More information on the Ec.D.

Are you a Canadian Economic Development Professional?

So are we.

We’re the Economic Developers Association of Canada.

EDAC is Canada’s national organization of economic developers pursuing excellence in the field since 1968. With over 1,000 members from coast to coast to coast, EDAC delivers a comprehensive program of:

  • Professional development, including the Ec.D. — Canada’s nationally recognized designation for economic developers
  • Networking and information sharing opportunities with a national perspective
  • Tools and resources — both on and offline — for economic development in Canada

We’re committed to the professional development of our members.

  • National Career Database
  • EDAC Legacy Scholarship Fund
  • Certification and Re-certification
  • White Papers and Reports
  • Member Knowledge-Sharing Program
  • Peer Review Team
  • Access to Member Directory
  • Seminars and Courses

The Ec.D. is Canada’s nationally recognized certification

Members who have earned the Ec.D. Designation are highly sought after in our field. Increasingly, the Ec.D. is being included as a requirement for career opportunities in our national database. This designation, along with a requirement of re-certification every three years, ensures a uniform and professional basis for all Canadians employed in this field which is supported by industry and governments.

What will I learn as part of my Ec.D. designation?

Technical / Practical Skill Areas:

  • Economic Development Process
  • Governance
  • Operations
  • Communications
  • Planning
  • Marketing/Sales
  • Finance

The Ec.D. Checklist

  • Must be an EDAC Member (in good standing)
  • Minimum 3 years experience in the field
  • Complete Exam with 75% or higher
  • 45 points required to write the exam and there are a number of ways to earn them:
    • Year 1 and 2 seminars = 10 points each
    • EDAC Conference = 3 points
    • Provincial / Territorial Association Conferences = 2 points
    • Relevant Degree (Undergrad) 10 points
    • Relevant Graduate Degree 5 points
    • EDAC Accredited Courses — points vary, to a maximum of: 20 points

Please visit for full program information and requirements.

Where could the professional Ec.D. certification take you?


“Acheiving my Ec.D designation has been a wonderful experience.

Not only did I learn a lot during the process of achieving my Ec.D., but I have witnessed first-hand how having this designation has opened up the door to numerous career opportunities. The Ec.D designation is one in which many employers now stay as giving preference to those individuals who are apply for a job in economic development. Penny and the entire crew at the Economic Development Association of Canada have been very supportive during the process and for them, I am eternally grateful.”

– Rob Hunter, Ec.D., Economic Development Officer, Municipality of South Dundas

“I have chosen to work in the field of economic development primarily because I want to be help my local economic development community grow and be successful

In order to ensure that I am fulfilling this goal, I needed to further enhance my skill set and knowledge base of economic development practices and this is why I chose to write the EcD exam through EDAC. Preparation for the EcD exam has allowed me to take myself more seriously as a professional by being more able to contribute valuable skills and useful, up to date tools at the social enterprise where I work. Obtaining the EcD designation is an absolute privilege and with the support and assistance from EDAC and the EcD network anyone interested in helping their local economy grow can participate and strengthen their community. An EcD designation gives me more confidence to go out into my community and create change!”

– Rajbir Sian, Ec.D., Business Development Specialist, Economic Development City of Waterloo

“By earning your Ec.D. Designation, you’re expanding knowledge and demonstrating your commitment to professional growth.

By writing the EDAC exam it is following through on the important investment in your career and advancing your professional interest in ED. By having your Ec.D., you are staying ahead of the curve, this designation and certification documents your professional achievement, leverages your knowledge for exercising new career opportunities, you become part of a network of leaders in the economic development field.

– Delia Reiche, Ec.D., Diagnostics Biochem Canada Inc., Dorchester, ON

“The designation is recognized and acknowledged by municipal, provincial and national bodies for the qualifications accredited developers hold.

Certification is a goal that all individuals working in the field of economic development should consider. EDAC and the University of Waterloo have developed a comprehensive program to educate economic developers, remaining focused on the changing trends and new tools available to assist developers. From the year one and the year two programs through the content specific seminars these two organizations have developed a strong academic curriculum. This, in addition to my work and exposure to the many aspects of the profession, prepared me to challenge the certification exam.”

– James Tessier, Ec.D., CED Coordinator, Community Futures Alberta Southwest

“My employer encouraged me to write my exam and attached a salary increase to the Ec.D. designation.

My career will benefit from both the practical and academic experience of this program and the ongoing professional development opportunities provided to the membership. I feel privileged to be a part of the network of economic development professionals connected through EDAC and look forward to the next step — achieving my Fellowship designation.”

– Marilyn Crewe, Ec.D., Community Economic Development Officer, Elgin Business Resource Centre

“The qualifying credits assures that there is a mix of experience, training and ongoing professional development that assures that candidates are committed to their economic development career.

The designation itself provides some assurance of the capability of the person who attains it. I believe the Ec.D. Designation carries an implied value both among professionals in the field and between the professionals and their clients and employers. It is a type of quality assurance that is supported by a comprehensive and rigorous process.”

– Art Lawson, Ec.D.,  General Manager, South Central Ontario Region Economic Development Corporation

“The exam is complex and ensures the quality of its network and members. I also appreciated the opportunity to answer to the exam questions in French.

Au cours de mes 11 années en tant qu‘agente de développement, j’ai participé à de nombreuses conférences qui m‘on permis d‘acquérir des outils et des ressources essentiels de développement économique. Cependant, les dernières années de formation et de séminaires organisés par EDAC m’ont aidé à acquérir des connaissances et de l’expertise au-delà de mes attentes. Je recommande fortement le programme de certification de l’ACDE à toute personne qui s’intéresse sérieusement à l’acquisition de stratégies nouvelles et efficientes de développement économique.”

– Marie-Eve LaRocque, Ec.D., Agente de développement, Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité de l’Ontario RDÉE Maxville, ON

“It provided me with an opportunity to re-learn the key concepts and practices that are fundamental to the economic development profession.”

Writing this exam has benefitted me in a number of significant ways: it provided me with an opportunity to re-learn the key concepts and practices that are fundamental to the economic development profession; it helped sharpen my knowledge of the field in a very thorough and coherent manner, and thus provided me with a clear reference point for the work that I do at the City of Markham; and finally, I am much more improved and effective in my thinking in terms of integrating important economic development concepts that need to be brought into my work projects.

– Huyen Hare, Ec.D. Senior Business Development Officer Economic Development Department, The Corporation of the City of Markham

“The exam and the job both take commitment, but when you are done and see the results of your hard work it’s worth it.

The EDAC Ec.D. Exam is not for the faint of heart! The EDAC Ec.D. certification exam is long, arduous and requires a broad knowledge of economic development. This is exactly as it should be. The work of an economic developer takes tenacity, effort and experience. It’s not an easy job and not everyone is cut out for it. The Ec.D. Exam is a reflection of that.

– Vic Goodman, Ec.D.,  Chief Executive Officer, Campbell River Economic Development Corp.

I appreciated the practical structure and found it was a good benchmarking opportunity to determine areas of confidence within each competency.

It was very encouraging to receive my professional designation through EDAC and I believe it is a testament to the time commitment and value I strive to offer my community. I see this milestone as key to my professional development for the future.

– Ronda Stewart, Ec.D.,  Manager, Small Business Centre, Elgin Business Resource Centre

EDAC is here for you, our members.

Let us know how we can help.

1100 South Service Rd., Suite 205
Stoney Creek, ON  L8E 0C5

Telephone / Téléphone: 289-649-1771
e-mail / Courriel:

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