CCDP Certification

The CCDP designation is a “warrant of competence” or “warrant of expertise.” Successful completion of BCCDA’s certification process confers the right to use the title Certified Career Development Professional and to include the initials CCDP after your name. This allows you to:

  • declare official recognition of your competence in the career development field.
  • demonstrate that you meet the criteria of the Canadian Standards & Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners, that you are bound by professional standards, and that you follow a professional code of ethics.
  • promote yourself as a professional who is personally committed to career development.
  • prove that you stay current in your practice through lifelong learning (since you must acquire a minimum of 25 hours of Professional Activities during each subscription year).
  • increase your marketability.

The Benefits of Certification

The Career Development field has made significant strides toward implementing professional standards and accreditation.  Three key hallmarks of this progress are:

  • the development and adoption of the Canadian Standards & Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners (S & Gs);
  • the establishment of professional associations for Career Development Practitioners (CDPs); and
  • the introduction of Certification for CDPs.

This third hallmark offers many benefits to our professional field as a whole, as well as to individual CDPs, their employers, the public, and funders.

Benefits to Our Profession

Our Certification “raises the bar” for professionalism in our field, demonstrating to employers and funders, to policy makers and the public that our work is grounded in excellence. It puts into practice the competency standards and ethical guidelines established through the S & Gs, defines our scope of practice, fosters quality, and ensures accountability.

Benefits to Individual CDPs

  • Certification attests to your mastery of critical professional competencies, and recognizes your professional development and growth.
  • Certification shows your clients, competitors, suppliers, peers, employers, and funders that you use industry-respected best practices, thus increasing your recognition.
  • Certification requirements are designed to enhance your overall performance.
  • Certification gives you a competitive edge that will expand your career opportunities.
  • Over time, the certification requirements are intended to establish you as an expert in your field.

Benefits to Employers of CDPs and to Funders

  • Certification enables you to distinguish between job candidates, by serving as a means to assess their knowledge and their interest in professional growth.
  • Certification assists you in identifying individuals who have the competencies to move into leadership positions.
  • Certification is a valuable staff-training and professional-development tool.
  • Certification allows you to demonstrate to funders and other stakeholders that your business is being run effectively.
  • The Certification assessment process enhances your staff’s motivation and commitment.
  • Top-performing companies understand that effective employee training produces direct, measurable bottom-line benefits.

Benefits to the Public

  • Certification enables the public to make informed selections of services, based upon the practitioners’ training (as demonstrated by Certification).
  • Certification protects the public, setting a standard for excellence and creating observable accountability.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Q1. What is the value of CCDP Certification?

This designation:

  • provides official recognition of your competency in the career development field.
  • attests that you are committed to recognized professional standards and to a professional code of ethics, and have demonstrated that you meet the criteria of the Canadian Standards & Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners
  • proves that you stay current in your practice through lifelong learning (since you must collect a minimum of 25 hours of Professional Activities in each subscription year).
  • increases your marketability.

Q2. Is CCDP Certification widely recognized?

  • CCDP Certification meets the Canadian Standards & Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners (S&Gs), which define the competencies needed by career development professionals for effective and ethical practice.
  • S&Gs are used extensively in Canada for professional training and development programs, to define scopes of practice, and for certification.
  • The Canadian S&Gs have been heralded as an international model by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and were the basis for the competency framework established by the International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance (IAEVG).

Each application for Certification is submitted to an independent reviewer.

Q3. How can I maintain my CCDP designation?

Your CCDP designation requires you to maintain your annual BCCDA Professional Membership  and to engage in 25 hours of Professional Activities per year. This latter requirement may be met in any of the following ways:

  • attending BCCDA Training Days, our monthly Webinars, or the annual CDC Conference
  • attending Webinars, workshops, and conferences from our supported organizations (including ASPECT, CERIC, and CEFEE) at great, discounted rates
  • reading relevant books, journal articles, or news articles
  • ordering and watching Virtual Cannexus videos

Q4. What is the role of the Registrar’s Office?

The BCCDA Registrar’s Office is responsible for:

  • educating members about CCDP Certification, CCDP candidacy, and CCDP Maintenance policies
  • interpreting the Certification criteria in cooperation with the Certification and Review Committees
  • the day-to-day operation of CCDP’s regulatory activities and policy formulation process. The Registrar works collaboratively with the Marketing Manager to manage Certification processes that provide support to the Certification Committee, and manages the administrative processes of CCDP Certification, candidacy, and Maintenance.
  • receiving feedback from reviewers and Committee members, and communicating with all BCCDA members

Q5. To what do the terms “certification,” “credentials,”  and “designation” refer?


Certification is an academic, training, or professional-development process that results in the attainment of credentials.

Credentials attest to a practitioner’s knowledge or authority, and often consist of an academic degree such as a BBA or MA.

“Designation” refers to the letters used after a person’s name to indicate the academic degrees or professional certification attained, such as CCDP, CPA, BBA, or PhD.

A CDP is someone who works in the field of Career Development.

The title CCDP indicates that a professional has been recognized as a Certified Career Development Practitioner by an independent body, in accordance with its specific standards and criteria. Certification is a voluntary process by which individuals’ acquired knowledge, skills, and competencies are evaluated against predetermined standards. This assessment is entirely independent of any specific course or other education/training program.

A certificate program typically indicates attendance or completion of a course or series of courses with a specific focus. Programs usually are open to newcomers and experienced professionals alike. The certificate demonstrates a knowledge of the course content at the end of a specific period of time.

Certification includes both experiential and educational components. Some institutions require candidates to pass an exam. Currently, BCCDA itself does not require an exam. Practitioners who have earned CCDP Certification may include “CCDP” after their names. However, it is important that practitioners obtain recertification, which ensures that they stay current in their field through continuing education.