Sunday, August 17, 2008

2009 ASTD International Conference & Exposition (ASTD ICE)

I've been on the road for the past couple of weeks, working hard but enjoying my travels immensely.

I've spent most of my time meeting and collaborating with learning & performance professionals from all over the world, including participating as a member of the planning committee for the 2009 ASTD International Conference & Exposition (ASTD ICE).

What a blast!

The committee's primary purpose is to construct the educational tracks for the conference. That means we spent quite a lot of time reviewing speaker proposals and discussing the types of educational opportunities that have worked (or not worked) at the conference in the past.

From there, we worked long hours in a training room to lay out the conference tracks and session formats.

We also spent quite a bit of time brainstorming ideas for keynote speakers and had a lot of conversation around our ideas for improving the ASTD ICE conference booklet - especially for folks visiting from outside the USA.

I am sworn to secrecy - can't say much! - but there are definite changes to some of the session delivery methods.

I'm really happy with the results - and am hoping (of course!) that ASTD ICE attendees are happy with them too!

Participation on the planning committee is a two (2) year run - which means my freshman year is this one - planning the 2009 ASTD ICE event for Washington D.C.

My senior year - graduation! - will be in planning the 2010 ASTD ICE event for home sweet home Chicago. :-)

So - please feel free to comment below - or send me an email - if you have something to share about your experiences at past ASTD ICE events or ideas for the future. I would love to hear from you!

Just a quick shout-out to my committee member peers - thanks, all, for sharing your insights, experiences, and for your continued support.

I really can't accurately articulate how much this community means to me - both professionally and personally.


~ Trish Uhl, PMP, CPLP
Owl's Ledge LLC

Sunday, July 27, 2008

CPLP - Three Years Forward

It's three years forward since I first got involved with the Certified Professional in Learning & Performance (CPLP) program - back in 2005 when the CPLP Pilot kicked off in late March, just after my birthday.

I sat the first ever CPLP knowledge-based exam in June 2005.

It was a busy, hectic year - I spent the spring participating in the pilot of a brand new professional certification and then spent the late summer/early fall getting married in Vancouver and honeymooning in Alaska.

People who know me - folks who were part of that original North American study group can tell you about the long conference calls and late nights agonizing over the program requirements and the high anxiety about the exam.

My husband could tell you about the time I spent on our honeymoon - from the suite in Vancouver, to the cruise ship sailing the Inside Passage, to snagging Internet and cell access in fits & starts during the land tour - in an effort to stay in touch with the frantic Pilot candidates who sat the exam in September 2005.

Yes, I am passionate about the CPLP - because of the competency model and the dedicated professionals it represents.

But that isn't the point.

The point here is that my husband was a patient man who supported my efforts with the CPLP from the very start. Not only supported them, but worked hard on elements of the Owl's Ledge materials as well - from proofing exam questions, to researching references and resources, to making me laugh when I wanted to sit down and put my head in my hands.

My heart breaks to say that my husband, Brian Haltom, passed away in early June this year.

Since then, I've been struggling with how to get going again.

Brian's illness and passing are the reasons I haven't written - either blog posts or Tips of the Week.

I've struggled with what to say - do I even say anything at all?

After weeks of turning it over in my head, yes, yes - I feel the need to speak on it.

So here I am - decision made - this is where I need to start.

If Brian were here, he'd smile and shake his head, and wander off to fix us each a cup of hot tea - knowing that I won't surface from my laptop again for at least a couple of hours...

So, to all of you, thank you - THANK YOU - the outpouring of support from the CPLP community worldwide has been inspiring and humbling. I am so very, very thankful for your kind words, positive energy, and good thoughts.

It is this sense of community - all of you who I have had the honour of meeting - that keeps me on this path - writing and exploring all things CPLP.

To those of you who are struggling, who may have entered the CPLP program and found that other elements of life have invaded - that your priorities have changed - honour them.

Honour yourself.

The program will be here - as will the growing CPLP community - when you are ready again to forge ahead.
Many, many good thoughts from me & mine to you & yours on this absolutely gorgeous day in Chicago.

I will see you all soon - here in this blog and at with new tips, articles, and videos.

Take good care -

~ Trish Uhl, PMP, CPLP
Owl's Ledge LLC

Friday, April 18, 2008

ASTD CPLP - Recertification

Unbelievable how fast time is passing!

Those of us with CPLP certification from the 2005 CPLP Pilot are due for recertification in less than a year.

We have to have our "60 points in 3 years" recertification submission in to the ASTD Certification Institute by March 31st, 2009.

We were the first to go for CPLP certification; we will be the guinea pigs in figuring out CPLP recertification. Go CPLP Pilot!

Stay tuned to this blog for details as the recertification process develops.

