Changes to the Australian Blueprint for Career Development

Changes to the Australian Blueprint for Career Development

The new version of the Australian Blueprint for Career Development was released last week, and it’s great.

Our CEO Lucy has provided a recap of the big changes:

It’s shorter

It’s lost about 20 odd pages, and most of those were the matrices, which outlined the competencies by phase and learning taxonomy.

There used to be around 35 to 40 different indicators for each competency, but now there’s just one statement for each of the five phases. Most of these are the same as in the old Blueprint and they’ve just added an additional statement for the first phase.

More on the phases below…

They’ve changed up the competencies

See the image below for the key changes.

Updated Blueprint competencies


The purpose of each Learning Area is clearer which is helpful.

A new competency “Manage wellbeing, mental and physical health” has been introduced. There’s a fair bit of crossover with competency 11 – “Maintain balanced life and work roles”, but it’s also great to have a place to talk about things like safe work practices and finding allies.

The “Understanding the changing nature of life and work roles” competency has been moved from Area C to Area B.

The phases are no longer linear

Ok, they weren’t strictly linear before, but in general they followed this pattern:

Primary >> middle >> senior secondary/uni >> adult.

The five new phases are:

Awareness >> Exploration >> Groundwork >> Starting out >> Advancing.

These don’t follow any particular age pattern and they are clear that we cycle through these phases at all ages of life. This new approach is fantastic, giving us space to see development as a cycle and dynamic progress, not a track to follow.

The phases are explained thus (page 11 of the Blueprint):

“An adult worker may become aware of an interest in an area in which they have had little experience (Awareness), explore ways of developing greater skills and knowledge in that area (Exploration), complete a course of study (Groundwork), begin to identify ways of applying their new found skills in their career (Starting out), and then gain employment in a job (Advancing).”

Other points


There’s a new focus on experiential learning to facilitate career development, and the refreshed practice guides are great, there’s much more potential for these to be used in schools.

The Blueprint changes and new phases will be incorporated into the updated Ponder Program content for 2023.

Congratulations to the Career Industry Council of Australia (Inc) and the National Careers Institute for creating such a valuable resource.

If you’d like to read the Blueprint yourself you can find it here


We’d love to hear from you


If you’ve got any feedback about the changes, new phases, or our comments, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch any time by emailing

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