Canadian Career Development Foundation

Research Reports

CCDF conducts research on a range of topics in the field of career development. Below is a list of CCDF’s most recent research reports.


CCDF conducted research and provided recommendations on the socio-economic imperatives for action in the area of career development, an environmental scan of successful programs in Atlantic Canada, and a compilation of international best practices. From this research CCDF developed recommendations that we integrated into CAMET’s Future in Focus – Atlantic Career Development Framework for Public Education. The full report, Career Education in Atlantic Canada: Research and Recommendations, can be downloaded at

Bell, D., Benes, K. & Redekopp, D.

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:

  • 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).
Donnalee Bell, Dave Redekopp and Kim Hollihan

CCDF was commissioned by RBC to conduct an analysis of applications to its Career Launch Program for the first three years of its operation. The research within the report is based on a random sample of approximately 5,800 applications submitted during the three years that the RBC Career Launch Program has been accepting new graduates into paid internship positions. The applications received from recent post-secondary graduates (24 years old or younger) provided data on applicants’ education, work and volunteer history and, in the essay portion of the application, their perspectives on what can be done to improve school-to-work transitions in Canada.

The full report can be downloaded here.

December 2015
Dave Redekopp, Life-Role Development Group, Lynne Bezanson, Canadian Career Development Foundation andTim Dugas, Goss-Gilroy, Inc.

This project builds on Phase 1 (2013) to test PRIME (Performance Recording Instrument for Meaningful Evaluation) as a vehicle to strengthen data collection, service provision and – ultimately – client outcomes.  PRIME:

  • Collects and analyzes a much richer, wider range of client outcome and progress indicator data;
  • Responds to the needs of government, supervisors, frontline workers and clients by using data to inform policy and practice ;
  • Supports quality service by coaching frontline workers to conduct a consistent and high quality client needs assessment and by providing access to tailored resources and tools; and
  • Can be used collaboratively with clients (avoiding the need to enter data separate from meeting with clients).

Built on the technical platform of ARMS, PRIME serves as a model for using evaluation as an underpinning to support quality service and stronger service outcomes.

November, 2013

The project was undertaken by the Canadian Research Working Group on Evidence Based Practice in Career Development (CRWG) and the Life-Role Development Group (LRDG) in partnership with the Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF) and with the provinces of Saskatchewan, Québec and New Brunswick.  The overall objective of the research was to develop and test a performance measurement tool that captured both elements of services already being captured as well as elements of services identified by front line practitioners and research studies as having impact on employability outcomes but not usually captured and reported.

The research questions addressed in the empirical research were:

  • What common indicators are applicable across different client contexts, different client groups, different agencies and different interventions?  and
  • What statements about service effectiveness can be made by tracking common indicators of inputs, processes and outcomes?  If numbers permit it will be possible to aggregate data to begin to address the ultimate question: What kinds of interventions in what contexts produce what kinds of results?

The research in all three provinces has demonstrated the robustness and the practicality of the CRWG model in actual career and employment services settings.  The “common indicators” included in the online tool have been received by practitioners in all provinces as accurately reflecting their scope of practice and as making sense across divergent service settings.  The potential for such an online tool to contribute to quality service and to a transformation of evaluation in career and employment services is significant.

All research reports and supplements are available on the CRWG website at Common Indicators.

May, 2013
Dave Redekopp, Sareena Hopkins and Bryan Hiebert

This project aimed to answer the following research question: If clients are given a comprehensive needs assessment to determine their employability need(s), what is the differential effect of  “practitioner-launched” and “practitioner launched and supported” use of career resources on clients who are weakly attached to the labour market versus those who are more strongly attached.

The project used a participant-research approach in which real practitioners implemented research protocols and gathered data from typical clients with diverse employability needs across a variety of communities.

