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"...the valuable knowledge gained while studying for the exam has proven marketable!"

Published Thu May 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:

Walt Hansmann is a Owner and Consultant who earned the Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD®) credential in 2009.


Why did you pursue the CPTD?I naively believed I knew a lot about training and development, and I wanted to validate what I thought I knew. As it turns out, I did know a lot. But the valuable knowledge gained while studying for the exam has proven marketable! A real-world certification was worth more to me than pursuing a degree.

How have you benefited from the credential—professionally and/or personally?The greatest benefit has been the people I have met and worked with along the way. The network of CPTDs has become my go-to sounding board and resource. I also secured my biggest ongoing client as a direct result of following a CPLP-preferred ATD job posting. Then there is the Talent Development Body of Knowledge (TDBoK) and continuing education to “sharpen the saw.”

What advice would you share with others considering certification?Find a study group and an accountability partner! Use current CPTDs and APTDs as resources. The experience is not nearly as daunting as it might seem at first glance!

How do you think certification helps the talent development field?The certifications set a standard for the industry and for talent development professionals worldwide. Employers continue to include “certification-preferred” in their job postings because they recognize the value a certified professional brings to the table.

How did your employer support your pursuit of the credential?At the time, my employer did not understand the value of the certification. As I shared my study materials with my supervisor, she began to understand how the CPTD relates to other professional certifications and encouraged my efforts.


What does having your credential mean to you?It goes back to people. The ATD network of CPTDs and APTDs who interact with, advise, and support one another is the greatest benefit!

How did you get into the talent development field?I started as an automotive systems analyst and was asked to serve as a subject matter expert for customers, and then for other employees. I transitioned careers into association management and professional development. I became a consultant a decade ago to better serve a wider clientele.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?Your focus should always be on your audience. It is about them!

What is a great book you’ve read recently?In his book, Racing to the Finish: My Story, Dale Earnhardt Jr. shares his story of sports-related concussions and brain damage. As a former athlete, I share many of the same symptoms and found Jr.’s honesty refreshing and enlightening.

What is the most unusual or interesting job you've ever had?In high school, I worked in a steel fabrication yard. It was hot, dirty work.


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

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