CERIC’s National Challenge to Promote Career Development

“CERIC’s National Challenge to Promote Career Development: An Online Competition” Grant



The Counselling Foundation of Canada established the Canadian Education & Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) a decade ago to advance education and research in career counselling and career development. In celebration of CERIC’s 10th anniversary in 2014, the Foundation provided a grant to facilitate an online competition to increase the recognition of the value of career counselling as well as career development professionals in Canada. The impetus for this initiative emerged when national surveys commissioned by CERIC about the Canadian workplace and how Canadians approach their own career development which indicated that career development, its professionals and their contribution to our nation are greatly undervalued. In brief, these investigations showed a serious disconnect between the quality of career development services available and their usage. Moreover, Canadians do not appear to recognize the benefits that career development affords our country.

CERIC’s National Challenge to Promote Career Development online competition launched August 12, 2013 to surface innovative ideas about how to solve this “perception gap” in Canada. A remarkable 80 entries from across Canada were submitted during the two month submission period. A panel of judges including prominent members of Canada’s career professional field representing a broad spectrum of sectors shortlisted the entries for online voting by the career development community. The judges assessed the entries on their innovation (i.e. how inventive is the concept), practicality (i.e. could the idea actually be implemented) and the potential for an idea to have the greatest positive impact on how Canadians feel about the value of career development, its professionals and their contribution to our nation. Voting for the Top 10 Finalists began on November 4, 2013 coinciding with Canada Career Week. More than 4,500 votes were cast before the online Voting Period closed at the end of November!

The three entries that received the most votes were announced on January 6, 2014:

  • Nathacha Courchesne (Université de Sherbrooke. Sherbrooke, Quebec), “I’m investing in my development!” Her idea involves recruiting well-known individuals to star in video clips in which they talk about significant experiences where using a career development service made the difference for them.
  • Juliana Wiens (Women’s Employment Outreach. Halifax, Nova Scotia), “Career Development: It’s not too late!” Her idea is for a marketing campaign that uses various forms of media to dispel the myth that career development is only for young people, and spreads the message that all Canadians of working age can benefit from career development services.
  • John Horn (ThePotentiality.com. Vancouver, British Columbia), “Career Swap”. His idea blends career development, experiential learning and reality television to engage youth aged 10-15 in meaningful career conversations and share their stories with the world.


The three winners each received $5,000 and a free registration to the Cannexus14 National Career Development Conference in Ottawa held January 20-22, 2014. The winning entries were recognized at this event.


For more information about CERIC’s National Challenge to Promote Career Development: An Online Competition see: http://ceric.ca/nationalchallenge/