Evolution of the Career Development Framework

The original CDI Framework set out 17 learning areas outlining what learners should know and be able to do by the time they leave education. It was developed and updated over the years and in 2018 the 17 learning areas were linked to the Gatsby benchmarks and the Quality in Careers Standard.

By 2020 it was felt that the Framework needed a refresh and to transform it to support lifelong career skills development – applicable to all career development practitioners, not just those working in schools and colleges.

The project to redevelop the CDI Framework involved detailed consultation with almost 300 career development experts and practitioners, as well as key partners including the Careers & Enterprise Company, the PSHE Association and DfE.

Professor Tristram Hooley worked with members of the Community of Practice for Careers Education (COICE) to map out the larger review of the Framework. Initial research suggested people wanted a full reimagining the Framework, incorporating a wider and more contemporary view of how careers work, while ensuring it remained a tight framework that was easy for careers practitioners to use.

A draft of the new Framework was developed over the summer of 2020, based around six career development learning areas. A survey of over 200 careers professionals, plus interviews with career development experts showed they liked the draft but many detailed improvements were flagged. These were incorporated into the final version which was launched in April 2021.

As many people were used to using the original Framework, the project team developed a range of resources to explain how the new version had been developed and to map the new Framework to the previous one.

Resources for the pre-2021 Framework

While the Framework was updated in 2021, some schools and colleges may still be using the previous version. The resources for the old Framework have been removed from the website and everyone is encouraged to migrate to the latest Framework.

If you are using the previous Framework and need to access the resources that supported it, please contact hq@thecdi.net.

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