Career Development Practitioner is the only Career Development graduate certificate program in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Graduation from the program provides the full academic component and partial fulfillment of work experience hours for certification by the Career Development Practitioners' Certification Board of Ontario (CDPCBO).

Career Development Practitioners provide advice and guidance related to career exploration, skill acquisition, job search and maintenance. This one-year post-diploma program provides training to enter and/or advance in the field of career development.

Two people sitting at a table, discussing career development


Program name
Career Development Practitioner
Experiential learning
Practicum in Semester 3
1 year (3 semesters)
Starting month
Ontario College Graduate Certificate
Method of study

Year of Study

Select a year to view.

Compare Programs


Program Availability

Domestic students
Sept. 2020 Open
Jan. 2021 N/A
May 2021 N/A
International students
Sept. 2020 Open
Jan. 2021 N/A
May 2021 N/A

Full Description

Career Development Practitioner is a three-semester (one-year) graduate certificate program that prepares graduates to enter the career development sector. The program may also appeal to practitioners working in the field who want to gain additional formal training and job coaching experience. The career development sector includes non-profit/community-based, government, post-secondary and private/corporate organizations.

The key objective of the field is to assist clients to be self-sufficient in career exploration, skill acquisition, job search and maintenance. Career Development Practitioners coach and counsel others on:

  • job search
  • career planning
  • career choice and change
  • academic and training advising
  • identifying and meeting staffing needs

CWC in a resume workshop

Practitioners may work with specialized and diverse groups such as:

  • youth
  • women
  • people with disabilities
  • immigrants and refugees

This program has been designed to meet the changing needs of the sector and will help meet demand for trained Career Development Practitioners in the GTA and beyond.

The curriculum is designed to meet the Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners.

Graduation from the program provides the full academic component and partial fulfillment of work experience hours for certification by the Career Development Practitioners' Certification Board of Ontario (CDPCBO).

What can you expect from the program?

The program will combine in-class experiential training in counselling and coaching, theory, and practice. Courses may also be conducted online or in a blended format.

The use of technology will enable students to participate in exciting ways that will build on previous knowledge and skills.

The final semester is dedicated to a supervised field education experience to ensure graduates leave with practical experience that will be recognized by employers.

To provide students with a rich learning experience, we offer a variety of teaching methods such as:

  • seminars
  • lectures
  • online learning
  • small group work
  • guest speakers
  • field visits

What key skills and knowledge will you gain?

  • emerging trends and techniques in job search and career exploration
  • individual and group facilitation/counselling
  • job development and employer engagement
  • ethics and professional practice
  • career development theory
  • diversity, accessibility, equity and inclusion
  • use of technology and social media
  • career and employment information resources
  • employment legislation and programs

Who are our students?

Our students have completed a college diploma or a university degree.

Due to the varied nature of the work and workplaces of Career Development Practitioners, it is expected that graduates may come from a wide variety of programs of study including:

  • psychology
  • sociology
  • education
  • social and community services
  • business
  • marketing
  • human resources

People who are interested in others, are excited about the opportunity to assist others in professional and life decisions and to help them to be self-sufficient in job search and job retention will be attracted to this field of study.

Practitioners contribute to the emotional and financial well-being of their clients and their families, their communities and the economy.

Part Time Study Options

Students wishing to pursue their studies in the Career Development Practitioner program on a part-time basis will be able to register on a course-by-course basis in the program. Courses will be delivered in a number of different ways to accommodate the needs of both full-time and part-time students. For more information on part-time options, please contact the program coordinator to develop an individualized program plan.

Experiential Learning

Practicum in Semester 3

Your Field Study options

Students will complete almost 300 hours of field education in the third semester and will be matched with placement opportunities in settings in the GTA and further afield.

Placements will be chosen by students based on their learning goals, environments sought, clientele, location and other factors and will be approved by the program co-ordinator.

George Brown College has extensive connections with employers in all parts of the sector including community-based organizations, college and university career centres, internal corporate career services and career management firms.

Program Standards and Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Apply evidence-­based career development practices in advising diverse client groups.
  2. Utilize self­-reflective and critical thinking skills to enhance counselling, teaching and learning strategies with groups and individuals.
  3. Develop a commitment to ongoing professional development to actively respond to changing labour market and professional requirements.
  4. Integrate appropriate career information resources and tools with career and employment strategies to enable clients to meet their employment goals.
  5. Perform needs assessments and develop subsequent interventions using techniques and skills that enable diverse ranges of clients to meet employment goals.
  6. Design consulting, advising and teaching strategies that incorporate trends and issues of the changing labour market to assist clients in job search and career transitions.
  7. Integrate emergent technologies into the full spectrum of Career Development processes and applications to maximize service delivery to clients navigating changing labour market requirements.
  8. Adhere to relevant legislation and social policy to plan programs, interventions and referrals for client groups.
  9. Use current work search tools and strategies to facilitate successful client job search.

