ATD Certifications: More Options than You Know!

Sunday, February 11, 2018 12:38 PM | Anonymous member

By Shannon Wzientek

Exploring the possibility of earning a certification in the talent development field?  If so, you are probably wondering: What’s out there? What’s the best fit for me? What are the benefits? What does the process entail?

There are many benefits of earning a certification, including validation of your knowledge and skills in the industry, being a differentiator, and expanding career opportunities.  In addition, you will gain the confidence that goes along with earning a widely recognized and prestigious credential.

ATD now offers two certifications, as well as new ways to leverage involvement in prior programs.  If you are early in your career and looking for a way to stand out amongst your peers, consider the Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD).  If you have extensive talent development experience and are looking to obtain the industry’s premier certification, explore the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) Requirements and the ATD Areas of Expertise covered within each are below.

APTD and CPLP Information


ATD has also introduced a progressive model, called the Career Development Stack.  This design enables professionals to grow their knowledge, skills, and abilities in a structured and cumulative way, as the model allows for the knowledge and skills gained in one stack to be applied toward other stacks—saving time and money.  Stacks include the Master Series, APTD, and the CPLP, with successful completion of each component feeding into the next level, waiving certain requirements for each.

Specifically, APTD candidates may test out of one knowledge exam area if having successfully completed a qualifying Master Series and this applies to CPLP candidates as well.  Additionally, if a CPLP candidate holds the APTD certification they may test out of three areas on the knowledge exam.

When experience or other qualification requirements are a factor, this stacking model enables education to run in parallel with experience, allowing professionals to reach their career development goals as quickly as possible.  Become familiar with this model and the associated opportunities when exploring your development path!

To learn more about the certifications and the Career Development Stack review these resources:

Career Development Framework


Video: ATD's Stackable Credentials

Article: ATD Career Development Framework: Where Do You Want to Go?

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