Careers Leader

Every school and college delivering secondary education should have a named Careers Leader. These leaders have responsibility for delivering the school's careers programme.

Responsibilities of the Careers Leader

Careers Leaders are responsible and accountable for the delivery of their school’s programme of careers information, advice, education and guidance. It is a senior role that requires the person doing it to have a clear overview of the school’s careers provision and to make sure that the school meets the Gatsby Benchmarks.

The responsibilities of a Careers Leader can be collated and summarised under four main headings: leadership, management, coordination, and networking.


  • Leading the team of teachers, administrators, external partners and others who deliver career guidance.
  • Advising the senior leadership team on policy, strategy and resources for career guidance and showing how they meet the Gatsby Benchmarks.
  •  Reporting to senior leaders and governors.
  • Reviewing and evaluating career guidance and providing information for school development planning, Ofsted and other purposes.
  • Preparing and implementing a career guidance development plan and ensuring that details of the careers programme are published on the school’s website.
  • Understanding the implications of a changing education landscape for career guidance, e.g. technical education reform.
  • Ensuring compliance with the legal requirements to provide independent career guidance and give access to providers of technical education or apprenticeships, to pupils in schools, including the publication of the policy statement of provider access on their website.


  • Planning the programme of activity in career guidance
  • Briefing and supporting teachers involved in career guidance
  • Monitoring delivery of career guidance across the eight Gatsby Benchmarks, using the Compass evaluation tool
  • Supporting tutors, providing initial information and advice
  • Managing the work of others e.g. Careers Advisers and administrative and other staff involved in the delivery of career guidance
  • Monitoring access to, and take up of, guidance
  • Ensuring colleges and apprenticeship providers have access to the school to share opportunities with all pupils
  • Managing the careers budget as appropriate
  • Managing their own CPD and supporting the ongoing CPD of colleagues in their careers team


  • Managing the provision of career and labour market information
  • Managing the careers section of the school’s website, ensuring information is accurate and up to date
  • Liaising with the PSHE leader and other subject leaders to plan their contribution to career guidance
  • Liaising with tutors, mentors, SENCO and heads of year to identify pupils needing guidance
  • Referring pupils to Careers Advisers
  • Coordinating encounters with employers and work experience
  • Communicating with pupils and their parents


  • Establishing and developing links with FE colleges, apprenticeship providers, University Technical Colleges and universities
  • Establishing and developing links with employers
  • Negotiating a service level agreement with the local authority as appropriate
  • Commissioning career guidance services where appropriate
  •  Managing links with the LEP and other external organisations
  • Securing funding for careers related projects
  • Building a network of alumni who can help with the career guidance programme

Contact Waltham Forest's Careers Service 

Personal Careers Guidance Interview - What you should expect from a Careers Adviser? 

A personal careers guidance interview is a conversation with a purpose which is agreed with you from the start. It is a confidential one-to-one discussion with a qualified careers adviser who is here to help you. Whatever you wish to discuss, you can be sure that the adviser will be objective and impartial.

During a careers interview the adviser will:

  • Negotiate and agree with you the structure of the interview
  • Listen carefully to you in an impartial way.  The adviser will not judge you or your ideas but help you achieve what you want to do in a realistic and informed way
  • Ask questions to help you clarify your aims and come up with an action plan
  • Focus on your needs and particular requirements
  • Help you to recognise what stage you are at in your decision making
  • Discuss your options and make sure you are aware of all of the options available to you so that you can make an informed choice about your future
  • Support with ways to help overcome any barriers you may have that might impact on your career planning such as disability, exam results, financial etc.
  • Provide practical feedback and encouragement
  • Refer you to specialist information or services if appropriate

What sort of topics are often discussed

Some people have specific questions to ask but many wish to talk through ideas and concerns which may include:

  • I don’t know what to do next. Can you help me?
  • How can I find more information relating to my interests and make good use of it?
  • How can I improve my chances of success at an interview?
  • I am finding it difficult to complete an online application form that is asking for examples of my skills.
  • I am not sure this course is the right one for me.
  • How can I gain some relevant work experience?
  • I have applied for a few jobs but didn’t get an interview. What is going wrong?

What careers advisers don't do?

  • Tell you what job or career you should do. We will listen to your ideas, likes and dislikes to help you check if a job or career might suit you. It is your decision about whether to go for something or not, a careers adviser can help you look at the implications of a choice or decision so that you feel more informed and confident.
  • Find you a job or a place on a course. We can help with where to look for jobs or courses and support you with the application process.
  • Offer a “quick fix” solution
Last update: Thursday 12th of November 2020 03:01:52 PM