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Talent Development Body of Knowledge

The Talent Development Body of Knowledge (TDBoK) is the first-ever, comprehensive collection of concepts, definitions, methodologies, and examples covering the 23 Capability Areas identified in the Talent Development Capability Model.
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The definitive resource for the talent development profession.
Accessible anytime, anywhere, on any device, the TDBoK offers a deep dive of the concepts within the Talent Development Capability Model, the framework that tells talent development practitioners what they need to know and do to develop themselves, others, and their organizations. This first-of-its-kind resource for information on the field was developed with more than 60 subject matter expert contributors and incorporates curated perspectives from thousands of publications. The TDBoK gives you the means to define the personal, professional, and organizational impact capabilities required for success—today and in the future.

The Talent Development Capability Model is the foundation for ATD CI’s certification programs, the Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD) and the Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD). The TDBoK can serve as an important resource for exam preparation.

Learn more about professionalizing yourself through ATD’s certification programs. Get ready with an ATD prep course. Bonus: The TDBoK is included with your preparation course registration.

This subscription gives you 12 months of access to the Talent Development Body of Knowledge. Already have the digital subscription and want the print add-on? Add the print version. Want both the subscription and the print version? You can get a bundle of both.

About the TDBoK
What is the TDBoK?
The TDBoK is
  • available through a 12-month digital subscription and is comprehensive and consolidated so you don't have to buy and read multiple books.
  • hundreds of pages of content, including 186 knowledge and skills statements that define best practices, plus 650 glossary terms giving you a complete TD dictionary.
  • detailed references and recommended readings that will enable you to explore beyond the platform.
  • conveniently delivered in ATD’s Bookshelf e-reader platform. A high-quality, color print version is available as an add-on purchase.

ATD’s Bookshelf is a personalized digital learning experience that allows you to do more than you can with print.
  • Get 100 percent offline access on your phone, tablet, or computer.
  • Use the ATD Bookshelf mobile app.
  • Easy-to-use navigation and search tools.
  • Sync highlighted content, notes, and annotations across your devices.
  • Listen to the content via the read-aloud feature.
  • Create your own personal study guide and flashcards.

Mirroring the Talent Development Capability Model, the TDBoK features three volumes, one for each domain in the model. The 23 capability areas in the model are covered in-depth, giving you detailed insight into the concepts, models, and terminology you need to know to achieve excellence in your talent development practice.
Why Does it Matter?
Up your TD game. Determine yours and your teams’ current knowledge of professional concepts and the areas in which you need further development.

Your TDBoK subscription will:
  • Serve as a definitive, ongoing, centralized source and reference guide for TD best practices and the knowledge and skills required for success in the profession.
  • Enable easy access to theories, models, insights, and answers through a structured, searchable e-publication.
  • Provide an overview of the broad array of disciplines in talent development (23 unique capabilities) so you can get exposure to new proficiency areas, identify what more you need to learn, and tailor your future development plan.
  • Give you a set of terminology and definitions for the TD profession that create a common language.
  • Ensure alignment of the professional resources that you use to expand and develop you career—from credentials to courses and conferences to publications and online content.

Information about talent development practices has never been more readily available. But as our profession continues to transform to match business and organizational strategic priorities, it is important to have a codified set of standards that define talent development. Organized into three comprehensive volumes, the TDBoK serves as a “one-stop shop” for the latest standards and best practices.
FAQs About the TDBoK
How was the TDBoK created and vetted?
In 2019, the research underlying the ATD Talent Development Capability Model was conducted. The process included a literature review, thought leader interviews, an occupational survey, and validation by an advisory panel and task force of professional experts. The model, ATD’s ninth over the last 40 years, reflects the personal, professional, and organizational impact capabilities needed for success in the talent development field.

To support the new Talent Development Capability Model and all talent development professionals, ATD embarked on researching, documenting, and evaluating the concepts, topics, theories, models, and activities that define the profession. The result is this first-of-its-kind resource for information on the field.
What is the difference between the Talent Development Capability Model and the Talent Development Body of Knowledge?
ATD's new Talent Development Capability Model is a framework to guide the TD profession in what practitioners need to know and do to develop themselves, others, and their organizations. The Talent Development Capability Model is also the foundation for ATD CI’s certification programs, the Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD) and the Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD).

