Getting Started

Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) Interactive Guide

How Do I Get Started?

Welcome to the Certified Performance and Learning Professional program! By making the decision to explore becoming a CPLP, you are joining a proud community of over 2,500 CPLPs certified since 2007.

This Interactive Guide is designed to introduce you to what it takes to become a CPLP, what steps you must take, and the resources available to you along the way. You don’t have to do this alone! ATD is proud of the people and materials resources available to you throughout your CPLP journey.

In a nutshell, to be a CPLP you must have at least five years of related TD work experience, pass a comprehensive knowledge exam and a skills application exam (SAE). Successful CPLP candidates have a deep knowledge of and are able to apply the principles of Talent Development, they have experience in multiple areas of expertise, and they have prepared thoroughly for the CPLP exams.

We hope that you will take some time to get to know the resources available to you and that you will visit the ATD LinkedIn community. There is also a new online CPLP community available to you once you register for one of our Preparing for the CPLP educational programs. And we hope that you will call or email the CPLP staff at any point along the way. Our office is always open to you.

Becoming a CPLP will be both a challenge and an adventure. Enjoy the experience, and we look forward to hearing about your professional successes in the coming years.

Did you know? You can review the CPLP FAQs at any point that you have questions.

What Is The Knowledge Exam?

The exam is the first part of your CPLP testing process and covers the breadth of knowledge from all ten AOEs in the Competency Model. You will have three (3) hours to answer 150 multiple-choice questions.

What Is The Skills Application Exam (SAE)?

The SAE is designed to test your ability to apply knowledge and concepts to real-life scenarios in one of three AOEs: Instructional Design (ID), Training Delivery (TD), or Managing Learning Programs (MLP).

For more information on the SAE, please review the CPLP Handbook, available on the Active Candidates page on the ATD website.

What Is The Testing Schedule?

It’s not too early to consider when would be the right time for you to take the knowledge exam. The exam can be taken in one of four testing windows each year. Review the CPLP Test Schedule so that you can plan appropriately.

Fact: The SAE is three hours long and consist of 100 questions based on four case studies in the chosen AOE.