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Commonly Asked CWDP Questions


1. Do I need to be a member of NAWDP to become a Certified Workforce Development Professional (CWDP)?
No, but you do need to show proof of your ongoing commitment to your professional development by belonging to at least one workforce development-related professional organization. Such an organization must be an individual membership organization (i.e. not one your employer belongs to) and it must sponsor regular professional development opportunities such as a conference, workshops and/or a journal.


2. If I have received a certificate from a program will that count towards my educational requirement?
No. The only accepted educational levels are High School Diploma/GED, Associate Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, and Graduate Degree from an accredited degree-granting institution. In addition, all degrees must have been awarded to the candidate. All other forms of education are good forms of professional development; however, they cannot be considered for the CWDP credential.


3.  Can you explain the experience requirements?
There are two basic experience requirements:  Full Time and Recent Experience.  First, applicants must have the required amount of Full Time experience based on their education. 

 Education  Full Time Experience
 Graduate Degree  12 months
 Bachelor’s Degree  24 months
 Associate’s Degree  48 months
 High School or GED     72 months








In addition, all applicants - regardless of their education level - must have at least 12 months of the experience within the past 24 months. Part time experience can be counted towards meeting the 12 month Recent Experience requirement.


4. I am unsure as to how I should complete the Competency Rating Form, do you have a sample to look at?
Yes. Here is a sample Competency Rating Form.


5. What if I change employers/jobs? Do I need to document that experience?
Yes. If you need past employer/job experience to satisfy your experience requirements, then you must document that work experience as well as your current work experience.


6. Does the documented work experience need to be directly related to workforce development?
Yes. The primary duties of the job must relate to one or more of the activities listed in the definition of a workforce development professional.


7. What do I do if I need more than one Experience Form?
You may make additional photocopies of the application and various forms as needed for the certification process.


8. If I am the head of the organization where I work, who should fill out my Reference Forms?
As the head of the organization, you may have a customer or a board member of your organization who is familiar with your work and experience as a Workforce Development Professional fill out your Reference Forms. Two Reference Forms and the Experience Form(s) are still required for heads of organizations.


9. Once I submit my CWDP application can I request certain application materials in my file to be faxed or mailed back to me?
Documents will not be pulled from previous or current files. Please make copies of your application materials prior to sending them for review. All submitted application materials are the property of NAWDP and cannot be returned in any form.


10. How long is the certification review process?
Certification applications are reviewed quarterly: February 1, May 1, August 1 and November 1. Your application must be received, not post marked, before the review starts in order to be considered for that review cycle. For example, if your complete application is received April 30, your application will be reviewed in the May cycle. If your application is received May 1, your application will be reviewed during the August cycle. You will be notified by mail the outcome of the review 6 to 8 weeks after the start of the cycle.


11. Who reviews the certification application?
Your application and supporting documents will be reviewed by the NAWDP Certification Review Committee to determine the eligibility as set forth by the Committee on Certification.


12. Can I find out the results of my certification review over the phone?
Due to privacy issues, NAWDP will mail the results to the address you specified on your application. Results will not be given over the phone.


13. If I am denied the CWDP credential, what happens next?
You will have a chance to make the necessary changes on your application and re-submit the application within two review cycles at no additional charge.


14. How long is certification valid?
Certification is valid for a three-year period. The requirements for renewal will be sent to you with your certificate. It is your professional responsibility to maintain your certification and to keep abreast of changes in recertification requirements.


15. Do all certification requirements have to be met at the time of application?
Yes. All certification requirements must be met at the time of application.



Certification promotes quality in the profession and improves the public image of workforce development professionals. The CWDP designation can be used by consumers to evaluate their confidence in the professional that they are or will be working with while in need of workforce development assistance.


Have a Question about the CWDP? Ask us at  Certification@nawdp.org