Mirroring the Talent Development Capability Model, the TDBoK features three volumes, one for each domain of practice in the model. The 23 capability areas in the model are covered in-depth giving you detailed insight into the concepts, models, and terminology you need to know to achieve excellence in your talent development practice. Talent Development professionals can use the TDBoK to learn key concepts, gain exposure to the full breadth of capability areas in our field, and speak the common language of a network of global TD practitioners.
What is different about the TDBoK from the previous ATD Learning System?
The ATD Learning System is the predecessor to the TDBoK and will be retired in March, 2020 as it is not aligned to the new Talent Development Capability Model. The TDBoK is aligned to the capability areas identified in the Talent Development Capability Model.
How does the TDBoK help prepare individuals for the APTD and CPTD certifications?
The Talent Development Capability Model is the foundation for ATD CI’s certification programs, the Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD) and the Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD). As a result, the TDBoK, which provides access to theories, models, and definitions, can serve as an important resource for exam preparation.
What do I do if I already own the previous Learning System?
Existing ATD Learning System subscribers will have an opportunity to decide to keep the ATD Learning System or switch to the TDBoK by March 16, 2020. Additional details and instructions regarding this transition were sent via email to all subscribers on January 30, 2020. For additional support please contact ATD Customer Care at 1.800.628.2783 or [email protected]
Where can I provide feedback on the TDBoK?
ATD keeps its members and subscribers informed of updates to its products and invites feedback to ensure we are delivering high-quality offerings. For more information please visit https://www.td.org/tdbok or contact ATD Customer Care at 1.800.628.2783 or [email protected].
Will the TDBoK be updated/future editions released?
ATD’s Talent Development Capability Model and the resources aligned to it are regularly revisited and updated to align with evolutions in society, the workplace, and our profession. As such, this publication will be reviewed periodically and modified to align with these changes.
FAQs About Accessing the TDBoK
How do I access the TDBoK once I’ve purchased it?
Once you’ve purchased the TDBoK, go to ATD’s Bookshelf e-reader to access your copy. You must have a td.org account to access the e-reader. If you do not have a td.org account, please set one up.
What are the system requirements for the TDBoK?
ATD’s Bookshelf e-reader works across the following web browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari 11+, Internet Explorer 11+, Microsoft Edge Edge 17+, Mobile Safari, and Chrome for Android.

In addition, mobile apps are available for iOS and Android devices.
How do I use the e-reader?
ATD’s Bookshelf is more than just an e-reader—it’s a personalized digital learning experience that allows you to do more than you can with print.
  • ATD Bookshelf mobile app with offline access
  • Easy navigation and search
  • Make highlights and take notes – and annotations are synced across all your devices
  • Listen to the content via the Read Aloud feature
  • Create your own personal study guide and flashcards

Instructions on how to use the e-reader and a tour of features is provided upon your first login.
Is there a Bookshelf mobile app?
Yes! Follow these step-by-step directions:

1. Download the Bookshelf mobile app. Do not create an account.
2. Go to bookshelf.td.org in your mobile web browser.
3. You will be prompted to “Launch App” or “Continue to Mobile Site.” Click Launch App.
4. Once you launch the app, you’ll be automatically signed in with your td.org account.
Is there a print version of the TDBoK?
Customers who purchase the TDBoK have the option to purchase printed copy via an add on purchase. Coming soon!
Who do I contact if I’m having technical difficulties accessing the TDBoK?
We are sorry to hear you are having technical difficulties. Please contact ATD Customer Care at 1.800.628.2783 or 1.703.683.8100 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.–6 p.m. ET) or [email protected].
Is the TDBoK available in any languages other than English?
At this time this resource is only available in English. For more information about global resources, please contact ATD Customer Care at 1.800.628.2783 or 1.703.683.8100 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.–6 p.m. ET) or [email protected].
How does the subscription work?
Your subscription is for 12 months based upon date of purchase. You will receive a notification before the expiration date and may extend your subscription at that time for the annual fee of $195/members or $295/non-members. Access is for a single user only.
How can I license the TDBoK for organizational use?
Please connect with an ATD Enterprise Solutions Account Executive here for more information on how to receive special rates for organizational licenses.
How do I request copyright permission to use content from the TDBoK?
© 2020 ASTD DBA the Association for Talent Development (ATD)
All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.

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No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, please go to www.copyright.com, or contact Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923 (telephone: 978.750.8400; fax: 978.646.8600).

ATD is the world’s largest association dedicated to those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations.

Association for Talent Development
1640 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314 USA

Ordering information: This publication can be purchased by visiting ATD's website at td.org/tdbok or by calling 800.628.2783 or 703.683.8100.