Required Courses


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
CDPR4000Trends in Career Development
CDPR4001Needs Assessment
CDPR4002Professional Practice
CDPR4004Theories of Career Development
CDPR4005Work Search
CDPR4006Human Rights, Diversity and Equity


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
CDPR4007Group Facilitation
CDPR4008Employer Engagement
CDPR4009Career and Employment Resources
CDPR4010Accessibility in the Workplace
CDPR4011Individual Counselling and Coaching
CDPR4012Advanced Work Search
CDPR4013Informal Assessment Tools


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
CDPR4014Work-Integrated Learning Seminar

Detailed course outlines

Career Options

Graduates may hold a variety of job titles within the field of Career Development including:

  • Employment Consultant/Counsellor
  • Career Consultant/Counsellor/Coach
  • Employment Information Specialist
  • Job Developer/Employment Placement Specialist/Employment Marketing Consultant
  • Workshop Facilitator
  • Academic Advisor
  • Career Education Specialist
  • Career Coach/Career Management Professional
  • Outreach Specialist/Worker
  • Recruitment Advisor
  • Employee Assistance Counsellor

These positions may be held in the community-based, post-secondary and private sector as well as labour organizations, vocational rehabilitation programs and government departments.

Career Development Practitioner supports a young man's career journey.

Your Career

Graduates of the program will have completed the two mandatory courses (Ethics and Career Development Theory) for certification by CDPCBO as a Certified Career Development Practitioner (CCDP). In addition, their field education/practicum hours will be counted towards the work experience requirement. Graduates will need to gain additional work experience before being able to apply for certification.

George Brown College is well-connected to the Career Development sector. Hundreds of practitioners that graduated from the former Career and Work Counsellor (CWC) diploma program are now working in the GTA and beyond in both leadership/managerial and front-line positions, providing opportunities for networking and career development. The alumni committee of the CWC program is actively involved in providing professional development and mentoring opportunities.


$5,014.00 *

Additional Cost

* Amounts listed are the total of tuition, materials, student service and ancillary fees for the first three semesters of programs starting in Fall 2019. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in Fall 2020 and at later dates.

International students: Visit the International Fees and Related Costs page for more information.

Financial Assistance

This program is approved for OSAP funding, provided the applicant meets OSAP eligibility criteria.

Admission Requirements

  • A two- or three-year diploma or a bachelor's degree from a college or university

English Language Proficiency

Applicants with international transcripts must provide English language proficiency test results or complete the George Brown College English assessment to provide evidence of their English language proficiency. For more information please visit our English Proficiency Chart.

Apply to

Domestic students should apply through Ontario Colleges

Success Stories

Natalie Treboute

"I have started working as an Employment Consultant with ACCES Employment in Toronto. Specifically, I am working with the Entrepreneurship Connections Pre-arrival program. I will always remember and be grateful for my wonderful experience with George Brown College, not only as a student in the Career Development Practitioner program, but also as a peer tutor/peer leader with the Tutoring and Learning Centre. I am very thankful for having been part of the educational program and student services at GBC. Thank you for the team at GBC who were part of this career journey!"

Natalie Treboute (Graduate 2019, Career Development Practitioner)

"It has been only a while since I finished the Career Development Practitioner (CDP) program at George Brown , but not long enough to expect landing an employment consultant position which means a huge step forward to me. Even though I had started working in the field a short time before beginning the CDP program, I admit that I would not be as confident and poised without having attended and participated in the classes. I am pleased to let you know that I have just started working as an employment consultant at Access Employment. I feel so fortunate to have been on the receiving end of all your support, advice, guidance and encouragement. I can’t thank you enough for everything."

Maryam Nehrir (Graduate 2019, Career Development Practitioner)

Contact Us

School of Social & Community Services

Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 2185


Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Career Development Practitioner Program Coordinator: Gillian Johnston

For more information about George Brown College, you may also call the Contact Centre at 416-415-2000 (TTY 1-877-515-5559) or long distance 1-800-265-2002.

People who viewed this program also viewed:

    Looking for more?

    George Brown College is continually striving to improve its programs and their delivery. The information contained in this calendar is subject to change without notice. It should not be viewed as a representation, offer or warranty. Students are responsible for verifying George Brown College admission, graduation, and fee requirements as well as any requirements of outside institutions, industry associations, or other bodies that may award additional designations concurrently with, or after completion of, a George Brown College program.