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In practice

Choices Match: Self-assessment tool


Choices Match is an interactive online self-assessment tool, using language and design to promote reflection and self-understanding. By exploring self, skills and workplace options the user documents a pathway produced in a report. Through user interaction the tool answers the questions of this model:

SELF - What kind of person am I? What environments suit me?

+ SKILLS KETE (toolkit) - What skills appeal/would I love to learn?

= POSSIBILITIES (Job Clouds) - What work areas and jobs should I explore?

Choices Match is derived from the theory of John Holland. Holland’s theory is a theory of vocational personality and the notion of ‘fit’ within career development says certain roles and environments suit us better than others. His theory suggests six personality types, and when we follow the jobs, occupations and industries that align with these types we have the best chance of finding work that motivates us, suits our abilities and talents, and leads to achievement and satisfaction. It is a tool that can be used easily to assist and assess career choices. In Choices Match, Holland’s work is adapted in recognition that such choices and preferences are rarely fixed with the words used to describe the different personality types customised to make them more accessible to students in New Zealand.

For further information about the development of the resource, visit

Published on the 16/05/2023

Launch year2016

How many schools are currently making use of it?6 - 10

Other tagsIs informed by research

Career developmentPreparation & reflection, Questionnaires

Age groupLower-secondary (ages 12 to 15), Upper-secondary (ages 16 to 18)

CountryNew Zealand

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Resource overview

Website: Choices Match

The assessment framework of this tool is based on the Self-Directed Search model of John Holland, revised for current language. It is a self-assessment framework – the tool uses words and visuals that are designed to engage and promote reflection in the user. The user clicks on words that apply to them and these words are transferred to a report. It is transparent with no hidden processes.

The resource is used in individual interviews and group work.

 Individual interviews of young people

It is designed to be simple and accessible. Many users are able to do make use of the programme working independently with advisers checking from time to time.

Enriched interview process: The adviser sits by the side of the user, prompting and explaining where required.

  • The young person works through the tool on a computer, discussing where they wish with adviser.

  • This typically takes about 20 minutes.

  • At the conclusion a report is produced and the user is able to email this to self and adviser.

  • The report prompts ways to further research identified options.

 Group work

As above. Hard copy identity cards of the first 6 screens are used by some teachers to discuss the ideas about self. Then individuals carry on and complete the online tool. The final report is emailed to the careers adviser as well as the user and used as a reference tool.

Description of technology

  1. A very simple self-assessment against a scale is undertaken.

  2. The user then selects skills and industries of interest from the Skills Kete (toolkit) by clicking to underline words on attractive graphics.

  3. The user selects job options from Job Cloud cards collated and derived from the Holland model.

The graphics are attractive and colour-coded.

How the resource makes career guidance more effective, efficient and/or equitable for students

There is significant research on the value of self-assessment as a lifelong career development skill and on the relationship of interests to motivation and learning. In the process of learning the skill of self-assessment, the student is also learning that good choices are connected to strengths and interests, and this assists them to make sense of the world. This is learning that can be personalised and available to all students and is generic – not dependent on disciplinary skills. For background context on the efficacy of self-assessment tools, see:

Carpenter, X. (2007). The Career Maze – Guiding Your Children Towards a Successful Future. New Holland Publishers.

Harrington, B. and Hall, D. (2007). Career Management & Work-Life Integration: Using Self-Assessment to Navigate Contemporary Careers. SAGE publications.

The programme sends the final report to both the user, allowing conversations at home, and with the school adviser.

Challenges or potential barriers to use

Schools require computers for this use. It cannot be done on phones.

The resource is not free of charge for practitioners.

Schools pay a subscription which differs for small or unlimited numbers.

Support for users

Some users are highly motivated by their results and explore key areas independently, other students need help to follow up on their results. A school careers person would use the report to do this.

Additional details

Has the resource been…

Yes or No?



…informed by research?


The development methodology is informed by research on self-assessment, and Holland’s methodology. See in particular, the linked resources.

Harrington, B and Hall, D. T. (2007)

Holland, J. L. (1997)

Hughes, D. et al. (2010)

Izard, C.E. (1977)

Savickas, M.L. (2005)

Carpenter, H. (2010)

Carpenter H. (2007)

…funded by government?


…recognized by peers?




This resource has been endorsed by a school in New Zealand and details have been shared with the OECD.

Disclaimer: This content is provided by the submitting organisation.