Canada Country Director:
Doctoral Candidate, Counselling Psychology
University of Calgary
November is Canada Career Month! This specialized focus aims to increase awareness on issues pertaining to employment in Canada and is recognized across the country as providing a valuable platform to address some of the concerns that exist when it comes to planning one’s career. "Making career-related decisions and transitions such as pursuing education/training, looking for suitable employment, balancing life/work roles and responsibilities, and preparing for retirement are faced by almost everyone at some point," reports Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) National President, John Driscoll. "Now more than ever, Canadians are more frequently working in multiple jobs throughout their lifetimes, and navigating that process can be complicated and overwhelming. Career counsellors and the services that they provide can be extremely helpful for those seeking support." This article will highlight two national supports for career counsellors and career development in Canada.
CCPA is a national, bilingual association providing professional counsellors with access to educational programs, professional development, certification and opportunities to connect with peers and speciality groups. As the leading national association and advocate for the profession of counselling in Canada, CCPA promotes the advancement of the profession and increases awareness about its role in healthcare, education and industry sectors. Career counsellors, an essential component of CCPA’s membership, act as resources to individuals considering their educational paths, employment opportunities and life transitions. From enhancing self-awareness, to reviewing labour market demands, to helping determine educational requirements for a given sector, career counsellors play a crucial role in assisting those individuals entering the labour force for the first time, or those considering career changes at a later age.
The Career Counsellors Chapter of CCPA was established in 1995, and has contributed toward the development of the standards and initiatives of the field of career development in Canada. This special interest chapter supports career development practitioners through professional development opportunities, by providing materials to assist in the delivery of quality service and by creating and recognizing new initiatives in the field. It also provides a forum for discussion of important issues in the field. The chapter acts as a means for practitioners, researchers and policy makers in the area of career development to assist each other in developing new programs. The chapter also offers a special award for a student studying in the field of career development, the Dr. Vance Peavy award. More information about the Career Counsellors Chapter can be found on CCPA’s website: https://www.ccpa-accp.ca/chapters/career-counsellors/.
The Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF) is a non-profit organization that works to advance career services and the capacity of the profession, both nationally and internationally. For example, the organization advocates for services that help to prepare youth for the workplace, helps to build capacity in employees in the management of their careers and strengthens the capacity of employers to create healthy work environments. CCDF conducts applied research, promotes policy consultation, develops and delivers resources and training courses, and works with diverse partners to enrich and strengthen career services. More information is available on their website: www.ccdf.ca.
My own professional experiences, as a certified member of CCPA and as practitioner who has utilized CCDF’s unique resources for pre-employability services that are offered in the province of New Brunswick, have been truly rewarding. CCPA membership has been an inspiring way to connect with career development professionals and resources in Canada. Membership has led to the international expansion of my professional network, including being led to, learning about and writing for the Asia Pacific Career Development Association!
Jenny Rowitt is the President-Elect of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association.
Although the role of career and employment in an individual's overall experience of wellbeing is well known, there continues to exist a divide between career counseling and personal counseling. At this year's Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) conference, held in St. John's, Newfoundland, members of the Career Counsellor's Chapter presented a pre-conference workshop in an effort to directly challenge this false dichotomy. In this workshop, the presenters illustrated the ways in which career counseling interventions may be incorporated in mental health counseling. Career interventions can support mental health across the developmental lifespan, from normalizing career indecision and enhancing career self-efficacy for post-secondary students, to supporting the career development of Indigenous young people, to addressing mid-life career change, to including career counseling interventions in treatment for individuals in recovery from addictions.
The importance of the role of career in mental health was also highlighted in the keynote address by Dave Redekopp, "Career Development and Mental Health" and was carried through in an interactive discussion session following the keynote, facilitated by Dr. Redekopp, aimed at generating action in increasing understanding regarding the links between career and mental health. The importance of career for various populations was also seen in several posters and presentations throughout the main conference. These included a presentation on the strengths inherent in an intentional blending of career counseling with personal counseling to support wellbeing (presented by Clarence DeSchiffart and Laurie Edwards) and the role of career counseling in supporting street involved youth (presented by Yaffa Elling).
