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ATD Blog

Certify Your TD Skills and Knowledge


Tue Aug 31 2021


Research shows that professional certifications and designations can bode favorably for job candidates and even lead to higher earnings. The Associate Professional in Talent Development and Certified Professional in Talent Development designations are among the most coveted credentials available in the L&D industry.

The APTD certification is for TD professionals with at least three years of experience who are focused on foundational areas of the field and are typically independent contributors. The CPTD certification is intended for TD professionals with at least five years of experience who seek more strategic roles and want to measure their knowledge and skills across a wide range of TD capabilities.


During ATD21, conference attendees had the opportunity to participate in a variety of credentialing education sessions that introduced the two certifications, covered preparation, addressed attendee questions, and discussed the recertification process. Those who joined the credential-centered conversations also heard from current APTD and CPTD holders about how they feel the credentials have positively affected their careers.

In a time when career shifting is becoming less uncommon, earning an APTD or CPTD credential is a widely affirmed seal of talent development competency, says Denée D’Andrea, CPTD, and the process of attaining it is a learning experience all its own. “I wanted a certification that was widely recognized in the industry not only for the accreditation but also for the learning experience,” D’Andrea stated. “The \[CPTD\] was the only certification that consistently stood out to me as the gold standard in my field.”

For Sarah Cusack, APTD, a self-proclaimed accidental trainer, earning the credential helped her become more confident in her skill set. “To all the accidental trainers like myself who are looking to add legitimacy to their roles, expand their skill sets, or simply quiet the voices in their heads telling them that they don’t belong in this industry, the APTD certification process is a great place to start.”

For those who were unable to attend the ATD21 credentialing sessions, there will be additional virtual opportunities in September to ask questions of credential holders and ATD Certification Institute staff. Morgean Hirt, director of credentialing for ATD, says online registration for a September 9 virtual session is now open for APTD hopefuls. And both APTD and CPTD hopefuls can register to attend a Q&A with ATD Certification Institute staff in a lunchtime virtual session on September 10. To sign up for these sessions, visit td.org/certification-questions-and-calls.

Additionally, those who want to learn more about the credentialing process and are considering taking the next steps can find eligibility requirements for the both the APTD and CPTD credentials as well as other helpful resources at td.org/certification.


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