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Certificate Program
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Consulting Skills Certificate

Build your credibility as a trusted consultant.

Discover the behaviors and processes for effective internal consulting. Learn to help your organization establish goals to achieve its desired outcomes, and guide your clients through a consultative process.

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Credits: CEU 1.4 MORE
Level: Capable
Role(s): Independent Consultant More
Language(s): English
Capability Area(s): Consulting and Business Partnering More


Course Info

Talent professionals must demonstrate strong consulting skills to lead the development of learning solutions and successfully guide their organizations toward optimal performance. ATD’s Consulting Skills Certificate improves your ability to use effective behaviors and processes for internal learning consulting within your organization. External consultants will also benefit from this training.

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Talent professionals must demonstrate strong consulting skills to lead the development of learning solutions and successfully guide their organizations toward optimal performance. ATD’s Consulting Skills Certificate improves your ability to use effective behaviors and processes for internal learning consulting within your organization. External consultants will also benefit from this training.

You’ll explore ATD’s 5-D model and practice 30 fundamental consulting competencies with tools you can put to use immediately on the job. This practical model and structured approach to a consulting engagement empowers you to ask the right questions to diagnose needs. Boost your ability to guide clients as they identify needs, establish goals, and achieve desired performance outcomes. Prepare to establish strong client partnerships through an instructional design or organization development project, overcome obstacles and resistance, and build your consulting credibility to influence decision making.


  • Move from order-taker to true business partner by discovering a model, techniques, and tools you can use to consult with your clients.
  • Apply success strategies including working across organizational boundaries, providing feedback to senior leaders, and gaining buy-in.
  • Evaluate your skills and identify your developmental needs as a consultant.


Receive access to more than 15 ATD-exclusive tools, templates, and checklists you can use immediately back on the job to improve your consulting skills. Included is a consulting project planning guide, an effective questions list, a sample project acceptance agreement, an effective interview checklist, and data feedback planning tools, and many more.
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What You Will Learn
  • Understand the functions of a learning professional in the role of consultant.
  • Demonstrate exemplary internal consulting competencies, and the corresponding day-to-day behaviors required of an internal consultant.
  • Build relationships with clients, including techniques to effectively guide clients through the consulting process.
  • List questions to ask a client during a contracting meeting and/or data gathering meeting.
  • Outline client goals and set expectations for success.
  • Apply tools to analyze business needs and gather information.
  • Build credibility through communication to increase position as a knowledgeable, client-focused partner.
  • Model the most appropriate way to conduct a data-gathering interview and a feedback meeting.
  • Overcome resistance and difficult client behaviors.
  • Evaluate the solution/change, and identify areas for future improvement.
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Course Topics
  • Consulting Skills: What It Is; What It Isn’t
  • ATD’s 5-D Consulting Model
  • The Five Phases
  • Consulting Project Planning Guide
Define and Agree
  • The Define and Agree Phase
  • Module Topics
  • Comparing Consulting Models
  • What Role Will You Play?
  • What Role Will You Play?
  • Your Consulting Credibility
  • Planning for the Exploratory Meeting
  • Building Client Relationships: The First Meeting
  • Assessing Your Client’s Readiness
  • Identifying Effective Questions
  • Reaching an Agreement on Expectations
  • Sample Project Acceptance Agreement
Discover and Analyze
  • The Discover and Analyze Phase
  • Module Topics
  • Data: What’s So Good About It?
  • Deciding How to Collect Data
  • Conduct an Effective Interview
  • Internal and External Consultant: Possible Roadblocks
  • Interview Effectiveness Checklist
  • A Word on Data Analysis
Deliver and Decide
  • The Deliver and Decide Phase
  • Module Topics
  • Frame the Issue
  • Fundamental Design Features of Feedback
  • Data Feedback Planning Tool
  • Determine Feedback Meeting Agenda
  • Tips for Starting and Ending a Feedback Meeting
  • Sensitive Information
  • Resistance
  • Last Step: Alignment Meeting
Design and Implement
  • Design and Implement
  • The Design and Implement Phase
  • Module Topics
  • Team Approach to Designing the Improvement
  • Implementation: Sliding Into Change Management
  • Implementation: Sliding Into Change Management (Cont.)
  • Change Targets
  • Implementation Strategies
  • Putting It All Together: Tactics for Consultants
  • Suggestions for Partnering With External Consultants
Disengage and Review
  • Disengage and Review
  • The Disengage and Review Phase
  • Module Topics
  • Ending a Contract Early
  • Evaluation: Getting Closure
  • Evaluation: A Consulting Perspective
  • Continual Improvement Process
Who Should Attend
  • Professionals who are new to an internal consulting role or want to prepare to assume this role in the future.
  • More experienced talent development professionals and external consultants ready to sharpen their consulting skills.

