Background to Scales

As well as producing the book about Career Education and Development (see previous tab) we have developed four Scales (see next tab) to try to find out where the career thinking of students is at, so that career practitioners in schools and/or universities, can provide programs and resources to assist them if required. The information personnel in schools and universities get from students completing the Scales, will enable them to determine the level of career thinking of the individual student and/or a class group of students and/or a grade/level group of students. This information will enable the personnel to determine how to tailor programs to meet the career development need of their students

The Book and Scales are based on a theoretical, research and practical framework around the concept of Career Education and Development

Career Education and Development (CED) is defined as: The development of skills, attitudes and understandings through a planned program of learning experiences that empowers students to make informed decisions about school and post-school options and pathways and to enable effective transition to, and participation in, working life. (adapted from the National Career Education Strategy, 2019).

The model which underpins CED has three components: Understanding (centre circle, 3), Actions (middle circle, 4), and Attitudes (outer circle 2) as shown in the diagram.

Model which underpins Career Education and Development (McCowan et al. 2022)

The aims of Career Education and Development can be expressed in terms of the key tasks that students are asked to undertake and these reflect the 9 sub-components of the model.

through understanding:

to develop the knowledge and understanding of themselves as individuals, including their actual and potential personal resources

to develop knowledge and understanding of the general structures of post-school life, the range of opportunities and pathways, and the demands, rewards, and satisfaction associated with them; and

to develop an understanding of the range of influences that may have significant impact on the options available, the decisions made, and the implementation of these decisions. They could be as indirect as economic or as direct as the opinions of friends.

through actions:

to develop short-term, mid-term, and long-term career-related goals and plans;

to learn how to make considered decisions in re anticipated career and life roles;

to be proactive and take actions to effectively manage the implementation of considered decisions and the transitions from school to post-school educational and vocational opportunities; and

to effectively use the key learning task of reflecting on past decisions and actions, to learn from them, and apply this learning to future decisions and actions.

and through attitudes:

to build confidence in the students’ capacity to effectively self-manage their career decisions and career transitions.

Underpinning Framework

Below is the integrated framework of CED based on the framework of predictors, influences, components, and outcomes of career preparedness by Marciniak et al. (2020) and modified by McCowan et al. (2022)

The Scales have been subject to rigorous research through the University of Southern Queensland and a great deal of information and examples of CED programs and activities are provided in the publication listed in the Latest Book tab in this site Introducing Career Education and Development: A guide for personnel in educational institutions in both developed and developing countries.


The four scales outlined in the next Tab on this Web site were developed and validated around this framework. The research was conducted as part of the PhD by Dr Col McCowan OAM and is published in the following three articles:

McCowan, C., McIlveen, P., McLennan, B., Ciccarone, L., Perera, H. N. (2022). A Career Education and Development Framework and Measure for Senior Secondary School Students. Australian Journal of Career Development, 32(2), 122–134.

McCowan, C., McIlveen, P., McLennan, B., Ho, P., Lê, L. D. A. K. & Tran, N. D. (2024). Career education and development scale for secondary and tertiary students in Vietnam. The Career Development Quarterly, 1–14.

McCowan, C., McIlveen, P., McLennan, B., Ciccarone, L. Perera, H. N. (2024). An Investigation of the Psychometric Properties of the Career Education & Development Scale for Primary and Junior Secondary Students in Australia. International Journal of Educational and Vocational Guidance (under publication)

Vietnamese Versions of the Scales

CromachCareers partnered with Song An Career Development Social Enterprise (Song An) in Vietnam for the translation of the CEDS into Vietnamese and the research around using them in the Vietnamese context. Consequently, the copyright for the Vietnamese versions of the scales has been officially transferred to Song An, granting them exclusive rights over the use, reproduction and distribution of the scales within Vietnam. Any unauthorised utilisation, adaption or integration of this work is not permitted without explicit written consent from Song An Career Development Social Enterprise. For permissions or further inquiries, please contact the person listed below via the email specified.

The point of contact in Vietnam is:

Ms Truc Le, available via the email: