CDA Professional Development Specialist Information

CDA Professional Development Specialists (PD Specialists) use early childhood education expertise to assess CDA candidates’ competencies and facilitate reflective conversations with the candidates. PD Specialists in Michigan create a network of highly qualified early childhood professionals serving CDA Candidates by completing Verification Visits upon request.

There is an overwhelming need for additional PD Specialists in Michigan to support the increasing number of CDA Candidates completing training and preparing to apply for their CDA Credential. The Verification Visit is the capstone requirement for credential attainment.


The role of a PD Specialist:

  1. Connect with candidates who are searching for a PD Specialist.
    Every CDA candidate must identify a PD Specialist who will conduct her/his Verification Visit.
  2. Receive e-notification from the Council that a candidate is ready to schedule the Verification Visit.
    After the Council processes the candidate’s CDA application, the PD Specialist and the candidate will be notified, via email, to arrange and complete the Verification Visit within a six-month deadline period.
  3. Conduct the Verification Visit and submit score recommendations to the Council.
    Each PD Specialist uses the Review-Observe-Reflect® Model (R.O.R. Model) to facilitate each Verification Visit and adheres to the Council’s policies and procedures.
  4. Receive honorarium from the Council and an incentive payment from Michigan AEYC
    PD Specialists are compensated for each successfully completed Verification Visit. PD Specialists are not allowed to charge the candidate any fees.

Visit to learn more about the requirements and pathway to becoming a PD Specialist.

Ready to get started? We are happy to help. Contact Paula Spencer at for next steps, tips, and instructions for completing the PD Specialist application and training.