Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please note that CODI is nearing completion of the design and testing phase for the CODP designation. We hope to launch this designation in spring of 2016.  Please stay tuned for more details on specific dates!

What is a professional designation?

A professional designation is a “warrant of competence” or “warrant of expertise” denoting that the practitioner’s experience, knowledge and skill have been measured against a standard of practice (or competencies) for the profession.

What does successful completion of CODI’s designation process confer?

It confers the practitioner’s right to use the title “Certified Organization Development Professional” and to use the initials “CODP” after their name.

What does the CODP designation demonstrate?

The CODP designation is a mark of quality.  It demonstrates to the public that the organization development practitioner has:

  • Met educational and training requirements
  • Obtained experience in the field of organization development
  • Passed a knowledge and skill examination
  • Obtained professional references
  • Agreed to uphold the CODI Ethical Guidelines
  • Committed to continuing professional learning and development

What are the benefits of the CODP designation to the practitioner?

  • Enhanced professional credibility based on a validation of professional achievement and a recognized standard level of knowledge and skill
  • Increased career advancement and job mobility
  • Greater client/employer confidence and trust
  • A sense of pride and personal accomplishment

What are the benefits of the CODP designation to the employer/client?

  • A feeling of confidence knowing that when they choose an OD practitioner with a professional designation grated by CODI they are choosing an individual whose knowledge and experience has been reviewed, assessed and verified
  • The OD practitioner’s commitment to a professional code of ethics
  • The OD practitioner’s commitment to continuing professional development
  • Standards for use in hiring, performance management, learning and development, and evaluation practices

What are the benefits of the CODP designation to the profession?

  • A recognized standard level of knowledge, skill and professional practice
  • A recognized professional code of conduct
  • A common understanding and language
  • Increased confidence in the service provision of the profession

What must candidates demonstrate in order to receive the CODP designation from CODI?

To receive the designation of CODP, candidates must demonstrate fulfillment of four components:  Knowledge, Experience, Education, and Ethics.

What is required to fulfill the Knowledge Component?

Candidates are required to successfully complete the CODP Knowledge and Practice Exam with a score of 70% or more.

What is required to fulfill the Experience Component?

Candidates are required to have four years of full time (or full time equivalent) experience in work where they have been applying the recognized knowledge and practice dimensions of the field; and they are required to provide three references from employers or clients who can validate their skills and experience.  Note: candidates who have completed a Masters Certificate in Organization Development from the Schulich School of Business or an equivalent program may qualify with 3 years of full time OD experience.

What is required to fulfill the Education Component?

Candidates are required to provide evidence of successful completion of a university degree in OD or a related discipline (e.g. social science, sociology, adult education, organizational psychology, human resources).

What is required to fulfill the Ethics Component?

Candidates are required to read and sign the CODI Ethical Guidelines agreeing to uphold the code of ethics for the profession.

Are there resources available to help candidates prepare for the CODP Knowledge Exam?

CODI has produced a CODP Knowledge and Practice Examination Preparation Kit designed to assist candidates in reviewing and reflecting on their knowledge and practice and identifying and filling in any gaps they may have in preparation for the exam.

Is there a face-to-face or on-line program that would help a candidate prepare to write the CODP exam?

A program focused on the specific content of the CODP exam is not yet available however related courses and programs are available and are noted on the Canadian Organization Development Institute (CODI) website at under the OD Education tab.

What is the exam based on?

The exam is based on the CODI Knowledge and Practice Dimensions (competencies) for OD and Systems Change, that were developed with input from highly experienced Canadian OD and systems change practitioners and academics from across Canada.  For the purposes of the CODP, these dimensions are categorized around 6 key domains:  Principles, Frameworks, Roles and Capabilities, Processes, Interventions and Prospective.

What is the focus of each domain?

  • Domain 1: Principles focuses on the principles, values and ethics that inform the choices and guide the actions of organization development professionals
  • Domain 2: Frameworks focuses on the foundational and contemporary theories that inform OD and systems change work
  • Domain 3: Roles and Capabilities focuses on the roles of the internal and external OD practitioner and the interconnections between roles and practitioner capabilities
  • Domain 4: Processes focuses on the change, consulting, project management, facilitation and coaching processes OD practitioners utilize
  • Domain 5: Interventions focuses on the interventions commonly used in OD and systems change practice
  • Domain 6: Prospective focuses on the future of OD and systems change practice

What is in the Examination Preparation Kit?

The kit includes:

  • A brief overview of each of the 6 key domains covered in the exam
  • Full bibliographic citations and links to recommended readings and resources comprising short, practitioner focused, best practice articles, slides and videos, written and presented by known theorists, and accessible free via an internet search
  • Focus questions designed to help the candidate reflect on their knowledge and practice as well as to help them focus their review of the recommended resources
  • Sample exam questions
  • Personal reflection questions

How long does it take to work through the Examination Preparation Kit and prepare for the Knowledge and Practice Exam?

The kit is designed to enable individual candidates to adapt it to whatever timeline they choose. How long it takes to work through each step will vary depending on a candidates background and experience and how much time they have each week to devote to their exam preparation. Consider it about the same as the time and effort commitment required to successfully complete a two term university course (approximately 100 hours).

How were the recommended readings/resources selected?

The recommended readings/resources comprise the work of a wide range of thought leaders in the field, and have been selected to survey foundational to contemporary practice, illuminate the depth, breadth and diversity in the field, reveal best practice, and foster fresh thinking.

Is there a textbook to follow?

No one textbook currently provides an overview of the full range of knowledge and practice candidates require to pass the exam.  However, if a candidate would like to utilize a textbook as one of their reading resources, CODI recommends Cummings, T.G., & Worley, C.G. Organizational Development and Change, 10th ed., 2014.

Is there a practice exam?

Sample exam questions are provided at the end of each of the six units in the Examination Preparation Kit.

How will a candidate know when they are ready to write the exam?

When the candidate can confidently respond to the Focus Questions posed under each of the 6 key domains outlined in the kit and successfully answer the Sample Exam Questions at the end of each unit, candidates will be prepared to write the exam.

What is the format of the exam?

The exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions, can be taken online, and will require approximately three hours to complete.

What score does a candidate need to pass the exam?

A score of 70% is required to pass the exam.

Will the results notification provide candidates with feedback on where they scored high and low?

Candidates will be provided with their score in each of the 6 domains along with their total score.

If a candidate writes the exam and doesn’t pass, will he/she be permitted to write the exam again?

Yes, candidates will be permitted to repeat the exam for an additional fee.

Is there a French language version of the Exam Preparation Kit and can candidates write the CODP Knowledge and Practice Exam in French?

Currently only English language versions of the CODP Knowledge and Practice Exam and Exam Preparation Kit are in the final design and testing phase.

How do I access the Examination Preparation Kit and register for the CODP Knowledge and Practice Exam?

Please note that CODI is nearing completion of the design and testing phase for the CODP designation. We hope to launch the CODP designation and support materials in the spring of 2016.  Please stay tuned for more details on specific dates, costs and registration information!