Before I continue with part II, to the hundreds of you who responded after my 1st post, thank you very much. I really appreciate your support.
Being a realist, I was prepared to walk away. The odds were huge, competing against a full-fledged learning institute and a 70% subsidy in course fees. Someone suggested that I should just take what I have to the developing economies in ASEAN and be celebrated for my entrepreneurial spirit. But how can I claim to be successful when I cannot even make it in my home country? It’s when you are hardest hit that you mustn’t quit, so I hung in there.
I thought, since you cannot beat them, why not join them? Collaboration is the new game in a global economy. With a resident population of about 4 million, my goal is to train 1,000 GCDFs to help more Singaporeans make informed career decisions. Collaborating with the “resource-rich” Institute of Adult Learning (IAL) could make that happen faster.
I told IAL that I am keen to be an instructor in the Advanced Certificate in Career Development Facilitation (ACCDF) programme. They were very nice but despite knowing that I was already a National Career Development Association Career Development Facilitator (NCDA CDF) Master Trainer and a Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE) Global CDF Instructor with a proven track record of training CDFs, they told me to go through the due process. I have to submit my resume and attend the selection interview.
“Humility is the mother of giants. One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.” ― G.K. Chesterton, The Innocence of Father Brown
I went with the flow. The interview went well but the panel was surprised by my target of training 1,000 GCDFs, because theirs was way more modest. I passed the selection interview. I was offered the role of adjunct ACCDF instructor, subject to sitting in during the ACCDF classes and completing their ACCDF-TTT. I sat in a few classes but it didn’t feel right. I guess I have been my own boss for too long, so I chose not to go through with the ACCDF-TTT.
Against the odds, I continued to offer my NCDA CDF training. To my surprise, I still get sign-ups from progressive individuals for my NCDA CDF training, despite zero subsidy! Quite a number paid the fees out of their own pocket. If this is not personal career ownership, I don’t know what is! To all my CDF participants, thank you for believing in my NCDA CDF training. I couldn’t have done it without your support. Fast forward to August 2017.
The NCDA launched 5+1 new Credentials as follows:
1. Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP) – a credential for individuals from an array of backgrounds, to deliver services and demonstrate core competency in the field of career services.
2. Certified Master of Career Services (CMCS) – a new professional credential intended to recognize the contributions of non-counselors who have mastered a variety of roles within the field of career services.
3. Certified Career Counselor (CCC) – the new standard of professional excellence for individuals trained as counselors, who will specialize in the delivery of career counseling services.
4. Certified Clinical Supervisor of Career Counseling (CCSCC) – a new professional credential to recognize the contributions of individuals who serve as clinical supervisors to career counselors and other practitioners who provide career services.
5. Certified Career Counselor Educator (CCCE) – a new professional credential intended to recognize the contributions of individuals whose primary focus is on the training of new counselors who will specialize in the field of career counselling.
6. Certified School Career Development Advisor (CSCDA) – (coming soon) – this credential is intended for providers who work in the K-12 sector (children and youth ages 5 – 18) to ensure students are prepared for meaningful work and high-demand careers.
It was an exciting time for local Career Practitioners (CP). They were spoilt for choice with so many new NCDA Credentials. Or so they thought.
Of particular interest is the Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP) Credential. It is intended for providers offering career services in an array of roles and settings, such as consultants, coaches, advisors, workforce practitioners, facilitators, trainers, recruiters, and resume writers. This multi-purpose credential includes demonstration of competence in the essential skills needed to provide career services in any setting. The best part? A Fast-Track option is available to those holding a US GCDF if they apply before 31 December 2018.
Misguided that their Center for Credentialing & Education Certificate of Competence (CCE-COC) was the same as the US GCDF Credential, some ACCDFs applied for the CCSP. Unfortunately, they were unsuccessful. This was the “Caveat Emptor” that I talked about in Part I of this article.The NCDA Career Development Facilitator (NCDA CDF) programme was also revamped. The new version is called NCDA Facilitating Career Development (NCDA FCD) programme. This is the most comprehensive version yet, with 710 pages of career development content. Completing the NCDA FCD would allow you to apply for both the GCDF and CCSP Credentials, which is an Awesome deal for CPs!
