Code of Ethics

PREAMBLE
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:
a) work in a variety of career-related settings,
b) carry a range of positions and titles, and
c) 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 (CFD) 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. (Refer to Note 1)

 

While CDAS recognizes that many of its members possess qualifications and credentials at the
diploma/degree or even higher levels, the Association does not 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.

 

Page 2 of 8
 

INTRODUCTION
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 of the Ethical
Principles and the Code of Ethics may render the member open to an internal review of their
membership.
CDAS ETHICAL PRINCIPLES
CDAS adopts six (6) Ethical Principles which are described below:
1) To respect clients’ right to self-determination. That is, career practitioners are to help clients to
make their own decision and choose their own course(s) of action.
2) To contribute to the well-being and wellness of clients through their good and helpful
service.
3) To fulfil obligations or commitments to others, including clients, in a trustworthy, faithful
and respectful manner.
4) To treat clients and others in an objective, fair, equal and unbiased manner.
5) To avoid any risk that may inflict harm on others, which include clients, colleagues, and
career practitioners and professionals.
6) To interact with others, including clients, with honesty, respect, and truthfulness. (Refer to
Note 2)

 

Page 3 of 8
 

CDAS CODE OF ETHICS
Section 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 with clients only if career practitioners and
professionals are trained, qualified and experienced in pertinence to their roles and
positions.” (also see Section 3 – 3.2 & 3.3; Section 4 – 4.5; Section 5 – 5.1 & 5.2).
1.4 respect clients’ rights to privacy.
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 Section 3 – 3.6; Section 4 – 4.7 & 4.8; Section 8 – 8.2).
1.6 refrain from imposing their own values and beliefs to clients.
1.7 be mindful of the dual nature of relationships with clients as it could lead to role
confusion and thus may not be beneficial to the emotional health of clients (see Section 5
– 5.4).
Section 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.
Section 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 Section 1 – 1.3; Section 4 – 4.5; Section 5 – 5.1).
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 Section 1 – 1.3; Section 4 – 4.5; Section 5 – 5.1).
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.

 

Page 4 of 8

 

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 (also see Section 1 – 1.5;
Section 4 – 4.7 & 4.8; Section 8 – 8.2).
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.).
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.).
3.9 avoid or disclose conflicts of interest that could compromise the best interests of clients.
3.10 regularly evaluate their services provided to clients with an intent to improve practice
and client satisfaction.
Section 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.
4.3 ensure that the assessment tool(s) they recommend or have selected is/are beneficial
and appropriate to clients.
4.4 ensure that the formal assessment tool(s) to be used is/are statistically valid and reliable.
During and after administering an assessment, CDAS members shall:
4.5 administer the assessment tool(s) that they are competent, have been trained, and/or
certified (if required) (also see Section 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 results (also see Section 1 –
1.5; Section 3 – 3.6; Section 8 – 8.2).
4.8 not release the assessment results to other persons including the third-party payers or
sponsors unless the takers have given their full consent (also see Section 1 – 1.5; Section 3 – 3.6;
Section 8 - 8.2).
Section 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 Section 1 – 1.3; Section 3 – 3.2 & 3.3; Section 5 – 5.2 & 5.3).

 

Page 5 of 8

 

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 Section 1 – 1.3; Section 3 – 3.2 & 3.3; Section 5 – 5.1 & 5.3).
5.3 not cross the emotional boundaries to enter into an intimate or sexual relationship with
current and former clients (also see Section 1 – 1.3; Section 3 – 3.2 & 3.3; Section 5 – 5.1 & 5.2).
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. (Refer to Note 3) A rule of thumb is that the professional relationship
between the career practitioner and the client should be discouraged or avoided if their
dual relationship is very close. Relationships mentioned in 5.3 above are prohibited.
Section 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.
Section 7: Research, Publication and Public Presentation
General
CDAS members shall:
7.1 ensure the confidentiality of personal data of participants, respondents and clients.
Research
CDAS members shall:
7.2 inform the prospective participants the purpose of the study.
7.3 seek to obtain voluntary consent from prospective participants of the study.
7.4 seek approval (e.g., from the Ethics Committee) from their organization or agency prior
to the start of the study.
7.5 adhere to the policies and guidelines on research established by their organization or
agency.
7.6 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:

 

Page 6 of 8

 

