Certified Economic Developer Certification

GEDA is your source for information about how to receive your Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) credentials and how to maintain your certification once successful. GEDA has a long and proud history of assisting professionals achieve this designation. In fact, Georgia has more CEcDs than all states but one. Read below to learn more about how GEDA can help you join this list of Georgia's CEcDs.

About Certification

Certification is managed by the International Economic Development Council. Candidates must meet minimum experience and professional development requirements in order to sit for the exam. GEDA can assist you with finding the best way to meet these requirements.

For information on upcoming exam locations, visit the IEDC website.

What Do I Need?

Experience Requirement

  • All candidates must have at least four (4) years consecutive, paid and full-time economic development related work experience within the past six years. Candidates must submit a recent and detailed resume to verify this work experience.

Professional Development Requirement

  • Candidates with less than five years' work experience must take either the IEDC Introduction to Economic Development Course or the Basic Economic Development Course. (The Basic Course is offered in Atlanta each spring and is sponsored by GEDA.) Candidates who have successfully completed graduate degree programs in economic development can waive this requirement.
  • Through either IEDC or Oklahoma University Economic Development Institute (OU-EDI) courses, candidates must attend courses on:
    • Real Estate Development and Reuse 
    • Economic Development Credit Analysis
    • Business Retention and Expansion
  • Through either IEDC or OU-EDI courses, candidates must complete at least 16 hours of training in two of the following areas:
    • Economic Development Finance Programs Economic
    • Development Marketing & Attraction
    • Strategic Planning
    • Entrepreneurial & Small Business Development Strategies
    • Managing Economic Development Organizations
    • Neighborhood Development Strategies
    • Technology-led Economic Development
    • Workforce Development
Who Qualifies?

Anyone meeting the above requirements can apply to sit for the exam. You are not required to join IEDC in order to sit for the exam. However, there are reduced rates for IEDC members for many aspects of the certification program, including:

  • IEDC Courses
  • IEDC Study Manuals
  • CEcD Exam Application
  • Recertification Application

How Can GEDA Help?

GEDA offers a variety of support for CEcD candidates

GEDA can facilitate informal study groups or pairings among course attendees. This has helped keep candidates focused and on track with their studying and preparation.

In addition, GEDA helps connect candidates to IEDC's CEcD mentorship program, a program in which IEDC staff will help GEDA members find a mentor. IEDC mentors provide one-on-one coaching to CEcD candidates as they prepare for the exam. These mentors have been through the process and can provide great insight about their experiences and their thoughts on how to prepare.

GEDA's Leadership Development Committee offers more grant funding than any other state ED association in the country, with approximately $16,000 available annually. Funds are available for:

  • IEDC Courses
  • The Basic Economic Development Course
  • University of Oklahoma EDI Courses
  • CEcD Exam Application
  • Others

About Recertification

Once certified, candidates must renew their certification once every three years in order to remain current. IEDC has developed a three-tier point system. That system and the recertification application are available on IEDC's website. Also, GEDA has a specific role in helping you attain many of these recertification points.

  • Attendance at any GEDA Spring Workshop or Annual Conference will earn you one Level III recertification point.
  • Serving as a mentor to a CEcD candidate earns two Level II recertification points.
  • Those willing and able to instruct at our CEcD Study Course will also be eligible for one Level III recertification point.