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Preparation Tools

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Before you begin: Are you eligible and willing to pursue certification?

Professionals must have at least five years of full-time, related work experience in the talent development profession or equivalent.

The Preparing for the CPLP Interactive Guide is a road map for the CPLP process. Use the program and the included self-assessments to determine your eligibility and readiness.

Ready to begin: What is the best study preparation method for you?

Candidates typically spend 80+ hours preparing for the Knowledge Exam and another 40+ hours to prepare for the Skills Application Exam.

Recommended: The ATD Learning System is the official learning resource for individuals preparing for the CPLP certification exam.

  • Purchase the online Learning System as a stand-alone option for individual study.
  • Add a print option for a hard copy in a tabbed binder for an additional fee.
  • The Learning System is $300 for members/$400 non-members for a 12-month subscription.

Optional: Preparation Programs

CPLP preparation options are offered in one of three formats: instructor-led live workshop, online workshop, or self-paced on-demand course. You may also join a study group offered by select ATD Chapters.


SAE Study Preparation Tools
Looking for the Skills Application Exam sample exams?


pCPLP Practice Exam

The purpose of the pCPLP is to help CPLP candidates prepare to take the CPLP multiple choice exam. There are 50 test items. There are no penalties for guessing so it is recommended that you answer all of the items. The pCPLP assessment will take approximately 50 minutes to complete.

Take the pCPLP Practice Exam. This link will direct you to the ATD Skill Tracker. Please sign in with your td.org credentials and select the Practice Test for CPLP from the menu when you are ready to begin.

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Planning Your Path to the APTD

Get started Early. Subject matter experts estimate a minimum of 50 hours will be required to prepare for the APTD exam. To see the primary areas of expertise and secondary area of expertise and foundational competency covered on the exam, take a look at the APTD exam's content outline.

Check your knowledge and get a feel for the type of questions that will be on the exam by taking the 30-question practice exam. This link will direct you to the ATD Skill Tracker. Please sign in with your td.org credentials and select the Practice Test for APTD when you are ready to begin.

Use the APTD Learning System, an essential resource for study for the exam. A 12-month subscription to the online resource is included in the cost of the 2017 APTD program fee. The APTD Learning System is an online textbook covering all areas of expertise tested on the APTD exam. Interactive quizzes, reference lists, tips, stories, cases, and cross-chapter links are included to support learning.

Register for the APTD On Demand course, which adapts in real-time to your performance—so no two learning sessions will ever be the same. This course is only available to 2017 pilot candidates and will be available in September for 2018 APTD candidates. For more information about this course or to request the link, email aptdcertification@td.org.