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Top 10 Learning Specialist Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top learning specialist certifications available, as well as their benefits and requirements.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important for a learning specialist in the job market because they demonstrate a level of expertise and knowledge in their chosen field. They can be used to prove to potential employers that an applicant is qualified and knowledgeable enough to take on the role of a learning specialist. Certifications also provide an opportunity for learning specialists to expand their skillset and stay up-to-date with industry trends. Finally, certifications can help differentiate an applicant from other job seekers, increasing the chances of being hired.

The purpose of this article is to review some of the top certifications for Learning Specialists and explain how they can help advance a learning specialist's career.

What are Learning Specialist Certifications?

Learning specialist certification is a professional credential that recognizes the specialized knowledge and skills of individuals who work with students, especially those with learning disabilities. It is designed to help educators, counselors, administrators, and other professionals develop expertise in areas such as assessment and diagnosis of learning disabilities, implementation of evidence-based instructional practices for learners with special needs, collaboration with families and other stakeholders in the education system, and advocacy for equitable access to services.

The certification can help professionals stay current on best practices in special education, understand their legal obligations related to working with students with disabilities, and build their confidence when providing services to students with learning difficulties. It also provides a way for employers to identify qualified personnel who are knowledgeable about the needs of students with special educational challenges. Having this certification can give professionals an edge when competing for jobs or positions in educational settings. Additionally, it may provide them access to additional career advancement opportunities such as trainings or seminars related to working with learners who have special needs.

Pro Tip: When considering a specialist certification, look for programs that offer hands-on experience and practical application of the knowledge you'll gain. This will ensure that you are fully prepared to apply your skills in the workplace and make the most of your certification.

Related: What does a Learning Specialist do?

Top 10 Learning Specialist Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Learning Specialists today.

1. Certified Learning and Performance Professional (CLPP)

Certified Learning and Performance Professional (CLPP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to effectively design, develop, implement, and evaluate learning and performance programs. This certification program is offered by the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI).

The CLPP certification is designed for individuals who are involved in instructional design, training delivery, performance consulting, or other related roles. It requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge of adult learning principles, training methodology, evaluation techniques, and performance improvement strategies.

To obtain the CLPP certification, applicants must pass an exam administered by ISPI. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as instructional design principles, adult learning theories, training methods and techniques, evaluation strategies and tools, and performance improvement models.

The exam takes approximately three hours to complete. Applicants must score at least 70% on the exam in order to pass.

The cost of the CLPP certification is $495 USD for ISPI members ($595 USD for non-members). This fee includes access to study materials as well as one attempt at the exam. If an applicant fails the exam on their first attempt they may retake it at a discounted rate of $295 USD ($395 USD for non-members).

2. Certified Instructional Designer (CID)

Certified Instructional Designer (CID) is a professional certification that demonstrates expertise in designing and developing effective learning experiences. It is designed to recognize instructional designers who have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to design and develop effective learning experiences.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete the CID program, depending on the individual's experience and commitment level. The program consists of completing coursework in instructional design principles, strategies, tools, and techniques; participating in online discussion forums; and passing a final exam.

To get certified as an Instructional Designer you must first meet certain requirements such as having a minimum of two years of instructional design experience or completing an approved instructional design program. After meeting these requirements you can apply for the CID certification through the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance, and Instruction (IBSTPI).

The cost for the CID certification varies depending on the provider but typically ranges from $400-$1000 USD.

3. Certified Training and Development Professional (CTDP)

Certified Training and Development Professional (CTDP) is a professional certification that recognizes the expertise of training and development professionals. It is offered by the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance, and Instruction (IBSTPI).

The CTDP certification requires applicants to have at least two years of experience in training and development, as well as a minimum of 40 hours of continuing education in the field. The applicant must also pass an exam administered by IBSTPI.

It typically takes around six months to complete the requirements for the CTDP certification. Applicants must first obtain their two years of experience in training and development, then complete 40 hours of continuing education. After that, they can apply to take the exam.

The cost for the CTDP certification varies depending on where you live and how you choose to pursue it. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500-$2,000 or more to become certified. This includes fees for taking the exam, completing continuing education courses, and other associated costs.

4. Certified eLearning Specialist (CeLS)

Certified eLearning Specialist (CeLS) is a professional certification program offered by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). It is designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated expertise in developing, delivering, and managing effective online learning programs.

