Staff profile

Professor Siobhan Neary

Professor of Career Development Practice and Head of iCeGS

Picture of Siobhan Neary


College of Arts, Humanities and Education


Institute of Education

Research centre

International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS)




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



As Head of iCeGS, I have responsibility for overseeing the Centre's research and teaching and learning portfolio. I have a background in the careers guidance sector, which encompasses over 30 years of working as a practitioner, trainer, manager, lecturer, and researcher. I am a qualitative researcher with interests focusing on continuing professional development, workforce development and professional identity. 

I am a Fellow and vice-chair of the National Institute of Careers Education and Counselling (NICEC), a registered practitioner and Fellow of the Career Development Institute (CDI), and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2021 I co-chaired the Skills Commission Workforce for the Future Inquiry which published the Transition to Ambition report. I am also a founder member of the Career Development Policy Group which in Oct 2021 launched the Career Guidance Guarantee.

I have an extensive background in teaching and learning in relation to guidance and career management and have developed several programmes to support practitioners, these include: career management courses, careers education and guidance studies at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I teach on the MA in Career Education and Coaching, the University's Doctor of Education programme.

I have recently published a book ‘CPD for the Career Development Professional: A handbook for enhancing practice’ with Claire Johnson, Professional Development Manager for the CDI.

Teaching responsibilities

I teach on the MA in Career Education and Coaching, the University's Doctor of Education programme. I am currently the External Examiner for the MA in Career Coaching at the University of East London and the MA in Guidance Counselling and Lifespan Development at the University of Limerick. I have previously held EE positions at the University of Limerick, University of East London, Canterbury Christchurch University and the University of Strathclyde.

I supervise several EdD and PhD theses in areas related to career and career development.

Professional interests

My professional interests focus on training and CPD for career development professionals, practitioner research and reflective and ethical practice. I also have an interest in developing career management frameworks and personal guidance.

Research interests

My research interests focus on developing a better understanding of the careers workforce, who they are and what attracts them to the field. Specifically, I undertake research into career management frameworks, continuing professional development and professional identity for guidance professionals.

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences

Neary, S. (2021) Constructing professional identity through adopting critical perspectives. Career Development Institute annual student virtual conference. 25th March 2021.

Neary, S.  and McMahon, M. (2020) Professionalization of the career development workforce. Evolving Education and Careers. Virtual International Conference. 20-22 October 2020.

Neary, S. (2019) The importance of reflexive practice. Euroguidance Serbia Annual Conference, Belgrade, 3rd October 2019

Kavkova, E and Neary, S. (2019) Critical Reflection as a tool for social justice in career guidance and counselling. IAEVG, Bratislava, 9th-13th September 2019

Neary, S and Haug, E. (2019) Quality in careers: Where are we going? Current trends and issues. IAEVG, Bratislava, 9th-13th September 2019

Hanson, J and Neary, S. (2019) The Gatsby benchmarks and its contribution to social mobility. IAEVG, Bratislava, 9th-13th September 2019

Neary, S. (2019) Developing a professional workforce: Challenges and opportunities. NICEC confernece, Manchester, 15-16th April 2019

Neary, S. (2019) Quality Assurance in career guidance: A European Perspective. Careers in transition- career guidance as a beacon of light. NOLOC Conference, Hertogenbosch. 15th February 2019

Neary, S. (2018) iCeGS: Past, Present and Future. Imagining new perspectives on work – the role of career development in shaping futures, University of Derby, 23rd-24th May 2018

Neary, S. (2017) Career Management Skill: Matching the paradigm shift from matching to constructing a career, Career Development Institute Annual Conference. Solihull, 4-5th December 2017 

Neary, S. (2017) Developing the researcher-practitioner. Decent work, equity and inclusion. University of Padova, 4th-7th October

Neary, S. (2017) CMS and career guidance in relation to students in general upper secondary education - Experiences from the Leader Project. Career Competencies and Career Guidance – What is happening in Europe? Euroguidance Conference, Copenhagen 22nd September 2017

Neary, S. (2017) Engaging career professionals in research-based reflective practice. British Educational Research Conference (BERA), University of Sussex, Brighton, 5-7th September 2017

Neary, S. (2017) Professional identity and developing a career in the careers sector. National Career Guidance Show. Leeds, 9th March 2017

Neary, S. (2017) Profession, Professionalism and Professional identity. At the Cutting Edge- Research into Practice, CDI/NICEC Conference, Cardiff, 7th February 2017

Experience in industry

I have experience working as a careers adviser in schools, colleges and within Higher Education. I have previously managed an adult guidance network and been employed as a quality improvement consultant to support the implementation of quality standards for the guidance sector. Additionally, I worked as a freelance consultant prior to working in iCeGS.

International experience

I have extensive project management and consultancy experience which covers all areas of the guidance sector for adults, graduates and young people.

