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Professional Community & Economic Developer (PCED)

Enhance your career by becoming a Professional Community and Economic Developer (PCED). CDI training helps prepare you for this nationally-recognized certification offered through the Community Development Council, Inc. (CDC). The exam is offered multiple times each year at all CDI site locations.

Applying for the PCED Exam

Exam Content

The PCED exam content is based on the Community Development Handbook (2nd Edition) which provides comprehensive, current, and applicable information for community development practitioners. The exam includes questions to measure both the understanding of content and the ability to apply the appropriate methods and tools to specific community situations. The exam consists entirely of multiple choice questions divided into two parts. Part 1 covers content from selected chapters of the Community Development Handbook as revised. Part 2 consists of three case studies in which you are asked to apply knowledge gleaned from work experience, training, and/or the Handbook.


In order to be eligible to sit for the PCED certification and re-certification exams you must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Accumulate a total of eight (8) eligibility points.
  • Complete all three (3) years of CDI training from an official CDI site.

Additional requirements are noted on the PCED certification and re-certification applications.

Other Forms and Designations



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.