Membership of the Institute is on an individual basis and is open to those involved with Business development and related areas. When reviewing the services offered, we recognized that there are people who hold some qualifications that are related to BD and are not receiving post-examination support and who would benefit from our Membership.



This is an introductory grade which is open to those wishing to study for the Institute’s Associates examinations provided they meet the eligibility requirements. Registration as a Student confers no voting rights. There are no designatory initials for Students.


Associate grade of Membership is open to those who have completed successfully the Institute’s examinations and who have had a period of not less than three years practical experience in Nigeria or Countries recognized by the Institute either in the management or administration of Business development, or in the capacity of an adviser or an analyst, or in any other field which the Council of the Institute considers appropriate. An Associate of the Institute is entitled to use the letters ABDI after his/her name.

Once Students have passed the relevant examinations and completed at least three years’ practical experience, they are eligible to apply for election to Associate grade. Associates can use the initials ABDI after their name and hold voting rights.


Fellow a grade of Membership to which an Associate may seek admission after completing normally a minimum of eight years full time experience in BD work, of which normally a minimum of five years full time experience has been spent in a position with substantial business development accountability and responsibility. At least five years of this experience must have been gained after admission as an Associate and CPD must be completed for three years prior to election. To achieve Fellow Status, Members will have been expected to demonstrate that they have made a worthwhile contribution to the broader understanding, appreciation and development of business development. A Fellow of the Institute is entitled to use the letters FBDI after his/her name.

This is the highest level of Membership and those elected have demonstrated that they have built on their skill and knowledge through Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and the practical application of that knowledge in their job. Fellows have also involved themselves in the wider BD’s arena. Fellows hold voting rights and are entitled to use the initials FBDI after their name.

They are also the only grade entitled to be elected to the Institute’s Council.

People elected as Fellows or Associates Members are only entitled to describe themselves as such whilst they are in active membership. This entitlement ceases if a Member resigns his/her membership.


Certified Business Development Analyst (CBDA) & Certified Business Development Service Providers (CBDSP)

These are special programs attached with the study of the Associate examination. The main focus of CBDA and CBDSP is that holders are expected to be specialist in business analysis and BD Services using the tools and models as enunciated by the Institute.

The Professional in Practice

This is a one day course for new Associates looking, through a series of practical workshops and case studies, at areas of professional judgment and ethics.

Continuing Professional Development

The CPD program is designed to formally recognize the continued study done by qualified Members of the Institute to ensure that they keep their knowledge up-to-date. Changes in the BD’s field mean that the education and experience gained when qualifying need to be constantly updated to ensure that Members maintain their high levels of knowledge.


All Members, Fellows, Associates, and Students, are required to adhere to the Code of Professional Conduct which is published as a separate booklet and also reproduced in the Yearbook, sent to all Members. All Members are advised to read this carefully.


As a member of the Institute you are required to adhere to the Code of Professional Conduct and to the Articles of Association. Article 12 contains the regulations relating to the four and Ten Year Rules which affect only Students. These regulations require Students to:

(a) Pass all of the Institute’s examinations within ten years of registering;

(b) Make a serious attempt at the examinations within any period of four years.

Student Membership must cease if these regulations are not met. Extensions can be granted to the four and Ten Year Rules in many circumstances.


  • Partner with the Institute as thought leaders in Business Development
  • Participate in the Institutes annual research forums and benchmark studies
  • Collaborate on direction and strategy for continuing growth and development of business-development best practices

The Institute offers three levels of Corporate Membership, making it possible for a wide range of organizations to participate in the Program.

Leadership Council

  • A carefully selected group of Industry leaders who set the standard for business-development excellence and serve on the Institute’s Council

Small Business Membership

  • Representatives of the unique needs of small businesses in the Institute’s Community of Practice, helping to set strategy and providing input on methods, processes, and tools designed explicitly for small business environments.


Approved Providers are authorized to deliver products, services, and support to the business development community in the areas of consulting, training, technology, and academic education. Approved Providers meet the Institute’s criteria that validate the quality and relevance of their products and services to help BD adopters achieve their capability growth targets. They deliver the following values to the user community:


Assist users with expert support in planning and conducting Business Development improvements.


Provide high quality training and consulting services directly aligned with the Institute’s growth paths.

Professional Support

Support the professional capabilities of user personnel with higher education and Business Development Research.

Approved Providers are available to business development users as part of a growing network around the world.