ICSC, which already offers designations for mall managers, leasing specialists and marketing professionals, will add a new certification in 2008 aimed at the retail real estate industry's development, design and construction professionals.

Called CDP, certified development, design & construction professional, is a designation for professionals who have demonstrated the knowledge essential in developing and managing shopping centers.

The first CDP designations are to be awarded to individuals who pass the new exam ICSC will start conducting in December 2007. The 100-question exam will test the applicant's knowledge of retail development by delving into specific areas such as pre-development, design and architecture, and retail store planning.

“Certification exemplifies someone possessing knowledge in those three areas as it pertains to retail,” says Rudolph E. Milian, senior vice president of professional development for ICSC.

Applicants must have at least five years of experience in retail development to be eligible for the exam. In April, ICSC will hold a five-day tutorial for the test in Scottsdale, Ariz.