Real Stories from Coaches Certified by the Association for Talent Development

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is an organization with over 60 years of history that trains professionals in talent development. If you’re looking for an affordable coaching certificate program, ATD offers training at a competitive price compared to other certifications in the coaching industry.

Although not particularly geared towards independent coaches, this foundational coaching training is excellent for internal coaches at the start of their careers and HR professionals.

Let’s explore ATD, its coaching program, and some reviews from professionals who completed the training.

What is the Association for Talent Development (ATD)?

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ATD is a professional organization dedicated to supporting talent development professionals worldwide. Formerly known as the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), it was founded in 1943 and has since become a leading authority in talent development and workplace performance.

ATD offers a wide range of resources and certifications to equip talent development professionals with the latest trends and best practices in the industry. Its mission is to help professionals develop workplace talent effectively and drive improved business outcomes.

ATD Founders: Industry Pioneers

ATD was founded in 1943 by a group of industry pioneers (not specifically cited by the organization) who recognized the importance of talent development to drive organizational success.

The professionals who shaped the organization early on came from various fields such as human resources, training, education, and organizational development. In its 60-year history, ATD has been led by various leaders who have contributed to its growth and impact on the talent development community.

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As per its instructors, ATD doesn’t have a fixed roster of faculty members like a traditional university or training institute would. Instead, it collaborates with subject matter experts, industry leaders, practitioners, and thought leaders from various fields related to talent development to deliver its programs.

You can see the names of various facilitators listed under the Coaching Certificate program at ATD. However, it’s unclear which one would facilitate the training on the upcoming dates. To inquire about the specific instructor who would facilitate your training on your preferred date, reach out to the staff at ATD.

How is the Coaching Certification Program at ATD Built up?

The Coaching Certificate program at ATD provides participants with a foundational understanding of coaching principles and the practical skills to implement them into their daily work. It’s geared toward HR professionals, internal coaches, and talent development practitioners new to coaching.

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The Coaching Certificate program at ATD includes 21 hours of live online classes spread over two weeks.

You’ll learn about facilitating self-discovery, uncovering personal biases, and coaching for performance. The lectures integrate theory and the practical application of coaching models. You’ll have the chance to receive real-time feedback from other students and expert facilitators.

Some of the highlights of the program are:

  • Practicing core competencies and coaching approaches to different situations.
  • Using the ATD Coaching Model to facilitate coaching relationships.
  • Applying a trusted framework to coaching conversations.

This certification isn’t accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). However, you’ll obtain a certification from ATD, which you can count as 21 learning hours when submitting to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

How Much Does the Coaching Certificate Program at ATD Cost?

Currently, the tuition fee for the program is $1,995 for members and $2,245 for non-members

If you work for an organization in a talent development role, consider asking your employer for a sponsorship. And if you’re planning to train your team on coaching, check with ATD about their group discounts.

Refunds are available until five business days before the start of your program, minus a $100 cancellation fee. If your training starts in less than five business days, you’re no longer eligible for a refund, but you may be able to transfer to another program.

ATD Real Reviews

Training programs at ATD have received numerous positive feedback from independent reviewers. Organizational coaches who got certified by the association have also highlighted several advantages of its coaching program.

However, as always, there were some concerns from other participants in the mix. Let’s explore what talent development professionals and coaches say about the training quality at ATD.

Note that we haven’t taken any programs at ATD ourselves. This analysis is based on independent reviews online about the organization and its coaching certificate program. If you have specific questions about the training, we encourage you to get in touch with the staff at ATD.

Program Facilitation

ATD has an impressive average rating of 4.7 based on 153 independent reviews on the course review site Before we dive into the feedback from coaches about the certificate program, let’s see what other students highlight about the instructors at ATD.

A student named Eduardo Sanchez said the classes were interactive, making the online facilitation much more engaging. Plus, according to him, the instructors are as qualified as ATD states on its website.

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He also mentioned that his training included additional materials, improving his learning experience.

On the other hand, an anonymous reviewer on Reddit wasn’t as enthusiastic about how continuing education classes were conducted at ATD. While they were satisfied with their Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD) training, the association’s flagship program, they found the other courses disappointing.

Talent development professionals must renew their certification by taking continuing education classes every three years. According to this student, these additional classes are poorly facilitated and offer less value than advertised despite their high price tag relative to other ATD courses.

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Earning certification credentials can provide comprehensive professional guidance and credibility. However, the downside is that they need to be renewed.

The need to earn continuing education credits for certification renewal doesn’t necessarily imply that a certifying association is a scam — only if their programs are unreasonably priced and lack quality.

Other anonymous reviewers on the same Reddit thread had a different experience about the programs at ATD. They said their completed training helped them progress as talent development professionals.

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What works for one professional might not work for another. However, a single negative review against a hundred positive ones doesn’t raise a big concern.

Program Structure

Engaging and insightful facilitation is vital for students to get the value they were promised from a certification program — but how the program is structured is just as important.

Some graduate students at ATD highlighted that the training they participated in had a great flow and a concise curriculum that conveyed the essential knowledge they needed within a short time frame.

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Program Specialty

Now, let’s see what the students of the coaching certificate program say at ATD.

A student named Robin Carrales highlighted that the group classes allowed him to gather perspectives from other coaches participating in the program. He also said the training was practical, allowing him to develop his own coaching program within his organization.

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Another student, Randi Puckett, recommends the coaching training at ATD for corporate professionals who are not coaches but would benefit from implementing coaching methodology in their workflow.

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They also mention that the facilitator of this particular program was an experienced coach who could bring insights through real-life examples.

A student called John Moskowitz appreciated the concise framework the coaching certificate program at ATD covered. The classes gave him a practical understanding that allowed him to apply coaching conversations while developing talent and in other work contexts.

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Another student, Beverly Fuentes, said the program provided a comprehensive overview of coaching that may be useful for beginners in this field. Despite having been in the industry for 30 years, they found the program to be an excellent refresher for their understanding of coaching tools and processes.

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Lastly, ATD features a review from a graduate student named Julie Schneekloth on its website. In it, she shared that the program allowed her to transition between roles within the company she was working for.

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Clearly, students primarily recommend this certificate program for those working within an organization, either as a coach or a talent development professional. Although not particularly designed for independent professionals who run a coaching business, it’s an affordable and time-efficient alternative to other certification programs — especially if your employer can sponsor you.


The Association for Talent Development offers an affordable coaching certificate program that can be completed in two weeks online, covering all the fundamentals of conducting effective coaching conversations.

It’s an excellent option for organizational coaches and professionals in other roles who want to use coaching methodology to have effective conversations and bring out the best in their teams. However, it lacks the additional knowledge to acquire clients and run a coaching practice.

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By Annamaria Nagy
Annamaria Nagy is a Brand Identity Coach and Copywriter. She's been writing for over 10 years about topics like personal development, coaching, and business. She was previously the Head of SEO at the leading transformational education company, Mindvalley.
February 27, 2024

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