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Project Background

Following extensive consultation across Canada from 1996 to 2000, the Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners (S&Gs) were launched in early 2001, mapping out the professional competencies and ethical framework to support quality career service delivery. While the S&Gs served us well and valiant attempts were made to update them over time, it was clear that a comprehensive new competency framework, code of ethics, and approach to certification were needed. The Supporting Canadians to Navigate Learning and Work (2018-2021) project built on the foundation of the S&Gs to accomplish this.

The project was funded by the Government of Canada's Sectoral Initiatives Program, fueled by over 5,000 volunteer hours from hundreds of Career Development Professionals (CDPs) and subject matter experts, and coordinated and managed by the Canadian Career Development Foundation.

The Supporting Canadians to Navigate Learning and Work project resulted in the following bilingual assets:

  • A new definition of Career Development Professional
  • The Pan-Canadian Competency Framework for Career Development Professionals
  • The National Competency Profile for Career Development Professionals
  • The Code of Ethics for Career Development Professionals
  • A piloted national certification program that includes a robust exam, a performance assessment tool, and supplementary study guide
  • Three micro-credentials

Between 2018 and 2021, in workplaces on the phone and via video calls; over coffee or, tea, and across every time zone in Canada, CDPs researched, developed, consulted, refined, and validated every aspect of this project.

• 379 CDPs participated in coffee conversations and focus groups from September to November 2019, to discuss and develop each competency.
• 105 Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) reviewed multiple competency series to ensure completeness, accuracy, and clarity.
• 9 subject matter experts reviewed the totality of the Competency Framework prior to, and after translation.
• 40 CDPs wrote and reviewed over 370 questions for the multiple choice exam.
• 153 CDPs and 14 proctors pilot-tested the multiple choice exam.
• 18 CDPs validated the piloted questions for two forms of the exam.
• 12 CDPs piloted and provided feedback on the performance assessment component of the national certification approach.
CDPs contributed countless hours as part of the Code of Ethics Working Group, Post-Secondary Working Group, National Stakeholder Committee, and National Certification Steering Committee.

Generous thanks go to all those who devoted their time, expertise, insights, honest feedback, and wisdom to this initiative. Thanks too go to Emerit, a national leader in competency and certification program development for their constant and continued support of the project's objectives.