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"The certification will increase your TD competencies and bring you on par with the best in the industry."

Published Fri Aug 04 2023


Who are the more than 4,500 talent development professionals who have earned the APTD or CPTD credential? Get to know the talented and diverse community:

Ansari Shabnam Ateeq is a Chief Knowledge Officer in the United Arab Emirates. She earned the Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD®) credential in 2015.


Why did you pursue the CPTD?

I chose to pursue the CPTD credential (CPLP in 2015) over other credentials in L&D because the competency framework aligned with my goals in professional development. As the competency model and framework evolves, it has kept pace with the imperatives steering talent development.

How have you benefited from the credential—professionally and/or personally?

Personally, it allows me to voice an opinion or present an idea without being challenged. In fact, this is one of the reasons for pursuing the credential.

Professionally, I chose to specialize in training delivery. The rigor and depth of the competencies, rubrics, and research has provided me with a toolkit that I use in L&D and beyond.


What advice would you share with others considering certification?

The certification will increase your TD competencies and bring you on par with the best in the industry. Invest in the resources provided by ATD to support your certification prep. It’s better to be overprepared than underprepared.

How do you think certification helps the talent development field?

Certification helps the talent development field by getting everyone on the same page about what good looks like. It helps talent development professionals fill their own skills gaps first. Eventually, certification raises benchmarks in performance, hones skill sets in communication, and gets TD professionals a seat at the boardroom table.

How did your employer support your pursuit of the credential?


My employer supported my pursuit of the credential through engaging in the process and integrating the model in the workplace early on. This allowed me to scrutinize, test, and apply the rubrics in a real work environment.

What does having your credential mean to you?

Having the credential means that I invest in myself and others. It also means that I contribute to the global TD community’s efforts in implementing best practices.

How did you get into the talent development field?

I was in sales and business development. I noticed that I enjoyed attending training sessions while colleagues loathed them. Observing outstanding trainers and applying communication techniques hooked me on talent development. The CPTD credential further sealed the decision to always be developing myself or others.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

“There are people who talk, and there are people who walk the talk. There are people who hesitate, and those that move ahead. Have the courage and commitment to transform a dream into reality.”

What is a great book you’ve read recently?

A book I read recently is The Sheikh CEO: Lessons in Leadership From Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum by Yasar Jarrar. In the sub-chapter “A Talent Obsession,” (in the “Surround Yourself With Strong Leaders” chapter) the author states, “While the world talks about leadership development, top political and corporate leaders have been found, in practice, to pay insufficient attention to identifying, recruiting, and selecting future talent. As a result, they promote candidates already in the organization to take over its leadership. Not the Sheikh CEO however, who walks the talk and makes sure his team does the same.”

What is your favorite hobby or pastime?

My favorite hobbies are sewing and cleaning. These are grounding activities. When it’s cooler in my part of the world, I enjoy nature photography and reading a book under the shade of a tree.

What is the most unusual job you've had?

The most unusual job I had was being a part-time cab driver for a year to fund my post-graduate education. I couldn’t work full-time due to class hours. I worked a couple hours in the morning and evening. I picked up and dropped off four working women from home to their workplaces and back. I made great friends and shared a ton of laughter.

Have you earned the APTD or CPTD? Share your story with the community.

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