In discussions with my colleagues who are members of the Career Counsellor's chapter, we agreed that it was encouraging to see that the importance of career in mental health was such a strong theme at this year's CCPA conference. I, for one, look forward to a continued dialogue regarding the link between career and mental health, as well as ongoing research to support the integration of career interventions in mental health counseling.
Join us at the Cannexus17 in Ottawa! by José F. Domenee
I'm pleased to share with you information about Canada's largest bilingual (English and French) career development conference, Cannexus17 which will take place from January 23-25, 2017 at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa. Cannexus will bring together 900 professionals in the field from the public and private sectors as well as civil society, both nationally and internationally. It is designed to promote the exchange of information and explore innovative approaches in the areas of career counselling and career development.
In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday,
an exciting line-up of all-Canadian keynotes will share their knowledge and experience at Cannexus17:
There will be more than 130 education sessions that will bring you the latest trends from effective counselling techniques to working with diverse populations. An Exhibitor Showcase will also highlight a range of beneficial products and services in the field.
Register at http://cannexus.ca/registration/ by November 1 for the Early Bird rate.
There are also numerous optional pre-conference workshops. Choose among workshops with popular presenters and go in-depth on these current topics:
Cannexus is presented by the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) and supported by The Counselling Foundation of Canada with a broad network of supporting organizations.
On a personal note, I have attended Cannexus for the last few years, and I find it to be a very friendly group, presenting useful information, with a definitive focus on career development practice. I highly recommend it. In addition, Ottawa, Canada's national capital, is a fun place to visit in January as long as you are prepared for the cold weather (the average daily temperature is -10C in January). There are many museums and art galleries, and as you can see from the picture, the Rideau Canal becomes one of the world's largest skating rinks in winter. Even if you don’t like skating, it's worth checking out.
I hope to see some of you at Cannexus in January!
Thanksgiving Holiday in Canada: Our Tradition of Gathering Together to Share and Be Grateful By Ashlee Kitchenham
As the cool air settles in, leaves begin to turn brilliant colors, and pumpkin patches become bountiful, we know Autumn is upon us in Canada. This season reaches its peak on the second Monday of every October with the celebration of Thanksgiving.
The Thanksgiving holiday in Canada originates hundreds of years ago from the festivals of thanks European farmers held during their harvest time. When Europeans settled in Canada, they brought these harvest festival traditions with them. In current Canadian culture, the focus of this celebration has shifted to focus on the appreciation for one’s family, friends, and fortunes, rather than being centered around the harvest. For many Canadians, Thanksgiving is a time to put their fast-paced lifestyle on pause, spend time with their loved ones, and be grateful for the blessings around them.
Many people in Canada receive this day off school and work and as a result have a long weekend to enjoy. A highlight of the Thanksgiving weekend for many is hosting or attending a celebratory feast. The dining area becomes decorated in beautifully festive yellow, orange, and red colors featuring wheat sheaths, corns, pumpkins, cornucopias, and similar seasonal decor. Everyone gathers around the table for a magnificent meal of roast turkey, ham, seasonal produce, pumpkin pie, and more. Many people also exchange with one another some things they are thankful for during this meal. Creating and sharing in this meal together is symbolic of the gratitude and connectedness guests have among one another.
Additionally, there are many Thanksgiving community events Canadians enjoy in their local areas. Some cities host parades, craft markets, special brunches, and potluck dinners. The Canadian Football League also hosts it’s annual Thanksgiving Day Classic game. Some Canadians even choose to take this time and sneak in one last vacation over the weekend with their family or friends before the cold of winter hits.
Regardless of where or how the time is spent, Thanksgiving is a warm, welcomed reminder for all Canadians to appreciate and acknowledge the relationships and prosperities they have been gifted with throughout the year.
Sharing Three Canadian Career Development Updates by Jose Domene
Three recent Canadian Career Development updates include lobbying, history and advocacy. The Career Counselling Chapter of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, https://www.ccpa-accp.ca/, is preparing materials to lobby the federal government on the role of Career development practice in mental health prevention and intervention.
