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Certified Professional in Learning & Performance (CPLP) FAQs
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 requirements?

Click here for CPLP program requirements.

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

How much time will I have to invest?

Study times vary by individual. Most candidates spend a minimum of eighty 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:

  • Create your own materials using the CPLP Knowledge Exam Content Outline.
  • Use the assessment tools and study plan template found in the Interactive Guide
  • Take the free CPLP Practice Exam here.
  • Purchase the ATD 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.
What is the pass rate for the Program?

There is a slight variance in passing rates from window to window.

Click here to see cumulative program statistics for the program.

What are the CPLP testing dates?

Click here to see the current schedule.

How much does it cost?

The cost is $900.00 USD for current ATD national members and $1250.00 USD for nonmembers. The CPLP registration fee includes testing seats for exam during the registered 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. Please click here for more information about the recertification process.

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

As of February 2017, a total of more than 2,300 CPLP credentials have been awarded.

How do I apply?

You can apply to the CPLP program online at here.

Who can I contact with specific questions?

Email or call Customer Care at 1.800.628.2783.

What is the passing score for each exam?

The passing score for the Knowledge Exam (KE) is 65% across all AOEs.

The passing score for the Skills Application Exam (SAE): candidates are required to answer 65-70% of non-experimental items correctly to pass the exam.

Do you have more questions? Contact ATD Customer Care

Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD) FAQs
How much work experience is required for this new certification?

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 will this certification focus on?

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

What are the weightings of the 3 AOEs?
  • 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 eligibility requirements?

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

• Have at least three years of work experience (at least 50% of time related to instructional design, training delivery, or learning technology) in the talent development field or related fields/disciplines. Related disciplines include human resources, higher education, or similar; OR
• Have at least two years of work experience (at least 50% of time related to instructional design, training delivery, or learning technology) 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
• Have at least two years of work experience (at least 50% of time related to instructional design, training delivery, or learning technology) in the talent development field or related field or disciplines PLUS successful completion of the ATD Master Instructional Designer or ATD Master Trainer program.

How much does the APTD exam cost?

The APTD exam costs $400 for ATD members and $600 for nonmembers.

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:

Your APTD 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.

When can I test?

There are five testing windows scheduled for 2018 in February, April, June August and November.

When do applications open?

APTD registration is open now. The registrations deadlines are approximately 30 days before each testing window begins.

What can I expect to see on the APTD exam?

The full APTD exam will be 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 and who will test out of ID or TD will take modified versions of the exam. The modified exam will be 72 multiple choice items, will not include the test-out content, and candidates will have 90 minutes to complete their exam.

What is required of APTD Recertification?

All certificants who earn the APTD will need to recertify every three years by paying a $150 Recertification Fee and earning 40 recertification credits.

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?


When will the exam be translated into other languages?

We have plans to translate the exam 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 (or four years plus education), then you may want to consider the APTD. If you’ve concentrated on a few areas of expertise in your professional work, 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 ATD CI 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.