The purposes of developing national standards and guidelines for career development practitioners are to:
- Define career development as a legitimate specialization.
- Provide a foundation for designing career development practitioner training.
- Provide quality assurance to the public.
- Recognize and validate the diverse skill sets of practitioners working in the field.
- Create a common voice and vocabulary for career development.
The main goal of the Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development initiative is to spell out the competencies that service providers need in order to deliver comprehensive career services to clients across the lifespan. The initiative was undertaken in partnership, making use of the expertise and contributions of the full career development community. The initiative was funded by Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) and matched by in-kind and cash contributions from career development partners. By working in partnership with associations and practitioner groups, the Standards and Guidelines have been built from within the profession by the people who deliver career development services and programs. Taken as a whole, the Standards and Guidelines map out the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that practitioners need in order to deliver quality career development services to clients. It is hoped that associations will use them, in conjunction with their own professional codes, to describe more clearly the career development aspect of the work they do.