ATD Competency Model

ATD launched an updated competency model in 2014. The ATD Competency Model defines the skills and knowledge required for talent development professionals to be successful now and in the future. It captures changes driven by digital, mobile, and social technology; demographic shifts; globalization; and economic forces.

The ATD Competency Model:

  • Defines the latest competencies needed for success across the entire TD industry.
  • Provides a professional development roadmap for TD leaders and practitioners.
  • Provides the opportunity to align individual and organizational goals against an industry standard backed by research and forward-thinking.

The model emphasizes foundational competencies that are important to everyone in the field and specific areas of expertise (AOEs), which are the specialized knowledge and actions required by specific roles.

Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) candidates are tested on all ten (10) areas of expertise. Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD) candidates are tested on three (3) primary areas of expertise: Training Delivery, Instructional Design and Learning Technologies.

Click the competency model below for details on each of the Foundational Competencies and Areas of Expertise.


The Model redefines the skills and knowledge required for trainers to be successful now and in the future. It captures changes driven by digital, mobile, and social technology; demographic shifts; globalization; and economic forces.

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