Why study this course

Experience a range of taught days with our highly experienced delivery team

Create your own bespoke learning plan

Enjoy the support of dedicated personal tutors with regular tutorials

Access to the BGU Library and eportfolio system

Course summary

This Apprenticeship will enable you to practice as a qualified Careers Professional. You will be able to enrol as a Registered Career Development Professional with the Careers Development Institute and gain a QCF level 6 Diploma in Careers Guidance and Development as part of your training.

Careers Development Professionals are typically found in all education settings, training organisations, Careers and Employment Services and human resource/ learning and development departments in both the private and public sectors. The broad purpose of the occupation is to assist individuals before and during career transitions to develop long and short-term career management skills.

You will need to be employed in a setting where you are able to demonstrate the required Apprenticeship duties.

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Key facts


24 Months

Mode of study

Part-time blended

Start date

March and September

Awarding institution


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About this course

The Apprenticeship will take up to 24 months, however, it is possible to complete in a year and a day prior to entering an end point assessment phase which takes around three months. Studying for your CDP Apprenticeship at BGU in Lincoln means you will be developing your skills, knowledge and behaviours both practically through your workplace, and on taught days led by our experienced team of lecturers. You will explore the life-long meaning of ‘career’ in today’s hyper-mobile job market, and how we as Career Development Professionals support clients in developing career management skills which aid transition throughout their careers. Throughout the Apprenticeship the emphasis is on practical application of theories and models in real-life situations. You will have a dedicated Personal Tutor whom you will meet regularly and discuss all aspects of the Apprenticeship.

The benefits of completing your Apprenticeship at BGU include access to all the University support services, including: the library; IT support; digital learning; Students Union and our Centre for Enhancement in Learning and Teaching (CELT) where you can get bespoke support with academic writing and assignments. Your lecturer team consists of three practicing Career Development Professionals, who have different specialisms from Careers Leaders in secondary education, to managing County Council Careers Services, to leading projects supporting long-term unemployed adults. As well as their experience, you will also benefit from working alongside a diverse cohort of fellow practitioners, with regular opportunities to share and evolve practice. In addition, a wide range of external speakers from different career development organisations complement the formal learning.

What you will study

The qualification comprises the following units, and will also equip you to carry out the following duties:

This unit aims to develop the learner’s critical understanding of the career development sector, careers provision within their own organisation, the roles within it and the application of key legislation, codes of practice and ethical principles to their own work and that of the careers provision within their own organisation.

This unit aims to develop the learner’s critical understanding of reflective practice, its role in the development of effective practice and how to determine the need for continuous professional development and the impact that this has on own practice.

This unit aims to develop the learner’s critical understanding of career guidance and development theories and models for supporting clients and the role of research in informing and developing career guidance and development practice.

This unit aims to develop the learner’s critical understanding of the purpose of the career guidance and development interaction, a range of techniques and approaches employed in clarifying expectations and agreeing the aim, how to prepare for the interaction and how to maintain and adapt communication throughout the interaction.

This unit aims to develop the learner’s critical understanding and application of career guidance and development techniques and theories used for exploring and agreeing client need, identifying options, selecting a course of action, planning, implementing and reviewing a course of action including overcoming barriers to achieving a course of action.

This unit aims to develop the learner’s critical understanding of career-related information in relation to education, training, employment, lifelong learning and the labour market and to help the learner to use this information with clients. This includes web-based career-related information.

This unit aims to develop the learner’s critical understanding of formal and informal networks, signposting, referral opportunities and negotiation skills and to help the learner to use these to meet client and own organisational need.

This unit aims to develop the learner’s critical understanding of how to plan and design a career-related learning programme in an educational or training institution, such as a school, college, work-based training provider or university, or in a business setting or employing organisation, and to help the learner to plan, design and evaluate the career-related learning programme and make recommendations for improvement.

This unit aims to develop the learner’s ability to prioritise and manage their work responsibilities including, where relevant, a personal caseload of clients.

Reflect critically on their career development practice and service delivery, evaluating it against relevant theories, models, research and appropriate professional ethical standards in order to facilitate continuing professional development and ongoing service improvement.

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Collaborate with colleagues, internal and external stakeholders, employers and other service providers to negotiate, design, develop, organise and evaluate programmes of activities that equip clients with career management skills, knowledge and resources they need for their career development.

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Prioritise and manage workloads, making effective use of management information systems and wider technology.

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Motivate and equip clients to identify their short-term and long-term career development objectives and to develop plans to make progress in those objectives.

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Enable clients to assess their strengths, values, beliefs, situation and preferences, and to connect them to the requirements and rewards of opportunities within the education system and the labour market, inclusive of training, voluntary work and self-employment.

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Design, plan, deliver and evaluate career-related learning activities using pedagogical approaches appropriate to the clients’ educational level and the organisational context.

