As the professional body for career development in the UK, the CDI is exploring the option to apply for the career development profession to gain a Royal Charter.

This is a major undertaking and is being approached in stages to manage the work required, check at each stage whether it is right to continue and ensure we engage all areas of the profession throughout the process.

No decision has been made on whether we will apply for chartership. Rather, at the end of each stage we have to decide whether to take the next step, and if we reach a point where the profession is ready, we will make an application.

Stage 1: What is chartership and what does it mean?

The first step in the process was to carry out research into the nature of chartership, what's involved and what does it mean for the profession, organisations and individuals if we were to obtain it?

This research was carried out by iCeGS in 2021 and key outputs included:

  • What it really means - the profession becomes chartered, with an organisation acting as the lead body. That body can then apply to confer individual and organisational charterships to others.
  • Busting some myths about chartership - such as that it doesn't protect a role title.
  • The benefits including greater awareness, recognition and sense of professionalism.
  • The potential costs to organisations and individuals of the process of gaining individual membership.
  • Lessons learned from engaging a range of other professions that have applied for chartership.

The research was valuable input for the decision by the CDI Board to continue to the next stage.

Download a summary of the stage 1 research (coming soon.)

career development chartership
chartership survey

Stage 2: The appetite for chartership

The second stage of research focused on the attitudes of people and organisations across, and linked to, career development. A successful petition for chartership requires support from all areas, so understanding the level of support for chartership is vital.

The research was carried out by iCeGS in 2022 and captured the views of 657 individuals working across career development through structured interviews, focus groups and an online survey. The work was overseen by a steering group comprising key organisations across the sector.

Key findings of the survey included:

  • 83% would welcome career development becoming a Chartered profession (5.5% against).
  • 83% felt Chartership would strengthen the public's view of career development (9% disagree).
  • 73% would want to register as a chartered individual.
  • 56% said the level of assessment for individual Chartership should be at postgraduate level (13% undergraduate and 19% neither).
  • 84% said they would welcome the CDI petitioning for the Royal Charter on behalf of the profession (4% against).

With the very high levels of support for Chartership and the CDI leading the petition, the CDI Board committed to the next stage of work. It was recognised, however, that while the levels of disagreement were relatively low, it will be important as the work progresses to understand the concerns of those against Chartership and ensure future work addresses them.

Download a summary of the stage 2 research.

Stage 3: Assessing the gaps

The current stage of work is to carry out an analysis of the profession to understand the existing gaps that need to be addressed before a petition for a Royal Charter can be successfully made.

This work has started in 2023, led initially by a small group from the CDI Board and team. However, the aim is to continue the collaborative approach started in stage 2 and bring together a steering group of individuals and organisations to define and lead the work.

Gaps may include research and understanding of the profession, alignment of key characteristics - such as codes of ethics/behaviour, qualifications and so on. This isn't necessarily about every organisation needing to be exactly the same, but about there being clear alignment so career development can be viewed as one profession.

Assessing the gaps to achieve chartership

Want to get involved?

If you want to know more about the Chartership work or would like to get involved, contact David Morgan, the CDI Chief Executive. You can find his contact details on the CDI team page.

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