Supplements to the report:

Supplement 1: Research Manual

Supplement 2: Snapshot Report

Supplement 3: Labour Market Attachment

Supplement 4: Self-Help Literature Review

Supplement 5a: Career Decision Making (Alberta)

Supplement 5b: Career Decision-Making Guide (Manitoba)

Supplement 6a: Skills Enhancement Guide (Alberta)

Supplement 6b: Skills Enhancement Guide (Manitoba)

Supplement 7a: Job Search Guide (Alberta)

Supplement 7b: Job Search Guide (Manitoba)

Supplement 8a: Job Maintenance Guide (Alberta)

Supplement 8b: Job Maintenance Guide (Manitoba)

November, 2012
Suzanne Klinga

The purpose of the literature review is to describe the current level of need for Essential Skill development among First Nations, Inuit and Métis, to explore the state of practice of Essential Skills initiatives with these populations in Canada and to examine innovative practices in an effort to determine potential “markers of excellence” in ES programming.

May 2012
Donnalee Bell and Krista Benes

This research report focuses on a growing group of un- and underemployed youth, Poorly Integrated New Entrants (PINEs).  PINEs are young people who often have qualifications (diplomas or degrees); but who frequently go back and forth between temporary jobs, unemployment and/or inactivity, even during periods of strong economic growth (OECD, 2010).  The report examines what the literature says about them and their barriers to labour market attachment from a global and Canadian perspective.  It investigates what works in terms of policies and programs to mitigate their growth, includes a preliminary inventory of national and international programs and policies that target those who are or who are at-risk of becoming PINEs and, finally, provides an analysis of the inventory leading to the development of policy and program recommendations to stem the growth of PINEs in Canada.

An Executive Summary of the report is available.

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Policy

The Canadian Research Working Group on Evidence-Based Practice in Career Development (CRWG) in partnership with CCDF and the provinces of New Brunswick and Saskatchewan completed a research project to examine the impact of tailored labour market information and targeted professional advice on client outcomes.  The research questions studied were:

If client needs are assessed and clients are given LMI tailored to meet their needs:

  1. to what extent is independent self-help a sufficient process in order for clients to use LMI effectively? and
  2. to what extent does assistance by a service provider enhance their effective use of LMI?

Changes in knowledge, skills and personal attributes were tracked.  Statistically significant and clinically important results were demonstrated in both English and French experimentation.

Take-home client LMI Booklets as well as LMI Resource Guides were developed for the research.  Much of the content of these resources is generic and readily transferable to other provinces and territories.  Resources are posted as Word documents for easy downloading and replacement and updating of province specific LMI.  All research reports and resource materials are available at Measuring the Impact of LMI.

February 2010
Lynne Bezanson, Elaine O'Reilly and Kris Magnusson. Forum of Labour Market Ministers

In Canada, we have had virtually no data on the career development sector – its hiring practices, training/professional development trends, human resource challenges, composition and needs of clients it serves or the extent to which jurisdictions are applying competency profiles such as the Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners (S&Gs). The FLMM CDSWG undertook to fill this void, engaging CCDF to map the career development sector across Canada. Highlights and recommendations for action are included in the executive summary.

February 2008
Donnalee Bell and Elaine O'Reilly. Work and Learning Knowledge Centre, Canadian Council on Learning

This report highlights an initial inventory of current Canadian practices, programs and policies aimed at improving school-to-work transitions for school-leavers (both from secondary and post-secondary groups). The report provides a situational analysis of Canadian youth in transition and highlights the elements that make up successful school-to-work initiatives. It also points to the need for a more consolidated and collective school-to-work strategy endorsed by all levels of government and makes 12 recommendations for further action.

March 2007
Canadian Career Development Foundation. The Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation

The purpose of this paper is to summarize the results of background research conducted by CCDF, consolidating and extrapolating key themes from this research to the development of the Future to Discover Grade 12 curriculum. A secondary purpose of this paper is to open the door to further exploration of the potential application of the construct of resilience to career theory and practice.

July 2006
Donnalee Bell and Lynne Bezanson

A research paper published by the Canadian Policy Research Networks and the Canadian Career Development Foundation shows that most young Canadians don’t have adequate access to career development services to help them choose the best paths to a successful working life. It found that career development services can reduce the drop-out rate, especially for disadvantaged youth, and change attitudinal barriers that limit career choices.