Why employers value this

Holding the seven mandatory units of the Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development shows employers that your professional practice is underpinned by a graduate level of understanding of careers guidance and development theories and models. It also demonstrates that you have the skills and knowledge to deliver personal career guidance interviews to clients of all ages, use career and labour market information and establish and use a professional network. All of this is underpinned by reflective and ethical practice and knowledge of the different contexts in which career guidance and development takes place.  

The choice of optional units demonstrates to employers that you also have graduate level knowledge and skills in a range of career development areas, e.g. group work; supporting specific client groups and use of digital technology.  

Employers appreciate the fact that employees are able to train whilst in employment and that their professional practice is assessed in the workplace. For those Level 6 candidates who choose to join the CDI as student members, employers also know that they understand the CDI Code of Ethics and how to adhere to its principles.  

Some employers can also access funding for this qualification through the Higher Apprenticeship: Career Development Professional.  

Where you can work

The Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development equips you to work in both an employed and self-employed capacity in any part of the sector across the UK and with clients of all ages. It is also valued by international employers.  

The skills and knowledge you gain can be used in any setting, e.g. schools, colleges, universities, National Careers Service, voluntary and community sector, custodial settings, private practice, Careers Hubs and Local Enterprise Partnerships, training, research and more. Link to video case studies of L6 holders working in a range of settings. Also for those who qualified a while ago and who can talk about their career path. 

For information on where students in the UK have found employment please see: Link to L6 Case Study Videos from L6 holders explaining why they chose this qualification and where their career has taken them since qualifying.  

Holding the Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development meets the qualification requirement for the UK Register of Career Development Professionals.  

In England the Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development is one of the recommended qualifications in the Statutory guidance for schools and guidance for further education colleges and sixth form colleges (January 2023)

What the Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development covers

The qualification has a core of mandatory units that will be applicable to all those working in the career development sector. The wide range of optional units allow for specialisation as appropriate. 

Mandatory Units 

  • Preparing to work in the career development sector  
  • Reflect on and improve professional practice  
  • Career guidance and development theories and models  
  • Agree the purpose of client-centred career interactions and maintain communication with clients  
  • Explore and agree the career guidance and development needs of clients  
  • Use career-related information with clients  
  • Work with other organisations for the benefit of clients and own organisation  

Optional units  

  • Use diagnostic and assessment tools with clients 
  • Source, evaluate and use Labour Market Intelligence (LMI) with clients  
  • Understand how to support specific client groups to overcome barriers to learning, training and work  
  • Engage with other relevant people to help clients to meet their career development needs  
  • Assist clients to apply for learning, training and work  
  • Provide on-going support to clients  
  • Promote career-related learning to clients  
  • Negotiate on behalf of clients  
  • Undertake research on behalf of the service  
  • Lead and manage career development work in an organisation  
  • Continuously improve career development work in an organisation  
  • Plan and design career-related learning programmes  
  • Manage a personal caseload/work responsibilities in the career development sector  
  • Enable clients to develop and evidence their employment-related skills  
  • Use digital technology in the career development sector  
  • Plan, deliver and evaluate presentations  
  • Publicise and negotiate career development provision with external agencies or other departments within the same organisation  
  • Use the expertise of employers and other organisations in the delivery of career learning/development activities  
  • Plan, deliver and evaluate career-related learning in groups  

For full details of each unit please see: OCR Level 6 Units

Where the qualification is offered

OCR is the awarding body and a complete list of centres providing the qualification can be found by contacting OCR.  

Email: vocational.qualifications@ocr.org.uk         Tel: 02476 851509  

Please note that centres offer the training in different ways, e.g. number of taught training days, online training, amount of time the qualification takes, resources available to support learning, assessor support and availability. Please contact centres so that you can make an informed choice of the programme that will best meet your needs.  

Some OCR centres have chosen to be CDI Affiliate Organisations, a list of these can be found here

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