The CeLS program consists of two parts: an online course and an exam. The online course covers topics such as instructional design, content development, technology integration, assessment strategies, and project management. The exam is a three-hour multiple-choice test that assesses knowledge of the subject matter covered in the course.

The CeLS program takes approximately four months to complete. During this time, participants must complete the online course and pass the exam with a score of 70% or higher. Once these requirements are met, participants will receive their CeLS certificate from IACET.

The cost for the CeLS program varies depending on where you take it. Most providers charge between $500-$1,000 for the entire program. This fee typically includes access to the online course materials and registration fees for the exam.

5. Certified Performance Technologist (CPT)

Certified Performance Technologist (CPT) is a professional certification program offered by the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI). It is designed to recognize professionals who have achieved a high level of mastery in the field of performance improvement. The CPT certification focuses on the application of performance improvement principles and techniques, including needs assessment, analysis, design, development, implementation, evaluation, and management.

The CPT certification requires applicants to have at least two years of experience in the field of performance improvement or related areas. In addition, applicants must complete an approved course in performance technology or pass an exam administered by ISPI. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and covers topics such as needs assessment, analysis, design, development, implementation, evaluation and management.

The cost of obtaining the CPT certification varies depending on the type of course or exam taken. Generally speaking, courses can range from $500-$2,000 while exams typically cost between $100-$200.

In order to obtain the CPT certification, applicants must successfully complete either a course or an exam within three years from the date they began their studies. After completing either option and passing the required examination with a score of 75% or higher, applicants will be awarded their CPT certification.

6. Certified Knowledge Management Specialist (CKMS)

Certified Knowledge Management Specialist (CKMS) is a professional certification program developed by the Knowledge Management Institute (KMI). The CKMS certification is designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of professionals in the field of knowledge management.

The CKMS certification program consists of two parts: an online assessment and a practical application project. The online assessment is a multiple-choice exam that covers topics such as data analysis, information architecture, knowledge management principles, and best practices. The practical application project requires applicants to demonstrate their ability to apply knowledge management principles in a real-world setting.

It typically takes about six months to complete the CKMS certification process. During this time, applicants must complete the online assessment and submit their practical application project for review by KMI's Certification Board. Applicants must also pay an examination fee of $250 USD before they can take the online assessment.

Once applicants have successfully completed both parts of the CKMS certification process, they will receive their official certificate from KMI. This certificate serves as proof that they have achieved a high level of proficiency in knowledge management principles and practices.

7. Certified Learning Management System Administrator (CLMSA)

A Certified Learning Management System Administrator (CLMSA) is a professional certification that verifies an individual's knowledge and experience in administering and managing learning management systems. It is designed to recognize the expertise of individuals who have demonstrated their ability to successfully manage, implement, maintain, and support learning management systems.

The CLMSA certification requires successful completion of a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as system architecture, user administration, content management, reporting and analytics, security and compliance, system integration, and more. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately two hours to complete.

In order to be eligible for the CLMSA certification exam, applicants must have at least two years of experience working with learning management systems or related technologies. They must also demonstrate a high level of technical proficiency in the areas covered by the exam.

The cost of the CLMSA certification exam varies depending on where it is taken. In most cases, it will cost between $200-$400 USD. Additionally, there may be additional costs associated with preparing for the exam such as books or training courses.

8. Certified Online Instructor (COI)

Certified Online Instructor (COI) is a certification program designed to help online instructors become more effective in their teaching. The program focuses on the principles and practices of effective online instruction, including course design, instructional strategies, assessment, and technology integration.

The COI program consists of two parts: an online self-paced course and an instructor-led workshop. The self-paced course covers topics such as learning theories, instructional design, assessment strategies, and technology integration. The instructor-led workshop provides hands-on experience with the tools and techniques used in online instruction.

The COI program typically takes about 10 weeks to complete. During this time, participants will need to complete the self-paced course along with the instructor-led workshop. Participants will also be required to submit a final project demonstrating their mastery of the material covered in the program.

To get certified as a COI, you must first register for the program through an accredited provider or institution offering it. Each provider may have different requirements for admission into their program so it is important to research them before applying. Generally speaking, most providers require applicants to have some prior experience in teaching or related fields as well as a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university.

