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Elevate Your Career

Earn the APTD certification and differentiate yourself in a competitive job market.

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Associate Professional in Talent Development Credential

The Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD) is a certification for talent development professionals who are in the early stages of their career or who are focused on training delivery, instructional design, or learning technologies. Build your knowledge, prove your worth, grow your network, and boost your career with the APTD certification. The areas of expertise covered by the APTD exam are those shaded in orange on the competency model diagram to the right.

Are you ready to take the next step but need to convince your manager? Download this template!

Ready to Take the Next Step?
Choose your method for preparing for the exam and register for the exam!
The Preparing for the APTD On-Demand course is delivered on a platform that adapts in real time to your behavior and performance to make learning efficient, effective, and engaging. Only spend time learning what you need to learn.
The APTD Learning System includes content and practice questions for the Areas of Expertise (AOEs) covered by the APTD exam.
This interactive workshop includes reflective exercises to help you identify your knowledge gaps, and create a plan to prepare. We will also explore post-workshop study tips to help provide you with additional focus and support.
This certification will focus primarily on three AOEs: Instructional Design, Training Delivery, and Learning Technologies. These competencies are the core building blocks for trainers and are part of the ATD Competency Model.
“{APTD} allowed me to measure myself against my peers, reassured me that I have some measurable competency, and reinforced my decision to enter into and stick with the talent development field.”
—Kristin Gebhart, APTD
Hear What Others Are Saying
Choosing and committing to certification is a major milestone in your professional career. Here are additional insights to help you make the decision.
Hear about the successful candidates in the first group of applicants for the new ATD Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD).
Kristin Gebhart didn't always know she wanted to become an instructional designer, but earning the APTD certification solidified her career path in the field.
Meet Sarah Hackenmueller. As an accidental trainer, she always felt the CPLP was a little out of reach. Once the APTD certification was launched, she knew the APTD was just the stepping stone she needed. Learn more about her APTD journey.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is it for?

Individuals who have at least three years of experience, or the equivalent in talent development or related disciplines, are eligible.

What's on the exam?

The APTD is based on three primary areas of expertise from the ATD Competency Model: Instructional Design, Training Delivery, and Learning Technologies. Secondary areas include Evaluating Learning Impact and the Global Mindset foundational competency. The APTD exam is 115 multiple-choice and short-scenario multiple-choice questions; candidates have 120 minutes to complete the exam.

How much does it cost?

The APTD exam fee is $400 for ATD members and $600 for non-members.

How can I prepare?

ATD provides a number of options to help you prepare for the APTD exam including: APTD Learning System, a two-day instructor-led workshop Preparing for the APTD, and an on-demand course.

Where do I take the exam?

All APTD candidates are required to sit for the APTD at one of our testing centers. Please check here for information about the locations of our centers.

When can I take the exam?

There were four testing windows scheduled in 2018 and five windows are planned for 2019. The most recent schedule can be found here.

How do I apply?

Download this quick guide to learn more about the application process for the APTD exam and next steps.