Do you have questions about the recertification process? Please feel free to post them below in the comments area.


This just in from the ASTD Certification Institute (via email - 4/18/2008):

Dear CPLP,

Hello! We hope that you are having an enjoyable spring!

We wanted to touch base with you because your initial three-year certification cycle will expire in 2009. This is the first in a series of emails that we will be sending out regarding CPLP recertification. The purpose of this information is to enable you to plan your CPLP recertification submission.


Visit for detailed information about CPLP recertification.

1. You should be working towards completing the required 60 points of continuing education/professional development.
2. Review the Recertification Guidelines and the Recertification Application to familiarize yourself with the myriad of activities that earn credits.
3. Use the Recertification Application to assist you in the tracking and recording of completed activities.

• Attached is the preliminary list of Recertification FAQs. [Opens PDF]
• We will be gathering questions from candidates and updating the FAQ document periodically. Updates will be published on the website as needed.
• More information will be forthcoming via email updates in the months ahead!
• Any questions? Contact our newest ASTD CI staff member, Amanda Riordan Caceres, at or (703) 683-7251.

We hope that this information is helpful. Let us know if you have any questions or if we can provide further assistance. We look forward to working with you as our inaugural recertification cycle gets underway!

Thank you,

The CPLP Certification Team

~ Trish Uhl, PMP, CPLP
Owl's Ledge LLC

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Certified Professional in Learning & Performance (CPLP) - The Fundamentals

Lots of people ask me for fundamental information regarding the ASTD CPLP credentialing program - the Certified Professional in Learning & Performance (CPLP).

Here are the highlights:

Who administers the CPLP?
The Certified Professional in Learning & Performance (CPLP) credential is administered by the ASTD Certification Institute – a separate legal entity from ASTD.

The official site for the credential is:

Where can I find official credentialing program details & policies?
Details of the credentialing program & policies can be found under the CPLP Bulletin link (menu on left of the site). Matter of fact, if you check out Appendix C of Bulletin PDF file, you’ll find a complete listing of all exam objectives (essentially, all of the subject matter covered on the multiple choice exam).

What does the CPLP measure?
The CPLP measures a candidate's competence in nine (9) Areas of Expertise, including:
  • Designing Learning
  • Delivering Training
  • Human Performance Improvement
  • Measuring & Evaluating
  • Facilitating Organizational Change
  • Managing the Learning Function
  • Coaching
  • Managing Organizational Knowledge
  • Career Planning & Talent Management
These Areas of Expertise are based on the nine (9) Areas of Expertise found in the 2004 ASTD Competency Model:

What's involved with the CPLP certification process?
The certification process is divided into two phases:
  • Phase I: CPLP Knowledge-based Exam (150 question multiple choice exam);pass that and move on to
  • Phase II: CPLP Work Product submission (submission of work samples and lots of narrative describing how you produced them).

How old is the CPLP? and who has it?

The CPLP has been operational for 2 years (it's 3 years old, if you count the 2005 Pilot). The credential is currently held by 543 people worldwide.

CPLPs vary widely across the learning & performance spectrum; it’s held by – OD professionals, HPI practitioners, instructional designers, stand-up facilitators, professional coaches, etc.

CPLPs can also be found in a wide variety of industries – legal, finance, manufacturing, luxury brands/beauty, insurance, health, telecom, retail, academic, etc.

What are the eligibility requirements?

You must meet eligibility requirements (3 years industry experience) to apply for candidacy. Please see the official ASTD Certification Institute Web site for more specific details:

What are the CPLP registration fees?
Current candidate registration fees are: $750 (ASTD member) $950 (ASTD non-member)

My understanding is that ASTD is increasing the registration fees in June 2008.

Your registration fee covers your entry into the program; ASTD does not provide any study materials as part of registration.

What study materials are available?

ASTD sells some study materials (for the exam only) including the ASTD Learning System (9 volume set based on the Competency Model), ASTD Learning System Flash Cards, 2 day prep workshop, and pCPLP (online practice exam). Check the ASTD Web site – – for pricing.

My company – Owl’s Ledge – provides support services as well – study preparation materials, coaching, facilitated workshops, etc.

Our subscription site – – contains a host of study materials, including online video, practice exams, etc.

Does Owl's Ledge provide practice exams?

Yes - we have a series of CPLP practice exams - with roots going back 3 years to the pilot! - available through our subscription Web site. Unlimited access to the exams (and other materials) is available as part of the subscription fees.

Are coaching services available for assistance with the Work Product Submission?

Owl's Ledge also provides coaching services for the Work Product Submission phase. Send me an email if you're interested in learning more:

You’ll even find a place to sign up for free tips of the week on the homepage of the site.

