The CP requires students to adopt a variety of styles of learning and to also work together in teams

Paul Luxmoore - Executive Head Teacher of Dane Court Grammar School and King Ethelbert School, Kent

Career-related Programme: Frequently asked questions

Find answers to frequently asked questions from students and parents in the UK about the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Career-related Programme:

What is the Career-related Programme?

The International Baccalaureate’s Career-related Programme (CP) is an innovative education programme tailored for students who want to focus on career-related learning through sixth form. It allows students to create an individualized pathway that leads to further study, apprenticeships or employment after graduation. 

By developing academic skills and employment-related competencies, the CP provides the basis for:

  • effective participation in the changing workplace
  • improved mobility and flexibility in employment
  • additional training
  • further or higher education
  • lifelong learning.

Here’s how the CP works: It combines courses from the International Baccalaureate’s highly regarded Diploma Programme (DP) with an approved career-related study program and a unique CP core. The core consists of four components—service learning, personal and professional skills, language development and a reflective project—blended together to enhance critical thinking and intercultural understanding. Combined, these elements help students develop the communication and personal skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

Service learning

Service learning emphasizes developing students’ local knowledge, civic responsibility, social aptitude and personal growth.

Personal and professional skills (PPS)

This course develops attitudes, skills and strategies students can apply to personal and professional situations. The emphasis is on skills development for the workplace, as these are transferable and can be applied in a range of situations, as well as life skills that help make sense of the world. The personal and professional skills course emphasizes critical and ethical thinking, intercultural understanding and the ability to communicate effectively.

Language development

Language development ensures that all CP students are exposed to a language other than their mother tongue that will increase their understanding of the wider world. Students are encouraged to study a language that suits their needs and background.

Reflective project

The reflective project asks students to identify, analyze, critically discuss and evaluate an ethical issue arising from their career-related studies. The project can be done in different formats, including an essay, a web page or a short lm. This work encourages students to ask questions, take action and reflect as they develop strong research and communication skills.

What career-related courses are available to my child at his/her IB World School?

Each school determines the appropriate career-related study course(s) to offer; however, the nature of the course(s) is examined carefully by the International Baccalaureate during the authorization process. UK schools o er a number of career-related studies such as BTECs, Applied A levels and IFS.

What kind of student is a good candidate for the Career-related Programme?

The CP is an excellent choice for students who seek academic rigour, have already determined their area of career specialization, and want hands-on learning and experience in their chosen eld. The programme pro- vides students with an impressive portfolio of accomplishments for university study and employment.

What’s the difference between the CP and the DP?

The DP consists of six academic courses plus a different core than the CP. The DP core components are creativity, activity, service (CAS), a theory of knowledge course (TOK) and an extended essay, whereas the CP requires students to study a minimum of two academic subjects and a career-related study.

How do IB programmes support university and career readiness?

University and career readiness refers not only to con- tent knowledge but to skills and habits that students must have to succeed in postsecondary education or training that leads directly to the workforce. In addition to providing academic rigour, IB programmes develop skills such as time management and critical thinking that have been identified as necessary to successfully navigate, persist in and complete university.

Do CP teachers receive special training?

All Career-related Programme teachers receive professional development in the IB’s approaches to teaching and learning from certified IB workshop leaders. This is a requirement of IB World Schools implementing the CP.

How can I learn more about the IB and CP?

  • Visit the IB website to see a list of schools in the UK that o er the CP at
  • Contact the schools directly to learn more about how the programme is delivered at the school.
  • Attend meetings and events offered at your school.


For more information about the CP, please download the CP brochure developed for parents and students [512KB] .


Learn more about the Career-related Programme