7.7 adhere to the policies and guidelines on publication and public presentation from their
organization or agency.
7.8 quote or use the work or data of others with proper referencing and citation.
7.9 give due credit through joint authorship, and acknowledgement to those who have contributed
significantly to the research or publication.
7.10 not plagiarize.
Section 8: Fees
CDAS members shall:
8.1 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.
8.2 not release clients’ information to the third-party payers or their sponsors unless clients
have given their consent to such disclosure (also see Section 1 – 1.5; Section 3 – 3.6; Section 4 – 4.7 &
4.8).
Section 9: Publicity
CDAS members shall:
9.1 present their education and training, qualifications, credentials, professional
membership and registration, positions and titles, and experience accurately.
9.2 advertise or publicize their services and/or products accurately, and in absence of any
misleading and deceptive information.
9.3 ensure the content and links in their websites and social media presence are regularly
updated and checked.
9.4 Seek clients' informed consent in writing before publishing photos and/or videos which
have clients’ in them.
Section 10: Others
CDAS members shall:
10.1 observe and adhere to the Personal Data Protect Act (PDPA) and related regulatory
rules and guidelines in Singapore.
10.2 adhere all laws of the Republic of Singapore.

 

Page 6 of 8
 

NOTES
1 CDAS recognizes that its members have entered the field of careers through multiple pathways.
The following are examples of different individuals involving themselves in the field of careers.
• An executive coach, who is well qualified in Management and/or Coaching, may later become
a career specialist after pursuing a Master’s in Counselling and a Graduate Certificate in Career
Development.
• A Human Resource Manager may take on a new role in talents and career management for the
organization.
• A Social Worker working in a Family Services Centre may be required to provide employment
assistance to someone in the neighbourhood.
• A school teacher takes up the Educational and Career Guidance (ECG) role to impact youth’s
choices for the major of study and career decisions.
• An individual with an MBA or a degree in Engineering, and with experience in the banking and
finance sector, has become a Career Coach in a university career centre.
• A legal specialist has taken up a job concerning the diversity of employment law regimes across
the region, particularly with respect to termination rights, employment law issues faced by
employers entering new markets in Asia, challenges in setting consistent employment policies
and practices across the Asia-Pacific region and choosing and implementing the correct
international mobility model.
• A Rehabilitation Counsellor has taken a role in helping their clients to land a job.
As Vuroinen and Keuttunen (2017) point out, no one career services provider or organization can
alone meet the career needs of diverse groups of people.

 

References:
Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA). (2011) Professional Standards for Australian Career
Development Practitioners. CICA.
Mcllveen, P. & Alchin, C. (2017) Qualifications for Australian Career Development Practitioners. In
Yoon, H., Hutchison, B., Maze, M., Pritchard, C., Reiss, A. (2017) International Practices of Career
Services Credentials, and Training. Broken Arrow, OK: National Career Development Association.
National Career Development Association (NCDA). (2015) 2015 NCDA Code of Ethics. NCDA.
Pope, M. & Hutchison, B. (2017) History of Career Services Provider Credentialing in the USA. In
Yoon, H., Hutchison, B., Maze, M., Pritchard, C., Reiss, A. (2017) International Practices of Career
Services Credentials, and Training. Broken Arrow, OK: National Career Development Association.
Vuorinen, R. & Kettunen, J. (2017) The European Status for Career Service Provider Credentialing:
Professionalism in European Union (EU) Guidance Policies. In Yoon, H., Hutchison, B., Maze, M.,
Pritchard, C., Reiss, A. (2017) International Practices of Career Services Credentials, and Training.
Broken Arrow, OK: National Career Development Association.
2 Members may refer to the works by Kitchener (1984), Beauchamp and Childress (2001), and
other writers to find out more about ethical principles for professional associations.

 

Page 7 of 8

 

Beauchamp, T.L. & Childress, J.F. (2001) Principles of Biomedical Ethics. Oxford University Press.
Career Development Institute. (2015) Code of Ethics. Retrieved from CDI website:
http://www.thecdi.net/Code-of-Ethics---Case-Studies.
Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA). (2011) Professional Standards for Australian Career
Development Practitioners. Retrieved from CICA website: https://cica.org.au/wpcontent/
uploads/cica_prof_standards_booklet.pdf
Kitchener, K. S. (1984). Intuition, critical evaluation and ethical principles: The
foundation for ethical decisions in counseling psychology. Counseling Psychologist,
12(3), 43-55.
National Career Development Association (NCDA). (2015) 2015 NCDA Code of Ethics. NCDA.
Retrieved from NCDA website: https://www.ncda.org/aws/NCDA/asset_manager/get_file/3395
3 Some common types of dual relationships are:
• Family dual relationship – e.g., with a child, a sibling, etc.
• Social dual relationship – e.g., with a friend;
• Work dual relationship – e.g., with a colleague
• Business dual relationship – e.g., with a business partner
• Communal dual relationship – e.g., with a church member
• Institutional dual relationship – e.g. with a staff in the company


Page 8 of 8

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

Head

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
Head
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
Upliftyourlife.net

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

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • LinkedIn Social Icon

© 2019 by CAREER DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION OF SINGAPORE   Proudly created with Wix.com