Earning and Maintaining Ohio Certified Economic Developer Credential

Jan 1, 2021 | News, Newsletter

Earning and Maintaining Your OhioCED Credential
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 01/01/2021


What is the OhioCED Credential?
The Ohio Certified Economic Developer (OhioCED) credential is designed to demonstrate the depth and breadth of an individual’s knowledge and their ability to apply that knowledge to the benefit of their community or organization. The Ohio CED designation also represents the economic development practitioner’s commitment to advancing the Ohio economy and elevating the economic development profession.

Do you have to become certified?
The Ohio Certified Economic Developer is a voluntary certification for practitioners who choose to demonstrate their advanced knowledge and training. The OhioCED designation also represents the economic development practitioner’s commitment to advancing the Ohio economy and elevating the economic development profession.

The OhioCED designation certifies to current and potential employers that the individual is a “best in class” Ohio economic developer.

What is the process to obtain the OhioCED credential?
To become a candidate for certification, an economic development professional must first be a member of OEDA and have successfully completed the Ohio Basic Economic Development Course or have three years of full-time economic development experience.

To achieve certification, a candidate must successfully do all the following in a three-year period:

  • Complete all OEDI Core Courses; and
  • Complete the OEDI Capstone Course.

What are the OEDI Core Courses?
The OEDI Core Courses provide intensive hands-on training in five core knowledge that are essential for the Ohio economic developer. The Core Courses are taught each year by experienced economic development practitioners. Courses are two-days in length, and include class instruction, case study analysis, panels on best practice, and extensive networking with other economic developers, representatives of JobsOhio, Ohio Development Services Agency, Regional Economic Development Organizations, Utilities, and elected officials.

The five Core Courses are:

  • Real Estate Development
  • Business Retention and Expansion
  • Site Selection and Site Development
  • Economic Development Financing and Incentives
  • Workforce and Talent

During the COVID 19 Pandemic, Core Courses were taught online. It is anticipated that the Core Courses will resume in-person presentation when health agencies determine that in person gatherings are safe for all.

What is the Capstone Course?
At the completion of all required core courses, certification candidates will complete the final Capstone Course project. The capstone project is a culminating experience that represents the application of multiple competencies into a final project specific to the community or communities in which the economic developer works.

An ideal capstone project will integrate aspects of core courses (e.g., real estate, finance and incentives, site selection and development, business retention and expansion, workforce development, etc.) to address a community need or economic development challenge. Flexibility will be provided to participants to ensure the project best meets their community’s or organization’s needs.

Examples of completed Capstone Course projects include, but are not limited to, the creation of site development improvement plan, the preparation and execution of a business retention and expansion strategy, the creation of a strategic plan, or the evaluation of an economic or community development program within the developer’s community. Capstone projects will be approved by OEDA and Ohio University and participants will work in partnership with an OEDA mentor on the project.

The Capstone Course is generally scheduled to begin each year following the completion of all the Core Courses.

What requirements are necessary to maintain your OhioCED Certification?
Once certified, a person must complete 16 hours of approved continuing education each calendar year, eight of which must be from OEDA, to maintain certification. (See Preapproved Training above)

Approved OhioCEDs are required to complete an annual certification survey.

What OEDA programming is eligible for continuing certification?
OEDA programming eligible for credit for certification (or continuing certification) includes the following:

  • Attendance at OEDA Annual Summit (12 hours)
  • Attendance at OEDA 360 (6 hours)
  • Service on an OEDA Committee (4 hours)
  • Service as a Capstone Mentor (4 hours)
  • Service as a Capstone Evaluator (1 hours)
  • OEDA Webinars (generally 1.5 hours unless specified otherwise)
  • OEDA Workshops and Trainings (generally 4 – 6 hours)

On a periodic basis, other OEDA programming will be held that will be eligible for credit.

What non-OEDA programming is eligible for continuing OhioCED credit?
Pre-Approved Partner Programming

OEDI maintains partnerships with other economic development organizations that make their programming automatically eligible for OhioCED continuing education credit. Currently, programming offered by the following organizations are eligible for credit:

  • International Economic Development Council (IEDC),
  • Council for Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) and
  • National Development Council (NDC)

Over time, training by other organizations may be added to the list of preapproved training.

In general, a full day partner programming is eligible for four credit hours. Two- or three-day partner programming is eligible for eight credits.

Obtaining certification from any of these partners is eligible for a one-time OhioCED credit of 16 hours.

Contact OEDI for a full list of OEDA and Partner Programming and credit hours offered.

Non-Preapproved Programming eligible for Continuing Certification
Students participating in other organizations’ programming may seek approval for OhioCED credit. Obtaining credit requires the student to apply in advance for course approval and submit evidence that they have completed the programming. In general, evidence includes 1) a copy of the course agenda and 2) evidence of registration (such as a paid receipt, acknowledgement of registration, certification or a form completed by the training organization).

Contact OEDI for a Non-Preapproved Credit form.

Are the OEDI courses only for people who want to get certified?
While the OEDI, with its five core courses and capstone course are the pathway to certification for those choosing to pursue the credential, you do not need to be working toward certification to take the courses. Likewise, you do not need to take the full sequence of courses though they are designed as part of a comprehensive curriculum that provides economic developers what they need to know to be successful in Ohio.

For more information on the OhioCED certification, contact OEDA.

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