Competency Category:

13.2 – Work with Immigrant Clients

Purpose & Context

Career Development Professionals (CDPs) reflect on their own values and beliefs and seek to understand those of their clients. CDPs challenge their own assumptions and avoid stereotypes that might negatively impact the well-being of the client and the outcomes of career development interventions.Career Development Practitioners (CDPs) prepare themselves to work with clients who have recently moved to Canada on a temporary or permanent basis. They understand Canada’s immigration programs, and are aware of the diverse languages, values and beliefs of the immigrant client population which may impact expectations regarding work, education and training. CDPs gather information on barriers and challenges the client may be experiencing and identify relevant resources to build a successful intervention.

Effective Performance

Competent career development professionals must be able to:

  • P1. Identify challenges and barriers, for example:
    • Acculturation and adaptation
    • Language barriers
    • Lack of Canadian work experience
    • Foreign credential recognition
    • Unemployment and underemployment
    • Inadequate housing
    • Racism and discrimination
    • Need for employment accommodation, e.g. for religious beliefs or practices
  • P2. Identify resources and tools to overcome potential barriers, for example:
    • Resources designed specifically for immigrant clients, e.g. settlement services, language and credential
      evaluation, career mentoring, internships, employment-focused programs and resources, Government of Canada website
    • General information about living in Canada, e.g., healthcare, education, cost of living, finding a place to
      live, buying or renting a home, utilities, labour market, finding a job, tax and child benefit, cultural values
  • P3. Reflect on how the career development approach may be tailored to meet the client’s needs, for example:
    • Explain legal protections relevant to the client, e.g. Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
    • Use culturally relevant approaches, e.g. storytelling, community approach
    • Partner with communities and service providers to deliver integrated support programs
    • Support adjustment to Canada, e.g. communicate regularly to discover issues or challenges being faced that can
      be resolved
    • Help navigate various systems, e.g. medical, taxation, education, childcare, financial, legal, healthcare
    • Work with employers to build inclusive HR practices

Knowledge & Understanding

Competent career development professionals must know and understand:

  • K1. Legislation impacting immigrant clients, e.g. Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
  • K2. Canada’s immigration programs:
    • Economic and family immigration programs, for example:
      • Federal Skilled Worker Program
      • Federal Skilled Trades Program
      • Provincial nominee program
      • Start-up visa program
      • Caregiver program
    • Refugee resettlement
    • Temporary programs, such as:
      • Temporary foreign worker program
      • International mobility program
      • International Experience Canada
  • K3. Programs and services for immigrants to Canada, e.g. provincial and territorial specific programs
  • K4. Resources and services, e.g. associations, service providers
  • K5. Application of public policies and programs as they apply to new Canadians:
    • Healthcare
    • Education
    • Legal
    • Financial
    • Tax System
  • K6. Labour market information

Contextual Variables

Competent career development professionals must be able to perform this competency in the following range of contexts:

The level of adjustment required will be impacted by the cultural distance between Canada and a newcomer’s home country.

Glossary & Key References


Industry-specific terms contained in the standard defined here, where applicable.

Acculturation: cultural modification of an individual, group, or people by adapting to or borrowing traits from another culture.

Information Sources and Resources for Consideration

Shepard, Blythe C. & Mani, Priya A. Eds. Career Development Practice in Canada. Toronto: CERIC Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-9811652-3-3.

Zunker, Vernon G. Career Counselling: A Holistic Approach 9th edition. Boston: Loose-leaf Edition, 2016. ISBN-10: 978-1-305-40106-8.

Context Rating Scales


Q: What is the consequence of a professional being unable to perform this skill according to the standard?

Moderate risk: CRITICAL


Q: How frequent and under what conditions is this skill performed?

Routinely, regular course of procedure

Level of Difficulty

Q: Under routine circumstances, how would you rate the level of difficulty in performing this skill?

Moderate difficulty or complexity

Time Required to Gain Proficiency

Q: What is the average length of time or number of repeated events that are minimally necessary for an individual to become proficient in performing the skill to the standard?

A competent career development professional requires a minimum of one year of experience with at least 40 different clients, representing a broad range of individuals, including immigrant clients.


Practitioners typically perform this competency without supervision, and alone.


It is unlikely that this competency will automate.

Requisite Work Aids, Tools, Equipment or Materials


Career Development Professional Centre

Help us cultivate a community we all enjoy by reviewing and following the Code of Conduct.  

Our Purpose  

Thank you for being a part of the online CDPC social learning community. To ensure that all members have the best possible experience, we have a few ground rules that we ask everyone to adhere to. This code of conduct applies equally to every person in the community and is intended to foster an online space that is inclusive, safe, and welcoming to all. 

Community Rules 

Be welcoming 

We strive to be a community that welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. We aim to create and facilitate a community that promotes excellence and innovation in career and workforce development. Please extend respect to all members; we all come from different backgrounds and levels of knowledge and there is no such thing as a stupid question. 

Be respectful 

We won’t all agree all the time, but when we disagree don’t let those disagreements turn into personal attacks. A community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened will not be a productive one. Instead, when having discussions in the online community, create productive conversations around the content being presented, not the person behind the content. Any post that is determined to be “hate speech” towards any individual or group will be deleted, and the user account may be locked until an investigation regarding the post has been concluded. The user may be given a written warning or removed from the CPDC community platform depending on the findings of the investigation.  

Hate Speech could include and is not limited to:  

  • Violent threats or language directed against another person 
  • Discriminatory jokes, language, or materials 
  • Defamatory or abusive language or materials 
  • Profane or illegal materials 
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior 

A good rule of thumb is to never post anything that you wouldn’t be comfortable with the world seeing or that you wouldn’t want anyone knowing came from you. We ask that you keep in mind the focus of this community, which is building excellence and innovation in career and workforce development for all individuals.  

Be considerate of the purpose of the community 

This community will be focused on building excellence and discussing innovation in the career and workforce development field. The goal of this community is to communicate goals, challenges, constructive feedback, and questions in relation to career and workforce development. The community should be a place for continued learning and development as well as a place to discuss the future of our field (solicitation without written consent by the Project or Advisory team, is strictly prohibited). Any post that is determined to be soliciting any individual or group will be deleted, and the user account may be locked until an investigation regarding the post has been concluded. The user may be given a written warning or removed from the CPDC community platform depending on the findings of the investigation. 

Post your discussions or documents in the most appropriate group or topic 

Make reasonable efforts to ensure that posts and materials are allocated to the appropriate group or topic. This will prevent cluttering the community and make it easier for everyone to find the information that they are seeking. Individuals who do this repeatedly will be contacted by one of the group admins and asked to follow these guidelines.  

Privacy and Release of Information  

CDPC-CEDC will not release your information to any third-party agencies.  

Group Admins 

There are four group admins who are available to you. Below are their names and their spoken language. 

Heather Powell | Anglophone 

Gabrielle St-Cyr | Francophone/Anglophone 

Florence Desrochers | Francophone/Anglophone

Muriel Andoblé-Yao | Francophone

Thank you and welcome to the CDPC Community!