Are there any CPLP prep facilitated workshops?
We also partner with local ASTD chapters to offer CPLP prep workshops (known as the Boot Camp) around the country.

You'll find me facilitating a CPLP Boot Camp in September 2008 for the Chicagoland Chapter, ASTD:

And I’m also in the process of scheduling a workshop in Los Angeles in early October.

How much study time does the credentialing process require?

From a studying perspective, we recommend a minimum of 10-12 weeks (1-2 hours of study per week) to prepare for the CPLP Knowledge-based Exam.

For the Work Product Submission phase, we recommend a minimum of 30 hours to assemble your work product submission packet - that's above & beyond the time that you spent to do the initial project work in the first place.

Mileage may vary - these are estimates only. It all depends on how you study and the time you, personally, require to prepare.

How fast can I become certified? How long does the process take?

It depends on when you sit the exam and when you submit work product (you can't do either at any time; there are specific dates you have to meet).

Candidates who enter the program and successfully complete the work - on time, on track - and pass both phases of the process! - can become certified within 4 to 7 months.

Please feel free to post comments below if you have any questions, comments, or observations!

I'm off to sing a happy happy MY TAXES ARE FILED - YAY! song...

~ Trish Uhl, PMP, CPLP
Owl's Ledge LLC

Monday, April 07, 2008

Instructional Design Models

Okay, okay, okay - I was hunting around for something informative on instructional design and I landed on something incredily kitchy!

And I do mean kitchy.

Between the horror movie lettering at the top and the cheesy graphics (thumbs up!) this looks & sounds like something Ed Wood would have shot. :-P

Informative? For about 45 seconds in the middle there.

Funny? You betcha. :-)

Sometimes in this study process, you've just got to kick back and laugh a little!

We could use a bit of a giggle on this end, as we continue to develop & publish content on and re-design our CPLP Work Product Coaching Services.

The blogosphere serves as a good creative outlet. Fun videos make great distractions.

Ah well. Back to the storyboards and project plan...

~ Trish Uhl, PMP, CPLP
Owl's Ledge LLC

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Prepping for the CPLP

It's been three years since I prepared for and sat the CPLP Knowledge-based Exam and I'm thrilled to discover how much of the material has stayed with me.

Sure, I revisit the material quite a bit while coaching new CPLP candidates, but in terms of understanding the material well enough to pass the exam, it's mostly an overview for me at this point.

That is, until I am re-introduced to subjects that caught my fancy back then, and find that they still catch my fancy today.

Like this presentation by Meg Wheatley, based on her book "Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time."

Ms. Wheatley is well known in business management circles for her work in Chaos Theory and Systems Theory. Anyone who's feeling a bit out-of-synch with what's happening in corporations today should pick up a copy of "Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World" for some explanations and insights into how we're making the shift from Industrial Age to Information Age.

And CPLP candidates - I can't recommend better material for developing applied knowledge of how these theories are being applied to business (and are addressed on the exam).

So watch the video. Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

What's floating your boat? What have you learned in the course of the certification process that has really resonated with you? Post below!

~ Trish Uhl, PMP, CPLP
Owl's Ledge LLC

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Oh yes - the fact that the CPLP Raters Workshop was held last weekend (that's the event where raters fly in from all over to score work product submissions in one long weekend) - is a fact that's pretty well known.

So the questions are pouring in - WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY RESULTS??

Unfortunately, there's no easy answer. :-/

Here's the skinny -

Rater Workshops are usually scheduled within a month after a cohort's deadline for work product submissions. In this case, the current work product cohort submitted work product by February 29th - and the workshop was subsequently scheduled for the last weekend in March.

Most work product submissions were scored then - during the long weekend that was the Raters Workshop held in late March.


There are always some submissions that become outliers - submissions that require special attention - and their existence is a good bit of the reason as to why scores (and, therefore, certification status) aren't known immediately after the workshop.

Scores are not sent out until *all* work product submissions are ready to go - and that means addressing (and resolving) the anomolies first.

And that takes time.

This is the reason why WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY RESULTS?? is such a hard question to answer. :-/

I sympathize - empathize even! - believe me.

I sat the very first CPLP Knowledge-based Exam during the pilot in June of 2005 and didn't find out my EXAM SCORE until after Thanksgiving.

Seriously. 5 months.

Not just me - but all of the folks from the 2005 June and September pilot cohorts - went through that experience.


Because three years ago, the ASTD Certification Institute had to crunch the numbers to figure out what a passing score was - and they couldn't do that until all the data was in - and all data wasn't "in" until after all pilot participants sat the exam.

AND - because of Hurricane Katrina - the exam was kept open until October 2005, to give folks in the affected areas a chance to participate in the pilot.

So even the folks who sat the exam in September 2005 had to wait at least 2 months to even know their exam scores.

