Lancashire executive appointed president of guidance body

Karen O’Donoghue, chief executive of Leyland-based social business The Via Partnership, has been voted into the top job of a new, national professional body.

Karen ODonoghue ViaThe new Career Development Institute (CDI), which went live on April 1, has appointed Karen as president and company chair at the Institute’s first annual general meeting. The CDI is the successor body to a number of existing professional associations, including the Institute of Careers Guidance.

Karen is also  a former director of the Institute of Careers Guidance and currently vice chair of the sector specialist trade body Careers England.  At the AGM Karen outlined her vision for members by prioritising building the credibility for the career development sector and for the Career Development Institute itself.

She said: “Like any business start-up, the CDI will have to prove itself to its customers who are the members of the institute, and with them, find a strong and clear voice for the diverse career development family. The social and economic impact of career development has been overlooked by successive governments partly because of the fragmented and confusing messages we have sent out as a sector.” The Career Development Institute has been forged out of the Careers Profession Task Force, chaired by Dame Ruth Silver.  The Task Force outlined the case for a more unified profession and recommended the creation of a professional register; a requirement for front line professionals to hold a qualification in career development at QCF Level 6, and, critically, urged the sector to develop a coherent unified professional voice for people working in careers guidance and education in all its forms and various settings.