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Should You Stay Certified? YES!


Mon Apr 29 2019

Should You Stay Certified? YES!

I can’t believe it’s been almost six years since I earned the CPLP. Before obtaining the credential, I dreamt about this industry-elite certification, about expanding my learning and development skill set and building confidence as a professional. As I recertify for a second time, I’m as passionate today as I was doing so for the first time.

Let’s be honest—certification is a big deal. It requires time, preparation, knowledge and application of ATD’s areas of expertise, good test-taking ability, and a work product submission.. While challenging, it’s certainly doable with a strategy in place to complete the requirements. Earning the CPLP is different for everyone, however, so I’ll share my thoughts about certification and recertification and their value to me.


Not recertifying is simply not an option I would consider. Its value is much more than I originally thought, six years ago. Recertification allows for reflection on the work you’ve done over the past three years. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of what we do, whether it’s e-learning, instructional design, coaching, or facilitation. Approaching the recertification process allows you to take a strategic look at what you’ve done, the results you’ve seen, and why it all matters.

The CPLP has helped me with:

  • Greater career opportunities: I’ve landed roles at great companies with interesting work, challenging assignments, and a commitment to learning and development.

  • CPLP recognition: The CPLP has been recognized by companies I’m in partnership with and was a desired/preferred certification.

  • Confidence: My confidence, skill set, and experience continue to grow within L&D thanks to recertification. I have a greater understanding and application within talent development, organization development, workplace performance, and so forth.

  • Leadership opportunities: I’ve had amazing leadership opportunities, expanding my center of influence within learning and performance.

  • Fresh and relevant skill set: Recertifying helps you to continue learning. That’s what we do, right? It also can differentiate you in a rapidly changing marketplace. Recertification, whether continuing education or something different, helps keep your knowledge and skills current.

  • Giving back: Certification can seem daunting. It takes about a year to get ready for the CPLP. I love supporting fellow L&D professionals considering or preparing for the CPLP. I remember what it was like when I was preparing, what was helpful, and what I would do differently.

I’ve shared a little about the CPLP, recertification, and its value to me. Below are a few of my tips for preparing for the CPLP recertification, based on my own journey:

  • Be organized. Start a CPLP recertification folder and file documentation for recertification throughout the three-year period.

  • Start early. Many of us (myself included) think it will be easy to compile our work for recertification, so we put it off. While assembling a body of work is simple enough, review the requirements to be sure your work meets them. Catch misses early so you allow yourself enough time to meet the requirements in any given category.

  • Review the CPLP recertification documentation. Review the ATD Competency Model, recertification application, and worksheet. Follow instructions to ensure you have everything you need to successfully recertify.

  • Accrue more points than needed. While ATD wants everyone to successfully recertify, there can be times where your points may not be considered in a certain category. Accrue additional points so you have more than enough to cover you should that happen.

Finally, it’s important to emphasize that the CPLP is much more than an ongoing endorsement within the industry. This credential looks at what you have learned and how you can apply it to help people improve at what they do every day. We help people succeed.

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