The IDLancer

Certification Program

Take your freelance instructional design career to the next level. For free!

IDLance is proud to partner with Teamed to bring this exciting new opportunity to our community!

Teamed is a hiring platform that connects organizations with top-quality freelance talent across a range of fields, from web development and graphic design to content creation and marketing. By leveraging the power of their network of skilled learning professionals, Teamed makes it easy for organizations of all sizes to find and hire the right talent for their projects, no matter how big or small! That includes you-- a Certified IDLancer! Wouldn't it be nice for the gigs to come to you for a change?

By becoming a Certified IDLancer, you're cementing your place as a vetted instructional design professional in Teamed's impressive talent pool and will have a certification badge displayed next to your name to prove it! That means hiring managers can browse and filter through a diverse pool of Certified IDLancers on the Teamed website, view their portfolios, and communicate with them directly to ensure they're the perfect fit! Get certified, get hired - it's that simple.

What's an IDLancer Certification?

Are you looking to stand out in a competitive job market? Our IDLancer Certification Program could be the perfect fit for you!

IDLancer Certification is a free program designed to help instructional design freelancers just like you enhance their business skills, client skills, and instructional design skills! The three-month program is broken down into three distinct phases, each focused on developing a specific skill set.

During the first phase, you'll brush up on your business acumen such as marketing, pricing strategies, and proposal writing. The second phase focuses on client relations, including communication, project management, and collaboration. Finally, the third phase is dedicated to instructional design fundamentals, with a focus on learning design, eLearning development, and content creation.

By completing the IDLancer Certification Program, you’ll have a tangible credential that demonstrates your expertise and professionalism in the field!

Who's a Certified IDLancer?

Your status as a Certified IDLancer identifies you as the following things.


To become a Certified IDLancer, ya gotta be a member of our Official IDLance Slack Community! That's where all the magic happens. Our community of freelance IDs learn from each other, laugh with each other, and get first dibs on gig alerts. Whether you're just starting out or an old pro, you're sure to find value in our community. Not a member yet? Hey, no problem-- just click the button to hang out with us!

ID Whiz

Certified IDLancers have a solid grasp of learning theories, principles, and ID methodologies. They're skilled at assessing learner needs, creating evaluation strategies, and crafting truly dynamic deliverables. Additionally, they have excellent writing and editing skills, expertise in eLearning authoring tools, project management skills, and the ability to evaluate the effectiveness of learning experiences. They can collaborate with subject matter experts and stakeholders and have a strong passion for teaching and learning!


To earn certification, IDLancers need to have a strong understanding of "bizness stuff." That includes stuff like operating as a business entity, financial management, marketing, and business development. Certified IDLancers maintain a strong professional network and know how to create and manage invoices, contracts, and other business-related documents. They're critical thinkers and problem-solvers with a knack for aligning learning solutions with business objectives.


Certified IDLancers are leaders. This includes being able to communicate clearly and persuasively, delegate tasks, and motivate team members to achieve their goals. They're flexible, adaptable, and comfortable making informed decisions to push a project across the finish line. Attention to detail, collaboration, creativity, and project management skills are second nature to them!

Continuous Learner

Certified IDLancers understand that certification does not mark the end of learning. They're lifetime learners with a strong commitment to ongoing professional development. This includes staying up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in the field and being able to adapt to new technologies and methodologies. They're eager to collect and learn from feedback and seek out opportunities for growth and improvement.

Ethical Worker

Certified IDLancers must be honest, transparent, and accountable in their communications with clients. They design and develop learning solutions that align with ethical principles and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. They uphold the principles of confidentiality and professionalism in their work. In short, they're cool people who make a positive impact and represent IDLance's core values well.

What are the three phases of IDLancer Certification ?

There are three core competencies at the center of IDLancer Certification-- Business Acumen, Client Relations, and ID Fundamentals.

Phase 1: Business Acumen

Month One of Certification

  • Choosing business entity
  • Taxes, expenses, accounting
  • Marketing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Contracts
  • Proposals
  • Networking, finding clients
  • Time management, tracking
  • Business goals
  • Essential reports
Phase 2: Client Relations

Month Two of Certification

  • Quick start
  • Business intelligence
  • Building rapport
  • Handling conflict
  • Digital communication
  • Live meeting communication
  • Scope creep mitigation
  • Project organization
  • Measuring success
  • Digital tools
Phase 3: ID Fundamentals

Month Three of Certification

  • Creating assessments and evaluations
  • Needs analysis
  • Storyline, Rise, Captivate
  • Writing with analogies
  • Writing with an active voice
  • Writing for simplification
  • Storyboarding
  • Visual design

What are the three levels of Certification?

There are three levels of IDLancer Certification-- "Certified IDLancer Apprentice," "Certified IDLancer," and the optional level "Certified IDLancer Mentor." You'll have a corresponding badge that represents what level you're at in the certification process. Read more below!

