The IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC)

28 Jun

In The International Baccalaureate program and vocational students, moi said this:

There is an “arms race” going on in American Education. More people are asking whether college is the right choice for many. The U.S. has de-emphasized high quality vocational and technical training in the rush to increase the number of students who proceed to college in pursuit of a B.A. Often a graduate degree follows. The Harvard paper, Pathways to Prosperity argues for more high quality vocational and technical opportunities:

The implication of this work is that a focus on college readiness alone does not equip young people with all of the skills and abilities they will need in the workplace, or to successfully complete the transition from adolescence to adulthood. This was highlighted in a 2008 report published by Child Trends, which compared research on the competencies required for college readiness, workplace readiness and healthy youth development. The report found significant overlaps. High personal expectations, self-management, critical thinking, and academic achievement are viewed as highly important for success in all three areas. But the report also uncovered some striking differences. For instance: while career planning, previous work experience, decision making, listening skills, integrity, and creativity are all considered vital in the workplace, they hardly figure in college readiness.

There is a reluctance to promote vocational opportunities in the U.S. because the is a fear of tracking individuals into vocational training and denying certain groups access to a college education. The compromise could be a combination of both quality technical training with a solid academic foundation. Individuals may have a series of careers over the course of a career and a solid foundation which provides a degree of flexibility is desired for survival in the future. See, Why go to college?

Jay Mathews is writing in the Washington Post article, Trying to save vocational education about the IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC). Here is a description of the IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC):

What is the IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC)?

The IBCC incorporates the educational principles, vision and learner profile of the IB into a unique offering that specifically addresses the needs of students who wish to engage in career-related education. The IBCC encourages these students to benefit from elements of an IB education, through a selection of two or more Diploma Programme courses in addition to a unique IBCC core, comprised of an approaches to learning (ATL) course, a reflective project, language development and community and service.

This new qualification is designed to provide a “value added” educational offering to schools that already offer the IB Diploma Programme and are also delivering career-related courses to their students.

The IBCC enables schools to widen participation to an IB education. Schools retain the ability to choose the career-related courses that are most suited to local conditions and the needs of their students. Schools gain the added flexibility in direct curriculum development as well as the IBCC core to create an educational pathway that puts a strong focus on individual student needs

The IBCC enables students to:

  • develop a broad range of career-related competencies and to deepen their understanding in general areas of knowledge
  • prepare for effective participation in an ever-changing world of work
  • foster the attributes of the learner profile allowing students to become true lifelong learners willing to consider new perspectives
  • engage in learning that makes a positive difference to future lives
  • become a self confident person ready for life in the 21st century.

Download the PDF IBCC flyer 2011 [PDF, 1.49MB – opens in a new window]

Here are some FAQs about the IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC):


What is a ‘career-related education’?

Career-related qualifications use different terminology in different parts of the world. They can be described as vocational, professional or technical qualifications and there will be other definitions in different local or national systems.

How does the IBCC prepare a student for the future?

The IBCC prepares students for flexibility and mobility in a range of employment opportunities as well as continuing lifelong learning.

What are the aims of the IBCC?

The IBCC has four aims.
A) Providing a more inclusive provision for students aged 16-19,
B) Responding to the IB’s mission statement and extending the influence of international education, C) Filling a gap in international education,
D) Reducing the ‘academic versus vocational’ divide.

What do students receive on completion of the IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC)?

If completed successfully, students will receive From the IB the IB career-related Certificate (IBCC) as well as a statement of results. Additionally they will receive a certificate from the awarding body of the career-related qualification

Why should students choose the IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC)?

The IBCC provides an opportunity for more students to benefit from an IB education. The approach of blending local and international elements is an excellent solution to allow local economic, cultural and educational choices to be made according to the local or national context. Similarly, such a flexible framework will create a dynamic network of internationally minded schools sharing a vocabulary and educational aims for lifelong learning and responsible citizenship, collaborating to develop a truly international educational experience for their students.

What are the advantages to University entry of doing IBCC rather than two IB Diploma Programme courses?

The IBCC is a holistic qualification framework in its own right and the incorporation of the IBCC core gives greater overall value to the student. The IB expects this to be reflected in a slightly higher credit or tariff for the whole IBCC rather than two DP certificates alone. The value to the student in application to further or higher education is the linkage with a career-related qualification which, if passed to an appropriate standard or grade, will add further credit or tariff for the student’s application to the further learning of his/her choice.

Is the IBCC recognized by universities?

The IBCC has been accredited by the UK education regulator (Ofqual) for accreditation. The IB will consult with schools in every country on the requirements of their national education framework and apply for accreditation or approval as required.

What sort of school can offer the IBCC?

Any IB World School authorized to offer the Diploma Programme can apply to offer the IBCC. The IBCC is likely to be very popular in where there is usually a history of offering a career-related course.

There shouldn’t be a one size fits all in education and parents should be honest about what education options will work for a particular child. Even children from the same family may find that different education options will work for each child.


Vocational Education Myths and Realities

Vocational Education in the United States, The Early 1990s


The International Baccalaureate program as a way to save struggling schools

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

2 Responses to “The IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC)”


  1. The IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC) « drwilda | International Baccalaureate Program | - June 30, 2012

    […] The IBCC incorporates the educational principles, vision and learner profile of the IB into a unique offering that specifically addresses the needs of students who wish to engage in career-related education.  […]

  2. What is the National Association of Manufacturers ‘Skills Certification’ | drwilda - May 20, 2013

    […] The IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC)                              […]

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