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Learn More About Our New Credential
Let us introduce our new addition!

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The ATD Certification Institute (ATD CI) is creating a new certification for talent development professionals who are in the early part of their careers or whose professional roles and aspirations are focused on a few areas of expertise. The Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD) may be a destination for some or a stepping stone to the CPLP for others.

Registration is now open! Registration includes an eligibility application and payment form. Once the application is approved, candidates may register and pay for the exam. To apply for the APTD, please follow the instructions in the attached PDF before clicking the register button below.

    June 1: Applications will be accepted for the September 2017 exam.
    Self-study resources available for September 2017 test-takers.

    APTD On-Demand study course available September 1, 2017, for 2018 exams.
    September 13-30: First offering of exam will be delivered; space will be limited.

    Scores will be available for the first administration.
    Registration opens for 2018.

  • Test Center Locations

    For a list of APTD test center locations in your area, please download this PDF.

APTD Certification Handbook

For a complete guide to APTD policies and procedures, please download and thoroughly read the APTD 2018 Certification Handbook (PDF)
*APTD 2017 Certification Handbook, applies to pilot candidates only.

APTD at a Glance:

  • Who is it for? Talent professionals in the early part of their career or whose professional roles focus on a few areas of expertise (AOEs) as defined by the ATD Competency Model.
  • Why apply? Differentiate yourself in a competitive job market. The competencies included in the APTD are the basics of talent development that professionals can use every day, no matter the level within an organization or company.
  • How many steps? Just three! Complete the application. Pass a multiple-choice exam. Provide evidence of lifelong learning every three years.
  • What’s on the exam? There are three primary areas of expertise: instructional design, training delivery, and learning technologies. Secondary areas include evaluating learning impact and the global mindset foundational competency.
  • Where do I take the exam? Testing centers are located in most major cities around the world.
  • When is it? Take the exam September 13-30, 2017. Receive your results in mid-December 2017.
  • Why now? Be among the first to earn the APTD designation by participating in the first exam administration. Space is limited. Discounted pricing applies for the first administration only. The special price is for the exam and preparatory materials bundled together. No transfers or refunds during the 2017 first administration.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this certification being developed?

The APTD will serve the needs of talent development professionals who are in the early part of their careers or whose professional roles and aspirations are focused on a few areas of expertise (AOEs). We frequently hear from practitioners around the world that they are interested in differentiating their expertise, but with a narrower focus than the CPLP certification (which covers 10 AOEs and one foundational competency).

How much work experience is required for this new certification?

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

What competencies will this certification focus on?

This certification will focus primarily three AOEs from the ATD Competency Model on which it is based. The AOEs are Instructional Design, Training Delivery, and Learning Technologies. Evaluating Learning Impact and the foundational competency of Global Mindset also will be included throughout the exam. These competencies were identified by the research as core building blocks for talent development professionals and are part of the ATD Competency Model.

For a complete list of FAQs please download this PDF.

ATD Competency Model with APTD AOEs Shaded

Volunteer Opportunities

ATD CI is eager to gather input and expertise from a cross-section of talent development professionals, managers and supervisors, CPLP credential holders, and the ATD community to shape the program. Be on the lookout for future opportunities to contribute your ideas. More details will be posted on this page as they become available. Check back often!

Contact Us

We invite you to engage with ATD CI as we work together on this new initiative. If you have questions, please email ATD CI at We look forward to hearing from you.

Register for the APTD Exam