An introduction to the CDI's 2021-2025 Strategy

Strategy 2021-25-web banner-v1

Below is an overview of the CDI’s 2025 strategy, setting out our direction for the coming years. The strategy is introduced by the CDI Board and team in the video below and we’d be delighted if you could join us at one of our free webinars to learn more and ask any questions you may have:

Tuesday 15 February, 12pm-1pm
Tuesday 8 March, 2.30pm-3.30pm (tbc)

Tuesday 29 March, 12pm-1pm (tbc)



Where we are now 

The CDI exists to support its members and champion career development. It represents members from all areas the profession, acts as the guardian of ethics and standards and builds effective relationships with government and stakeholders.  

Over the past few years, we have steadily grown our membership and raised our impact within and for the career development sector. We have also achieved a healthy financial position that has allowed us to build funds to invest in future services. 

During 2021 the CDI Board developed the 2025 strategy to clarify our purpose, establish a clear direction and prioritise future investment. The strategy was created with input from members, the CDI team, Professional Standards Committee, Associates and stakeholders. 

It builds on our successes to date and enables us to sustainably increase benefits for members and further champion career development. 


Purpose, vision and mission 

We have updated our key organisational statements to clarify the role of the CDI and succinctly explain who we are (see figure 1). 

Figure 1.

fig 1 revised

Our Purpose as a professional body is to set standards, advocate for and promote high quality career development for all. We are proud of our heritage as a membership organisation and believe that standards are at the heart of a recognised and valued profession. 

Our Vision is to see a world where every individual can realise their career potential, so they can enhance their wellbeing and fully contribute to the economy and society. 

Our Mission sets out our five areas of focus as the recognised professional body for UK career development: 

  • Represent and champion all aspects of career development by communicating the benefits it brings to individuals, the economy and society. 
  • Influence policy across the UK by evidencing the value of career development to key decision-makers. 
  • Maintain and develop clear competency and ethical standards for all roles in career development. 
  • Develop and promote progression pathways to career development qualifications and advance the body of knowledge on career development. 
  • Enable CDI members to operate to the highest standards, continue to develop professionally and be proud to work in career development. 


The strategy 

The strategy is shown in figure 2. The Strategic Statement sets out our overall intent, to consolidate the excellent work to date then accelerate growth to provide even greater benefit to our membership and further raise the profile of the sector. This started in 2021, with recruitment into new roles, a focus on simplifying internal processes and improving our membership communications. 

Figure 2.

CDI 2025 strategy - figure 2

The Strategic Statement is supported by four Strategic Pillars, setting out the key areas of focus. 

Broadening membership 

This focus on broadening rather than just growing our membership, reflects our desire to represent all aspects of career development and people of all backgrounds and characteristics. To achieve that, we will develop services that are of meaningful benefit to different communities across the sector. 

Strengthening standards 

This is a core aspect of our role, and we will continue to raise standards across the profession. This includes ensuring there are clear progression routes from entry to mastery and encouraging new practitioners into the profession. We will also enhance and enforce the code of ethics and embed standards more widely wherever careers services are provided. 

Influencing change 

We will further raise the profile of the profession, influencing government policy and gaining recognition for the value career development brings. We will continue to build a strong evidence base, combined with personal stories to create compelling arguments for giving greater access to careers services. 

We are also intent on raising the visibility of the careers profession with the public, so more people are aware of the support available and make it easy to find appropriately qualified practitioners. 

Working for a fair future 

Our final pillar represents the CDI’s commitment to work collaboratively to ensure everyone is treated with respect, and can access services and support no matter what their background or situation. The CDI will play a leading role on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, sustainability and wellbeing within career development, actively seeking opportunities to be inclusive in everything we do. 


Strategic Enablers 

These pillars are underpinned by two key enablers. We will develop new income streams to generate additional funds to invest in the organisation. This includes a multi-year digital transformation, upgrading the CDI website and other online services so they remain robust, are easier to use and have the flexibility to grow with us. 

We will need to develop our people and other resources, including the skills to realise a digitally enabled future. We will also review our governance, so it supports this next evolution of the CDI while remaining robust and transparent, especially as we explore the possibility of chartered status. 

Together, all these elements give us a clear direction for the coming years. 



Our Values complement the strategy by setting out how we will behave as an organisation (see figure 3). Our Values are: 

  • Professional and ethical. We will always operate with integrity and hold ourselves to the highest standards of professionalism and ethical practice, leading by example for the sector. 
  • Inclusive. We will operate and promote an inclusive culture where everyone can thrive, respecting others and working collaboratively to realise the best for everyone. 
  • Forward thinking. We look to the future, striving to advance professional practice in career development. We are enterprising, seeking new opportunities to increase the benefit to members, and to work in new ways with our stakeholders to raise the profile and status of career development. 
  • Inspirational expertise. We actively demonstrate and evidence the expertise and benefits that the profession offers, combined with compelling narratives to engage and inspire colleagues, stakeholders and the public about career development. 

Together, these will drive how we will work with our many members, supporters, partners and stakeholders. 

Figure 3.

 fig 3 revised


What next 

This overview is part of a series of activities to share the CDI’s 2025 Strategy. You can sign up to one of our webinars below to hear more about the strategy and ask any questions you have. 

Tuesday 15 February, 12pm-1pm
Tuesday 8 March, 2.30pm-3.30pm (tbc)
Tuesday 29 March, 12pm-1pm (tbc)

With this strategy, we have a clear direction against which to prioritise our activities, make effective choices and focus investment for the coming years. 

And ultimately, it enables us to work towards that Vision where every individual receives the career development support they need, realising their career potential to enhance their wellbeing and fully contribute to the economy and society.