UK Register of Career Development Professionals

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The UK Register of Career Development Professionals is the single national point of reference for ensuring and promoting the professional status of career practitioners across the whole sector to other members of the profession, their customers and employers, as well as policy makers, funders and all other stakeholders. 

Search the Register for qualified career practitioners in your area

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Proving that you are a professional

Joining the UK Register of Career Development Professionals (Register) demonstrates that you are professionally qualified in a career development subject to a minimum of 60 credits at QCF Level 6/SCQF level 11, adhere to the CDI Code of Ethics and undertake and record a minimum of 25 hours CPD each year. You can then call yourself a Registered Career Development Professional and use the RCDP logo.

The Register is a UK wide point of reference for ensuring and promoting the professional status of career practitioners across the whole sector to other members of the profession, customers and employers, as well as policy makers, funders and all other stakeholders.

The Register isn’t just for private practitioners. It is for everyone providing career development services, including those who are employed and managers and trainers. Private practitioners use it to advertise their services via the Find a Career Development Professional facility. If you are employed you can also do this by adding your personal profile showing what services are offered by your company.

To further promote the use of the Register we have an online Directory of Registered Career Development Professionals, which is used by potential clients, employers. schools, colleges and learning providers looking to find registered professionals in their area. 

We also have an online Directory of Registered Career Leaders all of whom hold a minimum of a 20 credit Level 6 or above qualification in career leadership/careers education. 

Promoting professional status

Using the Registered Career Development Professional or Registered Career Leader logo, the word Registered before your job title and post nominals RCDP or RCL are important ways of promoting your status but being able to explain why career development is a profession is also critical. Notable features of a profession include:

  • common body of theory and evidence on which the profession draws;
  • clearly identified body of knowledge and skills, describing and defining professional standards, e.g. CDI Blueprint of Learning Outcomes for Professional Roles in the Career Development Sector;
  • academic and work-based initial training routes and an extensive range of CPD opportunities up to doctoral level;
  • professional institutions e.g. the CDI through which the profession is regulated and developed and quality assured (in terms of ethics, malpractice and the Register);
  • communities of practice for Career Development Professionals and Career Leaders served by the CDI and a range of other conferences, meetings and online CPD.

Maintaining your professional status

The CDI provides the means to record and reflect upon CPD; access to CPD Resources for online learning, publications and training events; free webinars; expert online training; Digital Bytes; monthly CPD Newsletter;  Communities of Interest (including a Facebook- Community of Practice: Career Development Professionals and a Community of Practice: Careers Leaders; qualification provision and information; Career Development Progression Pathway; Alternative Qualifications and Competency routes to the Register. CPD recording is monitored by the Professional Development Manager each year.

Promoting the work of the profession

The CDI takes part in many meetings with the Department for Education and the Careers and Enterprise Company to promote the profession and the role and value of using qualified practitioners. A paper on this subject produced by Tristram Hooley, Siobhan Neary (International Centre for Guidance Studies) and Claire Johnson (CDI) can be found at:

Drafted at the request of Careers England, the paper has resonance for the whole UK and uses the Network for Innovation in Career Guidance and Counselling in Europe (NICE) typology of activities that comprise the skill base of the careers professional: Career information and assessment expert; Career educator; Career counsellor; Programme and service manager and Social systems intervenor and developer.

The new Careers Strategy published in December 2017 and the Statutory Guidance published in January 2018 and updated October 2018 encourage schools, colleges and other organisations to use the UK Register of Career Development Professionals to identify qualified practitioners.

This short information video has been created by a few of our Registered Career Development Professionals to encourage members of the public to use the Register to identify qualified practitioners.


If you are already a CDI Individual member the cost of joining the UK Register of Career Development Professionals is £55. Conditional registration is only available on request please contact Payment can be made by either credit card or BACS. To join please contact or Renewing the Register is an additional £25 per year on top of the price of CDI individual membership (£105) for a total renewal fee of £130 per year.

Please note, the Professional Register is only available for Individual Membership, and cannot be utilised alongside Affiliate, School, or Student memebrships. 

Registered Professional Membership Application. You can choose to join the CDI and UK Register of Career Development Professionals at the same time for a unique discount price of £160 – a saving of £25 on the standard price of combined membership and registration. Please complete the online or paper-based application form or contact or


Download the new CDI Register brochure now  

Updated February 2021

Register Document IMG

 Accessing the Register

 Key information:

You must be a full individual member of the CDI before you can join the Register.

 Registration is voluntary and open to those holding:    
  1. CDI Approved Qualification or
  2. Alternative Qualifications (in areas such as careers education, human resources, youth and community, professional studies, business development and professional development) equivalent to QCF Level 6/SCQF Level 11 or above and who can provide robust assessed evidence of competence equivalent to QCF Level 6/SCQF Level 11 or above in career development based on the current National Occupational Standards: Career Development (NOS:CD). Endorsement of these qualifications for the Register is a costed service of £250 plus VAT.

A Competency Route, based on the National Occupational Standards: Career Development is also available. This will allow experienced practitioners who do not have the relevant qualifications to be able to access the Register. Details available from

  • Practitioners with S/NVQ Level 4 in a specified career development qualification completed before 2011 can be conditionally registered whilst undertaking the three specified QCF Level 6 units from either 10215 or 04664 or HE Modules. On completion of the units conditional registration must be converted to full registration.  

You must:

  • Make a public commitment to uphold the Code of Ethics of the CD I and understand how to apply ethical considerations to your work

  • Be able to evidence your competence as a career development professional at QCF Level 6/SCQF Level 11 or above

  • Make a commitment to your own continuous professional development and advancement of your professional knowledge and understanding, including meeting specific CPD requirements for maintaining registration

  • Agree to abide by and maintain the standards set for registration and understand that failure to do so may result in disciplinary action being taken by the CDI

  • Be currently practising as a career development professional, recently qualified or seeking employment in the sector. This includes managers and trainers.

The Register - a summary

  • UK Register of Career Development Professionals was launched in May 2013.
  • As of May 2022 there are approx 1800 people on the Register.
  • A Competency Route is also available. Please contact for further information.
  • Registration is voluntary, although supported by the Government as a means of regulating the market. The Register is promoted in the December 2017 Careers Strategy and the 2021 Statutory Guidance.
  • 25 hours of CPD is required annually to maintain your registration.
  • Those with the currently approved qualifications or combination of qualifications can join immediately 
  • Conditional registration is available for those working towards the combination of qualifications routes. 


If you have any questions relating to the above please contact the Head of Professional Development & Standards -

Further Information

More information about the above can be found in UK Register of Career Development Professionals - The Benefits and Requirements of Registration (February 2021).