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President’s Message July 5, 2020

Dear Members and Friends,

We are very fortunate to have 3 great candidates for President-Elect of APCDA on our ballot.  Please vote.  Voting is open now and ends July 22.  Ballots were sent on July 1 - so check your Spam folder if you did not receive yours, or contact

We are really looking forward to being in Singapore May 25-29, 2021 for the APCDA Conference at the Lifelong Learning Center.  We hope COVID-19 will be past by then and travel restrictions will have been lifted.  We are working with a great team in Singapore to find local speakers, in addition to our 3 international keynote speakers.  After reading the recent article about the variety of tourist activities in Singapore, I am sure you are also eager to visit this magical island nation.

Of course, we are also making contingency plans, in case international travel is still not safe by then.  Please help us with our contingency plans by completing the 2020 Member/Friend Survey, which asks for your opinion on several options, depending on the progress of the pandemic at that time.  The survey will be sent to you on Wednesday, July 22.

The Pandemic caused big changes our activities this year.  In May we revised our Budget because the year has been so different than planned.  The new budget is based on actual expenses and income since the start of our year in October through April.  Fortunately, the new budget is balanced. 

Our regular monthly webinars have been well received so far this year.  Now that we have only 2 income sources (membership dues and webinars), income from webinars is very important to our future.  Our Program Committee has been doing a wonderful job of finding exciting presenters.  Here are the ones we have lined up for the future:

  • Career Trends by Ms. Delphy Oon, July 14/15
  • The Future of Work: Future of Digitalized Workforce by Ms. Phi Van Nguyen, August 23/24
  • Future Skills by Dr. Soon Joo Gog in September
  • Singapore’s Career Framework: A Career Planning Policy Comparison by Jeremiah Wong in October
  • Strategic Role of Career Services / Student Engagement Services in the Higher Education by Dr. Farouk Dey in November

In addition to the regular webinar series, we have been offering at least one free webinar to members each month.  In May and June we offered regional discussions, and the summary is now available on our website.  This series or discussion produced a lot of information about the impact of COVID on our region and trends that our members foresee.  The summary is a great source of information for all of us.  We have 2 follow-up webinars. A panel of Labor Market Analysts was held at the end of June and the panel of Human Resource Managers will be held at the end of July.  Next, we will discuss the impact of Employment Insecurity on our clients and ourselves with Dr. David Blustein on August 12/13.  After that, we will look at your responses to the 2020 Member/Friend Survey to identify future topics.

We are also excited about our new Podcast, Behind the Science of Career Development.  The first episode will be available soon on your favorite podcast download source.  Please watch for our Rating Party in August, in which one person who evaluates the podcast will be selected to win a free membership to APCDA. 

Much work is still needed on the revision of the APCDA Ethical Guidelines, but the new APCDA Competencies are now available under Resources on our website.  The Glossary team is working on a new set of words that will be released soon.  We are grateful to the Ethics and Standards Committee for continuing to pursue these important projects.

Woongtae Kim, Ph.D., MCDS, CDF-I, GCDF
CEO & GCDF-Korea Program Director
Career Building System & Consulting Co., Ltd.
APCDA President,

Proposed Bylaws Changes, 2020

by Allan Gatenby and Gemma Williams

On July 1, we will open our elections for the position of President-Elect.  Also on the ballot will be a small but important change to our bylaws.

In 2019, we restructured our association leadership.  These sweeping changes have been beneficial, and the leadership appears to have become comfortable with the new structure. 

One area in which we believe further improvement is needed is related to the Finance Council.  This body was designed to allow APCDA to be a virtual company.  It is tedious and confusing to change our country of incorporation and financial practices every time the leadership moves to a different country.  Therefore, we designed a structure that would assure our country of incorporation that we are a well-behaved company located in that country, while most of our leadership may be located anywhere.  While this is reassuring to the government in the country in which we are incorporated, it may seem to our members as though our finances are controlled by residents in the country of incorporation. 

To make sure members from all member countries are involved in overseeing our finances, we would like to add to the Finance Council the responsibility of assuring that a review of our financial practices is completed annually to make sure we are serving the interests of all APCDA members.  We want the Finance Council to find volunteers who are not from the country in which we are incorporated to perform this review, so that all leaders have the opportunity to review our finances and question our procedures.

This year, this Internal Review was completed by Anjana Kulasekara (Sri Lanka) and Hector Lin (Singapore).  We are very grateful for their efforts and hope to replicate this process in future years.  If you have ever managed a budget, please consider volunteering in future years.  It is our hope that this responsibility falls on people from different countries each year, involving members throughout our service area.

The proposed changes are in red:

3.2       Non-Governing Bodies.

3.2.1 Finance Council:  The Finance Council shall consist of active members of the Association who have agreed to act as legal Agents of the Association within the country where the Association is incorporated.  The members of the Finance Council shall take the titles /finance Council President, Finance Council Secretary, and Finance Council Treasurer so that they may represent themselves as holding positions of authority related to the finances of the Association and accept legal responsibility within the country in which Association is incorporated.

