Competency Category:

16.2 – Arrange Professional Referrals

Purpose & Context

Career Development Professionals (CDPs) arrange referrals with other professionals when client needs go beyond the CDP’s scope of practice. To ensure that client needs are met, CDPs work collaboratively with clients to make decisions and facilitate the referral process.External providers and agencies provide a range of support, and may include shelters, area support groups, specialized education programs, substance abuse programs, mental health services, and youth groups.

Effective Performance

Competent career development professionals must be able to:

  • P1. Identify when client’s needs exceed capacity, competency, or scope of practice of CDP
  • P2. Identify referral service providers
  • P3. Assess client’s eligibility for service
  • P4. Involve client in referral process:
    • Discuss recommended service(s) with client
    • Seek agreement on service provider
    • Explain the referral process and impact on client’s development
    • Obtain written consent for referral and transfer of confidential information
  • P5. Complete documentation, e.g. External Referral Resources Process Form, Client Consent Forms
  • P6. Communicate with service provider:
    • Write briefing, i.e. instructions and summary of case
    • Outline case management responsibilities following referral
    • Review the agreed upon services to be delivered
    • Transfer client files in compliance with confidentiality and data protection regulations
    • Agree communication protocols
  • P7. Prepare client for the transition of support:
    • Explain roles and responsibilities following referral
    • Answer client questions
  • P8. Follow-up with clients referred to other professionals, as appropriate, for example:
    • Ask about progress
    • Monitor results
    • Solicit feedback on service provider
    • Make additional referrals, where appropriate

Knowledge & Understanding

Competent career development professionals must know and understand:

  • K1. Community resources and other support services available to clients from community partners and other agencies,

    • Eligibility criteria of these services
    • Quality of these services
    • Referral process for these services
  • K2. Channels to maintain communication post-referral, e.g. through service provider, directly with (former) client

Contextual Variables

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

The range of services available to clients will vary based on the CDP’s location and client needs.

Glossary & Key References


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


Information Sources and Resources for Consideration


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?

Occasionally, e.g. generally several times in a month

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 referrals for at least 20 different clients, representing a broad range of referral needs


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. 

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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:  

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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. 

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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!