ASPECT was part of a significant project called "Supporting Canadians to Navigate Learning and Work" from 2018 to 2021. The aim was to update the standards and guidelines for Career Development Professionals (CDPs), which hadn't been revised since 2001. It was a massive effort reflecting over 5,000 volunteer hours nationwide. We contributed to:
The Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF) led the project, which was funded by the Canadian government's Sectoral Initiatives Program.
Because second stage funding was not available, the CCDF had to pivot and identified three key requirements to move forward:
- A complete national certification program, thoroughly tested and refined, with all the necessary tools and systems. The project developed a multiple-choice exam and structured interviews to assess CDPs, but they needed some improvements before they could be used.
- A capable group to manage the program smoothly. The Nova Scotia Career Development Association (NSCDA) volunteered for the task since they were already running a similar program at a provincial level.
- A team to oversee the program and ensure its fairness and effectiveness. As there wasn't an official organization for this purpose, a National Stakeholder Committee (including ASPECT) decided to create an Advisory Committee. This committee will work with NSCDA and the Canadian Career Development Foundation to ensure everything runs smoothly.
The National Stakeholder Committee (of which ASPECT was also a part) formed a Working Group to plan for the Advisory Committee's establishment by the end of summer 2023.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Career Development Foundation and the Nova Scotia Career Development Association are working on a legal agreement to enable NSCDA to use the standards and materials for the national certification program. They are also integrating the assessment tools into the necessary systems.
The plan is to start gradually, first by certifying those who are already certified through existing provincial CDP programs, then piloting the new assessments with a small group, and finally opening applications for new candidates. The goal is to offer a full range of services, including recertification, once the program runs smoothly. They are aiming for a full launch and functionality by March 2024.
I will keep you posted as we progress through the process and rest assured, the BC Career Development Association is also at the table and contributing on this effort. What this effort can do is raise the profile of the work that CDPs do, the level of education and practice required, and ultimately attract adequate funding to compensate CDPs at the level of their professional requirements.
Finally, don't forget to sign up for the Career Development Professional Centre's Community of Practice for everyone working in employment services, regardless of their certification or position. It's an excellent way to follow what's happening across Canada and build your contacts.
Janet Morris-Reade, CEO