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Development Finance Certified Professional Program

CDFA’s Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program is an intense training course learning experience and is the industry's only comprehensive development finance professional certification program. The DFCP Program is designed to produce graduates with a comprehensive knowledge of development finance concepts, tools and applicability as well as a deep understanding of the entire development finance spectrum. Graduates of the DFCP Program will gain valuable knowledge and experience within the complex development finance industry and achieve a level of understanding unmatched by any other professional certification program. Your path to a becoming a Development Finance Certified Professional begins with just a few quick steps. Learn more and jumpstart your career today.

-Certification Benefits


Graduates of CDFA’s Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program will gain valuable knowledge and experience within the complex development finance industry and achieve a level of understanding unmatched by any other professional certification program. Graduates of the DFCP Program will be recognized as the most qualified leaders in the development finance industry.

Upon the completion of program requirements, DFCP Program graduates will be recognized formally at the CDFA National Development Finance Summit. In addition, graduates will be given the professional designation of “Development Finance Certified Professional” and will be permitted to place the designation of DFCP after their name. Graduates may also use the term “graduate of the CDFA Training Institute’s Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program” on their resume and professional biography.

Graduates will be given a diploma plaque detailing their accomplishment and will be recognized by CDFA nationally through a press release.

"It took me nearly three years to get my DFCP certificate.  The time was well spent.  I keep the manuals handy because I refer to them all the time.  The instructors provided current information and lots of innovative ideas.  My pipeline of projects increased with each DFCP course that I took.  Redeveloping brownfields requires using all the tools my DFCP training provided me.  Lots of people talk about economic development.  CDFA’s certificate puts you a cut above the rest.  The DFCP that follows my name shows that I know how to actually do the talk."

- Bill Mandeville, 2014 DFCP Graduate
Program Manager, Washington State Department of Commerce

-Course Requirements

CDFA’s Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program is designed to be rigorous but also efficient and achievable. The objective of the program is to produce qualified graduates who meet the requirements of the DFCP Program. It is in the best interest of CDFA and participants that this program be managed in a manner that maintains a high level of integrity while providing a clear path towards graduation. Participants must attend a variety of CDFA Training Institute courses and complete a comprehensive exam once course requirements have been met. CDFA’s flexible training schedule allows for participants to graduate in as little as two years. However, CDFA expects most participants to complete the program over a three-year period.

To be considered for graduation from the DFCP Program, participants must attend a total of six CDFA Training Institute courses and pass a comprehensive exam. Participants may choose the six courses that make the most sense for their personal and professional development. CDFA recommends taking the Fundamentals of Economic Development Finance Course, Intro Revolving Loan Fund Course, Intro Tax Credit Finance Course, a Bond Finance course, and a Tax Increment Finance course in order to be fully prepared for the final exam. The CDFA Training Institute offers several courses, giving participants multiple options for completing the course requirements.

Visit the Education page to see all CDFA Training Institute course offerings or click on Events to see all currently scheduled courses.

-Exam Requirements

In order to graduate, participants must pass a comprehensive final exam via an online testing service. The DFCP Program Comprehensive Exam covers the entire development finance toolbox. A formal study guide for the exam is not available. Instead, participants should read and carefully study the CDFA reference guides used during each training course. The exam is divided into five sections: Development Finance Spectrum, Bedrock Tools, Targeted Tools, Investment Tools, and Access to Capital Lending Tools. For detailed information or to schedule an exam, contact CDFA.

For those working through the Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program, the DFCP Study Pack contains all of the reference guides needed to prepare for the final comprehensive exam. This complete set can be used as a study guide before the exam. CDFA also permits these guides to be used as reference materials during the exam. The DFCP Study Pack is offered with a special 10% discount and includes one copy of each of the following:

Practitioner's Guide to Economic Development Finance
Development Bond Finance Reference Guide
Advanced Bond Finance Reference Guide
Tax Increment Finance Best Practices Reference Guide
Advanced Tax Increment Finance Reference Guide
Tax Credit Finance Reference Guide
Revolving Loan Fund Finance Reference Guide
Innovation Finance Reference Guide

The DFCP Study Pack can be purchased online in the CDFA Bookstore.

There are no formal annual maintenance requirements for the DFCP Program. However, CDFA will be developing programming and advanced leadership learning opportunities for graduates of the program. CDFA will work vigorously to keep graduates engaged in the learning process and will develop the next generation of course instructors from the graduate pool.

Participants who have already completed CDFA Training Institute courses will be given credit for those courses and will have the opportunity to complete the remaining requirements to graduate.

-Up Front Pricing

The DFCP Program has a straightforward pricing structure to give participants the opportunity to plan their professional development activities.

Registration for each CDFA Training Institute course is approximately $550 for members and slightly higher for non-members. Joining CDFA greatly reduces the expenses incurred for program participation. In addition, participants must pay a $400 exam fee for the final exam. This exam fee allows participants to take the final exam up to two times. Subsequent attempts will require an additional exam fee.

CDFA also offers a 6-course DFCP Package to help participants budget for the course registration fees. Participants who purchase this package in advance will effectively receive six courses for the price of five. The cost for CDFA members is $2,750 and slightly higher for non-members. To purchase the 6-course DFCP Package, visit the CDFA Training Institute Course Registration page.

*Note: Rates are based on 2017 figures and are subject to change. Members and non-members pay different rates accounting for the variation in expected program expenses. Rates do not include travel expenses.



CDFA National Sponsors

  • Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority
  • Baker Tilly Virchow Krause
  • Ballard Spahr LLP
  • BNY Mellon
  • Bricker & Eckler LLP
  • Bryan Cave LLP
  • Business Oregon
  • CohnReznick
  • FBT Project Finance Advisors LLC
  • Frost Brown Todd, LLC
  • Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP
  • Ice Miller LLP
  • KeyBanc Capital Markets
  • Kutak Rock LLP
  • MB Financial Bank, NA
  • McCarter & English, LLP
  • McGuireWoods
  • Miles & Stockbridge P.C.
  • NW Financial Group, LLC
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Squire Patton Boggs
  • Stern Brothers & Co.
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Wilmington Trust
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
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