Article

Top 11 Senior Instructional Designer Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications available for senior instructional designers, including requirements, benefits, and cost.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are an important way for senior instructional designers to demonstrate their expertise and knowledge in the field. They provide evidence that an individual has the necessary skills and qualifications to perform a job well. Certifications can also help to differentiate one candidate from another, and they can be used to showcase accomplishments and demonstrate a commitment to professional development. Additionally, certifications may give employers assurance that an instructional designer is up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in the field, as some certifications require regular renewals or updates. Finally, certifications can provide access to exclusive professional networks and resources which may lead to new job opportunities or career advancement.

The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Senior Instructional Designers and explain how they can contribute to a senior instructional designer's career.

What are Senior Instructional Designer Certifications?

Senior Instructional Designer Certification is a certification program designed to recognize professionals who have achieved a high level of excellence in the field of instructional design. Through this certification, instructional designers gain recognition for their skills and professional development. The certification also serves to validate their knowledge and experience, while providing employers with assurance that they are hiring experienced professionals who are capable of designing effective learning solutions.

The core components of the Senior Instructional Designer Certification include a comprehensive knowledge test, portfolio review, and an oral presentation. The comprehensive knowledge test assesses the candidate’s understanding and proficiency in areas such as instructional design principles, theories and models; multimedia production; adult education theory; and assessment strategies. The portfolio review requires candidates to submit examples of their work that demonstrate their capabilities in creating effective learning solutions. Finally, the oral presentation provides candidates with an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to create engaging presentations that effectively convey key messages.

By obtaining Senior Instructional Designer Certification, instructional designers can distinguish themselves from other instructional design professionals by demonstrating their expertise in the field. This certification also serves to validate an individual’s knowledge, skills and abilities as an instructional designer, which can be beneficial when seeking employment or advancement opportunities in the field. In addition, it can help employers identify qualified individuals who possess the necessary qualifications for specific positions within their organizations.

Pro Tip: When considering a Senior Instructional Designer certification, make sure to research the different certifications available and the requirements for each. It's important to understand what knowledge and skills are necessary to qualify for each certification, as well as any prerequisites such as a certain number of years of experience in the field. Additionally, consider the cost of obtaining the certification and any ongoing costs associated with maintaining it.

Related: What does a Senior Instructional Designer do?

Top 11 Senior Instructional Designer Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Senior Instructional Designers today.

1. Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP)

Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) is an internationally recognized certification offered by the Association for Talent Development (ATD). It is designed to recognize professionals who demonstrate a strong commitment to the field of learning and performance. The CPLP credential validates an individual’s knowledge, skills, and abilities in the areas of instructional design, training delivery, evaluation, and performance improvement.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete the CPLP certification process. To get started, applicants must first become members of ATD and then register for the CPLP Knowledge Exam. After passing the exam with a score of at least 70%, they must then apply for the CPLP Work Product Submission. This submission requires applicants to submit three work products that demonstrate their mastery of learning and performance principles. Once approved, applicants can then take the CPLP Skills Application Exam to test their ability to apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios.

The cost of obtaining the CPLP certification depends on several factors such as whether or not you are an ATD member, which exams you need to take, and how many work products you need to submit. Generally speaking, it will cost around $1,000-$2,000 USD for all required components of the certification process.

2. Certified Instructional Designer (CID)

Certified Instructional Designer (CID) is a professional certification that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated expertise in instructional design and development. It is an internationally recognized credential for those who specialize in creating effective learning experiences.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete the CID certification process, depending on the individual's background and experience. The first step is to become a member of the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance, and Instruction (IBSTPI). After becoming a member, individuals must complete three courses: Designing Effective Learning Experiences, Implementing Effective Learning Experiences, and Evaluating Effective Learning Experiences. Once all three courses have been completed, individuals must pass a final exam in order to receive their CID certification.

The cost of obtaining the CID certification varies depending on where you take the courses and how long it takes to complete them. Generally speaking, it can range from $1,000-$2,500 USD.

3. Certified eLearning Designer (CeLD)

Certified eLearning Designer (CeLD) is an internationally recognized certification program designed to recognize the skills and knowledge of professionals who design, develop, and deliver eLearning courses. CeLD certification is awarded by the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance, and Instruction (IBSTPI).

It takes approximately three months to complete the CeLD program. The program consists of two parts: a self-study course and a final exam. The self-study course includes topics such as instructional design principles, learning objectives, multimedia elements, assessment strategies, and more. Once the self-study course is completed, candidates must pass a 60-minute online exam in order to earn their certification.

The cost of the CeLD program varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it costs between $400-$600 USD to participate in the program.

