canadian Council for Career Development (3CD) has brought together provinces involved in existing or emerging professional certification. Their Certification Working Group has allowed for greater visibility and transparency for CDPs.
- The Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) brings Career Development Professionals together for CANNEXUS. This annual conference explores the impact of career development on education, the economy, and social justice.
As an industry, we are moving toward instituting standards for CDPs. Provincial associations and territorial bodies are coming together to establish a national Certified Career Development Professional (CCDP) designation.
Professionalizing Our Industry Sector
Career Development Professionals fall under the category of Employment Counsellors (NOC Code 4156) in Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC). CDPs provide assistance and information to job-seeker clients on all aspects of employment search and career planning.
It is a calling, a privilege, and a responsibility to help people find work that is meaningful. As career professionals, we must keep up with developments in the sector.
Many practitioners come to the profession from an alternative educational path in a related discipline such as psychology, education, social work, or human resources. Others may have established themselves through work experience alone. No matter what path a practitioner has taken, it is in their best interest to pursue ongoing professional development.
The National Competency Profile for Career Development Professionals and the Code of Ethics for Career Development Professionals define the competencies CDPs need in order to practice effectively and ethically. In Canada, they are used extensively in shaping professional training and development programs, certification, and scope of practice.
Establishing Yourself in Career Development
Nobody can do it alone. If you are a practitioner, you can start taking steps toward learning the basics required to become a certified Career Development Practitioner (CDP).
By joining an association like Career Professionals of Canada, you are indicating to potential clients that you adhere to the highest standards. CPC’s Code of Professional Conduct ensures that members know and honour our principles and ethical guidelines. This framework helps us to make thoughtful decisions and uphold the quality and integrity of the services we provide. It guides our behaviour.
Building Your Expertise as a Career Development Professional (CDP)
CPC offers CDPs education and credentials through a Course-Based Recognition and Certification Program. Practitioners who have completed academic studies and have received a certificate or diploma in career development are eligible to be conferred the associated CPC certification immediately upon joining CPC.
CPC has incorporated the competencies defined in the new National Competency Profile and the Code of Ethics for CDPs into our Career Development Foundations Course (CDP-101), which is part of our online CDP Training Program.
Becoming Recognized as a Qualified and Certified Career Professional
Career Professionals of Canada offers a professional development program to help you develop your competencies and a credentialing program to validate your expertise. Joining CPC can help you develop competencies, knowledge, and attributes necessary to work effectively with your client base. CPC offers various certifications to validate your expertise in five areas. Take the first step in attaining your credentials in résumé, interview, employment, work-life, and career strategy through Career Professionals of Canada.
Sharon Graham is founder and executive director of Career Professionals of Canada. Committed to setting the standard for excellence in the career development profession, Sharon has authored top selling paperback publications and textbooks, and has established a range of certification, professional development, community development, mentoring, and award programs. As executive director of CPC, she provides foresight and leadership within the sector and ensures that the mandate of this national organization is upheld with integrity.