Ever wonder how to become a PD Specialist™ for CDA Credential candidates? We often hear from our students that they cannot find a PD Specialist in their area.
The term PD Specialist stands for “Professional Development Specialist,” a trademark of the Council for Professional Recognition (also called the CDA Council). PD Specialists are early childhood professionals who use their ECE expertise to assess CDA Credential candidates’ competencies.
PD Specialists facilitate reflective conversations with the candidates during their Verification Visits. After the visit, they submit their scoring recommendations to the CDA Council.
Not interested in becoming a CDA PD Specialist, but need to find one for your own Verification Visit? Read our blog: Who is my PD Specialist?
An important job
According to the CDA Council, the integrity of the CDA assessment process rests primarily on PD Specialists. The Professional Development Specialist is a critical job!
Are PD Specialists paid?
Yes! According to the CDA Council, after each Verification Visit you complete, you will receive a $100 honorarium.
How to become a PD Specialist
First, determine if you are eligible. Read the list* of requirements below to determine your eligibility. .
To be eligible, you must …
- have a working email address and access to the internet
- be fluent in the language(s) of the assessments you plant to conduct
- be available to conduct verification visits during regular business hours
- know state and national licensing regulations for early childhood programs
- hold a minimum of a BA** or AA*** degree from an accredited college or university in
- early childhood education/child development, or
- home economics/child development, or
- elementary education/early childhood education, or
- a degree in a closely related field or major + a minimum of 18-semester or 24-quarter hours of coursework in ECE/CD covering children from birth through five.
*For a more detailed list, visit the CDA Council’s website
**If you have a BA, you must also have at least two years working in a childcare setting with children birth to five. At least one year must have been working directly with children and one year facilitating the professional growth of adults.
***If you have an AA, you must also have a minimum of four years working in a childcare setting working with children birth to five. At least two years must have been working directly with children and two years facilitating the professional growth of adults.
So, you’ve determined that you are eligible!
If you qualify, the next step is to complete and submit an online PD Specialist application.
The Council reviews every application. Once they approve your application, you will receive an email further explaining the process.
All PD Specialist applicants must …
- Watch the Council’s video tutorials. Watch the videos now!
- Complete the Council’s application. Don’t miss anything! The Council will reject an incomplete application.
PDS online training
Application approved? Awesome!
On to the next step: PDS online training though the Council’s website. The training will give you all the resources and information you will need to be a successful PD Specialist.
Next you must … pass the exam!
How long does it take?
After you take the exam, allow for the CDA Council to finish processing your application. This can take about 45 days.
And then … you’ll be a PD Specialist!
Care Courses and the CDA Council
In July 2017, the CDA Council for Professional Recognition awarded Care Courses the new CDA Gold Standard certification in recognition of the quality of our courses, the unlimited, free support services we provide our students, and our effective online and book training options. In 2022, Care Courses became an official partner of the CDA Council.
Care Courses Support
Please contact us and let us know how we can be of additional assistance! Call us: 1–800-685‑7610, Monday through Friday, 9–5 ET, or email us days, evenings, and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!