Those who work in senior living may start noticing a new series of initials, CDAL, after some people’s names.

The independent, nonprofit Senior Living Certification Commission, formed by Argentum in 2015, just awarded the new designation, which stands for certified director of assisted living, to its inaugural class of 252 senior living professionals.

“The new CDAL program gives leaders access to a high-standard credential which recognizes their experience, competency and professionalism, strengthening our industry’s dedication to providing quality of life to those we serve,” said Argentum Board of Directors Chairman and Silverado CEO Loren Shook. “It demonstrates to consumers and state regulators that the senior living industry is committed to rigorous, professional development and self-regulation in an effort to deliver the best of quality of life to our consumers.”

The voluntary certification program was developed by senior living subject matter experts and is based on the knowledge and skills required by executive directors as identified through a job analysis. To earn the right to use the initials after their names, executive directors must pass an examination that asks questions about the principles and philosophy of assisted living, resident care and services, the customer experience, leadership, operations management, regulatory compliance, sales and marketing, and financial management.

“The commitment to sit for certification demonstrates not only a personal drive for growth but also a desire to elevate the standards of the industry,” said SLCC Chairman and Legend Senior Living CEO Tim Buchanan, who encouraged other qualified professionals to apply to earn the credential.

Applications for the CDAL certification and registration for the spring testing period are now open. April 15 is the registration deadline for the March 1 to May 31 testing period.

The SLCC has posted online the list of professionals who recently earned the CDAL designation.