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

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