I recently transitioned into a new role here at Training Industry. As director of certification programs, I’m responsible for overseeing all processes related to those programs including their development and evaluation. Our first and flagship of these, the Certified Professional in Training Management (CPTM) program, is designed to prepare learning and development professionals to manage training programs that align with the current and future goals of their organizations. A key component of the program is an emphasis on business acumen. In order to demonstrate true learning leadership, training professionals must understand the core business issues affecting their organizations and the financial drivers behind their organizations’ success.

Having moved into a new position, I was keenly aware that my business acumen for this role represented a developmental need. That being said, in order to increase my understanding of the CPTM program and prepare myself to contribute to the strategic alignment of Training Industry certification programs with our own business goals and the needs of our members, I set out to become a CPTM.

The first step on my road to certification was completing the e-learning portion of the program, which consists of ten online modules designed to provide the background knowledge and best practices for training management collected through eight years of research from learning leaders across the globe. These modules cover the entire spectrum of learning and development topics including creating strategic alignment across learning and development programs, optimizing training processes and leveraging technology.

Having five years of advanced doctoral education focused on organizational effectiveness and over six years of applied corporate training research and implementation, I assumed training management certification would be a piece of cake. As it turns out, I did not know it all and was amazed by the vast amount of knowledge imparted by these modules.

Throughout the process, I became comfortable with an enormous array of learning and development topics with which I was unfamiliar or had limited previous exposure. The program educated me on common terminology that enabled me to speak intelligently about the business of learning. The modules also taught me how to engage in decision making around the critical aspects of training by covering various models and tools to aid in those decisions. Embedded in them was an emphasis on important considerations and a focus on ensuring that decision outcomes optimize business results and strategically align with organizational goals. For example, I learned how to rationalize a training portfolio to ensure training initiatives represent the best use of organizational resources, determine when it is best to use internal or external resources and identify the best type of service provider when external resources are most appropriate.

Absorbing all that information was no small endeavor! But I wasn’t a Certified Professional in Training Management yet. In my next blog, I’ll tell you about my next step toward certification – participating in the Dallas Alpha practicum.