Motivation for CPLP

What Motivated Me to Become a CPLP

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

I have always loved to learn and had the benefit of a good education. We lived in a working class neighborhood but attended extremely well-run parochial schools. This was in the early sixties. There was no nonsense; I remember 75 percent was the passing grade. Even scoring below 80 percent was unacceptable. Studying and comprehending became a means of survival. The co-op exams for entrance into high school loomed. A good high school meant a good college. A good college meant a good future. 

I remember us helping one another with our homework. We would sit around a friend’s kitchen table and collaborate—one guy was good at math, another good at history. We probably didn’t recognize it at the time, but we were assessing one another’s skills and personalities and tailoring our homemade lesson plans to have the greatest effect. The objective was to get good marks and get out in the street as quickly as possible to ride bikes and play stick ball. I also have to add that my friend’s mother delivered an endless stream of Italian food during all this to make the geography and long division easier. I still can’t look at a map of the Belgian Congo or a page of math examples without thinking about eggplant parmesan. 

We had no Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) certification to guide us, of course. However, even at 11 years old, I realized that someone interested in teaching finds the best method to convey the material to the audience. The CPLP certification is an invaluable formal rendering of those concepts.  

In college, I studied languages and taught as part of my master’s program. I remember striving to adapt lessons and content delivery to have the greatest impact on a diverse group in the shortest amount of time. Learning a language is not easy. Some people have a natural flair for it; for others, it’s an incomprehensible tangle of rules and sounds. Grammar tests are graded. There are right and wrong answers. Guiding each pupil to understanding is a worthy challenge, and one that requires the kind of structure and preparation the CPLP certification provides.  


Although I was on a path to become a language teacher, I chose a career on the front lines of the oil industry, where competency is extremely important. In 2013, I chose to become a CPLP so that I could understand how to maximize training content delivery in all sectors of oil field production, completion, and drilling work. Prior teaching experience had shown me the value of formally collecting teaching concepts and understanding how to convey information. If people know what they’re doing and why—and if they want to do it—the oil patch and the world are safer places.  

I am now the senior vice president of QHSE (Quality, Health, Safety and Environment) for a large company that provides a variety of oil field support services. As the company evolves, I am blessed with the ability to work with many departments to analyze training needs and provide strategies for implementation. It has been my experience that preparing for the CPLP certification familiarizes the candidate with the philosophy of adult learning and makes it easier to get any training message across. Whether you are teaching a single class or responsible for an entire corporate learning program, I would recommend pursuing the CPLP certification. The personal rewards are great. The contribution you can make is even greater. Knowledge is safety. Knowledge is efficiency. Knowledge is power. 

From a career and business standpoint, the CPLP gives you tremendous credibility with employers and customers. I actively encourage other members of our corporation to get the CPLP certification for their own benefit, and strengthen our safety and professional development programs. As you work through The ATD Competency Model, you find that it anticipates the challenges of the modern business environment. I consider it an indispensable distillation of what to do and how to do it. It’s the perfect road map for modern learning. I would like to thank fellow CPLP David Prince, who started me on the path toward certification. His knowledge and encouragement have been very helpful. I would urge anyone reading this to pursue the CPLP certification and to promote the vocation of training. 

Learn more about the CPLP Certification.

About the Author
James Kulis is the Senior Vice President, QHSE (Quality, Health, Safety and Environment) for a major oilfield services company. He has worked in the industry since 1983. He currently resides in Houston, Texas with his wife Merrillyn. Part of his duties as Senior Vice President include overseeing the company’s compliance training department as well as managing the company’s commercial driver training programs. He has been a CPLP since 2015 and looks forward to continuing in the profession for many years.   
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