Overview of the role

Assisting individuals or organisations before or during career transitions to develop long and short term career strategies.

Details of standard

Occupation summary

Career Development Professionals are typically found in educational settings, training organisations, careers and employment services and human resource/learning and development departments in both the public and the private sector.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to assist individuals and/or organisations before or during career transitions to develop long and short term career strategies. Transitions could include from learning to work, returning to the labour market, returning to learning, sector/organisation/management change, redundancy and pre-retirement choices.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for helping individuals assess their own strengths, values, beliefs, and situation and connect them meaningfully to the labour market and the education system. They are responsible for making professional judgements in the best interest of the client whilst adhering to the ethical practice required by the organisation or profession, and acting in accordance with organisational policy and relevant legislation. A career development professional is required to act with autonomy, working independently, often on their own and in collaboration with other professionals, for example careers leaders, senior academics, social workers, course tutors, managers and HR professionals.

In their daily work, Career Development Professionals will provide activities and services on an individual or group basis and these may be face-to-face or via on-line technology. They will interact with: clients with a range of needs and at different stages of career awareness; training providers who support the development of skills and vocational training; schools, colleges and universities to support educational/occupational choices and labour market entry/progression; employers to broker employment opportunities including work experience and internships; and other support organisations, such as housing associations and social services to address the client's wider needs, e.g. accommodation and financial support.

They will exercise their responsibility thorough the provision of information, ideas, tools and resources, administration of assessment and self-assessment tools, career guidance interviews, career education programmes, career coaching, taster programmes, work-search programmes, outplacement, redundancy and transition services, retention and talent assessment reviews, career progression or promotion training, and other forms of career development related consultancy, research and professional development.

Typical job titles include:

Career adviser Career co-ordinator Career coach Career consultant Career development pracitioner Career guidance counsellor Career leader Iag adviser Personal adviser Senior employability adviser

Entry requirements

Whilst any entry requirements will be a matter for individual employers, typically an apprentice might be expected to have already achieved level two English and maths on entry. Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. Apprentices working with young people and vulnerable adults would be required to hold a DBS clearance

Occupation duties

Duty Criteria for measuring performance KSBs

Duty 1 Reflect critically on their career development practice and service delivery, evaluating it against relevant theories, models, research and appropriate professional ethical standards in order to facilitate continuing professional development and ongoing service improvement

A CDP should be able to demonstrate that they are able to:

Critically evaluate own values, beliefs and their impact on practice

Apply equality legislation and related codes of practice within career development to professional practice

Demonstrate commitment continue to advance their knowledge and understanding , and to develop new skills to a high level

Critically appraise own professional practice and identify and use means of support for own development

Advocate for the career development profession

Demonstrate an appreciation of the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of personal knowledge

K1 K2 K6 K9 K17 K18 K19 K20 K21

S1 S4 S5 S9 S11 S17

B1 B4 B5

Duty 2 Collaborate with colleagues, internal and external stakeholders, employers and other service providers to negotiate, design, develop, organise and evaluate programmes of activities that equip clients with the career management skills, knowledge and resources they need for their career development

A CDP should be able to demonstrate:

An ability to apply the methods and techniques they have learned to review, plan and deliver activities/projects with clearly defined and measurable learning outcomes that use and blend relevant resources, client-focused techniques and approaches that best meet the needs of individuals and enable them to fully engage in their career development.

An ability to communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialists and non-specialists

K3 K4 K7 K12 K14 K15 K18 K19 K20 K21 K22

S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S13 S14 S17 S19

B2 B4 B7

Duty 3 Prioritise and manage workloads, making effective use of management information systems and wider technology

A CDP should be able to:

Demonstrate a systematic understanding of, and an ability to adhere to, the organisation’s systems and procedures, in particular in relation to referrals and the disclosure of information

Keep accurate and timely records in accordance with the requirements of the organisation

Manage a caseload in accordance with the organisation’s service level agreements

Critically evaluate policies, research and professional practice, and where appropriate propose new ways of working


S2 S10 S13 S14


Duty 4 Motivate and equip clients to identify their short-term and long-term career development objectives and to develop plans to make progress in those objectives

A CDP should be able to:

Demonstrate that they are able to explain the value of lifelong learning to specialist and nonspecialist audiences

Evidence their support of the development of career management skills in others through a range of established career intervention techniques e.g. one-to-one, group work, presentations

Identify, access, develop,maintain and critically evaluate interventions

K11 K18

S5 S6 S15

B3 B6

Duty 5 Enable clients to assess their strengths, values, beliefs, situation and preferences, and to connect them to the requirements and rewards of opportunities within the education system and the labour market, inclusive of training, voluntary work and self-employment.

