Code of Ethics

Career development practitioners are engaged in a wide spectrum of activities in many fields. They work in a wide range of organizational settings and provide a spectrum of services and programs to a diverse population. This Code of Ethics is intended as a platform for the Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners.

The purpose of the Code of Ethics is to provide a practical guide for professional behaviour and practice for those who offer direct service in career development and to inform the public which career development practitioners serve. Ethical principles

Professional Responsibility

Career Development Professionals have a responsibility to themselves, to their clients, and to the field of career development. This section focuses on the responsibilities of Career Development Professionals in terms of adherence to legal and regulatory requirements, and commitment to personal accountability. It includes an examination of issues related to personal and professional conduct as well as issues pertaining to integrity including appropriate relationships, and the maintenance of profession-related skills and abilities.

Client-Practitioner Responsibilities

Career Development Professionals take a reflective approach to their relationship with and their responsibilities to their client. This section focuses on the relationship and responsibilities of the Career Development Professional when working with and for clients and/or the client’s representative. It includes the limits of confidentiality, obtaining consent, the duty to warn, handling and release of client records, multiple relationships, professional boundaries, and the parameters of group work.


Career Development Professionals work with clients from multiple different contexts and worldviews. This section focuses on the importance and the role of diversity in providing effective career development services. Recognizing and addressing diversity issues in service delivery shows respect for clients who hold their own values and beliefs that may not always align with those of the CDP with whom they are working. Career Development Professionals must acknowledge and address their own biases and ensure all initiatives promote inclusion, equality of opportunity, and that they provide non-discriminatory and anti-oppressive service.

Research and Professional Development

Career Development Professionals have a responsibility to engage in professional development and to contribute to the advancement of the field. This section focuses on the ways in which CDPs gather information and develop interventions or work with community and educational partners. They provide services that are supported by up-to-date, evidence-informed research
which aligns with the current labour market information, realities and trends.

Assessment and Evaluation

Career Development Professionals actively engage their clients in the process of assessment and evaluation for the purposes of description and validation. This section is focused on the use of psychometric and informal instruments, including self-directed tools. When engaging in assessment and evaluation, CDPs must consider client contexts, diversity issues, and histories
including, but not limited to: trauma; intergenerational trauma; mental health; familial structure. Career Development Professionals maintain and share current career resources and are attentive to copyright laws and trademark restrictions.

Electronic and Other Technologies

Career Development Professionals use electronic and other digital technologies in their service delivery, research, communications, and storage of personal, professional, and client data. This section focuses on the use of technology in the day-to-day work of CDPs. International, federal and provincial/territorial privacy laws must be taken into consideration when selecting and using a technological tool. It is the responsibility of the CDP to understand how technology and other digital applications are used as tools that ensure protection of the rights of the client, the CDP, and third parties including researchers, intellectual property owners, and artists.

Outreach and Leadership

Career Development Professionals may be engaged in outreach and leadership as part of their practice. This section focuses on gathering and using data to inform leadership, organizations, and community partners in policy development, change management, advocacy, labour market action-planning and decision-making.