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The IB Career-related Programme (CP): preparing students to follow their chosen pathways in life

Life in the 21st Century places many demands on students. Enabling students to become self-confident, internationally minded learners must be integral to their education. The International Baccalaureate (IB) has developed a framework of international education incorporating the vision and educational principles of the IB into local programmes to address the needs of students engaged in career-related studies.

The IB Career-related Programme (CP) increases access to an IB education and is specifically designed to provide a flexible learning framework that can be tailored by the school to meet the needs of students.

IBCC girl in class room

What is the IB Career-related Programme (CP)?

The IB Career-related Programme (CP) is an innovative education framework for students aged 16 to 19 incorporating the vision and educational principles of the IB into a unique programme specifically tailored for students who wish to engage in career-related learning.

The CP ’s flexibility allows schools to meet the needs, backgrounds and contexts of students with each school creating its own distinct version of the CP.

The aim of the CP is to provide students with both an academic and practical foundation to support both their further studies and specialized training, thereby ensuring their success in the workforce.

The CP combines highly regarded and internationally recognized IB Diploma Programme courses with an approved career-related study and a unique CP core.

CP students engage with a challenging programme of study that genuinely interests them while gaining transferable and lifelong skills in applied knowledge, critical thinking, communication, and cross-cultural engagement. They are well prepared to succeed at institutions of higher learning.

As the IB’s fourth programme, the CP provides a comprehensive link between the academic challenge of the Diploma Programme and the international-mindedness of the IB classroom into a tailored, career-focused pathway.

The CP framework is built around three interconnected elements:

  • at least two Diploma Programme courses
  • an CP core that includes approaches to learning, community and service, language development and a reflective project
  • an approved career-related study.


The CP 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 CP core to create an educational pathway that puts a strong focus on individual student needs.

The CP 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.

IB Career-related programme

Find out more

CP brochure

Download the PDF CP brochure [PDF, 1.49MB - opens in a new window]

Download the PDF CP Higher Education brochure[PDF, 4.70MB - opens in a new window]

10 Reasons to take the CP

For more IB promotional publications, to view and download, please visit the Digital Toolkit.

Apply to offer the CP

All IB World Schools who are already offering the IB Diploma Programme can apply to offer the CP. Read more information about applying for the CP .

Exam schedules

External examinations for candidates for the IB diploma are given twice a year, in May and in November.

Examination schedules

Diploma Programme courses online

Students not currently attending an IB World School will now have the opportunity to take Diploma Programme courses online

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