A CDP should be able to:

Demonstrate that they are able to support others in assessing their strengths and connect them in a meaningful way to the labour market and education system

Critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data (that may be incomplete), to make judgements, and to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution - or identify a range of solutions - to a problem

K7 K11 K13

S5 S16

B3 B6

Duty 6 Design, plan, deliver and evaluate career-related learning activities using pedagogical approaches appropriate to the clients’ educational level and the organisational context

A CDP should be able to

demonstrate a systematic understanding of career related theories, models and frameworks and pedagogic approaches, and to deploy their learning in professional practice

K3 K4 K5

S2 S3 S4 S6


Duty 7 Prepare, conduct and evaluate structured career development interactions with clients using career counselling, guidance, coaching and advice work approaches appropriate to the clients’ needs and the organisational context

A CDP should be able to demonstrate:

A critical awareness of selection and recruitment processes, combined with a systematic understanding of the world of work, and the ability to work collaboratively and advocate on behalf of others

The ability to deal with complex issues and make sound judgements in the absence of complete data


S4 S6 S7 S9

B5 B6

Duty 8 Research, assess, organise, interpret and disseminate careers-related and service delivery information, including labour market information (LMI) to meet the needs of clients, colleagues and other stakeholders

A CDP should demonstrate a systematic understanding of, and ability to deploy established and
emerging techniques of analysis and enquiry to obtain, interpret and tailor information to meet the needs of clients and others

K1 K2 K4 K6 K15 K16 K19 K21

S11 S12 S13 S18 S20

B4 B7

Duty 9 Promote informed engagement with the career development service offer and enable clients to access wider career development and other support services

A CDP should demonstrate a practical understanding of the policy framework, current research, and expectations of clients and organisations, that enables them to critically evaluate and promote wider career development services

K2 K7 K8 K10 K14 K19 K22

S7 S8 S9 S11

B1 B4 B5 B8



K1: What constitutes being a professional in the career development sector and own role in influencing and informing policy; methods for recognising the impact of own values, beliefs, prejudices, bias and attitudes on own work practice, learning and development, why it is important to do so and the effective use of supervision in developing practice Back to Duty

K2: The rationale of equality legislation and its major provisions, relevant ethical principles and codes of ethical practice and the consequences of not adhering to them Back to Duty

K3: Theories, models, frameworks and pedagogic approaches for the design and delivery of effective career learning curriculum that supports the development of career management skills, employability and entrepreneurialism Back to Duty

K4: Resources available to support the delivery of career-related learning, how they can be applied to enhance career learning within organisations and methods of validation and evaluation Back to Duty

K5: How people learn the different learning styles, group dynamics and interpersonal communication Back to Duty

K6: The purpose of caseload management and the provision of a holistic career offer, and the need for short and medium term tracking of client destinations to verify the impact of the service provider and a range of methods that can be used to monitor, evaluate and report on service effectiveness including, where appropriate the use of quality awards or standard Back to Duty

K7: The composition of the community network and partnerships, including the role of employers, statutory and voluntary agencies and how to use and access them Back to Duty

K8: How to make an appropriate referral within the organisation and to agencies external to the organisation Back to Duty

K9: Measures to safeguard young people and vulnerable adult, including the boundaries of confidentiality, when it is appropriate to disclose confidential information to others and the processes required Back to Duty

K10: How to identify, access, maintain and evaluate networks and support systems that are beneficial to the client and own personal support and developmental needs Back to Duty

K11: How to enable individuals to analyse their needs, aspirations and expectations Back to Duty

K12: Have a knowledge and understanding of career management and the related skills Back to Duty

K13: Basic employment rights, the selection and recruitment processes, and tools used in the current labour market Back to Duty

K14: The principles and roles of brokerage and advocacy, and different approaches to influencing, negotiation, co-ordination and persuasion Back to Duty

K15: The meaning of career related information, including LMI and its use in career education and career guidance counselling and developmental contexts Back to Duty

K16: How to ensure career development information is managed and organised in a way that meets organisational requirements and is accessible to individuals Back to Duty

K17: The contribution of research to the body of knowledge in the profession and the concept and value of evidence-based practice Back to Duty

K18: How the local, regional, national and international public policy framework, variations in external drivers (political, economic, legal, social and technological) and responses of learning organisations to changes in government policy can affect the context and provision of career learning and development Back to Duty

K19: The different societal expectations related to career development (e.g. from the perspective of individual clients, policy-makers and employers) and ways in which career development providers incorporate legislation and guidance relating to equality, diversity, British values (where relevant), social justice and data protection into their policies and practice Back to Duty

K20: The current policy and implications for practice with some awareness of the history and development of career development policy and practice in the U.K.; its purpose and the social and economic benefits, in particular its role in social mobility and raising aspirations Back to Duty

K21: The changing context and range of employment, education and training provision available to clients and the relationships between the organisations within the sector in which the CDP is working Back to Duty

K22: Methods of raising awareness of interested parties about the evolving labour market and organisational career structure Back to Duty


S1: Reflection and self-evaluation: set and achieve target and objectives for professional development, based on self-assessment and feedback from line-management, peers and clients, and identify strategies to manage the effects of change on self and the development of a positive mental attitude Back to Duty