Level 1:

Certified IDLancer Apprentice

This is your starting point on the road to certification! Once you're accepted into the program and actively pursuing certification, you'll be bestowed the title of "Certified IDLancer Apprentice!" We're looking for motivated IDs who are eager to learn and open to feedback. A good candidate will have a strong foundation in the certification core competencies listed above, while also being conscious of areas where they need to improve or brush up on their hard and soft skills.

Level 2:

Certified IDLancer

Congrats, you've completed the 3-month program and you're now a Certified IDLancer! We're looking for mastery of advanced instructional design theories and principles, as well as a solid understanding of how to operate as a business entity and work with clients. Additionally, candidates will be required to demonstrate their ability to manage projects and clients effectively in real-life scenarios. Certified IDLancers are top professionals in their field, able to design and develop custom learning solutions, and are also adept at achieving business objectives. Go you!

(Optional) Level 3:

Certified IDLancer Mentor

The student becomes the teacher! This level of certification is optional to Certified IDLancers who are looking to take their professional development to the next level and join us in teaching future IDLancer Certification cohorts. Mentors have extensive experience and a proven track record of designing and developing successful learning solutions for a wide range of clients and learners. They should also have exceptional leadership and communication skills, and be able to work collaboratively with others to foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Mentors serve as role models and advocates for the profession, inspiring other IDLancers to achieve their full potential and make a positive impact on the world of learning and development.

Frequently Asked Questions

FrequentlyAsked Questions

Got questions about the certification process? We get that. Check out some FAQs below for an answer. If you're still stumped, contact us!

How much does the certification cost?

IDLancer Certification is a completely free program. There are no hidden costs or surprise fees lurking around the corner. We promise! At IDLance, we don't believe you should have to break the bank to sharpen up your skills. We're not like those other guys where you pay several thousand dollars for a boot camp! You deserve to get a head start on your freelance career without sacrificing your Cheesy Gordita Crunch habit. (hint: you can get a whole cravings box with a drink that includes a Cheesy Gordita Crunch for the same price as ONE cheesy gordita crunch… MAKE IT MAKE SENSE!)

Wondering what's in it for us? We see what ya did there. Well played. By partnering with a staffing agency like Teamed, IDLance shares in the revenue for placing freelance instructional design contractors with clients.

How long does the process take?

Each cohort will move through a three-month process which includes one weekly group meeting that will last no more than 60 minutes--tops! That leaves you plenty of TV time.

How do I apply?

The application period for Cohort 3 will run from January 3-17, 2024. All you have to do is fill out a simple application! It's easy peasy.

What if I get rejected?

First of all, we don't like to use the word "rejected." Taking steps toward professional growth and development is a huge accomplishment and something to celebrate! That being said, there is limited space in each cohort so selection will be competitive. Applicants who are not immediately accepted will either go on a waitlist for future selection or receive notice of deferment. We welcome you to reapply for future cohorts if your application is deferred. This does not mean you are not a great instructional designer! We still want you in our community, we still want to match you up with gigs, and we still really really like you. It simply means you could not be accepted into a cohort at this time.

How do I become a Certified IDLancer Mentor? What's involved?

To become a Certified IDLancer Mentor (totally optional), you must first complete and earn your Certified IDLancer badge. If you're interested in progressing further, you can let either Andrea or Parker know and we'll be in touch with next steps!

Are there any ongoing requirements to maintain the certification once I obtain it?

Once a Certified IDLancer, always a Certified IDLancer. That being said, we may check in periodically to be sure you're upholding your end of the bargain. We expect Certified IDLancers to adhere to the personal and professional commitments, values, and standards listed on this page. For example, if you've recently told one of your clients to "go kick rocks," we're probably gonna have to chat and do reserve the right to rescind certification status if problems persist.

How will I be assessed? Is there an exam?

No exams! No pop quizzes! This is an experiential process in which you'll be assessed by IDLance Co-Head Honchos Dr. Parker Grant and Andrea Dottling. We will be conducting prior learning assessments within each new cohort to get a better feel for your level of experience and knowledge. Other than that, your assessment in the program will be ongoing, individualized, and based on your performance in the field.

What's in it for me?

IDLancer Certification is your way of telling the world, "I am vetted, really dang good at my job, and a top performer in the field." When hiring managers see that little badge next to your name on the Teamed website, they'll know that you have achieved a certain level of knowledge and expertise and are committed to professional development! In short, you're gonna stand out from the competition, get more gigs, and potentially make more dough. Plus the process is free and you might make some buds along the way.

Can I back out if I change my mind?

While we don't recommend throwing in the towel on the certification process once it gets going--yeah, sure. If ya want.

Ready to Apply?

The application period for Cohort 3 will run from January 3-17. Come back then to apply!