ATD Education programs are designed primarily for learning professionals—trainers, instructional designers, and organizational development practitioners—but also greatly benefit anyone within an organization who is responsible for developing others, from managers to human resources specialists.

Level: Capable
Roles: Independent Consultant, Instructional Designer, Trainer/Facilitator
Language: English
What Our Participants are Saying
Sue Garner

“As someone who has been in various roles in this field for over 20 years, I felt that the program provided new insight, some valuable tools and feedback, as well as a ‘shot in the arm’ of confidence that I needed in an area that I haven't practiced in for a few years.”

Meriya Dyble

"I would recommend this program because it's hands on and a nice balance between theory and practical experience. The facilitator did a wonderful job of making it relevant to our organization, and even took the time to get to know our strategy and make links, which had a huge impact on the group."

Susan Heil

"This program was full of "real world" templates and lists that were immediately applicable back on the job. Some workshops don't give you valuable takeaways or they are more theory/conceptual. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about the content and brought it to life."

Dates & Locations
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  • Dec 08-09, 2022
    09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
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  • Feb 01-10, 2023
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  • Mar 21-30, 2023
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  • Mar 29-Apr 07, 2023
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  • Apr 25-May 04, 2023
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  • May 03-12, 2023
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  • May 19-20, 2023
    11:30 AM - 07:30 PM
    San Diego, CA
  • Jun 06-15, 2023
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  • Jun 20-29, 2023
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Lynn Lewis, CPTD
Erica Nelson
Sardek Love
Donna Steffey, CPTD

Things to Know


For full-day face-to-face and live online programs, participation in all originally scheduled days of the program, including both face-to-face and live online formats, is mandatory in order to receive the certificate of completion and CEUs. Participants who miss more than two hours of the entire program will not be eligible to receive the certificate. Participants who fulfill the attendance requirement will receive a certificate at the end of the program.

For multi-week, live online programs with five or more sessions, one missed live session can be made up by listening to the session recording in full. Participants who miss more than one live session will not be eligible to receive the certificate. To be marked complete for that one session, please email [email protected]. For programs with four or fewer sessions, attendance at all live sessions is required to receive a certificate. All sessions will be recorded and available for participants to review throughout the program for your reference.

ATD requires active participation throughout the program to receive credit. Active participation in live online sessions includes, but is not limited to, participating in virtual classroom activities, discussions, breakout sessions, and intersession work. Please note that using a tablet or mobile device significantly limits your ability to fully and actively participate.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, a certificate will be issued to you through the ATD Learning Platform at the end of the program.


14.0 learning hours

1.4 CEUs awarded

This program is eligible for 14.0 professional development hours or recertification points from the ATD Certification Institute (ATD CI) for the APTD or CPTD credential.

This program has been approved for 14.0 (General) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR, and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute.

This program is valid for 14.0 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit


A laptop computer with Wi-Fi capability is required for both face-to-face and online programs. Please do not bring mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc.) in lieu of a laptop. There will be no computers available on-site for participants. Note: You might not have an optimal experience if you are using Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge to access your courses. Chrome is the recommended browser.


Enrolled in a program? Sign in to the ATD Learning Portal with your ATD account credentials two weeks before the first day of class to:

  • Engage with your facilitator and peers.
  • Access pre-work assignments.
  • View any technical requirements.
  • Review logistical information.


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