In their communication session on 13 December 2017, Workforce Singapore (WSG) also announced their plan to launch 4 new programmes and career credentials in 2018 as follows:
1. Career Advisory Programme (CAP) – Certified Career Advisor (CCA)
2. WSQ Career Facilitation Programme (CFP) Certified Career Practitioner (CCP)
3. Career Supervision Programme (CSP) – Certified Career Clinical Supervisor (CCCP)
4. Career Management Programme (CMP) – Certified Career Services Manager (CCSM)
As seen above, the revised ACCDF is now called Career Facilitation Programme (CFP). You can earn the Certified Career Practitioner (CCP) Credential upon meeting the requisite practice hours. The CFP is now a stand-alone WSQ without the CCE-COC. If you visit the CCE Global website, Singapore has been removed from the list of countries with their own GCDF. It meant that the license with CCE was not renewed. The GCDF-SG Credential is no more, for now.
After 18 years since the 1st Careerlink Centre, WSG has finally come full circle with the award of their own Career Credentials. Their challenge starts now, as they need buy-in for their new Credentials, especially from the market.
Choosing the right Career Coach Certification (CCC)
Since the SkillsFuture movement was launched in 2015, there has been an increased interest in career related matters. Why? Because the first thrust of SkillsFuture is to “Help individuals make well-informed choices in education, training and careers”.
“Careers” is now mainstream. Suddenly, career coaching is being offered by many coaches. This is where Caveat Emptor is timely: Let the buyer beware, because career coaching is a field on its own. Not all coaches are trained in career coaching. Not all CCCs are created equal. A rule of thumb is to use professional associations as a guide. They are usually nonprofit organizations seeking to further a particular profession, the interests of individuals engaged in that profession and the public interest. It also ensures industry standards.
For instance, Medical Practitioners have the Singapore Medical Association, Lawyers have the Law Society of Singapore and Accountants have the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants. If you are looking for a “recognized” CCC in Singapore and Government funding is critical, the WSG CFP/CCP could be an option. But you must be company sponsored and be in a career advisory role.A “recognized” CCC is not just for Career Practitioners. It is a very useful Credential to help you excel at people related work, stand out from your peers, change careers, make a difference at non-profits, develop a Plan B or a new revenue stream. This is especially so for Human Resource/Talent Professionals, Corporate Trainers and Headhunters.
According to WSG, the CFP is not used for any licensing purposes. Thus, you do not need the CFP/CCP to provide career advisory/coaching services in Singapore.
If you are global minded and looking for an “internationally recognized” CCC, the NCDA CCSP and CCE GCDF are two viable options. Remember: Certification does not guarantee competence. This is where you do your due diligence and ask for evidence (eg. track record or social proof). If you are exploring the NCDA CCSP, make sure your Instructor is a CCSP. If you are looking to earn your GCDF, make sure your Instructor is a GCDF. If not, where is the credibility?
In case you are concerned that there are few takers for the NCDA CDF/FCD course, let me share a sample of the progressive organisations and individuals who have benefited from the programme, including Singapore Management University, Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore University of Technology & Design, Singapore University of Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Nanyang Polytechnic, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social & Family Development, Mindef Career Transition Resource Centre, Workforce Singapore, NUS High, Vital, A*Star, Keppel Infrastructure, IBM, Oracle, ASM Technology and successful Corporate Headhunters, just to name a few.
In closing, career development can be a job, a career or a calling. It is your call. It goes back to what makes your heart sing. For me, I was a former Senior Human Resource Manager of a global company, with a local staff strength of 500. If I stayed on, I could impact maximum 500 lives. Or I could be retrenched. I decided to chart my own path and be my own boss. Since then, I have impacted more than 100,000 lives. Not bad for a staff function manager!
The ball is now in your court. The choice is yours. When in doubt, follow your heart, then your head. If you have benefited from this article, please share it with your friends and help them make the right choices, be it in choosing a career or CCC. Have a great day! #GCDF