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Have Questions About ATD Certifications?

Find the answers to our most frequently asked questions
Explore Our Talent Development Certifications
Which one is right for you?
Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD)
Discover our newest certification, the APTD, designed for talent development professionals who are in the early part of their careers or whose professional roles and aspirations are focused on a few areas of expertise.
  • The competencies included in the APTD are the basics of talent development that professionals can use every day, no matter the level within an organization or company.
  • Are you ready for the APTD exam? Ensure success with these study tools and prep courses.
  • Differentiate yourself in a competitive job market. Register for the APTD exam and validate your knowledge and skills in the field.
Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP)
You are taking a critical step in your professional development by exploring your CPLP certification. Successful CPLPs report that the process of getting their CPLP designation was a tremendous growth opportunity, allowing them to learn, give back to the profession, and make a positive impact on their careers.
  • The Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) is broad based and measures a talent development professionals’ competency in 10 areas of expertise (AOEs).
  • Ready to start your journey? Boost your confidence and knowledge with prep courses and study tools.
  • Becoming certified can build your skills, increase your earning potential, broaden your career opportunities, and unite you with an elite community of professionals.
Certified Professional in Learning & Performance (CPLP) FAQs
The answers to the most common questions about the CPLP are listed below:
What is the CPLP certification?

The Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) is a credential for training and development practitioners offered by ATD Certification Institute. It is a broad-based certification and addresses ten areas of expertise as defined by the ATD Competency Model.

What are the CPLP eligibility requirements?

To be eligible for the CPLP program, candidates must have at least:

  • Five (5) years of full-time professional work experience in the talent development or related fields; OR
  • Four (4) years of full-time professional work experience in the talent development or related fields AND one year of college or university study in talent development; OR
  • Have at least four (4) years of full-time professional work experience in talent development or related fields AND successful completion of an ATD Master Series program.

Click here for more information on eligibility.

What do I have to do to get it?

To become a CPLP, candidates must:

Have at least five (5) years of industry related experience, pass a knowledge exam consisting of 150 multiple-choice questions, and pass a Skills Application Exam (SAE) which is a computer-based exam consisting of four case studies and 100 questions in one of the following AOEs: Instructional Design, Training Delivery, or Managing Learning Programs.

For more information on the exam format, click here.

How much time will I have to invest?

Study times vary by individual. Most candidates spend a minimum of 80 hours to prepare for the knowledge exam and an additional 40+ hours studying for the Skills Application Exam.

Is there a prerequisite study/preparation requirement? And if so, what resources are available to do this?

There is no prerequisite study/preparation requirement for the CPLP program; however, most candidates will need to study to successfully pass the exam. Depending on your learning style and preference, there are a variety of study/preparation options available:

  • Take the free CPLP Practice Exam here.
  • Purchase the CPLP Learning System.
  • Attend an ATD Preparing for the CPLP Workshop (in person or online).
  • Join an ATD Chapter Study Group.
  • Find resources on the internet (study materials, workshops, study groups, etc.).
  • Use the SAE Study Guide created by ATD.

For more detailed information on CPLP Preparation options, click here.

What is the pass rate for the Program?

There is a slight variance in passing rates from window to window, however, pass rates have averaged about 72% for the Knowledge Exam and 70% for the Skills Application Exam.

What are the CPLP testing dates?

There are generally five testing windows per year for the CPLP exams. For the most recent list of testing windows, click here.

How much does it cost?

The cost is $900 USD for current ATD national members and $1250 USD for nonmembers. The CPLP registration fee includes testing seats for both exams during the registered testing windows, exam score reports, and CPLP Certificate and lapel pin once the credential is achieved.

Please note that study materials, preparation workshops, study group support, travel expenses to and from testing centers, transfers, and retesting fees are additional and paid by the candidate.

How long is the certification valid?

The CPLP credential is valid for three years. Individuals must maintain their certification by earning recertification points every three years. For more information about the CPLP recertification process, click here.

How many CPLP credential holders are there in the program to date?

As of February 2018, more than 2,500 CPLP credentials have been awarded.

How do I apply for the CPLP?

When you apply to take the CPLP exam, you will create an account in our certification application system and asked a series of questions about your background to ensure eligibility. Once your application is approved, you will be able to register to take the exam.

For more information about applying for the CPLP program, click here.

Who can I contact with specific questions?

For specific questions about the CPLP program, email certification@td.org for additional information.

What is the passing score for each exam?

For more information about how passing scores are calculated, download the CPLP Certification handbook that can be found at www.td.org/certification/active-candidates or email certification@td.org for an answer to your specific question.

Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD) FAQs
The answers to the most common questions we receive about the APTD are listed below:
How much work experience is required for the APTD?

Candidates must have three years of on-the-job experience in talent development or a related field/discipline or the equivalent. If a candidate has successfully completed ATD’s Master Instructional Designer or Master Trainer program, the eligibility requirement is two years of on-the-job experience.

What competencies does the APTD focus on?

The APTD focuses primarily on three AOEs from the ATD Competency Model. The AOEs are Instructional Design, Training Delivery, and Learning Technologies. Evaluating Learning Impact and the foundational competency of Global Mindset are also included throughout the exam. These competencies were identified by research as core building blocks for talent development professionals and are part of the ATD Competency Model.

What are the weighting of questions in the APTD exam?

The exam includes questions in the three main AOE's in the following proportions:

  • Instructional Design- 37%
  • Training Delivery- 37%
  • Learning Technologies- 26%

Evaluating Learning Impact and Global Mindset questions will also be tested, but there is no separate score for these two areas.

What are the APTD eligibility requirements?

To be eligible for the APTD program, all candidates must have at least:

  • 3 years of work experience in the talent development field or related fields/disciplines. Related disciplines include human resources, higher education, or similar; OR
  • 2 years of work experience in the talent development field or related fields or disciplines PLUS one year of college/university study in talent development or related course content; OR
  • 2 years of work experience in the talent development field or related field or disciplines PLUS successful completion of the ATD Master Instructional Designer or ATD Master Trainer program.

In all cases, at least 50% of work time should be related to instructional design, training delivery, or learning technologies.

How much does the APTD exam cost?

The APTD exam costs $400 for ATD members and $600 for nonmembers. This covers the cost of a seat in the exam testing center, a score report and a certificate upon achievement of the credential.

Your APTD exam registration fee covers the cost of all testing and test related materials for a one time sitting. Fees do not cover the cost of study or preparation materials, study group support, travel expenses to and from the testing center, transfers, or retesting fees.

What are my preparation options?

There is not a prerequisite study/preparation requirement for the APTD program; however, most candidates find it necessary to do so. You are not required to register for the APTD before purchasing any of the preparation options. Depending on your learning style and preference, there are a variety of study/preparation options available. Here are just a few suggestions:

When can I test?

There are typically five testing windows scheduled each year for the APTD in February, April, June, August and November. Click here for the current APTD testing schedule.

Is there a registration deadline?

Registration deadlines are approximately 30 days before each testing window begins. Click here for the current APTD testing schedule and registration deadlines.

What can I expect to see on the APTD exam?

The full APTD exam includes 115 multiple choice items and candidates will have two hours to complete the exam.

Candidates who have successfully obtained the ATD Masters in Training Delivery or Instructional Design, will test out of ID or TD will take modified versions of the exam. The modified exam will be 72 multiple choice items and will not include the test-out content. Candidates will have 90 minutes to complete their exam.

What is required of APTD Recertification?

The APTD credential is good for 3 years. Credential holders need to recertify every three years by earning 40 recertification credits. Click here for more information on APTD recertification requirements.

How much does Recertification cost?

The APTD Recertification Fee is $150, payable every three years with the APTD Recertification Application.

Is the APTD exam offered in international locations?

Yes, click here for the list of testing centers.

When will the exam be translated into other languages?

We have plans to translate the exam into Chinese in 2018

If I have a CPLP, do I need the APTD?

No. The APTD certification tests a portion of what is included in the CPLP. Current CPLP holders have already exhibited their mastery of this content.

I’m considering the CPLP; should I do the APTD instead?

If your years of experience in the talent development field fall short of the CPLP’s required five years, then you may want to consider the APTD. Even if you have more than five years of experience, if your professional work has been concentrated in just a few areas of expertise, the more-focused APTD may better suit your needs.

If I have been awarded an ATD Masters, should I get the APTD?

Those who have successfully completed a Masters series certificate (or two) through may want to show mastery of the core competencies of talent development and can do that by earning the APTD. Earning a Masters series credential through ATD will also give people with only two years’ experience in the field a leg up if they want to earn the APTD, because the Masters certificate would replace one year of eligibility. The APTD exam eligibility requires three years of experience.

In addition, due to the strength and rigor of the ATD Masters series, candidates who have successfully completed an ATD Master Instructional Designer or Master Trainer will be able to elect to test-out of that portion of the exam. Only one portion of the exam may be deemed exempt and candidates having both ATD Master Instructional Designer and Master Trainer designations will need to choose which section they wish to test-out. The cost of the exam will remain the same for full-test candidates and test-out candidates and the resulting certification will be equal.