The Code of Ethics - Principles

  • Accessibility

Members must promote access to career development activities and services in a range of ways that are appropriate and ensure inclusion. 

  • Accountability

Members are accountable for their career development activities and services and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their role, including the CDI Discipline and Complaints Procedure. 

Members must act in the interests of society and at all times exercise integrity, honesty and diligence. 

Members must in all circumstances endeavour to enhance the standing and good name of the career development profession and the Career Development Institute. 

  • Autonomy

Members must encourage individual autonomy in making decisions and always act in the individual’s best interests.

  • Competence

Members must monitor and maintain their fitness to practice at a level that enables them to provide an effective service. 

Members must represent their professional competencies, training and experience accurately and function within the boundaries of their training and expertise.

  • Confidentiality

Members must respect the privacy of individuals.  Personal guidance interactions/ interviews should be conducted in an agreed and suitably private environment.  Clients must be informed of the limits of confidentiality and data-sharing at the outset.  Disclosure of confidential information should only be made with informed consent or when required  by law.

  • Continuous Professional Development

Members must maintain their professional competence, knowledge and skills through participation in continuous professional development informed by reflective practice and the National Occupational Standards: Career Development. 

  • Duty of Care – to Clients, Colleagues, Organisations and Self

Members have a duty of care and are expected always to act in the best interests of their clients. 

Members must develop and maintain professional and supportive working relationships with colleagues both inside and external to their own organisation and respect the contributions of other career development professionals to the activities and services on offer. 

Members must fulfil their obligations and duties to their employer (where applicable), except where to do so would compromise the best interests of clients. 

Members have a duty of care to themselves, both in terms of their personal integrity, personal safety and their capacity to practise in order to provide an effective service to clients.

  • Equality

Members must actively promote equality and diversity and work towards the removal of barriers to personal achievement resulting from prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination.

  • Impartiality

Members must ensure that professional judgement is objective and takes precedence over any external pressures or factors that may compromise the impartiality of career development activities and services. In doing so, members must ensure that advice is based solely on the best interests of and potential benefits to the client. 

Where impartiality is not possible this must be declared to the client at the outset. 

  • Transparency

Members must provide career development services and activities in an open and transparent manner. 

  • Trustworthiness

Members must act in accordance with the trust placed in them, ensure that the clients’ expectations are ones that have reasonable expectation of being met and honour agreements and promises.

Supporting ethical practice

The CDI provides advice to members about their ethical practice and how to abide by the CDI Code of Ethics.  In the May 2022 #CDIBigListen Survey, we asked CDI members for suggestions about resources they would like to support their ethical practice. From that, the CDI Ethics and Professional Standards Committee is working on a range of resources to support practice and to add to the existing ethical practice case studies which are available in the members’ only CPD area.

For any questions relating to the Code of Ethics please contact CDI Head of Professional Development and Standards,

Employers enabling staff to abide by the Code of Ethics

 The CDI produced the Code of Ethics: Guide for Employers and Partnersexplaining the importance of employing CDI Members and how, by doing so, employers demonstrate their recognition of the skills, knowledge and ethical practice they bring to an organisation. This is a key differentiator from those that do not employ CDI Members and can be valuable when marketing services to clients or when bidding for contracts. 

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