Lynne Bezanson, Sareena Hopkins and Roberta Neault recently published an article describing the history of career counseling in Canada from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. The article focuses on changes in (a) scope of practice, (b) education and training of practitioners, and (c) emerging regulation of the profession (taking note of differences across provinces). The abstract of the article is available here: http://cjc-rcc.ucalgary.ca/cjc/index.php/rcc/article/view/2875
The Canadian Career Development Foundation recently released a report of a scoping review that systematically examines the School-to-Work Transition in Canada. The review proposes numerous recommendations and suggestions. Advocating for a national strategy to address this issue is included. For a copy of the report: http://www.ccdf.ca/ccdf/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/School-to-Work-Transitions-A-Scoping-Review-FINAL.pdf
APCDA members from other countries would love to hear how these three recent Canadian Career Development updates as well as other new policies, procedures and activities are impacting the career development work you, personally, do in Canada. Please consider submitting an article for our next APCDA's newsletter to Newsletter@AsiaPacificCDA.org.
Canada Country Report, May 2016 by Dr. Jose Domene
A few exciting events related to the advancement of career development in Canada, which may be of interest to practitioners and scholars from across the Asia Pacific region, have taken place. Two events that include Call for Proposals will soon take place. Do consider submitting one or more!
At the beginning of April, the American Counseling Association and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) held a joint conference in Montreal. Led by Jessica Isenor (former APCDA country director for Canada), the Career Counsellors Chapter of CCPA had a very active presence at that conference, offering numerous workshops and sessions related to career development in Canada, and career counselling in general. I actually found the conference to be rather overwhelming (there were several thousand attendees and many, many sessions occurring at any given time) but it was also a great opportunity to learn about many different career development initiatives happening across Canada, the United States, and internationally.
The Career Counsellors Chapter of CCPA also announced its "career counsellor practitioner grant" program, which is designed to provide funding to practitioners in the field who are interested in conducting research. These grants, valued at $500 to $1500, are designed to generate evidence for career counselling practice in the real world, and highlight the importance of applied research performed by career counsellors in the community and/or workplace (that is, people who are not primarily academics). For more information, see: https://www.ccpa-accp.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/CCChapter_CareerCounsellorPractitionerGrant_EN.pdf.
As part of a larger project to examine ways to address the problem of youth unemployment in Canada and improve Canadian youths' transition into the workforce, the Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF) recently conducted a scoping review of existing literature and programs related to the school to work transitions. Although their conclusions are somewhat country-specific (for example, one of the identified barriers is the lack of a national school to work policy framework, which is due in part to the fact that education is a Provincial rather than a Federal responsibility in Canada), the report contains a lot of useful information that may be relevant to other nations. If you are interested in career development in youth, or school to work transitions, the report is worth reading. It can be downloaded for free from the CCDF web-site: http://www.ccdf.ca/ccdf/index.php/projects/current.
Do consider presenting for Cannexus 2017 (Canada's national career development conference), which will be held in Ottawa next January. Proposals are due June 15: http://cannexus.ca/call-for-presenters/. An even earlier presentation possibility to consider is CCPA’s research conference just outside of Edmonton on October 14 and 15. This conference is particularly friendly to students and novice researchers of all areas of counselling, including career counselling. The call for presenters is open until June 1: https://www.ccpa-accp.ca/2016-research-conference/. (I'm planning to attend both these conferences, and I would love to see some of my fellow APCDA members there!)
Cannexus 2016 — A Resounding Success by Jose Domene
Well, the calendar may say that Spring has arrived, but there's still snow on the ground here in Fredericton, on the east coast of Canada. Perfect weather for staying home and writing a quick update about the Cannexus conference that was held at the end of January. Cannexus is Canada's national conference for career development practitioners, researchers, and policy makers. It is held every winter in our nation's capital, Ottawa, and this year's conference was the largest in its 9-year history. There were over 900 attendees and 130 education sessions that included a wide variety of workshops, presentations, and poster sessions. Topics were as varied as career development for the Inuit peoples of northern Canada, integrating neuroscience into career counselling, how to demonstrate service effectiveness to stakeholders, strategies for success in applying to work in the Federal public service, and a novel program for facilitating transitions from the military into the civilian workforce. The choice of sessions was almost overwhelming and, a lot of the time, I often found it to be a struggle to decide amongst multiple interesting sessions that were all happening at the same time.
