When you are pushed to deliver more value in every assignment you take on, learning and growing is something that becomes an integral part of that endeavor. Despite cultivating a healthy habit of learning, there were times I asked myself, how good am I in what I do? What more could I do to be counted among the best in the business?
When I first heard about the CPLP, my first reaction was “Why do I need it?” I found comfort in satisfied clients and was content with the positive feedback I got from clients. I wasn’t sure that I needed any further credentials, but I also knew that when I was ready, I wanted to have the CPLP credential after my name because it signifies the highest credential for professionals in talent development. So, in July 2015 I made up my mind to become CPLP certified.
Based on the breadth and depth that the ATD competency framework covers, and how much the CPLP certification is valued and admired internationally for how rigorous the exam is, I knew I was going to have to work hard to earn the credential. I submitted my application, purchased the ATD Learning System, and began to prepare for the Knowledge Exam.
Completing the “Can I Recall It?” and “Can I Apply It?” quizzes after each chapter was very helpful during my preparation. The “Can I Recall?” quizzes helped me comprehend theories, concepts, and techniques; they forced me to think through each answer carefully to choose the best response and understand why the others were not. The “Can I Apply It?” quizzes helped me relate theories and techniques to various situations by describing the scenario and requiring me to think through each option to choose the best response. I thoroughly enjoyed this process.
If you are preparing for the CPLP, don’t be intimidated by the number of pages in the ATD Learning System. Understand the big picture (framework) of an area of expertise, and then find the building blocks (principles, theories, and techniques) that make up the big picture. Understand how they all—individually and collectively—relate and can be applied to a situation to deliver a better outcome. I found that moving from the big picture to minute details helped me become better prepared for the knowledge exam.
On the day of the Knowledge Exam my wife prepared a special breakfast and asked, “Are you nervous?” I said I was confident I’d pass. But, to be honest, I was also worried about how difficult the exam would be. Fortunately, my hard work paid off and I passed the Knowledge Exam.
Preparing for the CPLP Knowledge Exam gave me the opportunity to go through the 10 areas of expertise, which cover the entire talent development profession. I was able to rebuild my foundation, reset my measure of standards, and be even more confident as a professional.
Soon after the Knowledge Exam, I started working on the project for the second exam. This time, after I submitted my project, I had to wait for the results. When the email that said, “Congratulations, you have met the requirements to become a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance,” finally came, it felt good. I feel validated that, yes, I am as good as the best out there—I am part of the elite professional community called CPLPs.