To get certified as an eLearning designer with CeLD you need to have at least two years of experience in designing or developing eLearning courses or related materials. You also need to be able to demonstrate your knowledge of instructional design principles and best practices for creating effective eLearning experiences.

4. Certified Training and Development Professional (CTDP)

Certified Training and Development Professional (CTDP) is a certification program offered by the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction (IBSTPI). It is designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated excellence in the field of training and development.

The CTDP certification requires a minimum of two years of experience in the field of training and development. Candidates must also complete a series of courses, pass an exam, and submit a portfolio demonstrating their professional accomplishments.

To get certified, applicants must first register with IBSTPI and pay the associated fee. After registration, candidates will receive access to the online course materials as well as an application form to complete. Once all requirements are met, applicants will be invited to take the CTDP exam.

The cost for registering for the CTDP program is $495 USD. There may be additional fees for taking the exam or other materials required for completion of the program.

5. Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+)

Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+) is a professional certification program developed by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). It is designed to assess the knowledge and skills of experienced IT trainers in areas such as instructional design, delivery techniques, course management and evaluation.

The CTT+ certification requires a minimum of two years' experience in training and/or instruction, as well as successful completion of the CTT+ exam. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within three hours. To prepare for the exam, CompTIA provides an online study guide and practice tests.

In order to become certified, you must first register with CompTIA and pay an application fee. After registering, you will receive instructions on how to schedule your exam appointment at a local testing center. The cost of the CTT+ certification is $349 USD plus any applicable taxes or fees.

Once you have successfully passed the exam, you will receive your official CTT+ certification from CompTIA. This certification is valid for three years from the date it was issued.

6. Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL)

Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL) is a certification program designed to recognize professionals who have achieved the highest level of proficiency in the field of educational technology. It is offered through the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

The CETL certification requires applicants to complete a comprehensive online application and submit evidence of their knowledge, skills, and experience related to educational technology. The application process also includes an online assessment, which tests applicants’ understanding of educational technology principles and practices. Once approved, applicants must complete an online professional development course and pass a final exam.

The entire process takes approximately six months to complete. Applicants must pay a $350 fee for the application review, assessment, and professional development course. The cost of the final exam is an additional $150.

Upon successful completion of all requirements, applicants will receive their CETL certification from ISTE and be recognized as Certified Education Technology Leaders by ISTE members worldwide.

7. Certified Online Instructor (COI)

Certified Online Instructor (COI) is a certification program for educators who teach online courses. The certification is designed to help instructors gain the skills and knowledge needed to effectively teach online courses. It covers topics such as instructional design, teaching methods, assessment strategies, and technology integration.

The COI certification program typically takes three months to complete and consists of six modules. Each module includes an online course, an assessment quiz, and a final exam. Participants must pass all assessments with a minimum score of 80% in order to receive the COI certification.

To get the COI certification, participants must first register for the program by completing an application form on the COI website. Once registered, participants can access the online course materials and assessments through their own personal learning portal.

The cost of the COI certification varies depending on the country where it is being taken. In some countries it costs around $100 USD while in other countries it may cost more or less than this amount.

8. Advanced Distributed Learning Professional (ADLP)

Advanced Distributed Learning Professional (ADLP) is a professional certification program offered by the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative (ADL). The ADLP program is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in the field of distributed learning.

The ADLP program consists of three levels: Certified, Advanced, and Master. Each level requires different qualifications and experience. To become certified, applicants must pass an exam that covers topics such as distributed learning theory, design principles, technology trends, and instructional design. To achieve advanced certification, applicants must demonstrate expertise in at least two areas such as instructional design, project management, or technology development. To earn master certification, applicants must demonstrate mastery in at least three areas and provide evidence of their work in the field.

The time it takes to complete the ADLP program varies depending on the applicant's prior knowledge and experience. Generally speaking, it can take up to two years to complete all three levels of certification.

To get started with the ADLP program, applicants should visit the ADL website for more information about requirements and registration fees for each level of certification. Fees vary depending on which level you are applying for but typically range from $200-$400 USD.

9. Instructional Design for eLearning Certificate Program

Instructional Design for eLearning Certificate Program is a professional development program designed to equip professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to create effective online learning programs. It focuses on the design and development of educational content and activities that are delivered through digital media. The program covers topics such as instructional design principles, multimedia elements, assessment strategies, and emerging technologies in e-learning.

The duration of the Instructional Design for eLearning Certificate Program depends on the institution offering it. Generally, it takes around 6-12 months to complete the program. To get the certificate, students must successfully complete all required coursework and assessments.