There was good representation from APCDA members, as well. Jessica Isenor presented on the state of career counsellor education in Canada. Roberta Neault presented three sessions on workplace career management, increasing career engagement for diverse clients, and the results of a recently conducted survey of career service professionals in Canada. Nancy Arthur presented a session on how career development practitioners could incorporate social justice into their practice. As for myself, I had the luxury of taking the entire conference to listen and learn, instead of presenting anything.
This year's scheduled keynote was Dr. Spencer Niles from The College of William & Mary but he was prevented from attending due to a blizzard that hit the eastern seaboard of the US that week. Instead, his colleague, Dr. Norm Amundson from the University of British Columbia, presented on their hope-centered career development model of counselling. But for those of us who are also going to the APCDA conference in Taiwan, there will be an opportunity to hear Dr. Niles there, instead.
Cannexus is definitely a conference that is worth attending, if you are ever in this part of the world. The call for presenters for next year's conference is available online at on the Cannexus website. I encourage all my colleagues from APCDA to consider applying to present a session at Canada's national career conference, which will be held on January 23 to 25, 2017.
Canadian Resources for the Creation and Mobilization of Knowledge in Career Development by José F. Domene
At the NCDA Conference, over 20 people attended the APCDA meeting. Attendees included APCDA members and others who were interested in the association. We asked the attendees to describe the greatest challenge faced by career development within their countries. A number of themes appeared to resonate in several countries.
In this country report, I provide a description of Canadian resources for the creation and mobilization of knowledge related to career development and career counselling. Although these resources are located in Canada, many are available for career development practitioners both inside and outside of Canada. The specific examples that I describe are not an exhaustive list, but illustrate the range of resources that exist. At the end of this article, I provide links to many of these resources, for more in-depth exploration.
The Government of Canada is a primary source of funding for career development knowledge generation in Canada, through agencies such as the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. However, this funding is only available to researchers affiliated with a Canadian post-secondary institution. In contrast, some Canadian professional organizations provide research-related funding for career development practitioners not affiliated with these institutions. One such organization is the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC). CERIC provides funding for both "research projects" (i.e., practical or academic career-related research) and "learning projects" (i.e., the development and/or implementation of career counselling-related materials, including manuals, training courses, and workbooks, webinars, and workshops) related to career development. CERIC's mandate requires at least some focus on a Canadian context, but they accept collaborations between Canadian and International partners. For example, their current projects web-page reveals that agencies such as Street Kids International and researchers from countries as diverse as Saudi Arabia and the United States have received funding for various projects. Another source of funding for knowledge creation has recently been initiated by the Career Counsellors Chapter of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA). They are piloting a "Career Counsellor Practitioner's Grant" program, which provides small grants to promote the value, importance, and results of applied research. Their pilot program runs from 2016 to 2018 and is explicitly designed for career counsellors in the community and/or workplace, rather than for academics.
At the other end of the research process, the mobilization of knowledge to key stakeholders (e.g., career development practitioners in the field, career development policy makers and the institutional and government levels) is as important as its creation: Without mobilization, how will research impact practice and policy? In Canada, there are numerous ways to spread the word about innovative practices and research findings, in both written and interactive formats. There are two main Canadian journals where career development researchers and practitioners from around the world can publish their work, in English or in French. The Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, the official journal of the CCPA, publishes research reports, descriptions of innovative programs and practices, discussions and commentaries on current professional issues, and critical reviews of published research related to all fields of counselling, including career counselling. A review of the archives of the journal reveals that career counselling and development is well represented in the journal. Furthermore, as the current Acting Editor for the journal, I can personally reassure my APCDA colleagues that we welcome articles addressing career development in countries from around the world. The Canadian Journal of Career Development, funded by CERIC, is also very welcoming of international submissions. This journal, which publishes articles written in English or French, accepts the same range of articles (i.e., research reports, descriptions of programs and practices, discussions of current issues, critical reviews) as the Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy. However, the entire journal is devoted to career development, defined in its broadest sense. Another, less formal, avenue for career development knowledge mobilization is the practitioner Blog maintained by the Career Counsellors Chapter of CCPA. They often post articles by guest bloggers, and may welcome submissions from international career development practitioners. Jessica Isenor, the previous APCDA country director for Canada, is the current President of the Career Counsellors Chapter, and would be a good person to contact for more information about writing for the blog. Her contact information can be found on the Career Counsellors Chapter web-site (see below).
