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Author: Katherine Foster

Career Development is a large umbrella or net that draws together a myriad of Career Services occupations and brands them together in one category with the purposes of facilitating and empowering a client in the exploration, development and management of their career over the course of their career life cycle.

What Occupations Fall Under Career Development?

There are a multitude of Career Service occupations that fall under the Career Development banner including: –

  • Career Advisor
  • Career Coach
  • Career Consultant
  • Career Counsellor
  • Career Development Expert
  • Career Development Practitioner
  • Career Development Specialist
  • Career Guidance Officer
  • Career Management Consultant
  • Employment Counsellor
  • Guidance Officer
  • Job Developer
  • Placement Co-ordinator
  • Vocational Counsellor
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor
  • Work Experience Co-ordinator

As detailed above, there are many occupations that fall under the umbrella of Career Development; which in ones’ opinion can potentially cause clients a great deal of stress trying to determine who is the appropriate service provider for me.

Sourcing Career Development Service Providers

Sourcing a Career Development Service Provider to help you explore, develop and manage your career becomes significantly easier when you can clearly identify: –

  1. Your individual needs and wants
  2. Industry credentials, standards and affiliations; and
  3. Expertise and experiences of Career Development professionals
Determining your individual needs and wants

Whilst the above sounds relatively easy it is important that you can clearly articulate your need and wants to assist you in searching for appropriate professionals particularly if you are using key words in search engines.

For example a common query one receives in ones practice is (words to the effect of) I am lost, confused or not sure about what I want to do – can you help me with that?

Well of course the answer to that question is yes, but how do you want me to help you – what are you wanting or needing help with e.g.

  1. Planning your career
  2. Understanding your personality type and the careers your personality type statistically gravitates towards
  3. Processing ideas, concepts or conflicting data with respect to career or academic options

By digging a little deeper and understanding your core needs and wants it is easier to identify  and cull service providers who do not meet your criterion.

Utilising the 3 examples above key words that you may look for in Google Searches and/or service provider websites may include (but not be limited to): –

  1. Career Planning, Career Development Reports, Career Plans
  2. Personality Profiling, Personality Instruments, Personality Tests or Psychometric Profiling
  3. Career Counselling
Industry Credentials and Standards

In Australia, the Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA) is the national peak body for the career industry that establishes national standards, benchmarks and endorses tertiary studies in the Career Development industry.

In other words, CICA sets the professional standards for Australian Career Development practitioners which industry associations such as Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA) enforce through their membership criterion.

Thus, when searching for a professional career development professional or organisation it is imperative that your selected professional(s) meet the national standards set by CICA either as a direct member of CICA or through their membership with the following associations.

National Associations

State and Territory Associations

Furthermore, it is important to ascertain what type of membership the individual or organisation has with the association and what this means.

For example, as a member of the Career Development Association of Australia to be registered as a Professional Member ones minimum qualification must be a Post Graduate Certificate in Career Education and Development from an educational institution endorsed by CICA.  Whilst it is possible for individuals to be members of associations without this level of qualification they are not deemed a “Professional Member” in the case of the CDAA this may mean that the individual is an associate or student member.  Thus, it is important to understand the level of qualification and registration your intended Career Development practitioner has in order to understand their capabilities and competence.

For your reference the author is a Professional Member of the Career Development Association of Australia with a Post Graduate Diploma in Career Education and Development through RMIT and was also a NSW Committee Member from 2015-2017 and thus is recognised as a nationally registered Career Development Professional.

Expertise and Experiences of Career Development Practitioners

As previously discussed above, it is imperative that the Career Development Practitioner that you choose is affiliated with a professional association registered with CICA.

However, it is also imperative that you fully understand the capabilities, expertise and experiences of your Career Development practitioner to ensure that your needs and wants (or scope of works) aligns with their skills, knowledge and experience and that they are accurately representing themselves as a professional in the Career Development field and any complementary fields.

For example if an individual states that they are a Career Counsellor not only should they have a registration with the Career Development Association of Australia but also with a peak Counselling body such as the Australian Counselling Association or Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia;  in the case of an individual that identifies themselves as a Psychologist and Career Consultant or Development Practitioner they should be registered with the Australian Psychological Society and for practitioners that define their services as a Career Coaching Practice professional registrations should be with the International Coaching Federation of Australiasia.

Remember the emphasis is on how they market their practice; that is are they marketing the practice as a Career Counselling, Psychology or Coaching practice; whilst each may offer similar services what is the underlying foundation of that practice as there is a world of difference between the qualifications, services, regulations and ethics provided by each.

Thus, it is highly important that you make sure you verify the legitimacy of each foundational aspect through verifying their professional memberships with the appropriate professional association.

For a practitioner to consciously or subconsciously practice outside of their area of expertise either academically or practically could easily be interpreted as falsely misleading their prospective and/or current client base.

The question you need to ask yourself is do you want someone representing you that is potentially acting in an unethical manner or are you not bothered by this at all. Hmmm…

It is ones’ hope that this article has provided you with some valuable insights and information with respect to “How to ascertain the legitimacy of Career Development Practitioners in Australia”.

Katherine Foster - Blu Ripples Founder; Professional Member CDAA, Member of ACA and Published Author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR (2018 Version)

Katherine is the Founder of Blu Ripples a specialist Career Counselling and Consulting practice located in Port Stephens NSW. Katherine is a nationally registered Career Development Specialist and Counsellor; is a Professional Member of the Career Development Association of Australia, Member of the Australian Counselling Association. Former CDAA NSW Committee Member; Graduate of RMIT and AIPC.

Katherine has worked in private practice since 2003 and prior to that worked in the corporate sector for a period of 12 years predominantly in Human Resources and Administration.

© 2018 - Katherine Foster T/as Blu Ripples 
Updated Version 18 Feb 2024; Originally Posted 1 Feb 2018
Katherine's Photograph: 2023

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