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ATD Blog

The Power of CPLP


Mon Oct 06 2014

The Power of CPLP

If I could, I would create a compelling, catchy, and memorable song to serve as the CPLP alma mater. The tune that does often pop into my head is the ever popular “Proud to Be an American,” with the words modified: 

“Well there’s pride in every CPLP’s heart and it’s time we stand and say


That I'm proud to be a CPLP, where I know I'm credible and free.

And I won't forget the team that developed it; I’m confident and proud to be me.

And I'd gladly stand up next to you and promote it still today.

‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this work, God bless the ATD”

It’s a little cheesy, I know. But until we have a song we can call our own, this one will have to do.


So, what’s the big deal about CPLP? For me, it’s the 3 Cs: competence, confidence, and credibility.

Validated competence

Earning the CPLP validated my competence—even more so than earning my Master’s degree at FSU. Don’t get me wrong! I am forever grateful for my academic degree, and I am proud to be an alumna: Go ‘Noles!

Still, the CPLP designation has filled me with enormous pride. And I find that it is recognized among peers, colleagues, and other knowledgeable and experienced professionals in the field of learning and talent development.



Part 1, the CPLP Knowledge Exam, was the deal breaker for me. I used to hold the self-limiting belief that I didn’t test well. My degree program was primarily performance-based assessments through reports, research papers, and mini-work products. I can only remember taking one multiple-choice quiz during the entire program.

Indeed, I hadn’t had a full-blown exam that covered a wide range of knowledge in a very long time. Needless to say, I was nervous, anxious, and afraid that proving my expertise would rest on my less-than-stellar test-taking abilities.

Seconds before pressing the end-of-exam submission button, I got the distinct impression I was playing Russian roulette to prove I knew my stuff. When the results indicated success, tears of joy and exhilaration poured out along with the stress. Other test-takers came over to tell me not to worry, assuming I had failed the test. If they only knew! I will always remember that day.

Increased confidence

Now with the kick back in my step, it was time to celebrate. I’d passed Part 1—Yay for me! I could feel the second big C—confidence—creeping up my veins, and it felt wonderful.

The power of confidence is seductive and requires perfect balance. Too much of it can hurt you, while too little of it can definitely hold you back! My biggest aha moment—kicking that self-limiting belief of, “I don’t test well” in the butt—armed me with competence and confidence. I gave myself a few days to party and relax before tackling the rigor of Part 2, the CPLP Work Product.

The CPLP Knowledge Exam also further validated my FSU degree in a big way. The knowledge-based test served as a comprehensive master’s degree exam. The return on investment in my personal and professional development paid off big time—both as an academic (I’m still a nerd and always learning) and as a learning and performance professional.

Enhanced credibility

With competence and confidence embedded within, the final big C—credibility—was pounding on my door. Will others trust me and believe I am credible? Am I good enough to be effective?

The burning desire to take my career to a whole new level and become independent was born. If I passed the CPLP Work Product, I would be as credible as the IT guy who holds an MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) certification.

And the CPLP Work Product was an amazing learning experience. Not only did it challenge me to follow instructions, but it also forced me to pay attention to every minor detail. These are qualities I am proud to say I possessed before I took this exam and still have today; but when I was faced with the task of applying these qualities to the highest degree, I’ll admit I started to doubt myself. Fortunately, the doubt didn’t last long. I was determined to go the distance in this final stretch to enhance my professional credibility.

First, I reviewed the criteria for the work product submission. Next, I decided to showcase my talents by using a product that simply and thoroughly demonstrated the knowledge and skills for my selected Area of Expertise. Finally, I evaluated my progress along the way, making sure that my product met the criteria for most, if not all, areas. Incidentally, once I was determined and committed to earning the CPLP, I announced it to my boss, family, and friends, and asked for their support. Then I created a plan and mapped out the schedule based on deadlines for studying, researching, writing, and working with a buddy.

Continued celebration

On April 10, 2007, I received the best piece of snail mail from Tony Bingham, commending me for earning the CPLP designation. That is another day now perfectly preserved in my memory bank. It was also another great reason to celebrate! Completely armed with the three Cs, as well as three new client contracts, I took the leap of faith to go independent in 2008. Today, I am still going strong.

I can’t say enough about this certification. If you’re on the fence or looking for more competence, confidence, and credibility, earning the CPLP holds the power of the three Cs—even if it doesn’t yet have a catchy alma mater song!

Learn more about the CPLP Certification.

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