Career Development Association of New Zealand


Entry Level Qualifications & Member Pathways

Entry Level Qualifications and Member Pathways

As of 1 April 2021 CDANZ introduced a suite of changes to Entry Level Qualifications and Member Pathways. These included the:
  • introduction of a requirement for new members to evidence competency as part of their applications to join.
  • introduction of an alternative pathway to membership for those with minimum qualification in people related fields.
  • renaming of Membership Types:
    • Subscriber to Affiliate
    • Student Member to Student Member
    • Associate Member to Full Member
    • Professional Member to Professional Member
    • Fellow Member to Fellow Member
    • Life Member to Life Member
    • Corporate Member to Organisational Affiliate

How did these changes come about?

A discussion document was presented at the 2019 AGM. The purpose of the document was to explore entry-level qualifications and membership pathways. It provided a comparison of international career development associations’ membership criteria and pathways to membership. In doing this it included a broad analysis of current career development qualifications relevant to members, and drew on the scan of career-specific qualifications identified and analysed by Pip Jamieson in 2016. Taken from a wider international landscape scan presented by Dr Val O’Reilly and Amanda Smidt in 2018, it used two international case study career practitioner associations. These were used as a point of reference to identify their approach to categories of membership, entry-level qualifications, direct and alternative pathways to membership and evidencing career practitioner competencies. The outcome was then compared with CDANZ membership criteria. 

The comparison suggested that, for professional membership, CDANZ is out of step with the international career development community, in particular it has a lower entry requirement than practitioner associations in other OECD countries, and which does not meet the commonly accepted definitions of a profession. Additionally, current membership categories and entry criteria precluded many who practise career development from joining CDANZ.

To better align with definitions of a profession and international standards for professional membership, as well as enabling a range of competent practitioners to join CDANZ, this report recommended the following:

  • Revise current membership categories
  • Revise entry level qualifications
  • Require CDANZ applicants to evidence their competence against the Competency Framework
  • Create alternative pathways to membership

Means for implementing these recommendations, as well as their impacts and implications are suggested in the discussion document - available to download here.

Consultation Process - An Operational Project Team (OPT) was formed to consult with members and stakeholders regarding ELQ&MP, and to prepare for any possible future implementation. A history of this consultation can be found here. 

External International Review - CDANZ National Executive invited Sareena Hopkins, Executive Director Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF) to review the Entry Level Qualifications and Member Pathways Project. You can read Sareena’s full report here.

Special Meeting - A Special General Meeting was held via Zoom webinars at 7pm, Tuesday 2 March 2021 to vote on proposed changes to ELQ&MP. All remits were passed.