The Power of the Independent Distributor Advantage.


The Center for Independent Distributor Leadership (CIDL) is AD’s holistic education initiative to prepare the next generation of independent distributor leaders with the competencies and experiences to build long-term, sustainable success for their companies.

AD member companies can leverage the CIDL to develop and retain top talent through comprehensive leadership, operations and sales education programs designed for business and professional growth.

Learn more about the CIDL’s education pathways and enroll in courses today.

Visit the CIDL Website

Certification Pathways & Programs


Leadership Experience

Leadership Experience is a four-year certification program designed for those committed to being in leadership positions within their organizations. The certification track develops leaders who will build upon the success of independent distributors and ensure the sustainability of the independent business model.


Distributor Sales Leader

The Distributor Sales Leader curriculum provides sales professionals with a long-term development track including courses and interactive workshops to learn sales strategies ready for immediate field application. The certification integrates with members’ internal sales training programs and elevates sales teams to better grow top-line revenue in highly competitive markets.


Distributor Operations Leader

The Distributor Operations Leader program is designed to help operations leaders learn and implement best practices that optimize profitability and performance of independent distributors. The certification covers the entirety of distributor operations and providers leaders with the road map, tools, and network to drive sustainability and growth for member companies.


Distribution Manager Development Program

The Distribution Manager Development Program delivers emerging managers an introduction into the financial, operational, and sales disciplines required for a thriving independent distributor. The curriculum is developed in conjunction with Texas A&M University’s Industrial Distribution Program in the College of Engineering, among the most renowned and prestigious distribution programs.

Course Schedule

CIDL courses are offered in both in-person and virtual classroom settings, and upcoming courses are consistently being rolled out.

View Course Schedule



Our Mission

Our mission is to develop the current and future leaders of independent distribution. Through our comprehensive learning paths, we help leaders develop the competencies, relationships, and experiences to deliver the Independent Leadership Advantage.


Our Vision

We aspire to provide the most valuable development and education programs for independent distributors to compete, win and thrive — today and into the future.


Our Core Value

We believe the independent business model is the best model for distributors. Our in-depth and structured development opportunities provide the pathway for distributors to fully benefit from being independent.