Career Development Policy

Date came into force or revised




Policy statement

Career development is one of the goals of the British Columbia education system, shared by schools, family and community. Education programs in B.C. schools should help prepare students for successful employment when they leave the K-12 school system.

Rationale or purpose of policy

The purpose of this policy is to emphasize the important role that boards of education and independent school authorities have in providing students with career development, and to describe career programs and Ministry procedures related to career programs.


See Ministerial Order 237/11, the Work Experience Order (PDF)

Policy in full

Career development is one of the three goals of the education system in British Columbia. When students complete secondary school, they should have developed all of the following:

  • Competencies to be self-directed, responsible individuals who can set and meet career goals
  • Knowledge of a range of career choices, and actions needed to pursue those choices
  • Employability skills required to work effectively and collaboratively in a workplace

Learning standards across the curriculum are designed to support career development. In addition, all students are expected to complete Career-Life Education and Career-Life Connections as part of graduation requirements.

Boards of education and independent school authorities may also create career programs as educational options to support students in career development. These courses and placements must meet the requirements for Board/Authority Authorized courses and, where applicable, WorkSafeBC coverage. Successful career programs provide students with opportunities to integrate school-based learning with community-based career exploration experiences. In these programs, students prepare for transitions to the workplace or to further education and training at a post-secondary institution.

To support and recognize student achievement in the area of career development, participation in a career program is acknowledged on a student's transcript.

Procedures related to policy

Consistent with the principle of local autonomy, boards of education and independent school authorities have control over the design of their own career programs, including the number and type of courses for a specific career program.

Boards of education and independent school authorities must approve all the career programs they offer. Before offering career programs, boards and authorities may wish to establish a community advisory committee to create community partnerships.

Youth Work in Trades (WRK) is a career program with paid worksite training for which a student registers as a Youth Apprentice with the Industry Training Authority. The WRK program consists of four courses totaling 16 credits towards graduation. In each course, students complete work-based training with a sponsor employer.

In order for participation in a career program to show on a student's transcript, the school must verify that the student has completed a work experience course, listed in the Handbook of Procedures for the Graduation Program.