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APTD At a Glance 

The Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD) is a professional certification for TD professionals with at least three years of experience—those who are in the early parts of their careers or whose professional roles and aspirations are focused on foundational areas of the field.

An APTD understands that well-designed talent development strategies and solutions contribute to organizational success and has a strong grounding in the foundational knowledge of the field.

The typical APTD credential holder has 3-5 years of experience in talent development. Fifteen percent of the candidates who have earned the APTD so far are in a management role.

Many of our APTD candidates are “accidental trainers” without formal education in training and development. Some work full time in the field, while others work half time.

The APTD covers a subset of foundational knowledge from the Talent Development Capability Model and how to use that knowledge in talent development. It is focused on the capabilities required for successful performance by early career professionals. These areas were identified by the research as core building blocks for talent development professionals.

Exam Dates & Information*  

*Note: Information, pricing, and fees are subject to change. For the most up-to-date info, please visit: 

What is the Full Exam Format?

  • Exam time: 2 hours
  • Exam length: 115 multiple choice questions
  • Computer-based exam at conveniently located testing centers worldwide OR in a secure location of your choosing, via remote proctoring (learn more about this new testing option)

What is Covered on the Exam?

Download the APTD exam's content outline for a guide to what is covered. If you are still undecided between the APTD and CPTD, check out this resource comparing the content outlines.

The APTD focuses on a subset of capabilities from the Talent Development Capability Model and how to use that knowledge in talent development. It covers all three domains:

  • Personal Capabilities - 20%
  • Professional Capabilities - 50%
  • Organizational Capabilities - 30%

How Much Does it Cost?

  • Exam fee: $499 (members); $699 (non-members)
  • The exam fee covers a testing seat for the APTD exam, exam score report, and APTD certificate once certification is achieved.

How do I Register for the Exam?

  • To register for the exam go to the ATD certification portal. If it is your first time in the application system, you may need to complete additional fields and indicate that you are interested in the APTD program.
  • If you require special accommodations, please apply and submit your request at least 10 weeks before your selected testing window so arrangements can be made with the testing center.

When and Where Can I Take the Exam?

  • When you apply, you will choose a 90-day exam window during which to test.
  • Each window includes a 30-day black out period when testing is not offered.
  • The registration deadline is 30 days before the start of each 90-day window.
  • Exams may be taken at testing centers around the world or in a secure location via remote proctoring


Preparing for the APTD Exam

Preparation Strategies & Resources

APTD Candidates use a variety of resources to prepare depending upon the way they study best:

  • Talent Development Body of Knowledge: The Talent Development Body of Knowledge (TDBoK) is the definitive resource for TD professionals and as such can be a valuable resource for individuals preparing for the APTD certification exam. If you enroll in an APTD prep course, the TDBoK is included with the cost of the program. Please note, the cost of the preparation resources is not included in the exam registration fee. *The TDBoK will soon be available for purchase in Arabic. Sign up here to be informed when it is available.
  • APTD Practice Test: The APTD Practice Test is great opportunity to get a feel for the final test-taking experience and build the confidence you need to be successful on your APTD certification exam. *The APTD Practice Test is now available in Arabic. You can choose the language for your practice test after completing the purchase, when you are "scheduling" your practice test attempt.
  • APTD Preparation Courses: The APTD Preparation Course is a comprehensive on demand self-paced course you can access through a 12-month subscription.
  • Bookmark the Active Candidates Page: The active candidates page to find the most recent versions of the Candidate Handbook and other important documents.
  • APTD Candidate Preparation LinkedIn Group: Join our APTD Candidate Preparation LinkedIn Group for tips and resources.
  • Form Your Own Study Group: If there is not a convenient study group available to you, consider creating your own. This study group guide can help you to plan your group.

Official Address:

1959 N. Peace Haven Road, #225
Winston-Salem, NC 27106 

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