The Canadian Certified Career Development Practitioner (CCDP)


Excellence in Career Development | Career Development Professional Certificate Programs


CDP: Career Development Practitioner | Career Development Professional | Career Development Program
CCDP: Certified Career Development Practitioner | Certified Career Development Professional


What is a Career Development Practitioner?

CDP: Career Development Practitioner | Career Development Professional

The Canadian field of career development is fascinating. Practitioners are diverse, specializing in areas such as employment consulting, career coaching, resume writing, job development, personal career branding and much more.

Career Development Practitioners can be found in not-for-profit, academic, government, and private sectors. They work in guidance centres, career centres, and community agencies. Some work in entrepreneurial businesses such as outplacement firms, small businesses, and independent practitioners.

The Canadian Council for Career Development (3CD) is a national advocacy organization and the voice of Career Development in Canada. The organization offers this definition: “Career Development Practitioners (CDPs) work with people of all ages to help them to manage their life, learning and work. The goal of career services is to help people to pursue learning and to find work which is personally meaningful and to learn how to manage transitions in today’s ever-evolving labour market.”

Career development practitioners must keep up with the industry and the evolving labour market. They engage in continuous professional development to ensure that they are providing current and applicable services to clients.

A Career Development Practitioner might refer to their role as:

Career Development Professional | Career Development Consultant | Career Development Coach | Career Development Counsellor | Career Development Specialist | Career Development Educator | Career Development Trainer

Job Titles within the career development field may include:

Career Consultant | Career Professional | Career Practitioner | Career Coach | Career Counsellor | Career Specialist | Career Educator | Career Trainer | Career Transition Professional | Career Management Professional | Employment Consultant | Employment Trainer | Life Coach | Guidance Counsellor | Outplacement Consultant | Rehabilitation Consultant | Job Placement Specialist | Resume Writer | Interview Coach

What is a Certified Career Development Practitioner?

CCDP: Certified Career Development Practitioner | Certified Career Development Professional

A Certified Career Development Practitioner (CCDP) is a professional who demonstrates knowledge and experience in career development.

Currently there is no Canadian national standard qualification regulation for Certified Career Development Practitioners. However, certain provinces have certification programs.

Certification requirements vary across Canada. Accrediting bodies develop their program after extensive consultation with the career development community in their province. Each province has specific criteria that you are required to complete before you qualify as a Certified Career Development Practitioner.

For participating provinces, eligibility for the credential is based on a combination of education, work experience, and evidence of competency. Application for this credential is voluntary in most provinces and mandatory in Quebec.

You can learn more about provincial certifications here:

BC: British Columbia Career Development Association

AB: Career Development Association of Alberta

ON: CDP Certification Ontario

QC: Ordre des conseillers et conseillères d’orientation du Québec

NB: New Brunswick Career Development Action Group

NS: Nova Scotia Career Development Association

Across Canada, we refer to the CCDP credential using these terms:

Certified Career Development Practitioner | Career Development Practitioner Certificate | Career Development Practitioner Certification | Certified Career Development Professional | Career Development Professional Certificate | Career Development Professional Certification

Who Oversees Career Development Practitioner Certification?

Currently, anyone practicing in the area might identify as a career practitioner, However, the need for standard qualification and regulation for career coaches and other practitioners is evident in Canada. Although there is no national certifying body for Career Development Practitioners, provinces are working together.

The Canadian Council for Career Development (3CD) provides a national advocacy voice for the career development profession. It promotes provincial/territorial collaboration on common issues such as certification, training, and practitioner mobility. 3CD has put together and oversees a Certification Group which brings together leaders from all provinces with the goal of sharing of best practices, consistency, and portability for certification programs and initiatives across Canada.

Is there a base requirement for Career Development Professionals?

Career Development Professionals are guided by The Canadian Standards & Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners (S&Gs) These standards define the competencies career development practitioners need in order to practice effectively and ethically. They are used extensively in Canada in shaping professional training and development programs, certification, and scope of practice.

According to the S&Gs, to practice effectively you must have:

  • All the Core Competencies: skills, knowledge, and attitudes common to all career development practitioners, regardless of their employment setting.
  • One or more Area(s) of Specialization: unique competencies needed to provide specific career development services that clients may need:
    • Assessment
    • Facilitated and Individual Group Learning
    • Career Counselling
    • Information and Resource Management
    • Work Development
    • Community Capacity Building
  • Adherence to the Code of Ethics

 How do I become a Certified Career Development Practitioner?

Various Canadian academic institutions (universities, colleges, and private institutions) offer Career Development Practitioner Certificate programs that prepare you to counsel clients, deliver workshops, and facilitate programs. These programs include the two courses that are required by most current provincial certifying bodies:

  • Career Development Theories
  • Code of Ethics

Depending on the region, these courses are pre-approved by the appropriate provincial bodies.

The types of courses offered by various institutions differ, but most programs are aligned with the Canadian Standards and Guidelines of Career Development Practitioners. Typical areas that are covered:

  • Ethics for Career Development Practices
  • Career Development Theories, Models and Strategies
  • Resume Writing and Cover Letter Development
  • Career Development Practice
  • Career Decision Making
  • Career Transition Management
  • Group Employment Counselling
  • Introduction to Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Labour Market Information
  • Online and Social Media
  • Interview Skills
  • Case Management

If you are currently working in the field of career or employment you will be a good fit for most programs. If you don’t have experience, some programs will accept you with a minimum educational requirement. Some programs accept you if you have completed some volunteer work in a related human service field.

Where do I start to develop my skills as a Career Development Practitioner?

You can start taking steps towards learning the basics required for the role of Career Development Practitioner by joining a professional association such as Career Professionals of Canada (CPC). CPC offers professional development to help you develop your competencies and credentialing program to validate your expertise. Joining CPC can help you develop competencies, knowledge, and attributes necessary to work effectively with your client base.

Career Professionals of Canada (CPC) offers various certifications to validate your expertise in four areas. You can attain your credentials in resume, interview, employment, and career strategy through CPC:

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Where can I find out about training and certification in this field in PEI Canada?

Thank you for your inquiry, I will reach out to you via email shortly to help answer your question.

Leanna Steeves
Development Director

Hi, I am wondering about the required supplemental course work for certification. I am not a member yet but I do look forward to registering. I am looking for someone to answer my questions. I am also in Alberta.


Thank you for your inquiry, I will reach out to you via email shortly to help answer your question.

Leanna Steeves
Development Director

Hi I am self employed as a career advisor and certified by the NCDA. USA as CCSP. Do I still need this certification to practice in Canada? and can I do it online ?

Hi Grishma, I will reach out to you via email shortly to give you more details as to certifications in Canada and the courses and services CPC has to offer.

Is there a certifying body in Manitoba and how can I start the process?

There is the Manitoba Association of Career Development (MACD). They do not provide CCDP certification directly, but do have an agreement with the New Brunswick Association for Career Development. Here is a link to their page, which describes the process:

Is membership open to professionals living and working outside of Canada (but planning to move to Canada) Same for certifications.

I will reach out to you via email shortly to give you more details as to membership and certifications. Thank you for your inquiry.