Career Development Policy

Date came into force or revised




Policy statement

Career development is one of the goals of the public 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 school system.

Rationale or purpose of policy

The purpose of this policy is to emphasize the important role that schools and boards of education 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 outcomes across the curriculum are designed to support career development. In addition, all students are expected to meet career development-related learning outcomes in the Integrated Resource Package for Planning 10, and provide evidence of competencies they have developed through the Graduation Transitions.

Schools and boards of education may also create career programs as educational options to support students in career development. Successful career programs provide students with opportunities to integrate school-based learning with community-based work experiences. In these programs, students explore a particular Focus Area or career interest, participate in workplace learning, and 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 have control over the design of their own career programs. The number and type of courses for a specific career program are board decisions.

Boards must approve all career programs offered by the school, district, or authority. Before offering career programs, the board may wish to establish a community advisory committee to create community partnerships.

For Secondary School Apprenticeship (SSA), which is a career program with paid work-place training for which a student registers as an apprentice with the Industry Training Authority, students earn 4 credits of SSA course work for each 120 hours of workplace training, to a maximum of 16 credits.

For Career Technical Centre and other industry training programs, all post-secondary courses completed as part of the program count as elective credits towards graduation.

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 Ministry-Authorized work experience course, listed in the Handbook of Procedures for the Graduation Program.

In reporting career program participation to the Ministry, schools must use codes contained in the Handbook of Procedures for the Graduation Program.