Examples of international projects have included the delivery of training in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to stimulate a career guidance infrastructure. I have worked with the Ministry of Education on the Education for Knowledge Society Project (EKSP) in Sri Lanka to support an integrated approach to the delivery of careers services and training and resource development for a train the trainer programme for schools. I have worked with the University of Nottingham Careers and Employability Centre to review and develop the careers provision for students at their international campuses in Malaysia and Ningbo, China. In 2016-2017, I worked with the Human Resource Development Council in Mauritius to support them in developing a lifelong integrated career service for their citizens.  

Most recently I was part of the England team at the International Centre for Career Development and Public Policy (ICCDPP) international symposium in South Korea and coordinated the production of the England paper.

I have also led a UK team on a number of Erasmus+ funded projects including 

I have wide-ranging experience in developing training programmes for practitioners; recent examples include; working with VOX the Norwegian Agency for Lifelong Learning to develop a masters’ degree for career practitioners in Norway and with the (NCGE) National Centre for Education and Guidance in the Republic of Ireland to explore the professional identity of adult guidance counsellors.

I am also the External Examiner for the MA Guidance Counselling and Lifespan Development at the University of Limerick.

Additional interests and activities

I am currently

The iCeGS team and I won the Staff Certificate of Excellence in Outstanding Contribution to Research Excellence, Winner, (2017/2018). I have also been shortlisted for this award in 2016-2017.

In the media

Recent blogs

Recent publications

Hanson, J., Neary, S., and Blake H. (2021) Personal Guidance Fund evaluation: Final Report. London: The Careers & Enterprise Company

Košťálová, H., Cudlínová, M., Blake, H., Clark, L., Dimsits, M., Kavková, E., Graungaard, E., Moore, N., Sigaard H., J., Neary, S., Nemcova, L., Nogueira Perez, M., A., Fernandez Rey, E., and Ceinos Sanz, C. (2021). 'A Practitioner's Guide to Uncharted Waters of Career Counselling, a Critical Reflection Perspective'. Prague: EKS

Moore, N., Clark, L., Neary, S., & Blake, H. (2021). 'Crucial impacts on career choices: Research to understand the influences on young people’s choices in primary and secondary schools: Final report'. Derby: University of Derby

Moore, N., Clark, L., Neary, S., & Blake, H. (2021). 'Crucial impacts on career choices: Research to understand the influences on young people’s choices in primary and secondary schools: Executive summary'. Derby: University of Derby

Hanson, J., Moore, N., Clark, L., & Neary, S. (2021). 'An evaluation of the North East of England pilot of the Gatsby Benchmarks of good career guidance. Derby: University of Derby

Thambar, N., Neary, S., & Zlatic, F. (2021). 'The 21st Century HE Careers Professional'. Manchester: HECSU

Foster, R., Svanaes, S., Howell, S., Neary, S., Everitt, J. and Dodd, V. (2020). 'Hours spent building skills and employability'. London: Department for Education

Galfalvi, E., Hooley, T., & Neary, S. (2020). 'Are young people aged 16-19 using or expecting to use the gig economy for their careers?' Journal of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling, 45, pp. 34-40
Gough, J & Neary, S. (2020) The Career Development Profession: Professionalisation, Professionalism, and Professional Identity. In P. Robertson, T. Hooley, & P. McCash. (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Career Development. Oxford University Press
Hearne, L. and Neary, S. (2020). 'Let’s talk about career guidance in secondary schools! A consideration of the professional capital of school staff in Ireland and England'. International Journal for Educational & Vocational Guidance, pp. 1-14
Kotera, Y., Ting, S-H., and Neary, S. (2020) Mental health of Malaysian students: UK comparison, and relationship between negative mental health, self-compassion, and reliance. Higher Education. [Online]
Lauder, L and Neary, S. (2020). 'The role and relevance of theory in careers professionalisation and practice'. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 48 (4) 477-489
Neary, S. (2020). 'Diversifying the careers workforce: opportunities and challenges'. Journal for Perspectives of Economic, Political and Social Integration, 25 (2), pp. 65-81

Dodd, V., Haug, E., Hooley, T and Neary.S. (2019) Quality Assurance Standards: A synthesis of quality standards across partner countries. Summary Report. Derby: University of Derby 

Neary, S. (2019) 'Introducing a fellowship scheme for the CDI'. Careers Matters 7 (3), pp. 25

Neary, S. and Hanson, J. (2019). A new career in Careers. In C, Burke and Christie, F. Graduate Careers in Context, Research Policy and Practice. Abingdon: Routledge

Weller, P., Neary, S., Artess, J., and Sahar, A. (2019) 'Leadership and ministry, lay and ordained: insights from rural multi-church groups'. Derby: University of Derby

Zahid, G., Hooley, T. and Neary, S., (2019). 'Careers work in higher education in Pakistan: current practice and options for the future'. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, pp.1-11. DOI: 10.1080/03069885.2019.1576030 

Student sat talking and smiling with staff member at the University of Derby

To mark National Careers Week 2023, Professor Siobhan Neary, Head of the International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) at the University of Derby, explains why more careers advisers are needed.