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Certifications Offered


After becoming an SDP member, individuals may apply for certification as a decision analysis Practitioner, Lead Practitioner, or Fellow. SDP Certification is a rigorous, standardized process including recommendations, competency level evaluation, assessment of experience, and review of industry involvement and published materials. If a member would like to apply for SDP Certification, please contact us to guide you through the process below:

There are three levels within the SDP's career ladder; Practitioner, Lead Practitioner, and Fellow. The levels are described across the following key areas:

  1. Process and Facilitative Leadership
  2. Decision Analysis and Modeling
  3. Creativity and Problem Solving
  4. Information Gathering and Value Assessment
  5. Education and Training
  6. Project Management
  7. Experience and Election Process

Practitioner Certification Category Requirements

  • Practitioners must be elected by 2 Lead Practitioners (or Fellows) in good standing and a customer
  • Practitioners must submit the three references to the Society
  • The recommenders will attest to the fact that the applicant fits the "Practitioner” description below.

Lead Practitioner Certification Category Requirements

  • Lead Practitioners must be elected by 1 Fellow and 2 Lead Practitioners (or Fellows) in good standing
  • Lead Practitioners must submit the three references to the Society
  • The recommenders will attest to the fact that the applicant fits the "Lead Practitioner” description below

Fellow Certification Category Requirements

  • Fellows must submit a letter to the Society demonstrating their qualifications
  • Fellows must be elected by three other fellows in good standing
  • The recommenders will attest to the fact that the applicant fits the "Fellow” description below

How to apply for SDP Certification

Please note that there is no fee for certification, it is a benefit of membership in the Society of Decision Professionals. There is no requirement for certification to be a member of the Society. Because of the effort by Society volunteers, certification can only be assessed for candidates who are members.

For more information on how to apply, click HERE to download a pdf.

The following is a description of the Practitioner and and Lead Practitioner. The Fellow designation follows thereafter.

