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How we work

Explaining CPD’s approach to career coaching; what is likely to happen in each session

How does CPD work?

Preliminary Session (Recommended)

After clients have contacted CPD (by phone or email), we always suggest that they book in for a free half-hour consultation. Ideally this is a face-to-face meeting, but we can also arrange a virtual session, if it is not feasible to come to London.  In this session we explore why the client is considering career coaching at this point in their career, and what they hope to get out of the sessions.  We also explain how we work, and show them the different self-assessment exercises and psychometric tools that we use.

We always suggest to clients that they should go home and review whether or not they want to proceed with the career coaching, rather than booking up further sessions on the spot. Occasionally a coach may decide that they are not the right person to work with a particular client and we will then try to make an appropriate referral to coach within CPD – or indeed to another service.

First Session: (Detailed Educational and Career History). All Clients. 1 – 2.5 hours

During the first session we review the client’s educational and career history in some depth. We look at what the client has enjoyed learning or working at  (from school onwards), as well as areas of study or work that may have been much less positive.  We also discuss whether psychometric testing would be relevant or not, to the particular career goals that each client sets.

The length of this session varies between one hour to two and a half hours. This is because discussing the career history of a clinician who is 15 years post-qualification is likely to take longer than a similar discussion with somebody who has only recently left medical or dental school.

Linking Assignments (All Clients)

Each client completes a number of self-assessment exercises on factors such as abilities, skills, work values, interests and personal stressors. These are completed in the client’s own time between sessions.

Psychometric Testing (Optional)

Different aspects of our personality such as the extent to which we are out-going, prone to self-doubt or competitive can have an impact on how much we might enjoy particular careers. Hogan Personality Instruments are occupational as opposed to clinical measures, and look at the link between aspects of our psychological functioning, and different occupational challenges.  They are well-validated measures and have been used extensively with different professional groups, including doctors and dentists.

Not all clients choose to complete these measures. However if they decide it would be useful to do so, we arrange for them to be sent an access code so that they can access the questionnaires online at home.  A career development report that outlines the implications of their personality for their career planning is produced when is reviewed thoroughly at the next career coaching session.

Review Session (All Clients) 1.5 – 2.0 hours

The educational and career history (first session), linking assignments and where relevant psychometric test results are critically reviewed. In this way the key career criteria for each individual client are identified. This list of career criteria may relate to skills or abilities that the client wants to use at work, to underlying work values, or to aspects of their own personality. In turn, this list is used as the basis for identifying possible career options that the client may want to explore.

Having identified possible career options it is vital that each client researches them in some detail, before making any final career decisions.  During this session we discuss key questions they want to explore; we think about different organisations or people they could approach to find out more about particular options, together with good questions that they need to research.   Each client completes these research tasks in their own time, and we encourage clients to explore options fully, before final career decisions are made.

Career Decision Making (All Clients). 1-1.5 hours

Having carried out the research tasks, the client reviews the findings and compares the results to the key individual career criteria identified in the earlier session. In this way final career decisions are made, and a detailed Career Action Plan can be constructed.

Putting the Career Plan into Action (Optional)

Many clients do not need any further help once they have worked out their Career Action Plan. However, some may need additional support in order to be successful in implementing their career plan. This is particularly likely to be the case if the client decides to make significant career changes and apply for a markedly different role to the one which they currently hold.

If clients want, we can provide help with writing CVs and covering letters as well as with interview preparation.

Follow up Session (Optional)

In order to consolidate the career coaching process , we offer clients a free follow-up session between 6-12 months following the final session.

1:1 Career coaching

Career coaching can help any clinician who wants to think seriously about their career – from somebody who has yet to complete their undergraduate training right the way through to somebody planning for retirement.



“I can not thank you enough for all your support and advice during what has been a very difficult time for me - I am truly grateful...”


Training faculty

Building on clinicians’ existing skills, the faculty development workshops can rapidly transform the effectiveness of future career conversations that they will have with trainees. Guidelines on when a trainee may be in career difficulty and need specialist careers support are also provided.


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