Inspiring Leadership with Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Competence

The last exam window for diversity certification in 2014 will close on August 22nd. Those interested in earning their Certified Diversity Professional (CDP) or Certified Diversity Executive (CDE) credentials this year will need to apply for the November testing window, in which classes will begin in September. This certification is open to anyone in the field of diversity and inclusion, human resources, legal/risk management, marketing, or in an international supervisory position.

Each year the Institute for Diversity Certification (IDC) has four opportunities for those in the field of diversity and inclusion to take classes, pass an exam and complete a project to earn their diversity credentials. These credentials allow them to establish credibility as experts and differentiate themselves from other practitioners. They also indicate achievement and excellence because candidates must pass the online, proctored exam with an 80% or better.

“Those who have earned their credentials can see how they are better able to impact the businesses that they work for,” explains Ed Burns, CDP, Registrar for IDC. “They gain valuable knowledge that they can take back to the workplace and make change happen.”

A certificate is different from certification. With a certificate, individuals usually affirm a certain level of knowledge by taking a class. Certification, on the other hand, is a common practice in many industries where individuals take an exam and obtain credentials to use after their name upon successful completion. Currently, the CDP and CDE programs are unaccredited, however, IDC anticipates receiving its accreditation by the end of this year. Once the accreditation is put in place, the action will be retroactive– meaning that it will be effective for all previous designees as well. While accredited colleges and universities offer diversity and inclusion certificate programs, the way that accreditation works, each program must also be accredited. Therefore, the Institute for Diversity Certification will offer the only accredited diversity and inclusion certification program.  Due to this change, once accreditation occurs, the price of the classes will increase by at least 50 percent.

Roughly 200 candidates have participated in The Institute for Diversity Certification’s (IDC) unique diversity and inclusion education program since 2011. Current designees include representatives from Wal-Mart, Cisco, Cummins, Eli Lilly & Co., Colgate Palmolive, Sodexo, Commerce Bank, Rolls Royce, Mercedes Benz, Hanes Brands, Belk Inc., University of Miami, University of Alabama, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Indiana State University, Federal Reserve Bank, NASA, US Air Force Academy, Missouri Department of Transportation, Virginia Department of Health, Teach for America, Goodwill Industries, and more.

“The accreditation process has been a long one, but we are glad that it is finally coming to an end,” stated Burns. “It will be nice to have the accreditation for those who will take the course and exam in the future, as well as for those who already have their designation.”

The current cost for the program ranges from $600 to $3,000, depending on the type of credential (CDP or CDE) and the preparation method. Candidates may self-study, take an 8-week online preparation program, or attend a 3-day intensive classroom-based course. There is a 20% discount available for members of The Society for Diversity, and the membership cost is $169. Additionally, companies that send three (3) or more employees for certification will receive a 30% discount.

Two components of the program have proved to be extremely valuable for both candidates and the organization’s for whom they work: (1) the study guide and (2) the Candidate Project.  The CDP and CDE study guides are the most comprehensive diversity and inclusion (D&I) resources available today. Not only do they provide the backdrop for diversity and inclusion work, but the 300+ page books furnish step-by-step instructions for how to successfully achieve better D&I outcomes. The Candidate Project must be a recently developed diversity plan, cultural climate analysis, research or evaluation of current D&I efforts. This usable professional work is peer-reviewed and rated on a pass/fail basis only.

Those interested in registering for the November 2014 testing window can apply online or by fax by visiting The deadline to apply is August 22, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. EST. The next exam window starts in April 2015.

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