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Code of Ethics (updated 2021)



The Career Development Association of Singapore (CDAS) is an independent, member association that is for and open to all practitioners and professionals in the fields of career development, guidance, and services.


CDAS recognizes that its members:


  1. work in a variety of career-related settings,

  2. carry a range of positions and titles, and

  3. are responsible for different career-related roles and services.


CDAS also recognizes that its members have entered the field of careers through multiple pathways to take up the roles in career development, guidance, and services.  These individuals may have or will pursue(d) training in the career speciality (e.g., Facilitating Career Development (FCD) training, Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) certification, Advanced Certificate in Career Development Facilitation, Specialist Diploma in Career Counselling, Graduate Diploma in I/O Psychology, etc.), or any career development-related training before or after their entry to the field of careers.  


CDAS welcomes all these practitioners and professionals and treat them equally regardless of their work settings, positions, roles, type(s) of services, pathways for their entry to the field, and type(s) and level(s) of credentials as well as qualifications.


While CDAS recognizes that many of its members possess qualifications and credentials at the diploma/degree or even higher levels, the Association does not endorse, prescribe, favour, or prefer any type(s) and/or level(s) of qualifications and credentials in the career speciality.


However, CDAS is in the position of encouraging all members to be committed to continual learning and professional development, and to continuously upgrade their qualifications, credentials, and professional registrations, especially those in the specialty of career development, for the reason helping is a serious profession. CDAS is also of the view that the quality and scope of members’ services are largely related to an attitude of continual learning and eventually, attainment of qualifications and/or credentials as an evidence of their growth and experience.


CDAS expects all members to concur with and promote the principles above.



CDAS requires that all members conduct their practice in a professional, responsible and ethical manner. To ensure achievement of this goal, all members are expected to be familiar, and to fully comply with:


a) the CDAS Ethical Principles, which serve as the highest values for the Association and its members to be committed to, and


b) the CDAS Code of Ethics, which is built upon the ethical principles, provides codified terms that serve as the practical guide for the Association and its members to observe and comply with.


The purpose of the CDAS Ethical Principles and the CDAS Code of Ethics is to protect the interest of CDAS and its members, and to inform the public of the Ethical Principles and Code of Ethics to which the Association and its members adhere.  Any compromise in the Ethical Principles and the Code of Ethics may render the member open to an internal review of their membership.



CDAS adopts six (6) Ethical Principles which are described below:


1) Autonomy – to respect the client’s right to self-determination.  That is, it is clients who will direct their decision making and course(s) of action according to their own beliefs.

2) Beneficence - to contribute to the well-being and wellness of clients through their good and helpful service.

3) Fidelity – to fulfil obligations or commitments to others, including clients, in a trustworthy, faithful and respectful manner.

4) Impartiality – to treat clients and others in an objective, fair, equal and unbiased manner.

5) Non-maleficence – to avoid any risk that may inflict harm on others, which include clients, colleagues, and career practitioners and professionals.

6) Veracity – to interact with others, including clients, with honesty, respect, and truthfulness.


Area 1: Professional Relationship with Clients


CDAS members shall:

1.1    offer clients full autonomy to decide whether they want to enter into, and/or continue the professional relationship and process.
1.2    seek to obtain informed and voluntary consent from clients prior to establishment of their professional relationships.
1.3    enter into the professional relationship only if career practitioners and professionals are trained, qualified and preferably experienced (also see Area 3 – 3.2 & 3.3; Area 5 – 5.1 & 5.2).
1.4    respect clients’ rights to privacy, thus not soliciting their private information unless it is crucial to the professional process.
1.5    respect clients’ rights to the confidentiality of their information, which may be considered for disclosure only on the ground of legal and protection requirements and with clients’ consent (also see Area 3 – 3.6; Area 4 – 4.7 & 4.8; Area 11).
1.6    refrain from imposing their own values and beliefs to clients.
1.7    be mindful of the dual nature of relationships with clients (see Area 5 – 5.4).
1.8    suspend their judgement on clients because of their choices, values, lifestyles, age, gender, race, religion, physical (dis)ability, sexual orientation, social-economic status, family, and/or history (e.g., (un)employment, medical or criminal records, past events, etc.) (also see Area 3 – 3.7 & 3.8).

