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ATD Blog

"The confidence boost was phenomenal!"

Published Fri Mar 22 2024


Who are the more than 5,000 talent development professionals who have earned the APTD or CPTD credential? Get to know the talented and diverse community:

Jody Saffert is a Director, Organization Development, in the US. He earned the Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD®) credential in 2019.


Why did you pursue the CPTD?

I pursued the CPTD after several years in the field. I desired further learning and development, along with confirmation that this expansive body of knowledge I had gained through a combination of education and experience was backed by a well-respected and accredited association such as ATD. Mostly, I took on the challenge to say I DID IT!

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

The connections I made through the process were by far the best thing! I’m now surrounded by a source of professionals, certified and experienced, who have become a wonderful crowdsourcing network from which I can seek guidance and expertise.

The confidence boost was phenomenal! It was a long-term process that required persistence and perseverance that I am proud of myself for doing.


I have a thorough and growing knowledge base to draw from to help my broad-ranging clients solve their challenges.

What advice would you share with others considering certification?

Do it! Make a commitment. Make a plan. Stick to it. Enlist and enroll supporters who will cheer you on when you’re excelling and lift you up when you are feeling defeated or incapable. You are capable! Those of us who’ve been through it want to help you earn your APTD or CPTD! Go for it!

How do you think certification helps the talent development field?

Certification demonstrates your commitment to the discipline and that you are capable of becoming proficient in a vast amount of material that helps you serve and continue to learn as an expert in talent development for any industry. Many respectable fields in healthcare, for example, have robust certifications to care for populations of people. The CPTD did the same for me. It helps me serve and care for others in the best, evidence-based way possible.


How did your employer support your pursuit of the credential?

I was driven to do this without my employer’s financial support. As a nonprofit, the funding wasn’t available. However, once they learned I was pursuing it, they made sure to help me with studying and making time to do it. Their encouragement and the time to do it was all the support I needed!

What does having your credential mean to you?

It means that I have mastered the expansive ATD capabilities model AND that I am 100 percent committed to ongoing learning, development, and growth. You don’t and can’t stop after certification. You must keep going. The recertification process ensures you never stop learning and growing. I like that we are required to recertify every three years. The learning never ends!

How did you get into the talent development field?

I began in HR proper, starting as a recruiter and HR generalist. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to co-facilitate learning on a variety of topics in partnership with our learning division. I fell in love and was hooked! So, I pursued the organization development, talent management, and development side of the function.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Love what you are currently doing, always. Then, when you move onto your next career phase, love that too. Love must be at the center of all you do. This was from my very first HR director back in 1998. It has stuck with me ever since.

What is a great book you’ve read recently?

Becoming Coachable by Scott Osman, Jacquelyn Lane, and Marshall Goldsmith

What is your favorite hobby or pastime?

Hiking or long walks in the woods or on the beach. I love to get lost in a good audiobook while being in nature.

What is the most unusual job you’ve had?

I was a resident services aide when I was 15 at my community’s nursing home. I did activities with patients with Alzheimer’s. Playing music and instruments with them from their past and seeing the memories come back was the BEST!

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

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