3.3 Responsibilities of the Leadership Bodies

3.3.4 Finance Council The members of the Finance Council are authorized to establish banking, investment, and credit accounts in the country where the Association is incorporated and to sign financial documents. The members of the Finance Council shall annually Initiate a review of the financial actions of the Association in the past year to assure members that sound governance and due diligence has been exercised in the fiscal management of the Association funds.  Members who conduct the financial review shall: have experience in financial management / accounting not hold positions of financial responsibility in the Association not be residents of the country in which the Association is incorporated

This change will be on the ballot which you will receive on July 1.  It is a small change, but we hope you will agree that it is important.


Officer Approved May 2020

As you may all be aware, most non-profit organizations, including APCDA, have been hit hard by the pandemic because we depend on interactions between people and a willingness to pay for professional advancement. COVID has disrupted both face-to-face events and the sense of financial security. 

According to our Vision  statement:

APCDA is a forum for sharing career development ideas and practices in the Asia Pacific region and engaging the world about these insights.

In 2013, we began offering a conference in a different Asian or Pacific country every year.  Soon after, we added monthly Webinars as a way of staying connected and meeting the needs of our members throughout the year.  Our leadership meets virtually throughout the year to advance our goals and projects.

Financially, APCDA survives on conferences.  Our membership fees are low and our membership is small.  Our webinars bring in some income - a bit less than membership fees.  Over the years, we have also developed other ways of boosting income, such as relationships with local organizations.  Conferences include a major amount of risk.  Conferences are relatively expensive because of the cost of travel, hotel rooms, and meeting facilities, but we have learned ways of reducing costs, such as using university classrooms for our conferences when the university is not using the space.  Low attendance at a conference means we just break even.  Higher than expected attendance means we make money, which can be used to expand APCDA services and put into savings to build APCDA’s financially stability.  In normal years, we have very little control over attendance.  Political changes, perception of risk, or visa issues can reduce attendance.  Of course, in 2020, the pandemic intervened.

Luckily for APCDA, our non-refundable expenses from the canceled conference were not overwhelming and the virtual conference paid for expenses incurred for Awards and Shipping costs.  However, without a face-to-face conference, membership is shrinking, tired volunteers are being asked to continue in their positions, and other sources of income are at risk because the other associations with whom we have relationships are also suffering.  We are happy to be in a stable position financially, but we are seeking ways to expand membership and help members feel more connected to us throughout the year.

One of our long-term goals has been to have a paid Executive Director.  This would increase APCDA’s financial needs.  As such, we have been striving to build our financial stability so that we can offer a fair and secure salary to a paid Executive Director.  The lack of growth in our income this year delays this plan. 

We rely on a large number of volunteers to advance the goals of the association and a few dedicated staff who are paid a small amount to manage ever growing responsibilities.  We currently have a half-time Administrator, an Intern for the position of Executive Director, and a full-time volunteer Executive Director.  We had planned a transition of leadership in July, with our intern becoming our half-time paid Executive Director.  This transition has been postponed due to COVID.  Openings in higher education have disappeared during the pandemic.  We are not in a position to pay for a full-time Executive Director, so our current staffing will continue unchanged until our intern finds a suitable paid position for the other half of her time.  Marilyn Maze will stay in her current position as Executive Director until this situation is resolved.

Contingency Plans for 2021 Conference

May 2020

The best wisdom today is that people who have not had COVID-19 will need to hide from it until there is a vaccine, which will take about 2 years to make and distribute (possibly by January 2022).  Of course, this timeline is an average of best and worst cases, and there is no way to know now what will be happening when our conference is scheduled in May 2021.  There are two primary factors to consider.  Singapore may not yet be open to international visitors.  Although the push to restart the economy is strong, there may be good reason not to want international travelers to visit and/or airlines may not be flying regularly.  A second factor is the number of attendees who are interested in attending.  If people who get COVID-19 develop immunity, then those people may feel comfortable in a face-to-face conference.  However, will that group be large enough by May 2021 to make a conference financially feasible?  If a vaccine is developed more quickly than expected, how many of us will have been vaccinated by May 2021? We certainly do not want people to get sick because of our conference.

We want to hold a face-to-face conference in Singapore.  If we cannot hold it in May 2021, it could be postponed by up to 4 months in 2021.  If 4 months is not enough time for the conditions to change significantly, it could be postponed until May 2022.  We expect that by May of 2022, COVID-19 should no longer be a concern.  In this case, all future conferences would be postponed for a year. 

