Building Communities Together

About NPDS

The NAHRO Constitution states, "the purpose of the organization is to improve the standards and practices of all phases of administration…and to develop and improve the professional standards involved in the administration" of housing and community development programs.

Professional Development has been a major activity and primary service to NAHRO members and others in the industry for over 75 years. In the past 30 years, NAHRO has provided members and non-members alike with professional education and designations. However, before the advent of the NPDS, there was no cohesive or comprehensive industry-recognized system to chart the levels of learning, knowledge and career development.

So, what is the NPDS? The objectives of this system are to:

  • Allow a person to obtain the relevant skills and knowledge necessary to effectively execute job responsibilities;
  • Enable a person to attain a professional designation(s) as part of their career development;
  • Permit employers to distinguish current and prospective employees relative to their demonstrated knowledge in the field of housing and community development; and
  • Establish a system that allows every individual to proceed at their own pace on their pathway of professional learning and recognition

You can take any one of our seminars as a single learning event, but the added value is that every seminar fits into one or more certification tracks.

Why Multiple Certifications?

The affordable housing programs most closely associated with NAHRO members require a vast array of both task and process oriented education. NAHRO recognizes that its associates need training opportunities that provide technical knowledge, skills and abilities with federal regulations and rules, as well as, guidance and mastery in the critical thinking associated with program, portfolio and grants management.

For that reason, certifications have been organized into levels for Specialists, Operational Managers and Executives. NAHRO also believes that the NPDS allows candidates to experience career growth through and during certification. The NPDS is about growing technicians, executives and leaders through a comprehensive and thoughtful series of certifications.

Standards for Certification:

  • Education – NAHRO allows for a variety of venues to complete the educational components, including in class instruction, e-learning and education from other providers
  • Experience – Tasks, skills and abilities require measurement from practical application.  NAHRO believes that a minimal level of on-the-job experience prepares associates well for certification
  • Exam/Assessment – Certification requires validation of ability, and viable certifications are measured by exams and assessments.  NAHRO understands and embraces this concept
  • Ethics – Most of the member agencies of NAHRO receive federal or governmental funds and as a result, create an environment requiring public trust.  NAHRO is built on an ethical foundation and insists that all certifications provide exposure and guidance on ethical behavior
  • Re-certification or Certification Maintenance – The industry is always changing, thus requiring all recipients to receive updated guidance on programs and protocol

Committees and Boards

Developed by the industry for the industry, this system represents the thousands of individuals who work every day at their agencies. NAHRO's Professional Development Committee is comprised of experienced delegates who represent their regions and respective states. In the national effort, the committee has four subcommittees which address specific areas of professional development. The subcommittees are:

  • NPDS - Assists with the development of all educational products and services in conjunction with the NAHRO staff at headquarters
  • Quality Assurance - Analyzes the success blueprint of each of the products, including delivery, content, faculty, location and feasibility
  • Marketing - Assists the NAHRO staff and leadership in ensuring effective communication and successful collaboration of the NPDS with partners, regional and local chapters
  • Commissioners – Focuses on effective and feasible education of housing agency Commissioners and the essential products and services required

Assessment Boards

Assessments and Exams must be viable and accurately measure the skills, knowledge and ability required for each certification.  NAHRO’s Assessment Boards are comprised of experienced and certified national leaders who review all assessments and exams for clarity, logistics, grammar, bias and trends.  This insures that the assessment process remains fair and ethical at all times.


The Board of Ethics and Credentialing Trustees has complete oversight of NPDS and the associated processes.  This overarching Board consistently monitors the entire system and all of the related components.  This board has the responsibility to award certifications to associates and to review any and all infractions, discrepancies and breaches within the system.

For additional information contact:

Professional Development at 877-866-2476 or

Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials
169 Templar, Pinckney, Michigan  48169               Phone: 734.498.2493               Fax: 734.275.3699

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