The American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED), founded in 1974 as the American Association for Affirmative Action, is a national not-for-profit association of professionals working in the areas of affirmative action, equal opportunity, and diversity. We are a professional development organization and our mission is assist our members to be more successful and productive in their careers. We are also an advocacy organization and work to promote understanding and support for affirmative action, equity and diversity programs to enhance equal opportunity in employment, government contracting and education.

AAAED’s Professional Development and Training Institute (PDTI) has been a primary sponsor of quality training in equal employment opportunity (EEO) and affirmative action law and policy since 1991. PDTI faculty consist of experienced educators who understand both the theory and the applications of EEO, affirmative action and diversity policy. PDTI offers the Certified Affirmative Action Professional (CAAP) and Senior Certified Affirmative Action Professional credentials (Sr. CAAP). PDTI also offers courses and certificate programs in areas ranging from “Diversity Management” and “Title IX Investigations” to “Latest OFCCP Compliance Developments.”  PDTI courses are eligible for continuing education credits awarded by the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI).

AAAED offers both classroom and on-site training at the facility of your choice. We will work with you to design the coursework that fulfills your needs, ranging from conducting effective internal investigations to developing a compliant workplace. AAAED also offers a series of webinars for the busy professional who does not have time or the resources to travel for classroom training. We are proud of the excellence of our webinar faculty and urge you to sign up for timely and topical programs.

The PDTI classroom experience takes place four times per year in locations geographically dispersed throughout the United States. Participants who successfully complete three core courses – EEO/AA Law; Complaint Processing, Counseling and Resolution; and Developing and Implementing an Affirmative Action Program for Women and Minorities – earn the Certified Affirmative Action Professional (CAAP) credential. Since 2012, PDTI has begun to offer the Senior CAAP credential and instituted a recertification requirement for CAAP and Senior CAAP professionals.

PDTI’s educational programs are designed to enhance legal knowledge and technical and administrative skills in equal employment opportunity (EEO), affirmative action, and diversity and to ensure that EEO/AA/diversity professionals and practitioners remain current in issues affecting their profession.

In 2008, the Association added AAAED Webinars, web-based seminars to provide expert information on current legal, policy and regulatory matters. The one- to two-hour webinars are offered every month and are available to AAAED members and non-members alike.  Webinars have addressed such issues as Disability Issues in Higher Education; Workplace Safety; Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment and Title IX; EEO Record-Keeping; and Recruiting and Retaining Faculty of Color. AAAED Webinars are an excellent, cost-effective and time-saving addition to the tools that professionals may use to hone skills in the field of EEO, affirmative action and diversity.

AAAED On-Site Training, in which a training program is specially designed to fit the needs of the individual client, is an excellent option for institutions or companies that have specific needs or a group of employees who need targeted training. AAAED’s expert faculty works with the client to develop the curriculum and deliver the training at the client’s designated location.

The CAAP and Senior CAAP credentials may be added as a suffix after one’s name and demonstrate one’s commitment to excellence in the affirmative action and EEO profession.

Required CAAP Courses:
Equal Employment Opportunity Law
Complaint Processing, Counseling and Resolution
Developing and Implementing an Affirmative Action Program for Women and Minorities

In addition to the Basic Certified Affirmative Action Professional certification (CAAP), AAAED’s PDTI offers the Senior Certified Affirmative Action Professional certification (Sr. CAAP). There are two ways to obtain this certification:

  1. By completing the Basic CAAP courses and receiving the CAAP (48 hrs.); and then taking an additional 40 hours of coursework, or
  2. By completing the AAAED Program for Experienced Practitioners, a special sixteen hour course given once a year during the AAAED national conference. Only professionals with ten or more years of experience may earn the Sr. CAAP Certification by attending this intensive program. The Basic CAAP certification is not a prerequisite for those who meet the ten-year qualification requirement.

The AAAED Program for Experienced Practitioners (Sr. CAAP) is a comprehensive review that encompasses federal agency compliance initiatives as well as methodologies for leveraging qualitative and quantitative data and other available resources to maintain a successful Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and diversity program. The sixteen-hour curriculum covers the current enforcement policies and regulations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), U.S. Department of Labor; and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), U.S. Department of Education. Legal updates and a brief discussion of compensation analysis and diversity and inclusion are also covered. This is a highly interactive two-day program.

The requisite experience for participation in the Sr. CAAP training includes ten years of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) experience in affirmative action planning, complaint investigations, and/or EEO law enforcement. Of the ten years of experience, at least five must include affirmative action plan preparation or supervision. The other five may be in equal employment opportunity, complaint investigations, EEO law enforcement (e.g., at a federal, state or local government agency), or Title IX/Section 504 compliance. Also accepted is work as a university, corporate or agency counsel where EEO/Affirmative Action issues were more than twenty percent of the workload, or practice as a labor and employment lawyer, affirmative action plan consultant, civil rights, corporate or nonprofit organization professional where EEO/Affirmative Action was more than 20 percent of the workload. Employment as diversity managers, federal EEO investigators, disability employment coordinators or human resources professionals where EEO issues were more than twenty percent of the workload is also accepted. The ten years of experience should be within the last 15 years.

