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The Career Development Framework for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia V1

About The Framework

The National Career Development Framework identifies the ten competencies that Saudi Arabian citizens need to manage their careers and to enhance their employability.

By understanding, acquiring and applying the skills and attributes that are demanded by modern labour markets and workplaces, all Saudis will be better equipped to take responsibility for their careers and to make decisions about learning and work that are right for them and which also benefit the society in which they live. 

The Framework builds on the efforts of countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia, England, Scotland and others who already have their own career management skills frameworks in place.  It also addresses the particular education, training and employment challenges that Saudi citizens face and the government is currently seeking to address in various ways.

In this way, the Framework benefits individuals by enhancing their learning and work opportunities, and it also benefits the country and community, by ensuring that the skills of individuals are being used in ways that help KSA in its shift to a knowledge-based economy



Satisfying lives

Productive lifestyles

Career Development Framework

Career Management Skills

Employability Skills

KSA Society

Social goals

Economic needs

Who is the Framework for and what is it designed to do?

The Framework is designed to be used by both careers practitioners and organisations that provide career education and development and employability programs and services or career information products. Its primary purpose is to ensure that career education programs and services are designed to help individuals develop career management and employability skills and attributes.  

It is generally agreed by careers practitioners that career education programs or initiatives should assist people to develop and integrate the understandings and skills to:

  • Understand themselves and the influences that shape them;
  • Understand the education and employment opportunities available;
  • Make decisions about studies and work, and
  • Build a productive and satisfying life.

That is to say, an individual needs the skills: “to relate their understanding of themselves to the opportunities available before arriving at and attempting to make (and implement) a sound career decision” (AGCAS, 2005, page 3).  Further, “a person may go through many iterations of this cyclical pattern during their lifetime as they progressively revisit their careers” ( ibid, page 3).

Throughout the world, career management frameworks are typically used by careers practitioners and education and training service providers, such as schools, vocational training institutions, and universities where individuals are assisted to achieve their full potential through career education programs and career development services. Using a career development framework enables careers practitioners and service providers to be very clear about the learning outcomes that their programs and services aim to achieve. A glossary of key terms commonly used in relation to career development can be found at Appendix 1.     

They are also used by organisations that offer job/employment services to individuals who need further skills development and support to secure sustainable employment. Employers seeking to align the career needs of employees with the business objectives of their companies have also used career development frameworks to design career and employability programs. 

It is obvious that the ultimate goal of a career development framework is to make it easy for individuals to acquire the skills they need to manage their careers.  It is hoped, therefore, that they will benefit most from this Framework and that the following groups will use the Framework in the following ways to better serve their clients or children or employees.


For these users The Framework enables:
K- Primary School Design of career-related learning activities to help young children develop confidence and explore a range of possible work roles
Intermediate and Secondary School
  • Design and implementation of career education programs that facilitate the development of career management and employability skills
  • Review of existing programs to ensure that learning objectives are clear and relate to the development of specific career management and employability skills
  • Monitoring of the acquisition and ongoing development of career management and employability skills of learners
Technical and Vocational Training Colleges and Colleges of Excellence
  • Examination or mapping of existing course structures to determine where career learning could be incorporated
  • Design and implementation of career education modules, programs, workshops or events that facilitate the development of career management and employability skills
  • Monitoring of the acquisition and ongoing development of career management and employability skills of learners
  • Facilitation of development and assessment of graduate employability skills and attributes
  • Examination or mapping of existing course structures to determine where career learning could be incorporated
  • Design and implementation of career education learning modules or workshops or events that facilitate the development of career management and employability skills
  • Facilitation of the development and assessment of graduate employability skills and attributes
Guidance Counsellors
  • Assessment of client capabilities
  • Design of appropriate career interventions
Employers/HRD Practitioners
  • Design of targeted professional development activities for staff.
  • Integration of career management and employability skills into performance management systems and processes
Employment Services Providers
  • Design or review of a career workshop or other career event for clear learning outcomes
  • Diagnosis of areas where individuals would benefit from further learning to develop their career management and employability skills
  • Facilitation of the selection of  career learning materials for a library or course
Career Resource Developers Specification of the learning outcomes that career resources are designed to achieve
Government /Other Funders of Career Services and Products Specification of program or service objectives and monitoring of the achievement of objectives
Parents Understanding the skills their children need to acquire over time in order to equip themselves for the future

Volume II provides further practical information on how to use the Framework for these purposes

The Inclusion of Employability Skills in the Framework

An empowered and competent workforce has benefits for employers. Individuals for whom career development is intentional are more likely to be productive, skilled, willing to learn and acquire new skills, and they are more likely to seek out the type of work that matches best with their own life and work goals. This kind of synergy represents a ‘win-win’ situation for employers and employees.

