Canadian Career Development Foundation

Past Highlights

CCDF has worked on a wide range of national, provincial/territorial and international career development initiatives over the past 40 years. The main areas of CCDF’s work includes research, resource development, service capacity building, training and policy consultation. Past project highlights include:

Assessing the Impact of Career Development Resources and Counsellor Support across the Employability Dimensions
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

CCDF conducted a research project in partnership with the Governments of Alberta and Manitoba to assess the relative impact on clients with diverse employability needs and levels of labour market attachment of independent use of career development resource packages tailored to client need/community and the use of these packages when supported by a career development practitioner.  This project is a significant extensions and expansion of the LMI Impact Study conducted by CCDF in partnership with the Government of New Brunswick and Saskatchewan.  It is expected that this project will not only contribute substantively to our field’s evidence-base but will also, we expect, result in tested and tailored resources to address client needs related to career decision-making, skills enhancement, job search and job maintenance.

Improving the School-to-Work Transitions of Youth in Canada

The Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF) undertook this scoping review to examine how to support better school-to-work transitions for youth – those who had left school prior to graduation, who went directly to the labour market after high school graduation and those who had graduated from a PSE program. The main objectives of this project were to identify what is needed to improve school-to-work transitions of Canadian youth and identify research/programming/policy gaps for future project considerations.

Through this project, CCDF’s undertook four main methods of inquiry to build this scoping review (Scoping Review Report):

  • The formation of a 12-member cross-sectoral Advisory Committee (AC) of key stakeholder representatives who advised both on the development of the project and provided input on the research, potential hypotheses, literature sources, and key informant contacts;
  • A literature scan of Canadian and international research related to school-to-work transitions (Literature Scan);
  • A survey of stakeholders (n=141) to identify the main factors contributing to poor school-to-work transitions of Canadian youth, promising practice and the identification of champions working to create bridges for better transitions for a range of youth (Survey Report); and
  • Interviews of 11 key informants that served as a final check on the findings from the other methods of inquiry listed above (Key Informant Interview Report).
Prove It Works – Common Indicator Project, Phase 2
Governments of Saskatchewan and New Brunswicks

The Common Indicators project was an evidence- based research project examining what changes clients experience as a result of career and employment programs and services and uncovered what sorts of interventions, delivered under what circumstances, work best with what kinds of clients. CCDF completed Phase 1 of this project in early 2014.  The first phase pilot tested a new data collection system and validated a set of “common indicators” of client progress and change.  A Feasibility Study for Phase 2 was completed in June 2014 and CCDF, along with New Brunswick and Saskatchewan partners, worked to refine the data collection system (PRIME) based on findings in Phase 1.  The Phase 2 report can be accessed here.

2008 - 2009
Mapping the Pan-Canadian Career Development Structure and Competencies of Practitioners
Forum of Labour Market Ministers, Career Development Services Working Group

Using its extensive national network, CCDF mapped the career development sector in Canada. In this project, CCDF developed two inventories: one scoping and documenting pan-Canadian associations and networks and a second, scoping and documenting service delivery structures in all provinces and territories. CCDF also conducted a practitioner survey in order to gather and analyze data on their competency profiles. Click here to download the report:

Time and Motion Study
Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation

The Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation commissioned a pan-Canadian Time and Motion Study of career development practices in K-12 public schools. Almost 500 guidance counsellors from across Canada completed a self-administered online survey coupled with an online log tracking their time allocation over three consecutive days.

The results at a national level show a well-educated population, but not necessarily in the field of guidance and counselling. For the most part, emerging approaches to service delivery – such as group interventions, outreach to parents and/or workshop approaches – are not widely used. It also revealed a significant lack of consistency nationally with respect to service delivery standards and professional preparation of guidance counsellors. CCDF was engaged to analyze the study results and package key messages to inform policy and practice.

2008 - 2009
Attracting and Retaining Non-Traditional Populations to the Non-Profit/Voluntary Sector
Non-Profit & Voluntary Sector Council

CCDF was engaged to review research and literature on employment in the non-profit sector, particularly as it relates to early employees with PSE and late career employees. CCDF prepared a report and PPT presentation based on this review.

