Why Does a Profession Create a Certification Process?
How Did the NSCDA Become Involved in the Certification Program?
Do I Need to be a Member of the NSCDA in Order to be Certified?
How did the NSCDA come up with the Certification Standards?
What is the process I need to go through to apply for certification?
How will my evidence will be evaluated?
If I have lots of work experience, but no related education or training, how do you evaluate my application?
Is it is possible to lose certification?
Is certification just for front line staff?
What is the process for people with formal career practitioner training who don’t have 3 years experience?
How long does the certification process take?
Who will pay for this process?
How has this information gone out to non CNSCS Centre or non-members?
Will we be able to search Certified Career Practitioners?  
I already have a Career Practitioner certificate, and have completed other certification processes for my job. Do I still need to go through the application process?
I received my education and most of my professional experience in another province, but am now working in Nova Scotia. Can I still apply for certification?

 

 

Why Does a Profession Create a Certification Process?
There are a number of reasons why a professional organization puts a certification process in place. The main one is to recognize competent practitioners and to further legitimize the complex and growing field of practice. The certification program will also improve on the quality of the practice through the standardization of qualifications; and be a signal of quality assurance for the public. It also allows for the recognition of both formal and informal prior learning, as evidenced by practitioners themselves, creating a common voice and vocabulary for career development in Nova Scotia. Overall, the program will help promote careers in the field and be part of the continuum of professional development.

How Did the NSCDA Become Involved in the Certification Program?
Recognising the importance and benefits of Certification, the Nova Scotia Career Development Association (NSCDA) has been leading the development and implementation of voluntary certification for Career Development Practitioners in Nova Scotia. The impetus for certification is coming from the career development community and is based on the Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Practitioners as the guiding framework with emphasis on the "core" competencies.

Do I Need to be a Member of the NSCDA in Order to be Certified?
No, membership is not a requirement for certification.

How did the NSCDA come up with the Certification Standards?
The structure of the Core Competency Standards has been developed with the aim of making the standards explicit and accessible to encourage their use in a wide variety of settings. The overall structure of the standards aligns with the way career development practitioners fulfil their core duties:
Professional ethics and an emphasis on cultural diversity and inclusion practices are at the core of the profession. These common values or principles serve as an anchor to the profession and inform all practices.

  • Performance for any of the core competencies requires effective communication skills. Career development practitioners use communication skills in all aspects of their work; they are reliant on the use of communication to facilitate all tasks.
  • Functionally, the main role or purpose of a career development practitioner is to provide guidance, characterized by a formal consultation and developmental cycle. Essentially, this involves diagnostic or needs assessment activities that result in specific interventions, including provision of information, referrals and programs. Programs are then implemented along with on-going monitoring, review and support to ensure that the identified needs are effectively being met.
  • Regular administrative duties and ongoing professional development responsibilities ensure that career development practitioners maintain a commitment to quality assurance. This includes the ability to contribute effectively in teams and collaborate with a multitude of stakeholders.

Within this overall structure, the standards contain six major competency categories:

  1. Ethics,
  2. Diversity and Inclusion,
  3. Administration,
  4. Communication,
  5. Career Development Guidance, and
  6. Professional Development/Career Self-Management.

Each of these categories contains the standards that describe what a competent career development practitioner must know and what they must be able to do. The statements are written to be inclusive of the range of work contexts and diversity of clients.

The major categories also contain contextual information. Each section starts with a statement explaining why the skill category is important or how it relates to the role of a career development practitioner. Examples are used where there is a need to further illustrate how a skill is applied. Additional resources may also be noted, such as commonly used authentic workplace materials (e.g., forms, charts, manuals).

What is the process I need to go through to apply for certification?
There are three components to the application process:

  • Exam: an 80 question multiple choice exam designed to test the practitioner’s knowledge in career development best practices, theory and ethics.
  • Interview: an in-depth structured phone interview with the assessor who has been assigned his or her application. This interview will be recorded, and verified by a second assessor.
  • Evidence Package: Your documented collection of applicable prior learning activities / credentials (see checklist below).

