By Julie Capsambelis, CPT
“Why bother going through the effort to get the CPT designation? I know how to do this stuff…I have been doing it on some level for nearly 20 years. I do not need IPSI to confirm that I know what I’m doing.” That was me just over seven years ago after having recently completed a graduate degree and wrestling with the idea of finally getting the CPT certification. I have been an ISPI member for many years and have benefited greatly from that association. I just was not sure that being able to put CPT after my name would do me much good professionally. As you have likely surmised, I did go for my CPT. It was a lot of work. I had to document three concrete examples of major projects where I had applied the human performance technology (HPT) standards. I also had to supply names of customers and colleagues who could attest to the work I had done. It was tough, but well worth the effort. I was thrilled to receive my certification. I have since recertified twice (which is a lot easier than getting the certification for the first time). I have also taken ISPI-sponsored training to become a CPT application reviewer. I love this stuff! I have learned so much by first getting certified myself and subsequently by reviewing others’ certification applications. I have seen portfolios of work from all over the world. People are doing some really extraordinary things!
Perhaps you are thinking that is all well and good for someone who is a bit of an HPT nerd, but how does the CPT designation really benefit one professionally? Over the last 10 years, I have worked in three different industries–benefits outsourcing, defense contracting, and telecommunications. In each of those widely different industries, I have been able to apply HPT in a way that has really shown value to my employer, customers, and colleagues. On top of that, I am convinced that my CPT designation and the experience that it validates gave me an edge in securing those last two positions. My involvement with ISPI, and the CPT process in particular, has helped me evolve into a much more strategic and holistic practitioner. The HPT principles have been invaluable as my work has taken me beyond North America into the Asian, European, and South American markets. The HPT principles are truly global and are just as applicable in India as they are in the United States. Although not everyone knows what “CPT” stands for, those with whom I come into contact appreciate what my performance technology experience brings to the table. I have led an effort to revamp an entire 6-week curriculum for onboarding new employee assistance program counselors for the military. The HPT standards were key in creating the new, streamlined curriculum and onboarding process. I use HPT daily in succession management, leadership development, and strategic planning and tactical execution of organization development and training initiatives. The “C” in CPT could just as well stand for “confidence” as that is what certification and ongoing development and recertification have given me. If you are waffling, I recommend that you go for it. There are many great people and resources available through ISPI to help you succeed in achieving the Certified Performance Technologist designation.
Julie Capsambelis, CPT Is currently an Organization Development Consultant. Attended the University of Tampa.