Professional Community and Economic Development (PCED) Certification

The PCED certification is offered through the Community Development Council (CDC), a national non-profit organization offering regional opportunities throughout the country for Community Development Institute training. Certification is available to community developers who collaborate with individuals to shape and guide the development and economic prosperity of their community, while making full use of local and external resources.
More than 350 individuals nationwide have received the Professional Community and Economic Developer designation. This nationally-recognized certification helps to solidify a base of skills and knowledge in community development.

A total of 8 points are needed to take the exam plus an example of a community and economic development project which shows the applicant has been directly involved. Three points are earned through the completion of 3 years of CDI. Three points based on 3 years of experience as an active paid professional in the field of community development are required. Additional points can be earned for professional training, (including Advanced Year CDI) participation and/or presentations at other conferences, publications, serving on a community development board or committee, and other contributions to the field of community development count toward earning points. Taking the PCED exam is required for PCED designation. However, participants can attend CDI and not seek the PCED designation.

The exam is offered each August at Midwest CDI, and at the annual Illinois Rural Community Development Conference each March. When there is sufficient demand, an additional PCED exam is offered at a central location. It is required to send the application and documentation of your points to the Community Development Council at least 45 days prior to the scheduled exam. During the application review you may be asked for additional information or clarification.

The PCED exam, based on the Community Development Handbook (Community Development Council ©) and core curriculum topics offered at all CDIs. The exam is 75 multiple choice questions.

A score of at least 70% on each part of the exam is required. The exam can be retaken if needed. There is a $100 fee to re-test and notification that you will be sitting for the exam must be received by the certification secretary 30 days prior to the test date.

A $225 fee (which includes the study guide) is due upon application.

Application Form

PCED re-certification is required every three (3) years and may be achieved through professional education, contributions to the profession, service, and participation in community development meetings and programs. A minimum of eight (8) points are required for re-certification, which must be earned after the date of the applicant’s last certification. A $200 re-certification fee must be received before an application for re-certification will be reviewed.

FAQs

Do I have to attend CDI to take the PCED exam?
Applicants must successfully complete all three (3) years of CDI training at one of the CDC accredited site locations to be eligible to sit for the exam.

Why do I have to pay additional fees to take the PCED exam when I have already paid for three years of CDI training?
The PCED exam is separate from the CDI training experience and is administered through the Community Development Council, Inc. (CDC).

How much is the PCED application fee?
$225 which includes a study guide (PDF format).

Can I retake the PCED exam if I don’t pass the first time?
In order to pass the exam, you must receive a minimum score of 70% on each part of the exam. You are able to retake the examination if you do not pass it. If you pass one part of the exam and not the other part, you are only required to re-take the part of the exam that you did not pass. There is a $100 fee to re-test and notification that you will be sitting for the exam must be received by the certification secretary 30 days prior to the testing date

How long does the PCED certification last?
PCED re-certification is required every three (3) years. There is a 6-month courtesy period to renew your PCED without penalty after the third year. Anyone seeking to renew greater than a year from expiration is required to retake the PCED exam

How do I re-certify?
A minimum of eight (8) points are required for re-certification earned after the date of applicant’s most recent certification and within the past three years. Re-certification points can be achieved through professional education, contributions to the profession, service, and participation in community development meetings and programs.

Is there a fee to re-certify?
A re-certification fee of $200.00 must be submitted with the online application to be considered for review. The certification fee can be paid online or by check payable to the Community Development Council.

What if my PCED certification expires? What are my options to continue certification?
PCED holders who are interested in renewing their PCED certification past its expiration date can take advantage of the “4:2 split” policy. This policy allows expired PCED certifications to utilize four years of experience towards recertification to receive a two-year certification (instead of the standard three-year certification). This policy is allowed up to 18 months past the PCED expiration date. Any expired PCEDs not renewed within 18 months of their PCED expiration date must apply and re-take the PCED exam to be certified.