In addition to these resources for mobilizing knowledge in a written format, there are numerous venues in Canada for presenting career development research and practice innovations to colleagues in an interactive format. At a national level, CCPA and CERIC both host annual conferences (CCPA's Annual Conference is usually in May, and CERIC's Cannexus conference is held in January). CCPA's conference draws several hundred attendees each year and is focused on all aspects of counselling, although the Career Counsellor Chapter of CCPA has been very active in ensuring the presence of programming relevant to career development practitioners. Cannexus is a somewhat smaller conference, but the entire focus is on career development research, practice and policy. Although most of the presenters and attendees are Canadian, both conferences welcome international practitioners and researchers and have sessions that are held in English or French (often with simultaneous translation). In addition to these national conferences, many provinces in Canada have their own regional associations for career development practice, which provide professional development opportunities in the form of smaller conferences and meetings. For example, the Career Development Association of Alberta, the New Brunswick Career Development Action Group, and L'Ordre des conseillers et conseillères d'orientation du Québec all host regular practitioner-oriented meetings where individuals can present knowledge and innovation related to career development. Naturally, these regional meetings are smaller than the national conferences, but they provide presenters with a chance to engage with front-line career development practitioners who rarely, if ever, have the opportunity to attend national or international conferences.
In summary, Canada provides numerous resources for creating and mobilizing knowledge in the field of Career Development. Although most of these resources are competitive and some require a Canadian partner, many of these resources are very welcoming of international practitioners and scholars. I hope to encounter some of my colleagues from the APCDA at a Canadian conference some time, or to read your articles in the Canadian Journal of Career Development or the Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy. Please feel free to email me for more in-depth information on these resources, or go to the web-site of the specific resource to find out more for yourself.
For further information:
Hello from Canada! by Jessica Isenor
My last update was in the winter just prior to our national career development conference, Cannexus. Now that we are in the warm months of summer here, this update will catch you up on what has been happening since January as well as let you know what we are looking forward to in the coming months.
In March, the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) published their Nationwide Survey: Accessing Career and Employment Counselling Services. This was an online survey of 1500 adult Canadians that evaluated how Canadians use and access career and employment counselling services. Three distinct groups emerged from the findings - those who define themselves as having a "career," those who define themselves as having a "job," and students. More than half of those with a career (53%) said they had sought advice from a career professional. Those with a job accessed counselling services less than those with a career at just under four in 10 (38%). Among both those with careers and jobs who did not seek career or employment counselling, half agreed that they should have obtained more professional advice (47% and 50% respectively). The most common access point used to obtain career/employment counselling services were high school guidance counsellors and career counsellors at post-secondary institutions. Barriers to accessing career services mentioned in the survey included Canadians not believing they need career counselling since they already know their career goals and a lack of familiarity with the different career services available.
Similarly, in May, the Canadian Council for Career Development's (CCCD) National Career Challenge results were released. The National Career Challenge is an online, interactive survey that assesses a respondent's skill and will to actively engage in personal career development activities. The findings from this survey found that while participants were eager to find satisfaction within their careers, they weren't sure how to access information and resources that could help them once out of school.
The CCCD has also been working on creating a document that articulates the common criteria for certification of career development practitioners across provinces as a stepping stone toward seeking stronger harmonization/cohesion. The organization has also established a Media Working Group in an effort to get career development more media coverage and created a Terminology Working Group to draft a "Primer" to try to simplify language in our field so that we can communicate with non-career development professionals and get our message across.
