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.
The Career Development field has made significant strides towards professionalization in the last few years. Three key hallmarks of this progress are:
The development and adoption of the Canadian Standards & Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners (S & Gs), and the adaptation of these for the NSCDA;
The establishment of professional associations for Career Development Practitioners (CDPs); and
The launch of certification for CDPs in Canada. Currently, besides Nova Scotia, certification is also in place in BC, Alberta, and Quebec, and Ontario and New Brunswick are in the process of developing programs. It is the way of the future for our profession.
Certification isn't just another "hoop" to jump through in order to practice in some jurisdictions. It brings with it many benefits for our profession as a whole, individual CDPs, their employers, our funders, and the public.