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2021 Virtual Conference Theme:
Walking on Uncharted Career Paths

The theme for the 2021 Virtual Conference is Walking on Uncharted Career Paths.  We have endured many disruptions and stress in our lives in the past year and we adjust daily to a different “new normal.”  These changes have placed a premium on resilience and adaptability. The role of the career practitioner has expanded to helping clients deal with these changes, fear, and uncertainty.  Looking toward the future, we expect to continue focusing on innovation and sustainability.  Hope should be part of the “new normal” by May of 2021, but we are all walking on uncharted territory.  We invite you to propose presentations that help to guide us as we face the future.

Just at the time APCDA is planning a virtual conference, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) offered a virtual event about the economy and its impact on conference planning globally.  ICCA polled the attendees to identify overall economic trends (macro trends) and trends related to the conference planning industry (micro trends).

On a macro level, the global economy is experiencing increasing impact from the pandemic.  The ability of the world’s governments to support their populations by increased government spending is declining, resulting in an expected increase in unemployment in the 4th quarter of 2020 and decrease in GDP globally.  The parts of the global economy hit hardest include hospitality, tourism, entertainment, non-grocery retail, real estate, energy, automotive, and passenger transport. Fiscal/monetary support is needed for households, coping with unemployment, and preventing bankruptcies (such as government-backed loans).  Essential services most in demand include unemployment assistance, food production/distribution, utilities, medicine and PPE production, healthcare delivery, software and telecommunication services, logistics, and the payment side of the financial technology industry.  Globalization has been reversed and on-shoring is the current trend, meaning that producing supplies locally has shown a sudden dramatic increase.  Home-office technology, video streaming, online retail, healthcare, utilities, green energy, hygiene products, local manufacturing, and robotics are experiencing rapid growth. 

The attendees at the ICCA virtual event (primarily conference organizers) were polled about the trends they are observing.  At the macro level, they see:

  • Acceleration of the digital economy, personal technology adoption, and e-commerce
  • Continuation of the global recession, disruption of global supply chains, a large volume of remote workers/telecommuters, and challenges with vaccination logistics/distribution
  • Increased concerns related to mental and physical health and long-term concerns regarding health and safety
  • Shift of government investments into clean technology
  • Shift from a shareholder to a stakeholder economy

At the micro level, anticipated trends related to international conferences include:

  • Increasing opportunities to transform events using digital technologies, increased importance of event design/experience addressing customer needs, and evolution in business models for events
  • Slow return of large events, lasting decrease in the average size of conventions, and the rise of micro-events
  • Long-term decline in air travel globally
  • Growth of hybrid events accompanied by an Increase in production costs
  • Increased need to collect data to measure everything that happens during an event

President’s Message September, 2020

By Dr. Woongtae Kim

On September 17, the current APCDA Board met for its final meeting because APCDA begins a new fiscal year on October 1.  On that date, our new officers will be:

  • Ms. Sing Chee Wong, President
  • Dr. Woongtae Kim, Past President
  • Ms. Satomi Chudasama, President-Elect
  • Ms. Momoko Asaka, Secretary
  • Dr. Constance Pritchard, Treasurer

We will also have a change of staff:

  • Ms. Gyulnur Ismayil, Executive Director
  • Ms. Emily Lizada, General Administrator
  • Dr. Marilyn Maze, Financial Administrator

Some additional changes in the Country Council and Committee Council will be announced soon.

We are delighted that Dr. Brian Hutchison will continue as APCD Journal Editor.  Three years ago, he initiated the APCDJ and he has agreed to continue for a second 3-year term.  Since that time, the APCDJ has published 5 issues with a total of 18 scholarly articles about our region and a podcast called Behind the Science of Career Development about the process of developing journal articles with two episodes released so far.  Unlike many journals which speak with pride about their rejection rate, APCDJ is proud to have a 70% acceptance rate.  Dr. Hutchison has personally helped many first-time authors to complete world-class articles and this policy of mentoring authors sets us apart. 

