Certification - How The Process Works

  1. Request a copy of the Certification Package. Requests may be made to the Certification Review Committee Chairperson or through any member of the Executive.
  2. To get started, read over the process and make a list of any questions you may have. Begin to compile a portfolio that illustrates your training and experience and provides examples of work you have done.
  3. Find a coach - he or she must be a certified Development Officer.
  4. Review the package and work together with your coach to reach the necessary levels where the coach feels comfortable recommending you for Certification. The minimum level required for each category is indicated within the document.
  5. Compile examples of your work, which may include but is not limited to: sketched preliminary plan; zoning confirmation letters; staff report (i.e. variance report); approved subdivision plans that you've reviewed and recommended to the Development Officer for approval; permits you've reviewed and approved (or recommended for approval); violations you've investigated; checklists from permits and subdivision reviews. Your portfolio may also include site plans, processing sheets for various types of applications you may have reviewed and recommended for approval, correspondence that demonstrates your understanding of the aspects of a Development Officer's role. Your portfolio may also include your resume and a list of courses that you have taken.
  6. When your coach feels that you're ready, he/she must request a Certification Interview by contacting the Certification Committee Chair. Please see separate section below (Coach's Corner) for assistance with what is expected of the coach during the Certification process.
  7. The Certification Committee Chair then assembles a Certification Team and schedules the time/place for the Certification Interview. At least three members of the Committee must be present for Certification Interview to take place.
  8. Outlined below are the three separate certification requirements:
    • Development Technicians requesting certification should be prepared for a brief interview with the Certification Team and should bring their portfolio and a completed binder. The candidate's coach must attend the interview and be available to answer any questions the team may have.
    • Development Officers requesting certification should be prepared to provide all items listed above for technician's certification and will also be required to write a brief written (open book) test. The test will take about an hour and will be made up of technical skill questions.  The test will be marked and a minimum score of 70% is required for DO certification. After you have successfully completed the written portion, a brief competency-based interview will be conducted with both you and your Coach present.
    • Senior Development Officers are required to have successfully completed Development Officer's certification prior to being eligible for Senior Certification. Ideally they will have coached at least one individual through the certification process as a pre-requisite for being eligible for Senior Certification. A brief competency-based interview will be held with the Certification Team. Senior D.O.s must bring a portfolio of their work to the interview. The portfolio should demonstrate their training and experience as a Development Officer.
  9. The Certification Team then recommends you for Certification OR may review areas of development that you need to work on before you re-apply .

Coach's Corner

The coach's responsibility is to guide the candidate through the process, provide support and, where the candidate may not be able to attain some levels, provide opportunity for the candidate to achieve those experiences. All sections of the certification binder must be completed (initialed by both coach and candidate with skill levels indicated) prior to scheduling the interview.

The coach must attend all certification interviews and provide support to the candidate throughout. The coach should not be recommending the candidate unless they are confident that the candidate has reached the skill levels needed to receive the certification. Skill levels are outlined on the following page.

If the coach and candidate do not agree on a level, both levels should be marked and initialed by both individuals. Sometimes a candidate may rate themselves lower than a coach, and vice versa. These are often areas that the Certification Committee might discuss in the interview. If the coach and candidate do not work in the same location, the coach may consult with the candidate's co-workers to confirm levels of ability.

Remember that, as a coach, you have a responsibility to the Association to bring along members that are qualified and able to do the job.

Skill Levels To Be Attained (ratings)

Please number each paragraph of your certification package according to the descriptions outlined below:


  1. Can perform this task but not without constant supervision and some assistance.
  2. Can perform this task satisfactorily, but require periodic supervision and/or assistance.
  3. Can perform this task satisfactorily without assistance and/or supervision.
  4. Can perform this task satisfactorily without supervision or assistance with more than acceptable speed and quality of work.
  5. Can perform this task with more than acceptable speed and quality, with initiative and adaptability, and can lead others in performing this task.


  • DT: Development Technician
  • GD: General Development Officer
  • SD: Senior Development Officer
  • K: Knows how to do this task
  • D: has Done this task

For the Competencies, please follow the instructions contained in the Competencies Sections. Changes to "How the Process Works" discussed and approved by Certification Review Committee March 26, 2009.

Presented to and approved by MDOANS at April 2009 Conference, White Point.
Updated September 30, 2009.