Area 2: Professional Relationship with Career and Other Professionals


CDAS members shall:

2.1    actively promote professionalism and integrity for the practice of career development, guidance, and services with colleagues, stakeholders, and other practitioners and professionals.
2.2    seek to gain collegial respect and actively cooperate with their colleagues, stakeholders, and other practitioners and professionals.

Area 3: Professional Practice and Conduct


CDAS members shall:

3.1    use accurate and up-to-date information and resources.
3.2    offer and undertake only career assistance and services within their competency, training, qualification, and/or experience (also see Area 1 – 1.3; Area 4 – 4.5; Area 5 – 5.1 & 5.2).


3.3    not enter into or continue the professional relationship if career practitioners anticipate and/or determine that their competency is inadequate, and/or their service does not meet client’s needs (also see Area 1 – 1.3; Area 5 – 5.1 & 5.2).
3.4    handle referrals in an appropriate way and responsible manner. For example, it is clients’ right and decision to accept or decline the suggested referrals.
3.5    ensure that their client records are maintained accurately, timely and sufficiently, and as required by agency or institution policies and procedures.
3.6    keep clients’ information confidential during and after the service unless they have expressed their consent to disclose, or as when and where there is evidence of risk to the client or others (also see Area 1 – 1.5; Area 4 – 4.7 & 4.8).
3.7    ensure inclusion of clients equally regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, physical (dis)ability, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, family, and/or history (e.g., (un)employment, medical or criminal records, past events, etc.) (Area 1 – 1.8).
3.8    respect the diversity of clients and promote inclusion of clients equally regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, physical (dis)ability, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, family, and/or history (e.g., (un)employment, medical or criminal records, past events, etc.) (also see Area 1 – 1.8).
3.9    avoid conflict of interest.
3.10    regularly evaluate their services provided to clients with an intent to improve practice and client satisfaction.

Area 4: Career Assessment and Profiling

Prior to administering an assessment and/or profiling, CDAS members shall:

4.1    inform clients of purpose and use of the career assessment and/or profiling.
4.2    obtain clients’ informed consent prior to taking the career assessment and/or profiling.
4.3    ensure that the assessment and/or profiling tool(s) they recommend or have selected is/are beneficial and appropriate to clients.
4.4    ensure that the standardized or formal assessment and/or profiling tool(s) to be used is/are statistically valid and reliable.

During and after administering an assessment and/or profiling, CDAS members shall:

4.5    administer the assessment and/or profiling tool(s) that they are competent, have been trained, and/or certified (if required) (also see Area 3 – 3.3).
4.6    provide accurate and appropriate interpretation to clients after receiving the reports.
4.7    take all precautions to ensure the confidentiality of assessment and/or profiling reports (also see Area 1 – 1.5; Area 3 – 3.6).
4.8    not release the assessment and/or profiling reports/results to other persons including the third-party payers or sponsors unless the takers have given their full consent (also see Area 1 – 1.5; Area 3 – 3.6).


Area 5: Boundaries

CDAS members shall:

5.1    provide the type and/or level of career assistance and services within the competency boundaries of their training, qualification, credentials, and/or experience (also see Professional Practice) (also see Area 1 – 1.3; Area 3 – 3.2 & 3.3; Area 5 – 5.1 & 5.2).
5.2    provide the type and/or level of career assistance and services within the role boundaries; i.e., the roles and duties they are expected to perform within an organization or agency (also see Area 1 – 1.3; Area 3 – 3.2 & 3.3; Area 5 – 5.1 & 5.2).
5.3    not cross the emotional boundaries to enter into an intimate or sexual relationship with current and former clients.
5.4    take all precautions to avoid any risk or harm to clients as and when the professional relationship involves a dual nature.  While some professional relationships involving dual nature may be beneficial, necessary, and/or unavoidable, others may put clients in a vulnerable position.  A rule of thumb is that the professional relationship between the career professional and the client should be discouraged or avoided if their dual relationship is very close.   Relationships mentioned in 5.3 above are prohibited.

Area 6 Training and Professional Development

CDAS members shall:

6.1    be committed to lifelong learning.
6.2    update and maintain their professional knowledge and skills through professional development and continuing education.

