It was November 12, 2017, when I learned I had achieved something that I feel so proud of now. After 18 months of continuous preparation, hard work, and Three trails , I passed the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) exams. It was a long, harsh journey, yet very fruitful for me.
It all started when I realized that most of the certificates I’d earned or training sessions I’d attended covered only one or two areas that a learning professional should be aware of. I wanted something more comprehensive and linked to business and performance improvement to satisfy my professional needs and enrich my career. So I made up my mind to start the CPLP journey and get certified.
I had to study a lot of modules that covered many topics, so without wasting any time, I got the material and started hitting the books. Four months later, I took the exam and I failed!
I really was shocked when the results came out. It wasn’t failure that bothered me, but the fact that I’d done everything I could. I wondered what went wrong. I’d studied the material carefully and understood the topics, and I thought I’d done well on the exam. I was determined to take the exam again, of course, but I was scared there would be nothing more to do.
I wanted to pass this exam more than I hated failing at it, so putting all the negative thoughts aside, I started the whole process again, and that’s when magic happened.
Every time I studied a new point, topic, or knowledge area, I started getting more insights that I didn’t have before. It was like a river of wisdom. The repetition was really useful for me, and I even wondered how I had expected to pass the exam without knowing all this new information!
It took me a year and a half to complete the entire journey of getting CPLP certified. I consider this period the most productive, exciting, valuable, fruitful, and influential period of my entire career so far. On a relatively sunny morning in November, I got my results and knew that I had passed the exam.
Becoming a CPLP had a great influence on my career. I am now able to add a better and deeper value to my organization. In my job as a talent development manager at the largest retail pharmacies chain in the Middle East and North Africa, it allowed me to develop more realistic solutions than before. These solutions now have a clear effect on organizational performance and progress.
For those who intend to earn the certification in the future, I have four pieces of advice. Each stands for a letter from the certification’s name, and I hope it can guide you through your journey.
C: Clarify your objective for getting this certification. If you're only looking to add four letters after your name, this certification isn't for you. But if you're looking for something that lifts your knowledge to a new professional level of performance improvement and strengthens your added value, this is what you're looking for.
P: Practice what you learn. While you're preparing for the exam, ask yourself: How can I apply what I am studying in reality? After every topic, you’ll find a question section named, “How can I Apply,” where you’re given a set of scenarios. Remember that studying without application is very superficial and won’t be sufficient to pass the exam.
L: Learn collaboratively from and with others. Another thing that I feel very lucky and grateful to have had is a study group. Ten of us from the same company, Nahdi, used to meet face-to-face or virtually on a regular basis to discuss what we’d studied and share our thoughts and insights. We used to emphasize what we studied by sharing videos, blog posts, or best practices. For me, that was just as useful as the material, or maybe more, because it helped us translate the written knowledge into live examples. By the way, Nahdi has been recognized as a 2017 CPLP Employer as a result of these activities.
- P: The prize is the journey, not the certification. Getting certified is really important and useful, but the journey toward it is way more fruitful and enjoyable. I see many people stressing over the preparation and studying without paying attention to how amazing this journey is. Moreover, they delay all the joy to after they get certified. I believe they really waste a big portion of the great experience they can have. For me, the certification was like the cherry on top, and the real pleasure was in the journey. Enjoy every new piece of information you learn, the advice you help others with, and the meetings and discussions with your study group. Enjoy every moment you spend learning, from the moment you make the decision to take the certification until you get it. This really makes studying less stressful and more joyful.