Secondary benchmarks self-review

The benchmarks are a flexible self-review tool that enables schools to use the approach that best suits their needs.

Suggested approaches

Recommended process for implementing suggested self-review approaches

Schools have chosen a number of ways to self-review career development systems and services. There are three self-review approaches suggested:

Baseline approach

Involves an evidence-based audit of career education across the three input dimensions, leadership, programmes and services and transitions.

Dimensional approach

Involves choosing one dimension, eg, leadership, and auditing it in isolation from the other two.

Thematic approach 

Involves selecting a theme, eg, building strategies for Māori students’ career development, and self-assessing against assessment statements drawn from across dimensions and related sub-categories. 

For more information, see the secondary benchmarks and its supporting resources.

Self-review tips

  • Take a team approach – this will ensure you develop a school-wide culture and the ownership is shared.
  • Don’t rush the process – the dialogue is important.
  • Choose a self-review process that best meets the needs of your school.
  • Use the start point check sheet and self-review dimensions template to assess your career development programmes and services.
  • Establish goals – make them SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) and link them to specific sub-categories.
  • Developing a SWOT analysis is also an excellent starting point. 
  • Be mindful of gathering supporting evidence. 
  • You may want to focus on one part of a dimension at a time.
  • Include timeframes for review and how you are going to do this.
  • Be realistic with your action plan, checking that it reflects the school-wide concept.
  • Review and evaluate progress regularly.
  • Ensure you share and engage with your teams.
  • Keep in mind the end goal is building the student career management competencies.


Are you interested in sharing examples of effective practice in your school? We are looking for specific examples linked directly to the benchmarks so schools can learn from each other about the different ways of developing practice. To share your story or give feedback, please email us at

Updated 21 Dec 2016