For certification eligibility an evaluation of the credentials of all participants is required. Applicants must email their resumes or curriculum vitae to: The Sr. CAAP Evaluation Committee will review the submission and determine if the proffered credentials qualify for the Sr. CAAP training. The decision of the Evaluation Committee will be communicated to the applicant. Applicants should not register for the training until their credentials have been accepted by the Committee.

Onsite registration is discouraged. Participants who do not submit their credentials before the Sr. CAAP training will not receive the certificate until their credentials are reviewed and approved. If they register for the training and attend, but their credentials are not approved, participants will not be eligible for a refund, nor will they receive the Sr. CAAP certificate.

At the conclusion of the program, all successful participants will receive the “Senior Certified Affirmative Action Professional” certificate, which shall be valid for three years. The continuation of the Sr. CAAP certification is subject to continuing education requirements as prescribed by the Professional Development and Training Institute (PDTI) Committee.

In 2012, AAAED instituted a recertification program for professionals who earn the CAAP and Senior CAAP credentials. For the CAAP credential, the recertification requirement takes effect beginning October 1, 2012. Thus, professionals who already have earned the CAAP credential or who earned the CAAP credential at the PDTI training sites in March 2012 (Tampa) and July 2012 (Chicago) will not be subject to the recertification requirement to maintain their CAAP credential. Any professional who earns the CAAP or Senior CAAP credential after October 1, 2012 will be required to recertify every three years in order to maintain a valid CAAP credential.

A recertification program is designed to ensure that EEO/AA/diversity professionals keep up to date on issues affecting their profession. AAAED requires certified CAAP and Senior CAAP professionals to recertify their credential every three years through continuing education activities, professional association involvement, or both. Professionals are required to accumulate 36 hours of activities in one or more of the following areas: continuing education, instruction, leadership, and professional membership.

AAAED has adopted a self-report model for its recertification program. Professionals must keep track of their activities and report those activities to AAAED, along with payment of a recertification fee, to maintain the CAAP or Senior CAAP credential. The recertification fee is $150.00.  For additional details, contact the AAAED National Office.


 Activity Category  Available Credit  Notes
 Continuing Education  All 36 hours may be achieved through continuing education  Available through AAAED programs. May gain CE credits through non-AAAED programs
 Instruction 15-hour maximum   
 Leadership 10-hour maximum  
 Professional Membership 8-hour maximum  
 PDTI Coursework  All 36 hours may be achieved through PDTI classroom training  Available through AAAED PDTI 8-hour and 12-hour classroom programs.

Continuing Education Credits
Professionals may gain recertification credits for educational activities related to equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, or diversity. Credit is awarded on an hour-for-hour basis (excluding meals and breaks) for conferences, PDTI classroom training, seminars, workshops, symposiums, and on-line training (videoconferences, webinars, and podcasts). For courses at an accredited college or university, a one-semester credit course (15 weeks) equals 15 recertification credit hours, one quarter credit course (12 weeks) equals 12 recertification credit hours, and one audited college course equals 10 recertification hours. No credit will be awarded for general sessions at conferences or for attendance at meetings of professional associations. 

Instruction. Professionals may earn recertification credits for serving as an instructor of a course, workshop, seminar or conference session (excluding presentations within your own organization). Professionals may receive credit only for the first presentation. Instructors earn 1.5 credit hours for every hour of the presentation to take into account preparation time. For example, a two-hour presentation is awarded 3 credit hours toward recertification.

Leadership. Credit may be earned for leadership activities in an EEO/AA/diversity-related association or for community volunteer work in which a professional uses his/her EEO/AA/diversity expertise. Examples include officer positions on boards, committee chair assignments, committee membership, Capitol Hill visits, testimonies before Congress or state legislatures, meetings with regulatory agency officials, and preparation of comments on regulatory proposals.

Leadership activities are subject to the following limitations on available credit:


 Activity Categories    Available Credit    Recertification Maximum  (3 Years)
 Officer Position   5 per year of service   10
 Committee Chair   3 per year of service   6
 Committee Member   2 per year of service   6
 Capitol Hill Visit; Agency Visit  1  3
 Testifying before legislative body   1  3
 Drafting comments on regulatory proposals   1  3

Professional Membership. A professional may earn recertification credit for being a member of a national organization that promotes equal employment opportunity, access, and diversity; an EEO/AA/diversity- related organization, or a regional/area affiliate of a national organization. A professional who is an AAAED member may earn 2 hours per year toward recertification. Professional membership in a non-AAAED organization earns 1 hour per year toward recertification, provided the professional is an AAAED member. There is an 8-credit hour maximum permitted in this category.


AAAED PDTI also offers certificate programs in Title IX Investigations, Federal EEO and Diversity Management, among others. These courses range from 8 hours to 16 hours in length.

PDTI courses count towards the Sr. CAAP and continuing education requirements. Attendees will receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of each course.

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