The cost of becoming certified as a COI varies depending on which provider you choose and what type of certification package they offer. Generally speaking, most providers charge between $500-$1,000 for their programs; however, there are some providers that offer discounts for group enrollments or special promotions throughout the year.

9. Certified Distance Education Professional (CDEP)

Certified Distance Education Professional (CDEP) is a professional designation that recognizes a person's expertise in the field of distance education. It is awarded by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The DEAC is an independent organization that accredits distance learning programs and promotes quality assurance and excellence in distance education.

The CDEP program consists of three courses: Introduction to Distance Education, Instructional Design for Distance Education, and Evaluation & Assessment for Distance Education. Each course must be completed within one year of starting the program. Upon successful completion of all three courses, candidates are awarded the Certified Distance Education Professional (CDEP) designation.

To become a Certified Distance Education Professional (CDEP), you must first complete an application form and submit it to the DEAC along with any required documents such as transcripts or letters of recommendation. Once your application has been approved, you will be able to register for the three courses required for certification. After completing all three courses, you will need to pass an assessment exam in order to receive your CDEP certification.

The cost of obtaining a Certified Distance Education Professional (CDEP) designation varies depending on where you take the courses and how much time it takes to complete them. Generally speaking, most people can expect to pay between $1,500 and $2,000 for all three courses combined.

10. Certified Learning Facilitator (CLF)

Certified Learning Facilitator (CLF) is a certification program designed to help professionals develop the skills and knowledge they need to effectively facilitate learning in the workplace. The CLF program focuses on developing facilitation skills, understanding adult learning principles, and creating effective learning experiences.

The CLF program consists of three levels: Foundation, Practitioner, and Master. Each level requires completion of a series of online courses, as well as an assessment at the end of each course. The total time required to complete all three levels is approximately 60 hours.

To get certified as a CLF, you must first register for the program through the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). Once registered, you can begin taking courses at your own pace. Upon successful completion of all three levels, you will receive your IACET Certified Learning Facilitator (CLF) certificate.

The cost for the CLF program varies depending on which level you are registering for and whether or not you are an IACET member. For non-members, the cost ranges from $399-$799 per level. For members, the cost ranges from $299-$599 per level.

Do You Really Need a Learning Specialist Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on what your goals are. If you want to become a learning specialist and work in the educational field, then the answer is yes. A Learning Specialist Certificate can provide you with knowledge and skills that are essential for working with students who have special needs or disabilities. It will prepare you to be able to assess students’ abilities and develop appropriate instructional plans, as well as understand how best to meet their unique needs.

However, if you are looking to get into the field of education but don’t necessarily need a certificate in order to do so, then the answer might be different. Depending on your goals and the specific job that you are looking for, it may not be necessary for you to pursue a Learning Specialist Certificate. There are other ways of getting into the field such as taking classes related to education or taking educational workshops or seminars.

Ultimately, it is important for you to consider your own career goals when making this decision. If obtaining a Learning Specialist Certificate is necessary for your desired career path, then it would be worthwhile for you to pursue one. However, if it isn't absolutely necessary for what you want to do, then it may not be worth the time and money that goes into getting one.

Related: Learning Specialist Resume Examples

FAQs About Learning Specialist Certifications

1. What are the requirements for obtaining a Learning Specialist Certification?

Answer: The exact requirements for obtaining a Learning Specialist Certification vary by state and institution, but generally involve completing an approved program in special education or related field, passing a certification exam, and meeting any other applicable licensing or certification requirements.

2. How long does it take to complete a Learning Specialist Certification?

Answer: The amount of time required to complete a Learning Specialist Certification will depend on the specific program or institution you are working with. Generally, programs can range from one year to four years in duration.

3. Where can I find information about available Learning Specialist Certifications?

Answer: Information about available Learning Specialist Certifications can be found through your state's Department of Education website or by visiting the websites of accredited universities and colleges offering such certifications.

4. What is the cost associated with obtaining a Learning Specialist Certification?

Answer: The cost associated with obtaining a Learning Specialist Certification may vary depending on the specific program or institution you are working with, as well as any additional fees associated with taking certification exams or other licensing requirements. Generally, costs can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.

5. Are there any continuing education requirements for maintaining a Learning Specialist Certification?

Answer: Yes, most states require that individuals holding a Learning Specialist Certification participate in continuing education activities in order to maintain their credentials.