Bridge to Work Inventory
Information and Communication Technology Sector Council

CCDF researched and examined Internationally Trained Professionals’ (ITPs) Bridge-To-Work (B-T-W) Initiatives for the Information and Communication Technology Sector Council (ICTC). This work resulted in an inventory of programs and a report with recommendations on initiatives that could be adopted by the ICT sector in recruiting ITPs.

Resource Development
GTZ Manual (Palestinian States)
National Center for Human Resources Development (NCHRD), Al Manar Project, Jordan (funded by German Development Corporation (GTZ)

CCDF was asked to revise, expand and update an earlier manual developed for the International Labour Organization – this time tailored to youth workers in the Palestinian States.

Meeting Workplace Skill Needs: The Career Development Contribution
Partnership with The Canadian Research Working Group. Workplace Skills Initiative (WSI), Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

CCDF has piloted, with SME employers and workers, a number of practical interventions intended to increase employees’ engagement with their work and workplace and their motivation to learn and develop the skill sets needed in the organization. As a result of the pilots and their evaluations, employers will have effective interventions for their continued workplace use. The project will also build the evidence-base for the outcomes and impacts of career development applications in workplaces.

Service Capacity Building
The State of Practice: Essential Skills Applications with First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada
Office of Literacy and Essential Skills

In partnership with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) and Métis National Council (MNC), CCDF conducted a project to solidify our understanding of the state of practice with respect to Essential Skills applications tailored to Aboriginal youth and adults in diverse communities and to “uncover” promising practices which contribute to strong employability and employment outcomes.  The project resulted in a national inventory of Aboriginal Essential Skills programs, 10 case studies, a list of Markers of Promising Practices including resources and tools to support best practice.  The full inventory and all project outputs can be obtained by visiting:

In Motion & In Momentum: Pre-Employability Service (PES) Modules
Government of New Brunswick

CCDF developed two modules targeted to adult clients with pre-employability needs.  The first module *In Motion) is focused on supporting and motivating clients in a change process and the second (In Momentum) is focused on acquiring the skill/attitudes needed to move to career exploration. The modules have had significant impact on course participants. Participants report having greater hope for their future, increases in foundational skills and a more positive self-perception. More details about these modules are available here.

Revitalizing the Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners (S & Gs)
New Brunswick Career Development Action Group

The S&Gs are used for many purposes across Canada, including the determination of requirements for provincial/territorial certification, the design of professional training programs at all levels, the establishment of hiring criteria and the development of job descriptions. For all of these applications, it is critical that the S&Gs reflect current practice. CCDF conducted a national call for input on revisions/additions to the S & Gs. A working group was established with the Canadian Council for Career Development and consultations/focus groups were held across Canada.  Based on national input, revisions have been made to the S & Gs as follows:

  • Competencies for infusing technology into career practice have been added;
  • Competencies for working with diverse populations have been added; and
  • Enhancements to the Career Counselling Specialization have been made to further clarify the distinct scopes of practice for career development practitioners and career counsellors.

All revisions may be reviewed via the revitalized S & Gs website (launched January 2012) at:

Career Development Practitioner Program at the University of Winnipeg
University of Winnipeg and the Government of Manitoba

Following a provincial needs assessment based on the Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners, CCDF developed an 8-course certificate program which is being delivered to career practitioners across the province in partnership with the University of Winnipeg.  Program information can be found on the University of Winnipeg’s web site:

Prince Edward Island Teacher Training
Government of Prince Edward Island

CCDF worked with the PEI Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, school boards and other provincial partners to provide targeted career development training to teachers, counsellors and educational leaders in the province to support their Student Graduation and Transition Planner initiative.

Career Development Practitioners Training Program
Cree Human Resources and the Université du Québec enn Abitibi-Témiscamingue Continuing Education Services

The goal of this project was to provide, through the pilot partnership between Cree Human Resources Development (CHRD), Université du Québec en Abitibi-TémiscamingueContinuing Education Services and CCDF, the development and delivery of a 10 course Career Development Practitioner Training Program for CHRD service staff.