Area 7: Research, Publication and Public Presentation

General -

CDAS members shall:

7.1    take all precautions to ensure the confidentiality of information, particularly personal data of participants, respondents and clients.


Research -

CDAS members shall:

7.2    seek to obtain voluntary consent from prospective participants of the research or survey.
7.3    seek approval (e.g., from the Ethics Committee) from their organization or agency prior to the start of the research or survey.
7.4    adhere to the policies and guidelines on research and survey established by their organization or agency.


7.5    safeguard the security of personal data and the anonymity of participants involved in the research and/or publication.

Publication and Public Presentation –

CDAS members shall:

7.6    adhere to the policies and guidelines on publication and public presentation from their organization or agency.
7.7    quote or use the work or data of others with proper referencing and citation.
7.8    not plagiarize.

Area 8: Supervision

CDAS members, as career practitioners, shall:

8.1     continually reflect, monitor, and evaluate their efficacy and, when necessary, take steps (e.g., seek consultation or supervision) to improve it.   

CDAS members, as supervisors in a career development setting, shall:

8.2    have received training and certifications in supervision. 
8.4    offer only supervision for which they are trained and/or have experienced.
8.5    incorporate the principles of privacy, confidentiality, disclosure, and informed consent into their supervision.
8.6    before providing supervision, inform supervisees about the process and model(s) of supervision, evaluation processes and criteria, and procedures (e.g., for handling urgent or critical situations).
8.7    keep and secure supervision records and private or confidential information gained in supervision.
8.8     provide supervisees with adequate and timely feedback to their supervisees.
8.9    provide fair, accurate, and honest evaluations of their supervisees.
8.10    render assistance to supervisees who appear to be incompetent in providing certain areas of services to clients.
8.11    ensure that their supervisees adhere to the principles of privacy, confidentiality, and informed consent in the professional relationship with clients. 
8.12    ensure that their supervisees understand and follow the CDAS Code of Ethics.
8.13    avoid all dual relationships with supervisees that may interfere with the professional judgment or exploit the supervisees. 
8.14    not supervise immediate relatives.

Area 9: Fees

CDAS members shall:

9.1    inform clients clearly the amount of chargeable fee and the procedures for billing, collection and refund (if any) before the commencement of services to be provided.

9.2    not release clients’ information to the third-party payers or their sponsors unless clients have given their consent to such disclosure (also see Area 1 – 1.5; Area 3 – 3.6; Area 4 – 4.7 & 4.8).

Area 10: Publicity

CDAS members shall:

10.1    present their education and training, qualifications, credentials, professional membership and registration, positions and titles, and experience accurately.
10.2    advertise or publicize their services and/or products accurately, and in absence of any misleading and deceptive information.
10.3    ensure the content and links in their websites and social media presence are regularly updated and checked.
10.4    do not publish photos or videos of clients unless they have given their informed consent.

Area 11: Others

CDAS members shall:

11.1    observe and adhere to the Personal Data Protect Act (PDPA) and related regulatory rules and guidelines in Singapore.
11.2    not violate the laws of the Republic of Singapore.

The committee wishes to express its thanks and gratitude to the following professionals who have helped to validate, comment and provide feedback to finalize this code of ethics

Dr Ada Chung


Mrs Wong Kwok Leong Student Wellness Centre

Singapore Management University


Bernard Mackenzie Mariadass James
Clinic Manager
Wellness Centre
National Institute of Education (NIE) 


Jannisis Loo
Deputy Director
Career Services
Singapore Institute of Technology


William Heng
Career Reinvention Coach (Private Practice)


Lora Wong
Deputy Director
Career & Attachment Office
National Technological University

William Tan
Office of Career Development
Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)


Alfred Lee
Assistant Director
Skills Future Office
Republic Polytechnic (RP)


Choo Yew Kwong
Coaching and Training (Private Practice)

Mervin Tem
Asst Director (Policy, Comms & Database)
Career Transition Resource Centre (CTRC)
Ministry of Defence

Dr Ramesh Tarani
Career Coach

Robin Robbins, 
Managing Director &
Angeline Cha
Regional Sales and Business Development Consultant
CPP Asia Pacific Singapore

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