It is therefore important for individuals to know, as part of their career development process, which generic skills and personal attributes employers value. Competency 10 of the framework is dedicated to this purpose.[1] In addition, Volume II of the framework describes:

  • the employability skills identified by KSA employers,
  • the attributes that these skills imply,
  • the differences between career management and employability skills, and
  • the ways in which employability skills and attributes can be developed through career education activities.

In this way, the Framework seeks to establish the important connections between career management and employability skills, whilst retaining a primary focus on those career management skills that individuals need to realise their life, learning and work goals.

People who acquire and use the career management competencies of the Framework will be able to demonstrate behaviour that exemplifies self-management, resilience, flexibility, and the capacity to adapt to changes in the environment and in circumstances around them. These skills and qualities will obviously benefit individuals, because they then posses the tools needed to manage their careers, while still working within the existing constraints that impact upon all of us, such as the availability of opportunities in the labour market, and obligations to family and friends.

The Framework does not encompass content-specific employability skills, such as English language skills or technology skills, as these are best addressed through specific education and training programs.


[1] Information adapted from prototype Australian Blueprint for Career Development


How was the Framework developed?

"Men and women don’t know enough about available opportunities. Expansion of women into occupations is new in KSA ".

Advisory Committee Member, Jeddah



The framework is the result of a combination of review of the international literature and evidence base for effective practice in career management skill development, and workshops and consultations with Saudi Arabian organisations, community representatives, and individuals.

As part of the formation of the Framework, a Discussion Paper was released to raise understanding of the impact of career management skills frameworks around the world, beginning with the ‘blueprint’ models, which were originally pioneered in the United States (1989). Broadly, this approach has been adopted by Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom over the last twenty years, with some regional variation (Hooley, Watts et al, 2012; Ministry of Education 2009).

The Discussion Paper also identified key issues related to global trends in career development in the context of current research on the Saudi Arabian labour market and employment context.

The Framework therefore builds on the current research knowledge base on international best practice in career transition support. The Framework takes in to account recent revisions of career management skills frameworks, such as in the United States and Australia, and as such builds on these findings and recommendations.

It has also been shaped and refined by research and consultation investigating the specific nature of the Saudi Arabian career context, including issues relating to education and training, employment and the labour market, and existing support services. Additionally, it has been shaped by the Saudi Arabian cultural and societal context to ensure its relevance and appropriateness to community members.


It also supports the globally held perspective that career development is a process of self-managed cultivation of one’s potential in relation to available learning and work opportunities. This understanding is at the heart of the most influential career management skills frameworks in the world to date.

International best practice in the formation of career management skills frameworks is that each framework both draws from established policies and research, while ensuring it is customised to its context.  The Framework is based on best practice and tailored to the Saudi Arabian context through the following methodological approach.

  1. Miles Morgan conducted a research and scoping program in Saudi Arabia in February 2014 to meet with key project stakeholders in a range of industry and government sectors in order to identify the parameters and process for the formation of the Framework.
  2. An Advisory Committee and an Executive Committee - comprised of key national experts and representatives - were established for consultation on the development of the Framework.
  3. Miles Morgan released the Discussion Paper for dissemination to stakeholders, requesting responses for consideration as part of development of the Framework.
  4. Miles Morgan conducted a workshop program in Saudi Arabia during April-May 2014 to engage students, job seekers, service providers, employers, early-career employees, teachers, student advisors, government program managers, and representatives from across the education system in the development of the specifications for the Framework.
  5. Miles Morgan conducted analysis of the workshop program findings for integration within the Framework.
  6. Analysis of research findings was conducted by Miles Morgan, in consultation with MoL+, to refine and finalise the Framework in prototype form.
  7. The Framework was submitted to a renowned career development academic for international peer review, and refined based on the response.

The result of this process is establishment of a national Career Development Framework for KSA that is designed to respond effectively to the transition needs of Saudi citizens