The 2021 APCDA Virtual Conference Planning Team has met once and will continue to meet weekly until it defines a theme and a schedule.  This team is guided by the results of the recent Member/Friend Survey.  Staff are currently reviewing software to help make the Virtual Conference a truly valuable experience. 

We have 2 webinars scheduled each month for the rest of this year (one paid and one free to members) and will be studying the wishes related to Webinars expressed in the Member/Friend survey for the coming year.  We noted the request for more opportunities for members to meet and talk.  In addition to the on-going meetings organized by the Australia/New Zealand/Samoa Group and the Western North America Group, we will be looking for additional ways to encourage dialogue among members during the coming year.

Lessons from the 2020 Member/Friend Survey

We were delighted to have a great response.  Almost 30% of our members responded and, we received even more responses from non-members.  The most responses came from ASEAN countries, second from North America, and third from South Asia, but every part of our region was represented.

Planning for the conference in these uncertain times is a big concern.  Survey results show a virtual conference tied with a face-to-face conference.  It is a relief to know that half of our respondents will be happy with a virtual conference if the pandemic forces us to go virtual.  We understand that some people cannot afford to travel to another country for a conference.  This means that live-streaming needs to be included in any future face-to-face conference. 

At this time, holding a face-to-face conference next May seems unlikely, and respondents let us know that we can postpone it until September.  Watch for a major change in our plans to be announced soon.  Our usual conferences are 2.5 days, with optional activities available before and after for those who want to spend more time.  For virtual conferences, the winning response was similar: a 3-day event with 3 hours each day, plus optional activities and the flexibility to watch recorded sessions later.  Given the need to keep costs as low as possible, some of the suggested options may not be possible, but it is exciting to explore the suggestions.

Related to Webinars, the Top Ten topics are:

  1. Career Changers (adults in transition)
  2. Creativity
  3. Labor Market & Economic Trends
  4. Social Media and Technology
  5. Career Assessments
  6. International Collaboration
  7. Career Practices/Techniques
  8. Cultural Adaptation
  9. Career Theories
  10. Marketing Career Services (the business side)

We have webinars planned through 2020 and will start on this list in the new year.  We also will use this list of topics in selecting conference programs.  We received a lot of great suggestions for presenters, which gives the Program Committee lots of choices.

On the question, “How well is APCDA meeting your expectations?” 58% of members chose “Very Well.” Popular suggestions for improvement are to provide more opportunities for members to interact, offer more options appealing to younger members, increase awareness of APCDA, and strive to improve the quality of career services in our region, among many other suggestions.

These results give us much to ponder and provide clear directions for our most pressing issues.  Our leadership is eagerly studying these results to find ways we can improve our services.  Thank you to all who responded!

Country/Area Council Summary

July 2020

The Country/Area Council met on 27/28 July and reports from this meeting can be found on the Country Information Pages on our website.  Use the links below to read these reports.

The common thread in the reports was about each country’s educational, economic and employment response to the pandemic and the role of career practitioners in the post pandemic renewal. 

Australia - Cautious re-opening, while some areas experiencing a second wave. Employment is still challenging, but government is providing stimulus measures. Some businesses will not survive. Up to date employment data is readily available, which helps job seekers as well as career practitioners. CDAA published and forwarded to the Federal Government a position statement that raises eight critical issues that impact people’s careers.  

Canada – The gradual re-opening of the economy presents both opportunities and challenges for employers and workers. COVID-19 has exposed social inequities, data is confirming that more women than men have lost jobs. Canada’s career and employment services are showing remarkable resilience and innovation. By leveraging technology, 89% are reporting they are delivering programs and services remotely.

Japan - School restarts vary, gradually bringing all or some classes online. Summer vacation will be shortened.

The graduate hiring activity cycle seems to be turning as usual, although there is a delay. Professional sports are also resuming gradually.

Macau – Lots of similarities with other nations. Labour Affairs Bureau is offering training for unemployed. Positive response to this. Education and Youth Affairs Bureau has provided teachers with training in career education.

