In celebration of the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling’s (CERIC) 10th anniversary in 2014, The Counselling Foundation of Canada has 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 National Challenge is an initiative of CERIC made possible by a grant from The Counselling Foundation of Canada.

What participants in the National Challenge are saying:

"Promoting the work of the career counsellor is a topic discussed regularly among colleagues at the Sherbrooke faculty. CERIC’s competition gave me a stimulating opportunity to shift from words to meaningful action. My simple idea is meant to be an inspiration to people with a thirst for self-actualization. I was pretty confident about my idea but less comfortable with the public voting element. My question: which strategy would allow me to gain greater influence over the voting? Working together with my colleagues, professors, friends and family members, I found the answer. This testimonial is a tribute to team work. Thank  you, everyone!"

Nathacha Courchesne
Master’s student, Counselling (Research concentration), Université de Sherbrooke

"The CERIC National Challenge has been a wonderful experience! I agree wholeheartedly that Career Development Services are underutilized and under-recognized, and I submitted an idea that focused not only on creating awareness around career development, but also on increasing the number of individuals who see themselves as potential beneficiaries. When I became one of the 10 finalists, I knew that I needed to spread the word about my idea in order to solicit votes. I soon realized that doing so meant having many conversations in different contexts about the nature and purpose of career development! I found it meaningful to be able to speak to so many different people about this field. This process also reaffirmed the value of all of the wonderful ideas submitted as part of the National Challenge. The more individuals we reach, the better!"

Juliana Wiens
Operations Manager/Employment Counsellor, Women’s Employment Outreach, Halifax

"Participating in CERIC’s National Challenge was eye-opening. Not for me – or my collaborators, Kurt and Mike – because we know all about CERIC’s greatness, but for our communities and our connections. Everyone we emailed, called, Tweeted-to, and shared our idea with responded enthusiastically about the contest, about CERIC and, most importantly, about how important and logical it is to put career practitioners in the spotlight for Canada’s national conversation about employment, economic development and the talent disconnect. The true impact of the competition is that it expanded the reach and influence of career development into communities who, frankly, had no idea it was a thing."

John Horn
The Potentiality, Vancouver

"The National Challenge was a very gratifying experience to be a part of. The competition gave reaching out to others in the Career Development Community and beyond a real purpose. It created positive conversations and led to many reconnections with people I had not spoken to in some time. My community really showed me their spirit. The local community paper published a story I wrote on the Challenge. Bank tellers and friends in cooking class gave their support along with the local Chamber of Commerce, Fire Department and Internet Cafés. Really no one was safe once I got going. So on foot and online I feel that more people now know about Career Development supports in their communities. A good goal we have all been a part of has been realized."

Joanne Stuart
Life Changes Consulting, Tiny, ON


Purpose of this initiative:

The results of national surveys commissioned by CERIC about the Canadian workplace and how Canadians approach their own career development show that career development, its professionals and their rich contribution to our nation are greatly undervalued. In brief, there is 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. This online competition will serve to surface innovative ideas about how to solve this “perception gap” in Canada.

We want to hear from you if, for example, you have an idea on how to change high school curriculum to improve career development’s influence, or you have a policy recommendation government could implement to persuade adult learners about the value of career development professionals, or you have a clever marketing campaign that makes the case about how career development promotes our Canadian economy!

A panel of judges made up of career service professionals from across Canada will shortlist up to 10 Entries that the career development community will then vote for online. The three Entries that receive the most online votes will each receive $5,000 and a Free Registration to attend the Cannexus14 National Career Development Conference in Ottawa from January 20-22, 2014!

Details of this initiative:

This online competition seeks to gather ideas to improve the profile and image of career development in Canada. The period to submit Entries begins on August 12, 2013 and closes on October 11, 2013 (see Rules for start and end times on these dates). A panel of judges consisting of prominent members of Canada’s career professional field will select up to 10 of the top Entries submitted during this Entry Period. The shortlist of up to 10 Finalists will be announced online on November 4, 2013. The career development community will be able to vote online for their favourite ideas from November 4, 2013 to November 29, 2013 (see Rules for start and end times on these dates). Subject to the Rules, the three Entries that receive the most online votes will be announced on January 6, 2014. They will also be recognized at Cannexus14 in Ottawa.


Judges Panel:

Prominent members of Canada’s career professional field representing a broad spectrum of sectors will assess the Entries and identify the up to 10 Finalists that the career development community will vote for online.

Assessment Criteria:

The Judges will assess all Entries on their innovation (i.e. how inventive is the concept), practicality (i.e. could the idea actually be implemented) and the potential this idea has to have the greatest positive impact on how Canadians feel about the value of career development, its professionals and their contribution to our nation. The up to 10 Finalists shortlisted by the Judges will be announced on November 4, 2013.

What you can win:

Subject to the National Challenge Contest Rules, the three Entries that receive the most online votes by the end of the Online Voting Period will each receive $5,000 and a Free Registration to attend Cannexus14 in Ottawa from January 20-22, 2014!


Email for further information: