Getting started guide



What does a Careers Leader do?

Simply put, Careers Leaders are responsible and accountable for the delivery of their school or college’s careers programme. And the ‘careers programme’ means the school or college’s strategy, plans and arrangements for delivering careers guidance.

It’s a senior role that requires a clear view and understanding of the school or college’s careers programme, and to make sure the Gatsby Benchmarks are met.

The Careers Leader needs to be someone who can:

  • Liaise with external partners, such as employers, learning providers and career guidance services
  • Coordinate and manage the various elements of the careers programme with a stable and embedded strategy
  • Take responsibility for continuous improvement of the careers programme, ensuring that it delivers the kinds of impacts that are needed for young people
  • Pay careful attention to feedback from all stakeholders and to the destinations of pupils


‘The Careers Leader should have influence across the school, special school or college, and buy-in from the Governors and senior leadership team. Since September 2018, every school and college has been expected to have appointed a named person to this role.’

Key policy context and statutory guidance

Here are some useful links to external sites that will help to provide further context around key policies and statutory guidance:

Teachers comparing notes
Starter resources

We offer a number of key resources to support new Careers Leaders, along with our comprehensive, free training offer. We recommend taking a look at the following resources to get you started:

School roadmap/college roadmap

Understand the role of Careers Leader, and the support offered through our Enterprise Adviser Network, by following our roadmaps for success.

  • Free
  • Benchmark 1
  • Staff training
  • Careers Programme
  • Evaluation of careers programme
  • Key stage 3
  • Key stage 4
  • Further education and skills
  • Evaluation/impact measurement tool
  • Information booklets/sheets
  • SEND

Careers Leader training

Transform your careers programme and develop your skills as a Careers Leader to strategically embed careers in the curriculum.

  • Benchmark 1
  • Benchmark 2
  • Benchmark 3
  • Benchmark 4
  • Benchmark 5
  • Benchmark 8
  • Benchmark 7
  • Benchmark 6
  • Staff training
  • Careers Programme
  • Evaluation of careers programme
  • Labour market information for parents/staff
  • Labour market information for students
  • Addressing stereotypes
  • Aspiration raising
  • Destinations data
  • SEND and vulnerable students
  • Internships and holiday placements
  • Job shadowing
  • Part-time work
  • School or college as a workplace
  • Work experience (1-2 week block)
  • Volunteering
  • Work experience (regular/weekly commitment)
  • Workplace visits
  • Apprenticeships events and visits
  • Higher Education events and visits
  • Further Education events and visits
  • One-to-one careers guidance
  • Group careers guidance
  • Training


Free evaluation and planning tools

Here’s a selection of free evaluation and planning tools that will help you establish yourself as a Careers Leader:


A new tool to help you benchmark, manage, track and report your school's careers provision – available to all secondary schools, special schools, sixth-forms and PRUs in England.


Use Tracker to record and manage your careers plan for the year. It's available for free to all schools and colleges in England.

Teacher explaining to student


Funded training key stats

The recently published evaluation report for funded training showed that:

  • 91% of participants are either satisfied or very satisfied with the overall training programme
  • 96% of participants either agreed or strongly agreed that the training had helped them to identify action to improve their practice
  • 99% of participants reported that they were able to review and evaluate their school/college careers programme after they had participated in the course, compared with 74% prior to the training

Find out more here

Need more?

If you have a question that we haven't answered, you need help that isn't addressed by the resources on this site, or you just want to talk to someone about being a Careers Leader, we can help.

Contact an Enterprise Coordinator

Speak with an Enterprise Coordinator to help get you started


See our list of frequently asked questions here.

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