In other career development news, this past month Team Canada participated in the 7th International Symposium on Career Development and Public Policy. Participants examined the labour market challenges facing young people and how career guidance services can assist them in managing those challenges.
Also in June, the Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training (CAMET) released Future in Focus - Atlantic Career Development Framework for Public Education: 2015-2020 outlining the regional direction and specific goals of the four provincial governments (of the Atlantic Canada region) to support student career planning and transitions. The Framework was developed in response to Career Education in Atlantic Canada: Research and Recommendations, a report highlighting the socio-economic imperatives for action in the area of career development, successful programs in Atlantic Canada, and international best practices.
This month (July), the Forum of Labour Market Ministers (FLMM) announced a series of actions to improve economic opportunities for Canadians, including creating a Labour Market Information Council.
Looking forward to the months ahead, we celebrate Canada Career Week from November 2nd-6th with a variety of events across the country. In January we have Cannexus 16 to look forward to with Dr. Ratna Omidvar and Dr. Spencer Niles as our keynotes, along with two special keynotes relating to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (an initiative to discover the truths behind injustices and harms committed against Canadian Aboriginal people and to promote healing for all Canadians). I hope some of you will be able to join us at this wonderful conference, although it is held in the coldest month of the year in our nation's capital so pack warm clothes if you come!
What's Happening in Canada, February 2015 by Jessica Isenor
In June 2014, Canada hosted the IAEVG conference in Quebec City. It was a very well-attended conference with more than 1250 delegates. There were over 200 symposiums, workshops, papers communications and posters presented, and it was an engaging and inspiring event. One of the highlights of this conference was the final plenary session entitled, At the Intersection of Personal, Collective and Worklife Realities. Professors Gideon Arulmani (India), Rachel Mulvey (United Kingdom), Julio Bello Gonzalez (Venezuela), and Vincent Guillon (France) shared their thoughts regarding what the theme means in the context of the practice of career development/guidance in their country or area of the world.
In other news, the Canadian Council for Career Development created and launched The National Career Challenge (www.careerchallenge.ca), an interactive quiz tool to help Canadians assess their career development knowledge and link them to local resources to further their knowledge. This tool went live in conjunction with Canada Career Week (November 3-7). So far, more than 3300 people from across the country took the quiz. You are welcome to check it out.
The bi-lingual national career development conference, Cannexus, recently took place in Canada's capital city, Ottawa, from January 26-28, 2015, including pre-conference workshops on the 25th. Even with temperatures below 20 degrees F, more than 800 delegates attended. Although, the majority of delegates were Canadians, a good showing of Americans and a small group from the Netherlands also attended. One of this year's keynote speakers included Nancy Arthur, who will also be keynoting IAEVG in Japan this year. She is a professor at the University of Calgary and internationally known for her work in social justice and culturally infused counseling. Of the 150+ education sessions, those of note in the conference program are reports on the provincial certification programs for career development practitioners and a discussion on how leadership can be fostered to help continue the growth of the career development field in Canada.
To learn more about what is happening in the career development field in Canada please consider following the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association's Career Counsellors Chapter blog at http://ccpacdchapter.blogspot.ca/ or signing up for weekly email blog digest called Career Wise put out by the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) http://contactpoint.ca/careerwise/.
Professional Development for Career Counsellors in Canada by Roberta Neault
In Canada, as in other countries, it can be challenging for career counsellors and career development practitioners to keep up with their professional development after they enter the workforce. Most certifying boards and professional associations require Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to maintain certification – the number of required CEUs varies, as does the recertification period.
Many Canadian associations are turning to webinars as a professional development solution. Webinars permit individuals to engage in continuous learning without the need to take time off or leave their offices. They can also be recorded and archived for ongoing access. In some cases, the webinars are offered for free to association members and at a reasonable cost to non-members; one organization made the cost to non-members equivalent to the fees for joining the chapter as a way to encourage new memberships.
Here are a few links to upcoming and archived webinars that will give you a sense of what's available:
Conferences are also a great source of professional development for Canadian career practitioners and counsellors.
