Career Assured Quality Award (Resources)

Career Assured – a new quality mark for careers resources, launched by the CDI

Career Assured-logo-2014We are increasingly being asked to recommend careers resources: the calls come from teachers; parents and practitioners. Recognising that as the professional body for the sector we have a critical role to play in ensuring quality, we have been exploring the possibility of developing a framework, which would fulfil both the role of a standard and contribute to raising the quality of CEIAG products used to support career development.

Following a period of research and consultation with both large and small publishers of printed and electronic resources, we are delighted to announce the launch of the Career Assured standard.

Career Assured is a new Quality Assurance Framework designed to assess the degree to which CEIAG products meet the requirements of users and career development professionals. The achievement of the Award will demonstrate that the product meets a minimum standard of quality against clear and transparent criteria.

From the start the basic concept for Career Assured was to provide a quality mark for products and to provide a structure that would assure:

  • the level of quality overall;
  • the content in terms of its value as a resource to support the decision making process in the context of career guidance;
  • and the ethics and standards of the organisation producing the resources or material

The Career Assured framework has been designed to provide an ongoing support and review process for organisations embarking on and continuing the journey of developing and publishing CEIAG resources. We also intend that it should become a recognised symbol for users; an endorsement of product quality and integrity.

Within Career Assured, ‘products’ are defined as any resource that has been produced to support the career decision making process. They can be a 'standalone' resource that is accessed by the client themselves or a supporting resource designed to be delivered by a CEIAG practitioner. This includes, but is not limited to books, websites, apps, DVD's, and games. The product can be role, sector or education level specific or a resource that provides more generic support and guidance.

There are eight Criteria within the Career Assured framework, under which sit a number of indicators:

CRITERIA

DEFINITION

No. OF INDICATORS

1  Organisation Credibility

The organisation upholds the principles of the Career   Development Institute's Code of Ethics.

4

2  Availability

The organisation has considered how available the product will be and there is a clear rationale where availability is not national.

2

3  Feedback and Impact

The organisation is responsive to enquiries regarding the   product and comments regarding proposed improvement, corrections and updates to content.

4

4  Value

The product provides value in terms of financial outlay and the support it provides to the CEIAG process itself.

6

5  Accessibility

The product is physically accessible to a range of users, taking   account of people with some form of visual impairment or disability. The organisation has considered how adjustments or alternative formats can   improve accessibility.

6

6  Product Credibility

The organisation has a robust approach to ensure the credibility of the product, those contributing to the content and has a system of traceability in place.

7

7  Equality and Diversity

The product demonstrates equality, inclusiveness, is free from discrimination and avoids inappropriate language and behaviours.  

This is reflected in the content as well as the overall image of the product.

6

8  Currency

The   content of the product has been recently reviewed and the organisation has a plan for regular revisions in place.

4

The product will be assessed against and needs to meet the overarching Criteria and underpinning Indicators in order to be awarded the Career Assured Award.

We have designed the Career Assured assessment process so that it is transparent: it features an initial self-assessment followed by a formal assessment of the product by an independent external assessor against the set Criteria and Indicators.

Once achieved the award is held for three years. To ensure that the Career Assured brand maintains its robustness, regular reviews will be undertaken and where the organisation and/or the product no longer meet the requirement of the standard, the award can be withdrawn.

All the systems and documentation are currently in place and undergoing fine tuning. The first awards will be made this summer and suppliers will be invited to apply for the Career Assured Award from August 2014. For more information contact Jan Ellis, Chief Executive jan.ellis@thecdi.net