PCED Frequently Asked Questions

What is the PCED Certification?

The Professional Community and Economic Developer (PCED) Certification is a designation offered for professionals who have demonstrated knowledge and experience in the field community and economic development. The certification is designated by the Community Development Council.

How do I become a certified PCED?

To obtain the PCED, you must take a certification exam proctored by a representative of the Community Development Council. To be eligible to take the exam, you must complete an application that demonstrates your experience and expertise in the field. For more exam information, go to http://www.cdcouncil.com/ccd.htm or contact:

Ms. Laura Guerin
Certification Secretary

Community Development Council
311 Nelson Street
Atlanta, GA 30313
FAX: (404) 523-0406
Phone: (404) 523-3030
Email: Laura@sedc.org

What is the PCED exam?

The PCED exam is based on the content of the 2006 Community Development Handbook (copyrighted by the Community Development Council), although several chapters have been revised from the original book. Community and economic development is a dynamic field and it is the intent of the Community Development Council (CDC) to periodically update the chapters in the Handbook in order to provide CDI participants with the best educational materials.

You may obtain a compact disk form of the Handbook from the Community Development Council – please contact Laura at laura@sedc.org – for $35. It includes all the relevant chapters for the exam, including the revised chapters.

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 to respond to a situation in a community. In these case studies, you will be asked to explain the factors that led to the current situation in the community or to suggest what actions might be taken.

PCED exam content

CDI Core Curriculum Subject Handbook Chaps
Year 1
Intro to economic development. Relationship between CD and ED. Introduction
CD basics. What is CD? What is the CD process? What do community developers do? 1
Team building, group decision making and communication, team leadership 1
Community assessment 4
Asset-based CD 2 and 8
Strategic planning in community development 6
Newtown simulation None
Year 2
Retention and expansion of existing businesses 11
Entrepreneurship in CD and ED 12
Community and economic development project finance 14
The business site selection process None
Globalization, international trends and the effect on CD 17
Year 3
Workforce development 5
Tourism 10
Establishing, managing local development organizations 13
Marketing the community 9

 

When is the PCED exam normally offered?

The PCED exam is normally offered three times a year in Conway, Arkansas, at the University of Central Arkansas in the Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center:

  • Second week of March
  • First Friday in August, at the close of CDI Central
  • Each fall in Central Arkansas at the close of the Annual Meeting of the Arkansas Community Development Society.

The exam is also offered at other times and locations outside of Arkansas. Contact Laura Guerin (laura@sedc.org ) for more information on other testing dates and locations.

When is the next PCED exam?

The next PCED exam will be offered on August 8, 2014, at 1 PM  in the Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center at UCA.

If I complete the Community Development Institute, am I required to take the PCED exam?

No. The exam is optional.

Do I have to attend CDI to take the PCED exam?

No, you do not have to attend CDI to take the PCED exam. However, attendance at CDI is one way professionals can gain eligibility to take the exam. In addition, the curriculum covered at CDI will help professionals successfully pass the exam.

Does CDI administer the PCED exam?

No, but CDI curriculum helps professionals understand the key concepts covered by the exam. The PCED is overseen by the Community Development Council.

What is the Community Development Council?

The Community Development Council (CDC) is a national nonprofit organization with the mission of improving professional training and practice in community development. Currently, the CDC oversees five Community Development Institutes,  including sites in Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Illinois, and Texas. Furthermore, CDC also certifies individuals who demonstrate their experience, knowledge, and abilities as community development professionals. Individuals who successfully meet the criteria for certification receive CDC’s designation, “Professional Community and Economic Developer”. The certification process is managed by CDC and is not controlled by individual CDI sites.

Why do I have to pay additional fees to take the PCED exam when I have already paid for three years of CDI?

The PCED exam is separate from the CDI experience. While many CDI graduates chose to take the exam, it is not required.

How much is the testing fee?

$225, which includes an exam study guide.

Can I retake the PCED exam?

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.