I first learned about the Certified Professional in Training and Management™ (CPTM™) program at the Association of Talent Development’s (ATD) 2016 International Conference and Exposition. In September of 2015, I was hired as the training administrator for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Global Intellectual Property Academy (GIPA). I was the first training administrator for GIPA and charged with starting a new training office.
Even though I had been a trainer and adjunct college instructor for several years, I had never established a training office before. I had studied corporate universities in my Ph.D. program and thought to use that model. However, I didn’t know how to put the pieces together. I knew how to create courses, deliver training and measure the results of the training, but I needed help — especially when dealing with 20 subject matter experts who were distinguished attorneys and experts in all aspects of intellectual property law and policy.
I was walking through the ATD’s exhibit hall when I came upon Training Industry’s booth. I was intrigued by the material on the CPTM, and Training Industry’s representatives answered my many questions about the value of the credential. I explained the issues I was having running GIPA’s training functions, and they convinced me that CPTM could be a valuable resource.
At that time, I was considering obtaining my certified professional in learning and performance (CPLP). As I recounted in an article for ATD, I started to work toward the CPLP in 2008 but had put it on hold for what eventually turned out to be a decade. After hearing about the CPTM, I earned it as soon as I could. I contacted Training Industry after the conference and completed the virtual training session during July of 2016.
The training was great, and I especially liked learning with a cohort of fellow students from different industries and training functions. The online modules I viewed to prepare for the online training were especially helpful in understanding the strategic and business aspects of running a training organization. I was especially impressed by the research and practical advice from Doug Harward and Ken Taylor’s handbook, “What Makes a Great Training Organization: A Handbook of Best Practices.”
After I earned the certification, I immediately put what I learned to work. I created a strategic plan for GIPA that focused on aligning GIPA with the USPTO’s strategic goals. I made recommendations on new training technologies and developed a training program to help the subject matter experts deliver better training. My most valuable contribution was to begin moving more of GIPA’s training online.
That fall, I had the opportunity to move to USPTO’s enterprise training division (ETD). My CPTM was a significant help in obtaining a position in the ETD’s leadership development branch. When Training Industry launched its Leading Leadership Development certificate program, I signed up for the first session, because I knew it would be a quality program.
I put my CPTM to good use again by taking over program management of our supervisor certificate program in 2018. This year, I also earned my CPLP, which proved to be a good complement to the CPTM. When I went for a promotion in ETD, my successful management of the supervisor certificate program helped me land the promotion and a new position in the career development branch. I am now the creator and program manager for the USPTO’s career coaching initiative. Again, my CPTM skills have come in handy as I implement the program.
What I especially like about the CPTM is that it provides a good foundation for my career goal of becoming a chief learning officer. The CPLP has made me an effective trainer, and I am working on obtaining the ROI Institute’s training return on investment (ROI) certification to help me design effective training evaluations. I am also finishing a master’s degree in education (with a focus on organizational learning, performance and change) through Colorado State University. As useful as the CPLP, ROI certification and master’s program will be, I consider the CPTM to be the most effective preparation for becoming a chief learning officer, thanks to knowledge, skills and abilities I have obtained to run training programs.