Our large national conference each year is CANNEXUS. It's held in our capital city, Ottawa, each year – in January, offering visitors a chance to experience the very cold Canadian winter!
This year we are excited to be hosting the International Association of Educational and Vocational Guidance (IAEVG) in Quebec City in June – Quebec City offers a chance to experience Canada's French-speaking culture and June is a wonderful month to visit the area: http://aiosp-congres2014-quebec.ca/
More accessible to the Asia Pacific Region is our west-coast province, British Columbia (my home). The BC Career Development Association also hosts an annual conference; in 2014, it will be in Richmond (very close to the Vancouver International Airport). It will be held in March, early spring; as the weather in the Vancouver area is much milder than in other parts of Canada, it's likely flowers will be in bloom. Details are at: http://www.gifttool.com/registrar/ShowEventDetails?ID=21&EID=15820 (Note: the earlybird deadline closes January 10).
Career Development in Canada by Roberta Neault
Within Canada, career “work” is done by a wide range of career practitioners / counsellors with very diverse educational and professional backgrounds. In most parts of Canada, the profession is not regulated (i.e., career practitioners are not licensed by the government and their scope of practice is not clearly defined); the one exception is the Province of Quebec where career counselling has been regulated for many years. For more info about relevant professional certifications, see: here.
In part due to this lack of consistent certification/regulation, it can be challenging to understand the full scope of work that career practitioners are engaged in across Canada and the competencies they require to do their work well. Several recent initiatives have helped to address this; brief descriptions and links to additional information or relevant resources are provided here:
This is a self-funded “umbrella” national organization with a mix of individual and organizational members (e.g., career development professional associations, leaders in Canadian career development, educators of career practitioners, researchers). The organization plays a national advocacy role, promotes career development awareness and initiatives, and facilitates inter-provincial/territorial collaborative partnerships and conversations on topics related to professional development, certification, evidence-based practice, and quality service indicators.
Initially developed through pan-Canadian consultations with diverse stakeholders, these Standards and Guidelines continue to be revised to reflect changes within the sector. They are widely used by career development practitioner trainers, employers, certification bodies, and individual practitioners to determine core and specialized competencies, identify strengths and gaps, and inform training initiatives.
(Note: Click on “click here” on the last line at this link to access a comprehensive “Inventory of Career Development Training Programs” in Canada, including both classroom-based and online alternatives).
There is diverse training across Canada for career practitioners and career counsellors, from certificate programs requiring no prerequisite education to Master’s degree programs in Counselling Psychology. Most of the specialized certificate programs have been benchmarked to the Standards and Guidelines and fully cover the core competencies; competencies within the areas of specialization are also introduced in several programs. Some of the training programs are pre-approved by various certifying bodies (e.g., provincial career development associations or international organizations such as the International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance [Educational and Vocational Guidance Practitioner – EVGP] or the Center for Credentialing and Education [Global Career Development Facilitator – GCDF]).
This tool was developed to help career practitioners recognize the variety of roles within the career development sector and also to raise awareness of the diverse employers who hire individuals with career-related expertise. The book begins with a brief historical overview of career services, then presents case examples and relevant descriptions of 12 roles and 10 distinct settings. It was co-authored by two members of the APCDA Board of Directors, Drs. Deirdre Pickerell and Roberta Neault.
5. Pan-Canadian and Regional Mapping Studies / Research Projects
Within the past 4 years, three comprehensive reports have been released that report research on the career development sector, the career service professionals working with in it, and skill requirements for career practitioners. Each of these offers a slightly different perspective of the strengths and challenges within the Canadian career development sector.
As these brief descriptions demonstrate, the career development sector within Canada comprises diverse professionals from a wide range of backgrounds and educational levels, who hold a variety of credentials and certifications. Due to this diversity, there is no “one size fits all” approach to training or professional development and, as a result, there are regional differences in terms of services offered and qualifications of service providers. However, this diversity has also fostered creativity and innovation – Canada’s career programs, services, and professionals all continue to evolve!