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Sarena HopkinsA while ago I had the pleasure of attending the first AGM of the CDPCBO – another acronym to add to the list! The CDPCBO is the Career Development Practitioners Certification Board of Ontario who are spearheading Ontario’s career development practitioner certification process.

The Keynote Speaker for that event was Sareena Hopkins, who for the past 23+ years has worked with, and is now the Executive Director of the Canadian Career Development Foundation. Sareena has also the Executive Officer of the Canadian Council for Career Development (otherwise known as 3CD). In these capacities, she has been working to advance and strengthen the Career Development Practitioner profession. It has been my pleasure to know, and support, these endeavours throughout Sareena’s career and it was particularly enjoyable to connect with her again, albeit briefly.

As Sareena noted, Canada was the first country in the world to articulate competency standards for practice and today the Standards & Guidelines, as they’re affectionately known, provide a clear and common understanding of our scope of practice and the competencies that enable us to practice well.

In Canada, we now have certification as a visible, recognizable mark of excellence – a way for our clients, funders, the public and us to know what we stand for in terms of quality, experience and expertise. If you are not already familiar with the work of the CDPCBO in Ontario I encourage you to visit their website, http://www.cdpcbo.org to find out more.

Sareena is extremely knowledgeable and well-spoken, and emanates warmth and understanding, yet stands firm in her beliefs of the importance of the work that Career Development Practitioners do. She encouraged us to think about who we are, who we serve and what that means as far as outreach into other areas, such as who we might partner with to achieve these goals.

One of the things that most resonated with me from Sareena’s address was what she called “the transformative power of one.” Building yourself not only helps you and your profession, it helps your whole community: your family, your clients, your colleagues and your community and business partners.

Sareena concluded with: “We deserve to be part of a profession that is recognized and valued by our clients, employers, funders, the media and the public. We deserve this, and it is possible – but only through our own collective effort. No one can build our profession alone. We each have a role to play – a contribution to make.

When you throw a rock – even a small pebble – in a pond the effect goes beyond the point of impact where the rock hits the water, extending its impact through its ripples.

So think about what opportunities speak to you as a professional – perhaps something … you could do to strengthen your practice and our field. Do not underestimate the potential ripple effect of even a small action that you might commit to doing … and imagine the ripples we might create together!”

Well done, Sareena; I couldn’t have said it any better.


denise-headshotDenise Hughes is the Director and owner of Career/LifeSkills Resources Inc. and general editor of Personality Dimensions® materials and products. She just noticed the calendar and realized it is just past the 42nd anniversary of her introduction to career materials. Those experiences and the expertise she gained through her years with the Guidance Centre, University of Toronto, and now with CLSR, continue to shape the direction that both Career/LifeSkills Resources and Personality Dimensions® take.