Anticipation. Oh yes. We know it well!

Relief - you want to know - either way! - because you feel almost like you're in limbo until you get the results.

Like you need to know so you can plan your next steps.

Like holding your breath and waiting to exhale.

Thank goodness candidates now receive their exam scores shortly after submitting their exams!

As for the work product submission, my gut says (and this is pure instinct) that the results will start to trickle out in the next couple of weeks - my guess is late April.

Until then, I wish you all restful nights and happy days - and good news, when the time comes!

~ Trish Uhl, PMP, CPLP
Owl's Ledge LLC

Monday, March 31, 2008

Facilitating Organizational Change

Oooooo! And I forgot to mention in my earlier post - there's also a Facilitating Organizational Change area of expertise that work product can be submitted for.

To meet the CPLP requirements, you must have a project where you helped an organization design and implement a change.

You will need to submit a change initiative project report, including:
  • Documentation of initial contact or presenting issue
  • Assessment/analysis
  • Proposal, plan, or statement of work
  • Facilitated action
  • Results and measurement

AND I forgot to mention (Drrrr!) that Improving Human Performance is also weighted at 15% of the CPLP Knowledge-based Exam.

Facilitating Organizational Change is weighted at 12%.

Let me flip this around...

This means that folks who are instructional designers by trade MUST demonstrate a level of knowledge and application of HPI and OD terms, tools, and techniques in order to master the CPLP Knowledge-based exam and move on to the Work Product submission.

So not only do all CPLP candidates need to know a little something about the ADDIE model, but all candidates must also be familiar with Kurt Lewin, John Kotter, and Kaoru Ishikawa - among many many other things!

~ Trish Uhl, PMP, CPLP
Owl's Ledge LLC

CPLP, CPT & Higher Education

Good morning -

I'm responding to reader comments this morning.

Cool beans on the CPLP job postings - they're popping up everywhere!

And - definitely! - both certifications have value. Choosing one, or both (or neither, really) has everything to do with whatever's required for you to achieve your goals.

For some, that's CPT. For others, that's CPLP. I know quite a few folks who are certified in both.

And - for yet others - it's a Masters or Ph.D (although I know quite a few who have both a higher degree and the CPLP as well).

Even then certification and education are not mutually exclusive. There are academic institutions that will take the work you put into achieving something like the CPLP and help you apply it to your undergrad or graduate degree. DePaul University's School for New Learning is one such academic institution.

As for the CPLP relying heavily on instructional design, I'm not sure why some people have that perception.

Designing Learning - just one of nine (9) areas of expertise (AOE) covered on the exam - is weighted at 15% of the CPLP Knowledge-based Exam, and, even so, that AOE is not entirely focused on instructional design.

Then there's Phase II - the Work Product Submission phase. Candidates submit a work sample (and a whole bunch of narrative on what they did, why they did it, etc) based on their selection of one AOE. There are currently six (6) areas of expertise to choose from - including HPI, measurement & evaluation, managing the learning function, etc.

Designing Learning is the only AOE that focuses on instructional design in the work product; work samples include analysis and design documents.

Other AOEs do not require the same.

For example, submitting for Improving Human Performance requires submission of a performance improvement project report for a project where you analyzed a performance gap and developed a solution to close it.

No ID required. :-)

BTW - Please drop me an email if you'd like to speak with someone who holds the CPT and CPLP, or someone who has a Ph.D and the CPLP.

I know some folks who would be happy to share their experiences. :-)

~ Trish Uhl, PMP, CPLP
Owl's Ledge LLC

New CPLP Candidate Bulletin Posted

New CPLP Candidate Bulletin Posted!

The Candidate Bulletin is a guide published by the ASTD Certification Institute (ASTD CI) which provides the CPLP curious, CPLP candidates, and the CPLP certified with details of the CPLP
program, process, and policies.

The new CPLP Candidate Bulletin is posted on the ASTD CI Web site at:

The Skinny --

CPLP candidates working on their Work Product submissions will find a whole host of new information to assist them in the submission process, including sample templates of the Work Product application forms for the Designing Learning, Delivering Training and Measuring & Evaluation areas of expertise. (See Appendix F)

CPLP candidates studying for the CPLP Knowledge-based Exam will find a Sample Test (Appendix B), as well as a full listing of exam content (Appendix C).

For those curious about the CPLP certification program and process, the Candidate Bulletin is an excellent (and F.R.E.E) reference on all things CPLP, including detailed requirements for both phases of the certification program, as well as a CPLP Readiness Assessment.

Follow-on questions are now called Challenge questions!===============================================================

~ Trish Uhl, PMP, CPLP
Owl's Ledge LLC - The CPLP Certification Experts