Competency Category:
Competency Series:

4.3 – Advocate for Client

Purpose & Context

Career Development Professionals (CDPs) advocate on behalf of clients to ensure accessibility to services and programs, including those beyond career development services, such as access to public services, social programs, education and training needs, or health services.

Effective Performance

Competent career development professionals must be able to:

  • P1. Identify barriers facing client, e.g. limited education, poverty, lack of Canadian credentials or work experience
  • P2. Help clients gain access to needed resources and supports, e.g. support self-referrals
  • P3. Seek informed consent to negotiate services, if appropriate
  • P4. Negotiate access to services
  • P5. Help resolve issues, for example:
    • Meet with employer and client to address workplace conflict or unmet training needs
    • Meet with other service providers to discuss and resolve missed appointments, transition plans into the
      workforce, accommodations required for employment

Knowledge & Understanding

Competent career development professionals must know and understand:

  • K1. Principles of anti-oppressive practice
  • K2. Legislation and regulation, e.g. Canadian Human Rights Act, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Provincial
    Acts and Codes and the Criminal Code, rights of LGBTQ2+ persons (i.e. gender identity and gender expression as
    protected groups from discrimination)
  • K3. Common barriers, e.g. lack of Canadian work experience, poverty, access to child or elder care
  • K4. Resources, e.g. access, accommodations
  • K5. Relevant legislation, codes of practice, organizational policies and procedures

Contextual Variables

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

In situations where barriers are complex, advocating for clients is significantly more challenging.

Glossary & Key References


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

Anti-oppressive practice: an intersectional approach that confronts formal and informal roles of power between a CDP, their client, and socio-economic structures and systems.

Informed consent: refers to an agreement by a client (or their legal representative) to participate in an activity. It is specifically made between the client (or their legal representative) and the CDP. Informed consent is an ongoing process that ensures the client understands and agrees to the purposes, goals, techniques, procedures, limitations, potential risks, and benefits of services to be performed, and other such pertinent information that is reasonably possible given the type of service offered.

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?

To become fully proficient in this competency, a career development professional requires a minimum of one year of experience advocating for at least 10 different clients, representing a broad range of individuals.


Practitioners typically perform this competency with and 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!