Develop and apply understanding of theory and effective practice in career development

Business Sectors (Suites): Career Development
Developed by: CLD Standards Council Scotland
Approved on: 28 Jun 2021


This standard is for career development practitioners.

This standard is about developing your knowledge base of theories, concepts, techniques, models of effective practice and contextual information and relevant professional codes of practice/conduct - and using them to improve your own role and practice.

The topics about which you develop and apply your understanding could include self-awareness, aspiration raising, opportunity awareness, motivation, confidence-building, empowerment, networking, transition and change management, decision-making and avoidance, action-planning, option- evaluation and identifying and accessing opportunities. They may also be related to career development practice, vocational behaviour or career management.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. develop understanding of theories, concepts, models and techniques relevant to own role and area of expertise
  2. apply understanding of theory, concepts and effective practice in career development to own practice
  3. tailor and adapt models and techniques to own role and career development practice
  4. draw upon contextual knowledge resources, including relevant labour market intelligence, to inform career development practice
  5. keep own knowledge base and practice up to date
  6. continually review own practice based on developments in theory, concepts, models, techniques and approaches to effective practice
  7. share effective practice with other practitioners
  8. promote inclusivity, diversity and equality of opportunity

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. legal, organisational and policy requirements relevant to your role and the activities being carried out
  2. relevant ethical principles and codes of professional ethical practice and the consequences of not adhering to them
  3. the boundaries and limits of own professional expertise
  4. the boundaries of confidentiality, when it is appropriate to disclose confidential information to others and the processes required
  5. measures to safeguard young people and vulnerable adults
  6. the range of topics you need to consider when developing and applying theory and effective practice in your role
  7. sources of relevant theories, concepts, models and techniques and how to access them
  8. sources of contextual information, including relevant local, regional, national and international labour market intelligence, and how to access them
  9. ways to evaluate theories, concepts, models, techniques and contextual information for their usefulness and applicability
  10. the contribution of evidence based practice to the development of theories, models, concepts and techniques
  11. the purpose and application of research, reflection, self- evaluation and peer review in developing own practice
  12. the individuals, groups and networks you can work with to improve your own and others' understanding of theory and practice and how to build relationships with them


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Career Development Information

Includes labour market intelligence (LMI) and other career or learning related information. It could relate to qualifications, learning and training opportunities, internships and placements, employment and career progression opportunities, support organisations or opportunities that can support the employability of individuals.

Delivery Methods

Examples include but are not limited to: individual meetings, group work, presentations, virtual or in person interactions. 


Hardware (devices/kit) and online methods/tools/apps which can be used in the delivery and assessment of learning programmes.


The career development activities offered by a team, service, organisation or sector.

Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Mar 2026





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Education and Training, Executive Coach, Functional Managers, Helpline Workers, HR Staff, Learning Mentor, Managers and Leaders with responsibility for interagency working, Personnel, Training and Industrial Relations Managers , Professional Occupations, Research Professionals, Teaching Professionals, Careers Advisers and Vocational Guidance Specialists, Line Managers, Supervisors and Team Leaders

SOC Code



advice, aspiration, career, client-centred, development, education, employment, equality, ethical, goals, group, individual, information, labour market, learn, motivation, needs, network, objective, partnership, plan, practice, refer, reflect, theory