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National Guidelines for Career Information Products in Saudi Arabia


Introduction

These National Guidelines for Career Information Products (the Guidelines) support the development of independent, impartial career-related resources, tailored to the Saudi Arabian labour market. The resources developed in accordance with these Guidelines will help individuals make informed career decisions regarding education, training and employment options. The Guidelines have been developed specially for the Saudi Arabian context as part of a suite of products designed to provide the citizens of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with a world-class system of career education and guidance.

The Guidelines define the criteria that developers must follow to create information products of consistent and sufficient quality. Career information products are varied, and include posters, videos, websites, brochures, games or web-based and mobile applications. Due to the broad nature of products, and the broad range of data types they incorporate, as well as the multimedia in which they are developed, the Guidelines assist developers and users to ensure products support the aims and goals of career education and development across formats, data types and target populations.

The Guidelines provide developers with the flexibility and direction they need to be able to use existing and emerging technologies in a way that responds to the needs of users, and that retains a high level of quality. Guidelines also reduce the time lag between the development of new technologies and the careers industry’s response in terms of appropriate usage.

What is a career information product?
Service Providers

Career information is broad and diverse, from the billboards individuals pass on roads, to the level of activity in shopping malls, to speeches delivered by college executives, or formal brochures describing pathways to local or international universities. That is, career information is any material used by individuals to support or guide the life-long process of managing their career. Career information may be classified as either formal or informal.

Formal career information is material that has been published or produced with the explicit intent of conveying information about the labour market (for example, employment and unemployment levels, or average wages), education and training opportunities (for example the courses available at universities and TVET providers), and/or about occupations (for example descriptions of jobs, and the training and skills required to work in the job).

Formal career information products provide credible and reliable information about occupations, the labour market, education and training pathways, and any other aspects of the world of work that assists users to make informed decisions about their career path. These products are produced in a range of media, including printed resources (such as posters and pamphlets) and digital resources (such as websites and interactive games).

In order to develop an individual’s career management skills it is essential they have access to multiple products so they can develop their self-awareness, labour market awareness, and decision-making capabilities. 

Informal information encompasses more casual sources of information that may be encountered during the course of every day activities, such as through conversations with friends and family, job advertisements, billboards and newspaper articles.

These Guidelines are intended to support the creation of formal career information products. Formal career information products are designed explicitly to inform career education and development (CED) programs and activities. Some formal career information products may include or refer to informal information sources, within the limits of these Guidelines. However, the Guidelines are not intended to guide the creation of informal career information resources, such as learning materials or curriculum; this is the role of careers practitioners with expertise in education or other relevant specialist areas.

Maintaining high standards of quality

The Guidelines described in this document are intended to ensure that career information products produced for and used in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are of a consistently high quality. High quality products are those that:

 

  • Have clearly defined audiences and purposes, and are transparent about their strengths and limitations
  • Present information that is credible, valid and reliable, including transparency about information sources and product intent;
  • Empower users to develop their own decision-making skills, and do not lead them to pre-determined outcomes
  • Are accessible to users with special needs, such as people with visual or hearing impairments; and
  • Are benchmarked against the Career Development Framework

Career information products alone do not provide all the information necessary for users to develop their career management and employability skills. Rather, they should be used in the context of scaffolded support and advice from careers practitioners, educators, family and other influencers, in order to enable users to build the skills to self-manage their careers


A quality assurance system for the careers industry
Service Providers

The career education and development ecosystem in Saudi Arabia builds upon international recognition of the importance of career education and development in enabling citizens to live productive and fulfilling lives, and thereby contribute to the building, growth and flourishing of a productive and creative society and economy.

The value of career education and development is determined by the provision of high quality services delivered by appropriately qualified professionals, using reliable and credible resources. The introduction of national policy and standards enables Saudi Arabia to provide citizens with consistent, high quality services across the Kingdom. The introduction of national policy and standards also brings Saudi Arabia in line with the most advanced career education and development systems in the world.

The quality assurance system for the careers industry in Saudi Arabia is based on extensive consultation with local, national and international stakeholders and experts in career education and development. The national policy, the Career Development Framework (CDF), is the centrepiece of the quality assurance system. The CDF specifies the knowledge, skills and attitudes citizens need to self-manage their careers, from childhood through to end of career

A summary of the quality assurance system frameworks follows:

Standards for the Careers Industry in Saudi Arabia
Policy The Career Development Framework The CDF is the overarching policy that informs all careers-related education and service delivery. This national policy defines the 10 competencies individuals need to manage their learning and work from cradle through career. It includes a Guide for Users with activities and tools for implementation.
Standards Professional Standards for Careers Practitioners Professional Standards define the qualifications, characteristics, values and competencies that all careers practitioners need in order to deliver services. The Professional Standards identify core competencies that include the profession’s ethical code, as well as specialist areas of competency for specific job roles.
Standards for Career Service Delivery Standards for Career Service Delivery define the compliance criteria for all careers related service delivery. The Standards for Service Providers are relevant to services delivered in private and public sectors.
Guidelines Guidelines for Career Information Products Guidelines for Career Information Products define the parameters within which career-related resources are to be designed and developed. This includes parameters for hard copy/digital products based on formal/informal labour market and education/training information.


