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ATD Blog

The APTD Journey: Beyond the Certification

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Have you ever made a decision you knew deep down was the right one, even if it felt a little delayed?
That’s exactly how I felt the moment I earned my Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD®) certification. It wasn’t just about the passing score; it was the entire journey that made it so rewarding—the insightful discussions with colleagues in study groups; the moments of inspiration from expert talks; and the thrill of piecing together structured theories, models, and frameworks. It was about devouring books, articles, and resources, and experiencing those aha moments of discovery.

Earning my APTD certification has fundamentally transformed how I approach my work. Here are some key ways it’s made a difference:

  • Enhanced Credibility: The certification validates my expertise, giving superiors greater confidence in my recommendations and decisions. During meetings, I can speak with the authority that comes from demonstrably proven knowledge.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: The certification emphasizes a science-based approach, replacing intuition with evidence-based practices. I can now make data-driven decisions, supported by research and best practices in the field.
  • Structured and Organized Approach: Throughout my learning journey, I studied practical models, theories, and frameworks. These valuable tools not only provided a deeper understanding of the subject matter but also equipped me with a structured approach to handling problems. By applying these frameworks, I learned to analyze situations systematically and develop effective solutions.
  • Lifelong Learning Mindset: The journey of earning APTD certification has instilled a love for continuous learning. I’m now actively seeking out new knowledge and developments in the field to stay ahead of the curve.

The certification has not just leveraged how I approach my work, but it’s also had a profound impact on my personal brand in several ways:

  • Increased Credibility: APTD certification validates my knowledge and skills in the learning and development field and demonstrates my commitment to professional development.
  • Global Networking Opportunities: The certification program fostered connections with like-minded individuals across the globe. These connections have provided valuable insights and helped me build a strong reputation within the L&D field.
  • Enhanced Visibility and Recognition: Earning my APTD certification has become a key differentiator, boosting my visibility within the (L&D) industry. This recognition positions me as a valuable asset, ultimately strengthening my personal brand.

I’m fortunate to work in an organization that prioritizes continuous learning and development. The positive impact of the certification extends beyond personal growth: I’ve garnered recognition from both leadership and the organization.
You might be thinking, “This all sounds great, but what if I struggle with procrastination? What if discipline scares me and studying feels overwhelming?” Believe me, I’ve been there. Those doubts can feel like a brick wall blocking your path. But here’s the secret: Most successful people face similar challenges. The key isn’t to be perfect; it’s to take the first step anyway. As the saying goes, “Do it scared!”


That’s why I’m here to share my tips on staying accountable and motivated throughout the learning journey:

  • Create a Structured Study Plan: I created a realistic timeline and study schedule that helped me break down the learning process into manageable chunks. This reduced the feeling of being overwhelmed and made progress achievable.
  • Organize Your Resources: I gathered all the study materials I needed beforehand, then categorized them as essential, supplementary, or optional. This helped me prioritize and avoid feeling overwhelmed by information.
  • Mind Maps: A technique that became a game changer for me was creating mind maps, or concept maps. This visual approach helped me retain information more easily, connect related concepts, and gain a holistic understanding of the entire knowledgebase.
  • Join a Study Group: Sharing the journey with others can be incredibly motivating. Participating in discussions, explaining concepts to others (“teach back”), and learning from different perspectives helped solidify my understanding and kept me engaged. (Tip: If joining a group isn’t feasible, consider finding a study partner or mentor to support you.)
  • Visualization: I imagined the feeling of accomplishment and the opportunities it would open for me. Visualization can be a powerful motivator when facing challenges.

By incorporating these tips into my study routine, I significantly increased my chances of staying accountable, motivated, and ultimately achieving my certification goals.

Remember, don’t let procrastination hold you back. Take control of your learning journey, and invest in your future!

About the Author

Moushira Mansour is a nine-year learning and development professional with a passion for empowering individuals and organizations through strategic talent development initiatives. She combines her technical skills with empathy and collaboration to unlock possibilities and inspire others to reach their full potential.

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Congratulations on earning your APTD certification, Moushira! Your dedication to talent development and the strategic approach you described is truly inspiring. Wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
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Thank you Moushira.
Your article is very structured and organized, reflecting the real experience you've gained.
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Congratulations, Moushira! Your dedication and diligence truly shine through in your remarkable achievement. It's clear you set this as a significant goal, and you've accomplished it with great success. Best wishes in all your future endeavors.
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