Thursday, July 03, 2014

ASTD Certification - What if I don't have all the necessary work samples? - ASK Trish: CPLP Work Product Q&A

Q: My challenge is pulling together the documentation that supports the project -- emails, project plan. The company where I did the my project work was acquired and I was laid off. 

My main contact and her direct reports - that I provided consulting services and ultimately project deliverables to - are also no longer with the company. 

I have all the project work -- programs I facilitated, an action plan -- but I don't have the emails (and other communications) to leadership that show my thought process and the ultimate project plan.

Is this going to be a problem? If so, how might I overcome this hurdle?


A: Unfortunately, you're describing a common situation many other CPLP candidates have faced -- you have many (if not all) of the "performance-related" work samples, but little (or none) of the "project-related deliverables."

Yes - this gap is a MAJOR barrier to your submission's success.

The short answer is: You are REQUIRED to include BOTH kinds of work samples in your submission. To not do so means not meeting CPLP program requirements, which translates into your submission being disqualified or failed.

The #1 way to know whether or not your project is appropriate for Work Product submission is to determine whether it meets ALL CPLP Work Product requirements or not.

If it does meet requirements, then you're off to a good start.

If it does not meet requirements, for any reason, then it's not the right project.

Here's how you can assess your project against requirements:

* Review the CPLP Certification Handbook for all of the Key Actions for your Area of Expertise (AOE). Keep in mind - you MUST obviously demonstrate these Key Actions in your submission - through your words and work samples.


* Create a table (matrix). List out all of the Key Actions for your AOE in one column, then list the evidence you have for each in a second column.

If you have gaps, you may have problems - depends on how severe the gaps are - and which materials are missing.

For example, with Performance Improvement (PI) you MUST provide evidence of how you identified customers and other stakeholders; understood their needs; determined their decision-making authority; and built and sustained relationships with them.

KA9 alone reads: "Demonstrated sufficient and relevant knowledge about the business in communications with the client."

In this example, if you're submitting under PI and you're missing communications from meetings, reports, emails, discussions, etc. then you can immediately see the gap.

It's not enough just to articulate to the Raters (via your essay responses) something you cannot produce evidence of, regardless of the reason why you can't produce the evidence.

You may find that you need to submit a different project - one that you have all required work samples for that demonstrate all requirements.

I know reading that can sometimes be disappointing, but at least you can plan for it and make choices (e.g. wait to submit, submit another project, submit and take your chances, etc).

To your success!

~ trish

~ Trish Uhl, PMP, CPLP
Certified Professional in Learning & Performance (CPLP) since April 2006!

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