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Welcome to the #CDIBigListen.

As a CDI member, each year you’ll receive two invitations to take part in #CDIBigLIsten surveys. One will seek are your views on being a member of the CDI, our services and support, and the other asks about your experience working in career development and the key issues you face in your work.


Why is this important?

Understanding the needs of our members is vital for us to continue to enhance the services and support we offer, and your views will help guide our work representing the career development profession. By completing the surveys you enable us to:

  • Develop future services and support that meet your needs
  • Focus action on the issues most important to you
  • Influence policy so you can best support your clients

All the surveys are anonymous – we are keen to get feedback that is open and honest. Key findings from each survey are shared on these pages and published in the CDI’s Career Matters magazine.


#CDIBigListen 5: May 2023 – now open

All members will receive an email invitation to take part in the next #CDIBigListen survey. We would like to gather your views of being a CDI member and the support we provide. The feedback from previous surveys helped inform our 2025 strategy, our investment in the website and our increasing focus on campaigning and research activities.

Your feedback is key to shaping our services and support that enable you to thrive, so please do complete the survey and add your voice. It is only by hearing your views that we can continue to add value as your professional body.

The survey closes at 5pm on Monday 12 June so please complete yours by then.


#CDIBigListen #4: January 2023

317 members of the CDI and other career development professional completed the survey in December 2022 and January 2023. Focused on the perceptions of careers professional of working in the sector, it gave us results to compare with the survey from November 2021.

Overall, we saw a slight improvement in how respondents feel about their own work – proud of what they do and seeing the difference it makes to clients. However, this corresponded with a worsening across almost every measure of the profession being recognised, valued and properly funded. 86% of respondents said they work primarily in England and just over half in schools and further education, these results reflect mainly on the system in England.

In November 2021, 28% of respondents said they would be likely or very likely to leave the profession within 2 years, with nearly three quarters of those saying it was driven by poor pay or retirement. That has fallen to 23% likely to leave, though that still represents nearly a quarter of the workforce. Retirement has now become the top reason for leaving – for 40% of respondents – with poor pay and benefits now accounting for only 16% of those likely to leave, despite the added pressure of the cost of living crisis. Those likely to leave due to stress or ill-health related to their work has risen from 3% to 8%, and links to 42% of all respondents saying they find their work stressful.

The January 2023 survey includes new questions on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in the careers profession. These will input to the development of the CDI’s EDI strategy and act as a benchmark against which to measure the impact of action we take over the coming years.

You can see more detail of the results in this #CDIBigListen summary and a report will be published in April’s edition of Career Matters.


#CDIBigListen #3: CDI benchmark (May 2022)

This third survey gives us the first opportunity to compare results year on year, with the survey asking many of the same questions as in July last year. This enables us to track whether the changes we are making are improving key areas for our members, and where we have more to do.

 Thank you to the 338 members who completed the survey. You can view the full summary of the results and read more about the survey and how we are using the data in October’s Career Matters.

Overall we mainly saw slight positive improvement over the year in many of the measures. Satisfaction, the ease of accessing benefits and likelihood of renewing membership all improved, though there is still room for us to do better. When looking at individual benefits, most increased in satisfaction and for the first time we asked whether members had used each one – providing valuable insight as we work to increase engagement with the benefits available.

As last year, we asked about your preferences for face-to-face or online events following the pandemic. The results were almost identical to last year with very little appetite for fully moving to face-to-face - a large majority opting for a mixture or online only.

Your perceptions of the CDI also improved a little over the year, across almost every measure. There are still areas where we would like to make significant improvements, notably raising the profession’s profile with employers and the public, and building on our strengths as an ethical, professional and expert organisation by focusing on being more efficient, succinct and digitally advanced. This aligns well with the major investment we are making this year to update our website and member management system, to improve your experience when accessing and using benefits, streamline many of our processes and improve our communications with you.


#CDIBigListen #2: profession benchmark (November 2021)

Our second survey focused on your views of working in the career development profession, as well as capturing information on pay and benefits to help us identify the key issues and inform our work in this area.

We had 259 responses to the survey, giving valuable insight into working in the careers profession. Of these 189 people completed the questions about pay, allowing top-line analysis but not enough detail to analyse the pay issues at a more granular level. We are already looking at other sources of information to expand this.

The responses highlighted the pride among careers professionals in the value their work adds, yet they feel it is poorly understood and is undervalued by government, employers and the public. 28% of respondents said they were likely to leave within two years, with 40% of those saying it was due to poor pay and 33% looking towards retirement.

The results are summarised in the January 2022 edition of Career Matters and in the attached #CDIBigListen November 2021 summary


#CDIBigListen: CDI benchmark (July 2021)

Thank you to the 550 members who responded to our first #CDIBigListen survey, our largest ever response to a member survey!

This first survey focused on your views of being a CDI member, the services and support we provide and how you perceive the CDI. The results are summarised in the October 2021 edition of Career Matters and in the attached #CDIBigListen July 2021 summary.

Your feedback was very positive, with lots of support for the CDI and the many services we offer. It also identified some key areas where we need to do more – making it easier to access and use our services, improving our digital capability and championing career development with the public and employers. These insights have fed into the development of the CDI’s 2025 strategy as well as our plans to continue to drive greater benefit for members.