ICSC: International Council of Shopping Centers

CDP - Development

Application Center Non-Member Applications


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ICSC established the CDP (Certified Development, Design and Construction Professional) credential in 2007 to advance high professional standards in shopping center development, design and construction worldwide. Candidates for the CDP designation demonstrate at least five years of qualified work experience in development, design and/or construction of shopping centers as an owner representative, development manager, project manager, tenant coordinator, architect, engineer, general contractor, construction manager, facilities manager, retail store planner, or retail construction manager. CDP certification is achieved through mastery of a body of knowledge, completion of the eligibility requirements, passage of a rigorous half-day written examination, and commitment to a code of professional ethics. Through the ICSC, an elite group of shopping center development, design and construction professionals enjoys unparalleled opportunities for industry involvement and industry-wide recognition.


Successful CDP candidates are actively engaged in shopping center development, redevelopment, design or construction with a minimum of five years of active, full-time experience obtained within the past six years. Qualifying work experience may include shopping center site selection, acquisition, development, design or construction functions in a local, regional, national or global capacity. Developers, project managers, tenant coordinators, architects, engineers, general contractors, construction managers, facilities managers and retail store planners and retail construction managers representing owners or retailers who have the ability to apply comprehensive knowledge across disciplines principles are encouraged to apply.

Body of Knowledge

Successful CDP candidates must master a body of knowledge that represents the full scope of the practice of development, design and construction in retail real estate. The composition of the CDP exam is guided by extensive industry research into the knowledge, skills and experience needed for a qualifying candidate to hold the CDP designation. The CDP Admissions & Governing Committee oversaw a methodical and comprehensive investigation into the content that should assessed. Their research resulted in the identification of 60 essential competency areas organized into eight knowledge domains. View the full content details, outline and category weights online.

  • Domain 1. Pre-Development (20%)
  • Domain 2. Design (20%)
  • Domain 3. Construction and Construction Management (20%)
  • Domain 4. Retail Store Planning (10%)
  • Domain 5. Tenant Coordination (10%)
  • Domain 6. Government and Regulatory Compliance (5%)
  • Domain 7. Project Cost Management (5%)
  • Domain 8. Legal, Risk Management and Ethics (5%)
  • Domain 9. Sustainability (5%)