CDI Career Development Framework

What is the Career Development Framework?

The UK’s Career Development Institute published an updated Career Development Framework in April 2021. This document outlines the six career development skills that people need in order to have positive careers. 

A ‘positive career’ means something different to everyone, but it typically includes being happy with the way you spend your time, being able to make a contribution to your community and being able to have a decent standard of living.

If you’re considering career coaching, the six skill areas that career practitioners such as myself are seeking to help you to develop are:

  • Grow throughout life
  • Explore possibilities
  • Manage career
  • Create opportunities
  • Balance work and life
  • See the big picture

Whereas the previous version of the framework focussed on what learners should know and be able to do by the time they leave education, the new version looks at career management skills for adults as well. The core skills are the same but the level of sophistication in using them increases at each stage (11-14, 14-16, and post-16 onwards). 

For example, in relation to the skill set ‘Balance Life and Work’, someone at Key Stage 3 (age 11-14) is expected to be aware that physical and mental wellbeing are important whereas post-16 they will be expected to take action to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.

In effect, there is a spiral of learning in relation to career development that continues upwards throughout working life:

  • develop awareness
  • encounter information
  • have experiences
  • reflect on learning
  • build understanding
  • put into practice
  • and repeat!

The Framework is available to individuals to help them to develop their own careers. It provides a simple answer to the question ‘What should I do to develop my career?’.  You can use it reflect on your strengths and weaknesses in relation to it.

If you’d like to find a careers practitioner to help you do this, take a look at the CDI’s professional register.

You may also find it helpful to read my free brochure on “How to Choose a Career Coach“. And if you’d like to follow up with an initial chat, please do get in touch.


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