Criteria Practitioner Lead Practitioner
Process and Facilitative Leadership
Dimensions :
  • Effectiveness of application of decision support
  • Complexity of the problem
  • Planning for implementation of the decision
"Effective in leading team members and decision makers on engagements of medium analytical and organisational complexity but where the problem is usually well defined and the uncertainties are relatively straightforward to structure."
This includes being able to:
  • Understand the basics of facilitation, including preventions, interventions, agendas, meeting objectives, and group process tools.
  • Understand the basics of decision processes, including decision leadership, framing, generation of alternatives, and other concepts.
  • Help a team identify the steps needed to implement a course of action.
" Effective in leading team members and decision makers on engagements of high analytical and organizational complexity and uncertainty. Can also guide a team to solution even when there is a lack of clarity on what the frame is."
This includes being able to:
  • Challenge both the team and decision makers to ensure they understand the implications of the frame they are setting.
  • Be an outstanding facilitator: even in highly charged situations participants should walk away with the feeling that the meeting they have attended was highly productive and have a clear sense of what the next steps are.
  • Capture the essence of the problem at hand; anticipate which processes will work best for each situation.
  • Help a team in planning for implementation during the process.
Decision Analysis and Modelling
  • Application of structured analysis
  • Understanding of decision analysis, including how the theory fits with the theoretical foundations of other relevant subjects / disciplines e.g. finance, engineering.
  • Deriving and interpreting insights from the analysis
  • Quality assurance
"Can independently carry out structured analysis on problems where standard or well know approaches are applicable."
This includes being able to:
  • Know the fundamentals well enough to get help when needed i.e. understands the limitations of the various techniques and when they should not be applied.
  • Challenge the quality of the data.
  • Be able to spot if the analysis doesn't make sense (can perform quality assurance on own models).
  • Understand the results of the analysis and can draw key insights.
"Can lead any modelling and decision analysis activity even when standard or well known approaches are not applicable i.e. can develop and use novel approaches."
This includes being able to:
  • Show creativity in design and the ability to identify, find, work with and / or develop advanced techniques.
  • Direct and provide quality assurance in analysis of complex problems carried out by a multi-person team, including helping others formulate analyses, do sanity checks, and challenge assumptions (e.g., willing to challenge team members and decision makers to ensure they are making high quality decisions).
  • Derive insights, interpret them, and explain the process and results to senior decision makers.
Creativity and Problem Solving
Dimensions :
  • Creativity in approaching problems
  • Pro-activity in problem solving
"Proactive problem solver in areas related to own technical and industry background."
This includes being able to:
  • Develop creative solutions on engagements of medium complexity.
  • Consider problems and solutions with a systems mindset.
"Develops or inspires teams to develop novel solutions to opportunities."
This includes being able to:
  • Develops creative solutions on engagements of high complexity.
  • Translate skills into new areas of application outside of own technical and industry background.
Information Gathering & Value Assessment
Dimensions :
  • Integrity of information knowledge
  • Clarity of values, tradeoffs, and value metrics
"Is capable of leading information and value assessment sessions which have clearly defined information and values"
This includes being able to:
  • Account for biases and understand information structures
  • Direct the assessment around the main drivers of value and uncertainty
  • Clarify distinctions
  • Help decision makers understand the values & metrics and make clear tradeoffs among them
"As well as leading information and value assessment sessions, is capable of judging the quality of information, uncertainty and resulting value, and quickly identifying any underlying drivers"
This includes being able to:
  • Identify hidden issues and unclear motivations
  • Recognise when information quality is poor or biased, provide trustworthy guidance about why the information is poor and help teams to re-assess or re-calibrate that information
  • Provide guidance to resolve complex tradeoffs among values (e.g. financial and non-financial, quantitative and qualitative, direct and indirect)
Education and Training
Dimensions :
  • Training and mentoring of others
  • Own expertise and experience
"Is keen to improve own and others decision analysis skills."
This includes being able to:
  • Train newcomers in the basics of the profession.
  • Be open to learning and experimenting with innovations to the tools and process.
"Is improving the decision making capabilities of decision practitioners, project teams and decision makers."
This includes being able to:
  • Train and lead practitioners in the advanced topics of the field.
  • Coach and mentor more junior members of profession.
  • Introduce the profession into new application areas by raising awareness with decision makers and project teams.
  • Train decision makers and project leaders on the principles of decision quality and decision analysis.
  • Develops and adjusts tools and concepts to fit new practice areas.
Project Management
Dimensions :
  • Understanding of project management concepts
  • Application of project management concepts
"Is comfortable operating within the requirements of a project and proactive in understanding his/her role."
This includes being able to:
  • Understand the basics of project management concepts, including managing people, time, money, and scope.
  • Be supportive of others and communicates well.
"Can successfully design, supervise, and lead a large project or several small projects concurrently."
This includes being able to:
  • Have a deep understanding and experience of project management concepts.
  • Earn the trust and loyalty and inspires others to greater performance.
Education, Experience and Election Process Graduate in a technical/business subject including a decision analysis component or formal decision analysis training.At least 1 year full-time equivalent experience of applying Decision Analysis.
Elected by 2 Lead Practitioners or Fellows and a customer of their services.
Same as Practitioner requirement plus evidence of continuing learning. This may be self-study, conference attendance, or additional courses in decision analysis or closely related areas.At least 3 years full-time equivalent experience of applying Decision Analysis
Elected by 3 Lead Practitioners or Fellows, with at least one Fellow, and a customer of their services.


As well as the "Practitioner" and "Lead Practitioner" designations the society will also include "Fellow" level membership. A Fellow, in addition to meeting all the Lead Practitioner requirements, will also need to accumulate enough experience, be elected by other fellows, be a role model for the society's members, and help improve the decision analysis practice. So, to be designated as fellow, members need to:

Have 5 FTE Experience & Are Elected by Fellows

Fellows need at least 5 years full-time equivalent experience in applying Decision Analysis. They need to be elected by at least three other fellows.

Be Role Models

Fellows need to be role models for members of the society - with other members wanting to emulate their decision analysis capabilities. Examples of what it means to be a role model include:

  • Capable of walking into any situation, even in the most destructive of meetings, taking hold of the meeting and resolving the issues
  • Considered the DA subject matter expert among their colleagues
  • Widely respected by the society's members for their knowledge and experience

Help Improving the Practice

Fellows need to help undertake activities that will improve the decision analysis practice. Examples of how they may improve the practice include:

  • Developing and cascading new approaches, tools, and methods to improve the application of DA.
  • Leading communities of practice to share best practice between organizations.
  • Actively coaching and mentoring all levels of the profession to create the society's next generation.
  • Raising the professional standards of the profession.
  • Participating in external events and conferences to promote the profession


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