The cost of the Instructional Design for eLearning Certificate Program varies depending on the institution offering it. Most institutions offer this program at an affordable price range between $500-$2,000 USD.

In addition to completing coursework and assessments, some institutions may require students to demonstrate their proficiency in instruction design by completing a final project or portfolio before receiving their certificate.

10. Instructional Systems Design Certificate Program

Instructional Systems Design (ISD) Certificate Program is a program designed to help individuals develop the skills and knowledge necessary to design, develop, and evaluate instructional materials. The program focuses on the use of technology in instruction and the application of adult learning principles. It also provides an understanding of the ISD process, including needs assessment, task analysis, design, development, implementation, evaluation, and management.

The program typically takes six months to complete and consists of 10 courses. Courses cover topics such as instructional systems design fundamentals; principles of adult learning; designing for multimedia; developing online instruction; creating interactive learning objects; assessing outcomes; and managing projects. Students must complete all 10 courses with a grade of “C” or better in order to receive their certificate.

The cost of the program varies depending on the institution offering it. Most programs range from $1,500 - $2,500 USD. Some institutions may offer discounts or scholarships for students who qualify.

In order to get an Instructional Systems Design Certificate Program you will need to find an accredited institution that offers it. You can search online for schools that offer this type of program or contact your local community college or university for more information about their offerings.

11. Master of Arts in Instructional Design and Technology

The Master of Arts in Instructional Design and Technology (MAIDT) is a graduate degree program that prepares students to design, develop, and evaluate instructional materials for use in educational settings. The program focuses on the development of skills such as instructional design, multimedia development, assessment, project management, and research. It also covers topics such as technology integration into learning environments, distance education strategies, and emerging trends in the field.

The MAIDT typically takes two years to complete if taken full-time. Part-time study may take longer depending on the student's course load. Students typically complete core courses in instructional design theory and practice as well as electives related to their chosen area of specialization.

To get an MAIDT degree, applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher. They must also submit official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended along with GRE scores and letters of recommendation. Some programs may require additional application materials such as a statement of purpose or writing sample.

The cost of obtaining an MAIDT varies depending on the school and program chosen but can range from $20,000 to $50,000 for tuition alone (not including fees). Financial aid may be available through grants and scholarships for those who qualify.

Do You Really Need a Senior Instructional Designer Certificate?

No, you don't necessarily need a Senior Instructional Designer Certificate in order to be successful as an instructional designer. While having the certificate may give you an edge when applying for jobs or advancing in your career, it isn't an absolute requirement.

The most important skills for an instructional designer are creativity, problem-solving ability, and communication. Having the certificate may help demonstrate that you have the knowledge and experience necessary to take on complex design challenges and create effective learning experiences. However, those skills can also be acquired through other means such as on-the-job training, self-study, or even informal mentorship from colleagues.

Ultimately, whether or not you should pursue a Senior Instructional Designer Certificate depends upon your individual situation. If you feel that having the certificate would give you an advantage in your current job or help you advance further in your career, then pursuing it is probably worth considering. On the other hand, if you feel that you already have the skills and experience necessary to excel as an instructional designer without it, then investing in a certificate may not be the best use of your time and resources.

Related: Senior Instructional Designer Resume Examples

FAQs About Senior Instructional Designer Certifications

1. What is a Senior Instructional Designer Certification?

A Senior Instructional Designer Certification is a professional certification awarded to individuals who have expertise in the field of instructional design and development. The certification demonstrates an individual’s knowledge, skills and abilities related to the design, development and delivery of effective instruction.

2. What are the requirements for obtaining a Senior Instructional Designer Certification?

In order to obtain a Senior Instructional Designer Certification, you must complete an approved course of study that includes topics such as instructional systems design, adult learning theory, e-learning technologies, performance improvement strategies and more. Additionally, you may be required to pass an exam or demonstrate your proficiency through a portfolio review.

3. How long does it take to get certified as a Senior Instructional Designer?

The amount of time needed to obtain a Senior Instructional Designer Certification will vary depending on the program you choose and your prior experience in the field. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from six months to two years to become certified.

4. What is the cost associated with becoming a Senior Instructional Designer?

The cost associated with becoming a Senior Instructional Designer can vary depending on the program you choose and any additional certifications or credentials required by your employer or organization. Generally speaking, certification programs range from $500 - $5,000+.

5. Are there any continuing education requirements for maintaining my certification?

Yes, most certifying organizations require that you complete ongoing continuing education courses in order to maintain your certification status. This typically includes attending workshops or seminars on relevant topics within the field of instructional design and/or completing online courses or other forms of self-paced learning activities.