Malaysia - Reopening of schools starting July 15. Co-curricular and sports activities cannot be held yet, students and teachers only come to school for teaching and learning. The Cabinet had agreed for all university students to return to campuses by October 2020.

North China – Government supports students and graduates who can not go abroad. In Hubei Province universities are paired with a university from Beijing for the use of the online job market.

South China – Elisabeth is still in San Francisco, trying to get back to China. She has been working on introducing career development into K-12 schools in Southern China and putting together a free webinar on career education in Chinese public schools. China have done a very good job in transitioning 298m students to online classes.

South Korea – Government provided some emergency support for folks who did not have insurance. Career development professionals are responding, and many classes are online. Focus is on recovery and what next. All citizens should receive enough CD to help them on their career paths. More than 90% of public schools now have a career teacher and or counsellor. Special Education schools must also hire counsellors by 2021. Government is making partnerships with local businesses to help special education students gain work experience.

Singapore – Focus is on saving and creating jobs, with national target of 100,000 new jobs. Internships are being sought that translate into full time jobs. Focus is on in-service for employees – job redesign, analysis at company level, and evaluation of any needed upskilling. Introduction of mobile career centre in a bus, led to the creation of satellite centres in neighbourhoods.  People don’t just want a job; they want quality jobs.

Philippines – Most regions have transitioned into easing up of quarantine, lower levels of infection. However public transit still suspended, and unemployment rate are still high. Increased demand for PD programs. Lots of free webinars. Increased focus on skills development, also upskilling on tech skills in academe and business sector. Leniency on licensing for professionals.

Sri-Lanka – Curfew has had success in reducing infections. Economy has suffered. Tourism sector particularly hit hard. Unemployment is difficult to track; general consensus is that it is stable but many folks have been hit by lower salaries. Government has provided some support and incentives. Borders closed in March, so migrant workers are unable to return to Sri-Lanka, implications when they do return, likely to be impactful.

Internet access sporadic in rural areas, so phone counselling now most popular form of delivery.

Taiwan – Schools are on summer vacation. Most business are operating as usual, some using a shift system. Travel is not advised to international destinations. Students are still being advised to isolate. International students are being advised to isolate in safe dormitories if they cannot return home. There are government initiatives to support business opportunities, encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation. Unemployment is still high, encouraging students to undertake additional free training or work experience.

Committee Council Report July 2020
APCDA Growth Strategies

By Allan Gatenby, Committee Council Chair

The July meeting of the Committee Council focused upon strategies for growth. The pandemic has challenged membership growth as the Association has traditionally been reliant upon the annual conference for new members. What became clearer is that in these times, focusing upon ‘doing better’ at providing professional learning, networking and collegial support will open the pathways to increased APCDA growth.

Strategies for growth to include:

  • Awards & Scholarship: (Dr Narender Chadha & Vijay Paralkar) increasing quality nominations through greater regional and members nomination; evidence-based nomination requirements.
  • Journal: (Dr Brian Hutchison) Podcasts on writing academic articles, call for members of the Editorial Board.
  • Membership: (Soonhoon Ahn & Jose Domene) exploring ways to better communicate value of membership; utilise social media and marketing; closer collaboration between membership, public relations and program committees; follow up with non-member attendees to webinars and more focused and strategic marketing; closer liaison with Country representatives in extending networks.  
  • News Committee: (Marilyn Maze) newsletters continually being positively seen by members. Please consider writing an article for the news blog.
  • Nominations & Elections: 3 nominees for President elect. 10% of members voted in the first week of elections. On track for a good response from membership.
  • Public Relations: (Satomi Chudasama & Claire Ouyang) provision of new member mentoring; engaging social media especially LinkedIn presence; development of strategic marketing & promotional materials.
  • Ethics and Standards: (Dr. Vandana Chopra): Huge effort in producing 3 valuable resources all available on the website and seeking comment feedback:

The Committee Council will next meet on October 5th/6th.

Members of APCDA are always encouraged to join a committee and help strengthen the association.

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

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.

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