If we do hold a face-to-face conference, we plan to hold a simultaneous Virtual Conference on May 26-28, 2021.  Live presentations at the face-to-face conference would be streamed to those not able to attend. If the face-to-face conference must be postponed by a year, the Virtual Conference will still be held on May 26-28, 2021, but the presentations would be presented virtually. In either case, we will select topics of general interest that are highly rated by the selection taskforce for the Virtual Conference. People who submit proposals for the 2021 conference should be prepared to let us know if they are willing to give their presentation virtually in 2021, should the face-to-face conference be postponed.

APCDA Career Services Competencies

April 2020

After months of work, the Standards Taskforce is proud to announce the new list of APCDA Career Services Competencies.  This list is valuable for improving your skills and those of your co-workers.  Find out which competencies you have and which could use improvement.

This Competencies List is intended to be used in conjunction with the APCDA Glossary of Career Development Terms.  The definitions of terms will be helpful in understanding these competencies. 

These Competencies reference the APCDA Ethical Guidelines, which are available here:

This list will be revised as needed.  Suggestions for additions and revisions should be submitted to

Country/Area Council Summary

April 2020

Most of the country reports dealt with the impact of COVID-19 on the country.  Some talked about postponed or canceled events, and others about the new online schools and coaching services.  New Zealand and Australia met together in January to plan a joint conference, which as now been postponed.  Kazakhstan invited us to the Eurasian Higher Education Leaders Forum, which has been postponed until September/October.  Malaysia has postponed the International Counseling Convention. Macau and South China met to share initiatives, which have now been postponed.  Canada and Australia offer resources for dealing with COVID-19 related issues. Many countries reported that education and business have moved online.

Many of our representatives are trying to anticipate what life will be like when the pandemic is over.  Australia talked about legislation to help people who lost their jobs because of COVID-19.  Canada talked about resources for dealing with COVID-19.  Our USA Representative talked about career-related changes which may become permanent.

Some exciting progress was also reported.  Macau computed a survey to guide Career Education in the future.  Japan has been holding meeting and posting on Facebook to raise the image of APCDA in Japan, which caused several non-members to attend our annual Member Meeting.  New Zealand is eager to work on changes that the Career Development Association of New Zealand has been planning related to their website.

For more details, please see the Country/Area Information pages for those who have reports:

Committee Council Continues to

Build APCDA Leadership & Member Benefits

The second meeting of the Committee Council was convened January 23. Discussion focused upon committee activity and growth. Membership participation is a key objective. The re-structuring of leadership continues to enhance the Association and improve communications as more hands lighten the load.

Key member benefits include:

  • Membership Committee: 113 new members via the South India Chapter. new member orientations, member mentoring, logo use for members
  • Program Committee: webinar topics set for April: Future of Work & June: Self-sustaining Employer Sponsored Career Centers
  • News Committee: format of more interactive communications with February theme Career Adaptability, increased opportunities for interactive communication
  • Journal:  Next issue available in March
  • Bylaws Committee: re-formatted Policy and Procedures Manual
  • Public Relations Committee: will be producing a new video at the conference.
  • Nominations Committee:  Seeking nominations for President-Elect

Members are encouraged to contribute to: be interviewed for the APCDA video; write a blog for APCDA News, comment upon Career Adaptability; submit a paper for our Journal and make a request or proposal for mentoring webinars; nominate yourself or other person for President-Elect.

Through our members APCDA continues to inspire collaboration, recognize excellence and build professional practice, globally.

APCDA Member Logos

Members are invited to get a copy of the new Member Logo from the APCDA Website.  Now that we have a legal agreement published on our website, is it possible for us to provide a logo for use by our members.  We currently have three kinds of member logos:

  1. Individual members
  2. Organization members
  3. Professional associations which offer Joint Membership with APCDA

If you fall into groups 1 or 2, please go to our website at and click Login.  Then put your mouse over the Member menu and you should see "Member Logo Usage" as an option.  Choose that option and read the agreement, then click on the appropriate link on the bottom of that page.  If your membership is Active, you will be able to see and copy the logo. 

If you fall into the third group, you should have received the logo from us by email.

Free Member Mentoring Webinar Series

Do you have any questions you would like to ask an expert in Career Development?  APCDA has members with experience in every aspect of Career Planning, Development, and Management.  Please send us your questions.

Use this link to submit your question(s):

1 Minute survey

We will group the questions into general topics and ask our members to let us know if they have experience in the topics identified.  Then we will set up a Question-and-Answer Webinar for each of the general topics.  Those with questions can ask a panel of members with experience.  This new series is FREE to APCDA members. 

In order to kick off this new series of webinars, we have chosen a topic that we hear a lot:  How can I organize a local Career Development Association?  This free webinar will be held on January 21/22 and will cover any question you want to ask about the best way to start or energize a local Career Development Association.  Many local chapters struggle.  Some are struggling to start and others are struggling to start over.  When an experienced leader moves away or gets tired, things can fall apart quickly.  Join this lively discussion if you have either questions or suggestions, or both.

Click here to register. (It is free.)

Please contact us at if you have experience and would like to be a panelist. 

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