Economic Development Australia (EDA), the national peak body for economic development professionals, recently launched Australia’s only accredited Economic Development Education and Training Program to help economic development professionals deliver jobs, growth and economic resilience for their communities.

A series of one-day modules deliver knowledge, skills and insight, using practical case studies, a global perspective and adaptable tools to help participants build a strong and resilient local economy.

Local government, in particular Councilors, CEOs and economic development professionals are at the frontline of COVID-19 economic recovery efforts. EDA recognised the need to support its members to be better able to help their communities respond and adapt to the changing macroeconomic fundamentals.

“The economic development sector in Australia was challenged in unprecedented ways recently, with the 2019-20 bushfire disasters and COVID-19, resulting in the disruption of many local economies,” Jacqueline Brinkman, CEO, EDA, said.

“EDA responded by building skills and knowledge across the sector to help economic development professionals develop robust local economic development strategies and to support their community’s resilience and recovery.”

The EDA Training Program is tailored to the key skills economic development professionals need to bring to the role. It provides both an understanding of the fundamentals of economic development and developing an economic development strategy, it also provides a global perspective focusing on case studies, best practice examples and learning outcomes.

It has proven highly popular with 141 participants participating in the program since its launch in October 2020. EDA members who successfully complete four core and two elective modules receive recognition as an Australian Certified Economic Developers (ACEcD) and are authorised to use the nominals ACEcD and the new ACEcD logo in their email signatures and on business cards to demonstrate their achievement and position themselves as leaders in their field. 61 participants have achieved recognition as an ACEcD in the last 12 months.

“The launch of the national training program is a milestone for EDA and the economic development profession. Economic development professionals are delivering the jobs, growth and economic resilience agenda for communities across Australia. EDA is proud to be delivering a professional, capacity building training program for the sector at such a critical time,” Ms Brinkman said.

In addition to the accredited training for professionals, EDA developed an Elected Official Economic Development training module, recognising the role of elected officials in supporting and championing economic development, recovery and resilience.

Bucking the trend of many membership organisations across Australia, EDA has enjoyed strong membership and revenue growth over the last 12 months, with over 1,300 members.

This represents an increase of 23 per cent on the previous financial year. The organisation offers a range of membership benefits including free monthly webinars, an online resource library, the economic development evaluation and measurement toolkit, the EDA Journal, a scholarship program, and networking through State Practitioner Networks as well as a national Conference.

“There is no doubt that COVID-19 has disrupted every element of our lives and caused devastating loss of life. The pandemic has, however, also presented a once in a lifetime opportunity to devise, support and implement initiatives that would establish a new normal for Australia’s economy. As we emerge from the immediate impacts of the pandemic, EDA’s unwavering focus will be to support Australia’s economic development professionals as they embark on driving, facilitating and supporting this critical work,” Ms Brinkman said.

The next round of the Economic Development Education and Training Program commences on 1 November 2021. To enroll, visit



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