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Prepare, conduct and evaluate structured career development interactions with clients using career counselling, guidance, coaching and advice work approaches appropriate to the clients’ needs and the organisational context.

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Research, assess, organise, interpret and disseminate careers-related and service delivery information, including labour market information (LMI) to meet the needs of clients, colleagues and other stakeholders.

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Promote informed engagement with the career development service and enable clients to access wider career development and other support services.

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Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this apprenticeship although an initial assessment will take place to ensure the apprenticeship is the most appropriate training programme for the individual and employer. Candidates will need to be resident in the UK and in employment (with at least 50% of the working hours in England). Individual employers will set the selection criteria for their Apprenticeship and employment role.

As a guide, candidates might have A Levels (or equivalent) or existing relevant level 3 qualifications. Other relevant qualifications or prior experience may also be considered as an alternative alongside consideration of the suitability of the role being undertaken and the opportunities to develop and apply the required knowledge, skills and behaviours.

Typically, candidates will also have achieved qualifications in English and mathematics at a minimum of level 2 or equivalent (GCSE grade A*/9- C/4), and also demonstrate Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills at this level. Where approved English and Maths qualifications are not held, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) funds apprentices to achieve qualifications in English and/or Maths to level 2 if they do not already meet the minimum requirements. These can be delivered through our designated Apprenticeship Support Officers alongside the apprenticeship and will need to be achieved prior to entering Gateway.

There are no upper age restrictions, although all apprentices must be aged over 18 as a minimum.

Applications for this programme can only be made through the sponsoring employer.

Each employer must:

  • Identify apprentices that may be suitable for the [insert as appropriate] Apprenticeship;
  • Ensure the apprentice is undertaking real work, which is productive and gives apprentices opportunities to access, develop, practice and evidence knowledge and skills to meet the standard;
  • Allow the apprentice to attend external off-the-job training and assessment as part of their normal paid working hours;
  • Take part in quarterly reviews with BGU to review the apprentice’s progress;
  • Be expected to employ an apprentice for the full duration of their apprenticeship;
  • (In most cases) be expected to employ an apprentice for at least 30 hours per week.

Further information and requirements are outline by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education:

Career development professional / Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education

How you will be taught

There is no one-size-fits-all method of teaching at BGU – we shape our methods to suit each subject and each group, combining the best aspects of traditional university teaching with innovative techniques to promote student participation and interactivity.

You will be taught in a variety of ways, from lectures, tutorials and seminars to practical workshops and external speaker sessions. Our blended learning approach is mainly delivered online, so you can access the taught programme from anywhere in the country. There are five face-to-face days as part of the programme, to cement learning in an applied context. Skills Development practical workshops, Professional Practice sessions and assignment seminars all provide you with an opportunity to review issues raised in lectures, and you will be expected to carry out independent study. At BGU our commitment to small group teaching and one-to-one supervisions means that you’ll never be an anonymous face in a large lecture theatre. Group teaching is structured to stimulate debate and discussion of practice. Professional Practice sessions support sharing of good practice and professional challenges within a solution focussed environment. Skills Development workshops allow you to practice newly acquired skills in a group environment.

Relevant conferences and other CPD opportunities will be highlighted throughout the Apprenticeship. They provide an enriching learning experience for you to apply the skills and knowledge you will gain from your course and, in doing so, give valuable real-world experience to boost your career.


Throughout your Apprenticeship, assessment is rooted in demonstrating how your knowledge, skills and behaviours are developing as you refine your skills as a Career Development Professional. Assignments are designed to help you showcase how your increased learning can be shown through practical application. Multiple assessment methods mean you won’t just be writing essays, you will use observations of practice, professional discussions, and portfolios of evidence to meet the assessment criteria and build your portfolio of evidence for your end point assessment.

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Career Development Progressions and Further Support

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is a key factor in our work as Careers development Professionals, so opportunities for this are regularly signposted throughout the Apprenticeship.

Student membership of the Careers Development Institute (CDI) is encouraged as this enables access to many other resources and opportunities, including a Members Area, CPD Webinars and a free annual student Conference.

Membership is an additional cost not covered by the Apprenticeship but worthwhile and will support CPD throughout your career. More information here: Student Membership (thecdi.net)

Fees & Finance

Costs may be covered by government funding and/or your employer – employers who pay the Apprenticeship Levy can pay fees directly through their Levy Contribution. Alternatively, businesses who do not pay the levy may be able to claim 95% of the cost of tuition fees from the Government.

Further details can be found at:


How to Apply

To apply, employers please complete the short Request for Services form at the bottom of this page. Once we have received this form, the next step will be to send out the application form to the candidate(s).

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For an informal chat please contact the team at apprenticeships@bishopg.ac.uk.

Speak to us today

If you'd like to find out how we can support you to recruit an apprentice into your business, please email us at apprenticeships@bishopg.ac.uk or call 01522 563872 for more information.

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