This application process has a series of steps aimed at evaluating the applicant’s experience and knowledge in career development:

  1. A candidate must apply for certification by completing the initial application form and paying the certification application fee.
  2.  In the initial application form a candidate will provide a list of prior learning contributing to his or her experience. Candidates will be required to have a minimum of three years or equivalent experience as a career development practitioner before being eligible for certification. Prior learning can come from work experience, volunteer experience, workshop attendance, conference attendance, formal education etc. The candidate will be asked to complete the “Am I ready for certification?” Self-assessment checklist below prior to submitting his or her application.
  3. The application form will be reviewed for completeness and to ensure the candidate meets the basic application criteria. If the candidate meets the application criteria they will be assigned a Certification ID (CID #).
  4. An email will be sent to the candidate asking them to register for the CDP Exam, and telling them where and when it will be offered around the province. S/he will also be instructed to complete the full application for certification package and submit it to the registrar within 3 months of the initial application and is an on-line proctored exam.
  5. On the given date, the candidate will write The CDP exam. This is an 80 question multiple choice exam designed to test the practitioner’s knowledge in career development best practices, theory and ethics. It is delivered four times a year at various locations around the province.
  6. The candidate will also undergo an in-depth structured phone interview with the assessor who has been assigned his or her application. This interview will be recorded, and verified by a second assessor.
  7. Following the successful completion of the CDP exam and interview, the application package (including your evidence package) will be reviewed and assessed by the assigned assessors. The review will consist of verifying experience, assessing the completeness of the experience, as well as  measuring it against the core competencies.


How will my evidence will be evaluated?
Each piece of evidence will be assessed in terms of these 5 aspects, to determine if it is:

  1. Current – Can you still do the task
  2. Authentic – Is this your own work, and is the info true?
  3. Reliable – Can you do the task predictably and repeatedly?
  4. Valid – is the info relevant to the criteria, to what is meant to be measured?
  5. Sufficient – Is the info adequate in terms of your skill, knowledge, and attributes?

If I have lots of work experience, but no related education or training, how do you evaluate my application?  
The competency-based process can be  based on 100%work experience. All applications will be judged based on a minimum of 70% of work experience.

What if my application is turned down?
If your application has been assessed but you have been turned down, then you have the right to appeal. It may have been turned down because:

  • your qualification don’t meet the standards in the profile
  • you fail the test
  • your interview didn’t go well

If you agree that you need to do more work to meet the certification requirements, you may re-apply at a later date.

Is it is possible to lose certification?
It is possible to lose the right to use the designation if someone does not re-register, comply with the application process, breaches the code of ethics or is found to be guilty of poor professional practice resulting from a complaint.  

Is certification just for front line staff?  
No. Anyone who meets the application requirements may apply.

What is the process for people with formal career practitioner training who don’t have 3 years experience?
There isn’t one. You must have worked as a career practitioner for a minimum of 3 years within the last 5 years in order to meet the 70% practice-based evaluation for the core competencies.

How long does the certification process take?
It should take approximately 3 – 6 months from initial receipt by the Registrar of your application package for the process to be completed. This is because exams are scheduled every two months.

Who will pay for this process?
 If the CNSC staff are funded by ENS, please discuss your options with your manager and/or ENS program officer.

How has this information gone out to non CNSCS Centre or non-members?
This information has gone out through our social media, as well as through outreach meetings held around the province, e-mails to all known / identified service centres in the province. If you are aware of others who might be interested in the Certification Program, please contact us at certification@nscda.ca.

Will we be able to search Certified Career Practitioners?  
Yes. There will be a registry available on the NSCDA website of all certified NSCDA members who wish to be on it.

I already have a Career Practitioner certificate, and have completed other certification processes for my job. Do I still need to go through the application process?
Yes.  Your certificate may be used as part of your evidence package, but does not by itself fulfil the requirements for certification. A certificate program where individuals demonstrate successful completion of a curriculum or training program is different from certification: certification is a credential granted to individuals that demonstrate competency based on defined industry standards. While you may have credentials in such things as working with diverse populations, or with specific populations, or in counselling, while they may be used as part of your evidence package, they do not fulfil the requirements of the CCDP credential. To receive this credential, you need to show that you meet the standards  as defined by the competencies contained in the Nova Scotia Career Development Practitioners Core Competency Profile.

I received my education and most of my professional experience in another province, but am now working in Nova Scotia. Can I still apply for certification?
Yes. As long as you fulfil the application criteria, and can supply the proof of that,

 

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