The CDF is supported by the Professional Standards which identify the qualifications, knowledge, skills and attitudes that careers practitioners must possess in order to deliver services within Saudi Arabia. Similarly, the Standards for Career Service Delivery in Saudi Arabia specify the standards that apply to all career services delivered within the Kingdom. Finally, it is vital that career information products used by practitioners and services are of consistent quality. The Guidelines for Career Information Products support the creation of reliable, credible sources for practitioners and services to share with students and clients

The diagram below identifies that quality assurance depends upon the national policy framework, standards, and guidelines being used together to underpin the industry as it grows.

 

The national policy, standards and guidelines are living documents. This means they must be updated, reviewed and improved over time. Because the industry is emerging in Saudi Arabia, it is critical that all stakeholders within the community of practice maintain awareness of the quality assurance system frameworks, and contribute to their currency by providing feedback as required. This will enable the quality assurance system to continue to strengthen over time.


Who should use the Guidelines
Service Providers

The Guidelines apply to career information products intended for use in Saudi Arabia (regardless of where the resource developer may be based). The Guidelines are intended to govern the development of career information products. How products developed under these guidelines are used as part of formal career development activities is governed by the Professional Standards for Careers Practitioners and Standards for Career Services. However, developers must take into account how their products will be used and ensure that career development knowledge, theory and/or frameworks, in particular the Saudi Arabian CDF, are reflected in the design, development and/or intended delivery mode of their product.

The Guidelines are primarily intended to be used by:

  • Licensed careers practitioners, with specialist competency in resource development
  • National and international resource developers designing or adapting products for the Saudi Arabian market
  • Training providers wishing to develop career planning resources for students and potential students, which may include course information brochures or products to help graduates find employment.

However, there may be other professionals who would benefit from using the guidelines, and the self-assessment tool provided in the appendix to measure the quality of a pre-existing resource or product as part of their service delivery. Some common examples of additional professionals who may benefit from using the Guidelines in this manner include:

  • Teachers wishing to ensure a career information product is suitable for their class
  • Job placement officers and staff working in recruitment agencies
  • Vocational rehabilitation specialists
  • Community and welfare organisations, in particular those with counsellors and youth workers who deal with youth at risk
  • Employers and/or human resources specialists wishing to provide employees with career and/or workforce development activities in the workplace
  • Post-secondary education providers

How to use the Guidelines
Service Providers

Developers, service managers, careers practitioners or regulators of career information products can use the Guidelines to benchmark a product’s compliance. Developers will find the Guidelines particularly useful for determining any areas for change, improvement or modification to strengthen compliance.

The Guidelines include:

  • Nine Core Guidelines; and
  • Three Specialist Guidelines

The Core Guidelines apply to all career information products developed for the Saudi Arabian market. The Specialist Guidelines apply if a product:

  • Is available in a digital format
  • Collects personal data from users; and/or
  • Charges users any sort of fee
Core Guidelines
1 Products are user-focused in design and content
2 Products align with career development theory, models and frameworks
3 The product is inclusive and presented in a format accessible to the target population.
4 The scope of information contained in products is fit for purpose
5 Career information used in products is specific to Saudi Arabia
6 Information is based on data collected from trustworthy, reputable sources
7 Information provided is clear, current, accurate and unbiased
8 Ownership of information used in products is clearly attributed
9 Clear instructions on the intended use and limitations of the product are provided
Specialist Guidelines
10 Digital products incorporate appropriate strategies to broaden accessibility and engagement
11 Where collection of personal information is required to use a product, policies governing the use and storage of this information are provided to users
12 Fees associated with the use of products are identified

Each Guideline is accompanied by a brief description outlining its importance and the criteria that products should meet in order to comply.

It is important to note that while all career information products designed for the Saudi Arabian market should follow all of the Core Guidelines, due to the diverse nature of career information products there may be some instances that a product will not meet every criteria. This does not necessarily mean that the product does not adhere to the Guidelines, but may signify that, due to the target audience or intended purpose of the product, a small number of specific criteria may not be applicable in that particular instance.

A self-assessment tool is provided as an appendix to these Guidelines. The tool provides developers with a checklist to assist them in measuring how their product/s align with the Guidelines and associated criteria. The checklist is also a recommended tool for careers practitioners, service managers and others to benchmark career information products to determine their quality and reliability