CDAL Program Overview

The Certification Every Senior Living Community Leader Needs

Offer peace of mind to your residents and families by earning the Certified Director of Assisted Living credential. Join hundreds of senior living community leaders who’ve earned this industry-leading credential, and stand out among the competition.

CDALs have demonstrated a high level of knowledge, ethical fitness, and leadership in the field of assisted living community management. To earn the CDAL credential, candidates must first submit an application satisfying professional experience requirements. Successful applicants must next pass the certification examination based on critical aspects related to assisted living community management.

Determine Your Eligibility

Applicants who have been approved to take the CDAL examination are considered CDAL Candidates. Candidates generally have 12 months from their initial application date to pass the CDAL exam, although this timeframe may be relaxed as appropriate (i.e., during a pandemic). In order for certification to be granted, all applicants for certification must:

Have at least three years (6,000 hours) work experience as an assisted living community executive director OR at least five years (10,000 hours) work experience in a management capacity in one or more assisted living communities

AND

Pass the certification examination for assisted living community executive directors.

OR

Possess a bachelor’s degree granted by a college or university that is accredited by an entity approved by the United States Department of Education, or the equivalent

Have at least one year (2,000 hours) work experience as an assisted living community executive director OR at least three years (6,000 hours) work experience in a management capacity in one or more assisted living communities

AND

Pass the certification examination for assisted living community executive directors.

Note: Assisted Living Management does not include long-term care management, nursing home management, or independent living management.

Fees for Initial Certification

The CDAL fee includes initial application processing, Argentum’s Assisted Living Executive Director Primer (PDF), one administration of the CDAL Practice Test, and one CDAL examination administration.

The application form must be submitted with appropriate payment and is non-refundable. However, this fee will be refunded if the applicant is deemed ineligible for participation in the CDAL program.

Argentum Member Rate Discounts
Individuals employed by an Argentum member company, or a company that is a member of a partner association (including State Partners), are eligible for a discounted rate of $750. All other individuals will be charged an application fee of $875.

Reexamination Fee
Candidates may re-take the CDAL examination after the 45-day wait period and within the 12-month eligibility period for $125. Candidates will be allowed no more than three (3) testing attempts within a 12-month period. If a candidate has not successfully passed the exam within 12 months from the date of application, he/she must reapply and pay the full application and examination fees again. Reexamination fees can be paid here.

Why Become a Certified Director of Assisted Living?

Hear from current CDALs and senior living executives about why they pursued and funded certification and how it benefits their communities.