S2: Organise and deliver activities with clearly defined and measurable learning outcomes that use and blend relevant resources, client-focused techniques and approaches that best meet the needs of individuals and enable them to fully engage in their career development Back to Duty

S3: Critically analyse and compare the major models of career-related curricula within the organisation, evaluate activities in relation to defined outcomes and plan how to improve them and their own performance Back to Duty

S4: Select, tailor and apply theory, concepts and effective practice relevant to the role and client base Back to Duty

S5: Provide critical insight in the contemporary world of work and learning, and analyse the implications of these for clients Back to Duty

S6: Explore and clarify expectations and agree the aim, purpose and scope of the career development activities with the client Back to Duty

S7: Build and sustain positive and constructive working relationships, resolve conflicts constructively in ways that do not undermine confidence Back to Duty

S8: Engage and sustain relationships with employers and opportunity providers, individually or as part of organisational networks Back to Duty

S9: Adapt activities and collaborate with other professionals to ensure that activities support and do not discriminate against clients with additional needs or who experience disadvantage Back to Duty

S10: Prioritise the needs of all clients and workloads in order to provide fair and balanced provision whilst maintaining personal well-being Back to Duty

S11: Record and analyse the outcomes of referrals so that examples of success and failure can be monitored and shared Back to Duty

S12: Maintain appropriate records of client interaction, to explain their use in helping clients to effect change and to satisfy organisational monitoring arrangements Back to Duty

S13: Use information technology and web-based resources with confidence in the support of career development activities (digital literacy) Back to Duty

S14: Prioritise need and provide on-going support to clients through a variety of different types of intervention and media Back to Duty

S15: Raise client awareness of options and broaden horizons by introducing them to unfamiliar new ideas and sources of information, challenge and support them in reframing their thinking and encouraging their career adaptability Back to Duty

S16: Equip, empower and encourage clients to undertake an assessment of their knowledge, skills, abilities and characteristics Back to Duty

S17: Apply a knowledge and understanding of theories, models, frameworks and pedagogic approaches to support the development of an individual’s career management skills Back to Duty

S18: Understand and make effective use of occupational information and local regional, national am international labour market intelligence, including its relationship to societal developments, e.g. technological trends, policy-making, potential bias or partiality Back to Duty

S19: Equip clients to use technology effectively in their career management (digital literacy) Back to Duty

S20: Understand and apply appropriate research strategies to obtain, interpret and tailor information to meet the needs of clients and others, including the appropriate use of primary, and secondary sources, and information technology, e.g. social media and web-based information sources Back to Duty


B1: Equality – Act in ways that are just and fair, promote access and inclusion, adhere to any legal requirements and obligations and to address and challenge inequities where encountered Back to Duty

B2: Integrity – Exercise integrity, honesty and diligence – act with trustworthiness and transparency in the provision of services, management of expectations and the honouring of promises and arrangements Back to Duty

B3: Impartiality – Embed the principle of impartiality into the design and delivery of career development services so that advice is based on the best interests and potential of the client, and giving them the freedom to develop their own career paths. Where impartiality is not possible this must be disclosed at the outset Back to Duty

B4: Competence – Recognise the limits of own professional expertise and act within the boundaries of training and experience, and adhere at all times to the ethical practice required by the organisation or profession. To participate in continuous professional development informed by reflective practice Back to Duty

B5: Confidentiality - Maintain confidentiality and security of individual and organisational information that meets relevant legal requirements and organisational policy Back to Duty

B6: Duty of care to clients – Act in the best interest of the client and establish a purposeful and professional relationship. Communicate in ways that are appropriate for each individual, encouraging active engagement in the process and enabling individuals to be autonomous where possible. Agree and record a realistic achievable course of action that will help individuals to progress to meet their short, medium and long-term objectives. Back to Duty

B7: Duty of Care to colleagues – Foster good practice across the profession by maintaining professional and supportive relationships, and being respectful of the contribution others make to the services and activities provided Back to Duty

B8: Duty of care to organisations – Act in accordance with the organisation’s policy and procedures when prioritising the workload, creating and maintaining records and making referrals Back to Duty


English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Other mandatory qualifications

A level 6 or higher career-related qualification (minimum of 60 credits) approved by the Career Development Institute as giving eligibility to the Register of Career Development Professionals. https://www.thecdi.net/write/Documents/CDI_UK_Register_Brochure-Feb_2018.pdf

Level: 6 (non-degree qualification)

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 6
Degree: non-degree qualification
Reference: ST0694
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 07/04/2022
Approved for delivery: 10 May 2019
Route: Business and administration
Typical duration to gateway: 24 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £9000
LARS Code: 453
EQA Provider: Ofqual

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Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: Hertfordshire County Council, CXK Limited, The Careers Group University of London, CareersInc Ltd, Education Development Trust, C & K Careers Ltd, The Futures Group, Career Connect, Inspira, Prospects Services, New Challenge, The JGA Group, Adviza Partnership

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Approved for delivery 10/05/2019 Not set Not set

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