Professionalizing the Canadian Career Development Sector: A Retrospective Analysis


  • Dr. Lorraine Godden Carleton University
  • Dr. Roberta A. Borgen (Neault) Life Strategies Ltd



professional, career development, competency framework, ecological systems theory, leadership


The Canadian career development sector has worked for decades to enhance the professionalization of career development professionals, with such projects as the original standards and guidelines (S&Gs) launched in 2001. However, to reflect and guide current practice, extensive updates and a new approach were needed. Through research, consultation, development, and validation, the Pan-Canadian Competency Framework for Career Development Professionals, the National Competency Profile for Career Development Professionals, and the Code of Ethics for Career Development Professionals were created. In examining the process of this comprehensive project, Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) ecological systems theory offers a conceptual framework for understanding the complex interconnected systems impacting the sector. Then Kouzes and Posner’s (2003, 2012) five exemplary practices of leadership are applied to explore the actions and behaviours that created purposeful spaces where practitioners, subject matter experts, and theorists could collectively and authentically work together to accomplish extraordinary tasks.


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How to Cite

Godden, L., & Borgen, R. (2024). Professionalizing the Canadian Career Development Sector: A Retrospective Analysis. Canadian Journal of Career Development, 23(1), 34–47.