It seems every industry has a certification of some sort. Why do all these certifications exist? In a word: Credibility. Would you go to a personal trainer who did not have the proper training and knowledge? Of course not. Would you entrust your computer, and all its precious documents, to someone who did not have the know-how required to fix whatever currently maligns your system? No way. But with so many people pretending to have detailed industry expertise, it's difficult to know whom to trust. Certifications ensure a certain level of knowledge, study, and expertise.
ASTD embarked on building the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) credential to raise the bar and provide a means for WLP professionals to prove their value and knowledge of the WPL field. And those practitioners who specialize in measurement, evaluation, and ROI can benefit from this.
What is the Certification program?
In general, certification programs are about testing and meeting pre-determined standards. Certification is not a certificate. Certificates typically result in a document that signifies completion of a course or learning experience.
The CPLP, which is offered by ASTD's Certification Institute (CI), is a professional certification program that credentials individuals in the learning and performance field. This baseline certification covers the broad spectrum of learning and performance, and addresses the following nine areas of expertise, which are tied directly to the ASTD Competency Model:
- Designing Learning.
- Improving Human Performance.
- Delivering Training.
- Measuring and Evaluating.
- Facilitating Organizational Change.
- Managing the Learning Function.
- Managing Organizational Knowledge.
- Career Planning and Talent Management.
The CPLP covers both theory and application. To that end, there are two parts to the certification assessment:
- A computer-based multiple-choice exam.
- A work sample submission (past project work).
An applicant must successfully pass both sections in order to receive the CPLP designation.
How can it benefit the evaluation professional?
Two words: credibility and relevance. The CPLP is a mark of distinction that allows individuals to better communicate their value to their employers and clients. It covers all aspects of the WPL field, including measuring and evaluating. The CPLP asks people to understand an array of methodologies versus master a single methodology. This makes people more versatile and flexible in today's complex world of work. The competency definition and key knowledge areas for measuring and evaluating are:
Competency: Gathering data to answer specific questions regarding the value or impact of learning and performance solutions; focusing on the impact of individual programs and creating overall measures of system effectiveness; leveraging findings to increase effectiveness and provide recommendations for change.*
Key Knowledge Areas for evaluation professionals:*
- Statistical theory and methods
- Research design
- Analysis methods, such as cost-benefit analysis, ROI, etc.
- Interpretation and reporting of data.
- Theories and types of evaluation, such as four levels of evaluation.
It will take an average of approximately six months for a person to prepare, take both sections of the exam, and be notified. Starting in 2006, the ASTD CI will offer one to two certification test windows per year. ASTD will launch the next testing window in 2006.
Click for more information on the CPLP or write us at email@example.com.
Jennifer Naughton joined ASTD in Spring 2003 to manage the 2004 ASTD competency project. Previously, she was an HR consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton and a research scientist at the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO). She has nearly 15 years, experience in the human resource and training fields, and she specializes in research and evaluation, large-scale data collection, job analysis and competency modeling, certification design and personnel selection, and human resource systems design. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Source: Bernthal, Paul R., et al. ASTD Competency Study: Mapping the Future. ASTD Press, 2004.