Career Development Practitioner Program at Nunavut Arctic College
Government of Nunavut, Department of Education and Nunavut Arctic College (NAC)

For over nine years, CCDF delivered the Career Development Practitioner Certificate Program of NAC. The program successfully prepared those delivering career services in the territory, improve staff retention rates and has had many graduate move to supervisory positions in the public service.

Develop and Delivery of the Provincial Training Strategy (Newfoundland and Labrador)
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

CCDF conducted a competency needs assessment for all provincial front-line staff. They also offered the course as part of a multi-year training strategy made up of 8 courses. The second course and the training of trainers are currently underway.

Needs Assessment and Development of Provincial Training Strategy
Government of Saskatchewan

CCDF conducted a provincial training needs assessment based on the Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners to inform the development of a multi-year training strategy.

2005 - 2009
Future to Discover (F2D): Lasting Gifts and Future in Focus
Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation

F2D was an innovative partnership between the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation and the governments of New Brunswick and Manitoba. It was a six-year pilot project aimed at understanding whether better information, career development interventions and/or financial incentives can encourage students who would not normally pursue post-secondary education to successfully attend.

CCDF developed both the Grade 11 and 12 interventions. Lasting Gifts (Grade 11) is a series of workshops for joint audiences of parents/adults and teens. Future in Focus (Grade 12) is a series of workshops for students focused on building career resilience. Future in Focus also includes two sessions for parents/significant adults to help them understand the vital role they play and engage them in supporting their teens’ career development.

Policy Consultation
Future in Focus – Atlantic Career Development Framework for Public Education: 2015-2020

The Council of Atlantic Ministers in Education and Training (CAMET) in 2014 came together to strengthen career education and service across the Atlantic region.  During the first phase of this project, CCDF completed a research report, Career Education in Atlantic Canada: Research and Recommendationswhich looked at socio-economic imperatives for action in the area of career development, an environmental scan of successful programs, a compilation of international best practices and recommendations for action. CCDF was then contracted to build on their report to develop an Atlantic Career Development Framework for Public Education for the Atlantic provinces.  Future in Focus – Atlantic Career Development Framework for Public Education: 2015-2020 was developed through the collaborative efforts of the CAMET, Public Education and Post-Secondary Standing Committees.  The framework lays the foundation for provinces to support age-appropriate classroom-based career education, experiential exploration of post-secondary and work options, timely career and labour market information, and training for educators, including teachers, guidance counsellors and school administrators. It builds on the best career development practice data from each Atlantic Province and from around the world.

March 2013
From Research to Practice in Career and Employment Programs and Services – A Working Symposium
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

From Research to Practice in Career and Employment Programs and Services – A Working Symposium was held from March 13-14th, 2013 in Ottawa, Ontario. The Symposium brought together provincial, territorial and federal service and practice leaders, distinguished Canadian researchers and research groups and an international expert. The two day Symposium was designed as a working forum to create dialogue between research and practice, to consider the practical applications of research tools and results to improving career and employment services, to formulate a future research agenda and to move to follow-up actions in direct response to research results. It provided an opportunity for participants to learn about research that could impact their various settings, to share provincial, territorial and federal successes and challenges, to network and build working national relationships and to actively contribute to developing a national research agenda.

A Career Development Service Delivery Framework for Nunavut
Government of Nunavut, Department of Education

CCDF worked with the Government of Nunavut (GN) to develop a policy framework for the delivery of career services to Nunavummiut across the lifespan and continued working with the GN through the implementation phase.

Jordan Career Guidance Professional Development Training and National Agenda
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)

As part of its support for national leadership and co-ordination, CCDF contributed to a National Agenda for Career Guidance for Jordan and developed and implemented a training action plan for professional development for career and employment counsellors in the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training Institutions in Jordan.

2000 - Ongoing
International Symposia on Career Development and Public Policy

CCDF organized and hosted the inaugural International Symposium bringing together policy-makers and practitioners from 14 countries to share best practices, build a common vision and articulate national action plans.

The first symposium built the foundation for an international movement that has since resulted in five symposia. These symposia have launched many countries to action, solidifying career services and building an evidence-base for proving that career development works.