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 the MA in Career Education and Coaching and supervise doctoral students. I am currently the External Examiner for the MSc in Guidance Counselling at Dublin City University. I have previously held EE positions at the University of Limerick, the 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.

Recent completed doctoral thesis

Current doctoral study projects

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. This has evolved into an interest in exploring how we can attract a more career development diverse workforce.

Specifically, I undertake research into career management frameworks, continuing professional development, and professional identity for guidance professionals.

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences

Experience in industry

I have experience working as a careers adviser in schools, colleges and Higher Education. I have previously managed an adult guidance network and have 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.

Additional interests and activities

In the media

Recent blogs

Recent publications

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.