Together, we can develop a strong evidence base.
CCDF believes that who you directly involve in the research has a lot to do with how well the findings are implemented into practice. CCDF’s research projects are conducted in partnership with front-line practitioners working with real clients and/or directly with people who are the subject of the research. Our research protocols have been consistently guided by the following principles:
- New interventions/programs/service delivery models must reflect front-line realities and practices or they will never be adopted into longer-term practice, regardless of results;
- Full engagement and buy in of research partners is essential. This includes front-line practitioners, their clients, their supervisors and management in career service settings. In education settings, this includes students and those that have left school prior to graduation, teachers, guidance counsellors, principals, government officials, employers, and community members. We are mindful in any research project to actively seek out and include under-represented voices;
- Involvement in a research project is a professional and organizational development opportunity that benefits clients, professionals, educators and management and supervisors.
Working with those on the front-lines results in outcomes that are grounded in reality and informs practice moving forward.
This study was conducted in two phases:
- The first study (Phase I: 2011-2013) tested a new online data gathering tool titled PRIME (Performance Recording Instrument for Meaningful Evaluation) and demonstrated an ability to track common indicators across divergent settings and these “made sense” to all participating practitioners. It also began to uncover apparent predictors of positive employment outcomes including positive changes in learning and skill acquisition, changes in personal attributes and individual traits such as taking personal responsibility for progress. The first study provided a positive start toward addressing the core question: What kinds of interventions (programs/services) with what profiles of client characteristics and in what contexts are associated with what kinds of outcomes?
- The second study (Phase II: 2013-15) refined measures; made PRIME more efficient and easy to use; extended the client service period; examined many of the same relationships as Phase I; and added new areas of exploration, such as the types of interventions practitioners use with clients and testing of a self-help index.
Assessing the Impact of Career Development Resources and Practitioner Support Across the Employability Dimensions
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 populations.
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 Forum of Labour Market Ministers 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.