One of the main functions of the NSCDA is the certification of CDPs. When first introduced in 2014, the certification process was voluntary, but in late 2015, the Nova Scotia Government mandated that all client-facing staff working in Nova Scotia Works centres must be in the process of being certified by July 1, 2018. In response to this requirement, the NSCDA developed the Career Pathways to Certification process for potential candidates unable to meet the prerequisite 5400 hours of career development practice to begin the certification program.

Career Development Practitioners in Nova Scotia who have been practicing for a minimum of three (3) years within the last five (5) years (estimated 1800 hours per year for a total of 5400 hours) can apply for professional certification.


To maintain your certification in good standing, all CCDPs are required to complete 60 hours of professional development (PD) every three years starting from the date CCDP status was conferred (for instance, if you were granted your CCDP on May 1, 2015, then you will need to have the 60 hours completed and submitted by May 1, 2018 in order to remain a CCDP in good standing).

The 60 hours need to be collected as follows: A minimum of 10 hours each in at least 4 of the 6 competencies found in the NS Profile. This is to ensure all CCDPs maintain their skills over the full spectrum of practice as they move forward in their careers.

Career Pathways

People working in the field who do not meet the the prerequisite of 5400 hours (approximately three years over the last five) of career development practice required prior to starting the Certified Career Development Practitioner (CCDP) Program can apply to be a Career Development Practitioner Candidate (CDPc). This allows candidates to develop the competencies required to become certified while gaining the required work experience and hours.

RPL-Based Certification Model Unique in Canada

The NSCDA realizes that people come to the field of career development through many paths. To accommodate and recognize all the skills a career developer has, we have developed a competency-based, recognition of prior learning (RPL)-based certification model. So no matter what brought you to career development, it’s your knowledge and experience that matters, whether or not you have a degree or diploma.



Application Form for Certification [PDF 153 KB]

Core Competency Profile [PDF 476 KB]

NSCDA Candidate's Guide [PDF 2.9 MB]

Career Pathways to Certification Candidate Workbook [PDF 1.2 MB]

Recertification Hours Tracking Sheet [PDF 128 KB]



Steps to Certification

Career Pathways to Certification

Core Competency Chart [PDF 437 kB]

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