The Benefits of Power Membership
Betsy Kvedar, CPLP® Certified Professional in Learning and Performance, IBM (VT Chapter ATD member since 2014)
Everyone joins the ATD for a variety of reasons. I joined in 2010, at the suggestion of my manager at the time, who was also a member. Both of us felt that I would have more opportunity to develop skills relevant to my position, and I was not finding sufficient resources "in house." As a member, I could use the resources to not only redesign how I approached specific projects, but also as a professional development activity as well. In effect, I was creating my own practical exercises. By leveraging membership resources from both the local and national chapters, I have been able to create, lead and participate in a wide variety of professional development activities that contributed not only to my recent promotion, but have also lead to my participation on award-winning projects.
In addition, to the ongoing education activities available as a member at both the local chapter and national levels, there are three other benefits that I value:
1. Professional Certification: I used the Certified Professional in Learning & Performance Certification as an opportunity to broaden my knowledge across all ten areas of learning expertise (AOE's) and six foundational competencies recognized by the ATD. Certification indicates to my management that I take my role as a learning leader seriously, and to maintain the certification I am required to engage in on-going professional development. As a CPLP, I am required to complete 60 recertification credits every three years. These credits need to come from a mix of learning, speaking, publishing, and on the job activities. As an ATD national member, I have access to a broad variety of webinars and learning events that I can participate in for recertification credit (the same resources that I use to redesign projects that I work on).
2. Face to Face Interaction with other Learning Professionals and Thought Leaders: The annual ATD International Conference and Expo (ICE) is a great event with fantastic learning opportunities, which I always recommend to my fellow learning professionals. At ICE, I have been privileged to meet and learn from Donald Kirkpatrick, Jack Phillips and Allison Rossett, just to name a few. On a more practical level, it's even easier to attend my local chapter Special Interest Groups (SIG's), since they don't require travel approval from my manager. The small size of the SIG's allow for both learning and active engagement, and I usually leave with something that I can apply on the job. In fact, I enjoy the SIG's so much that I have volunteered on a few occasions to participate in a leadership role for some of my favorite topics.
3. Community Building: The social aspect of being part of a group of like-minded people is a reward in itself. However, functioning in an international role, I don't actually meet my work colleagues in a face-to-face venue that often. This is another reason why I enjoy socializing (virtually) at the national level, and face to face with my local chapter. There are fascinating people working in the field of L&D, and it's always great to connect with them.
I strongly encourage other learning professionals who wish to grow their careers or expand their skill set to seriously consider a Power (i.e., dual) Membership. Think about it as an investment in your development, and an opportunity to constantly improve the value that you bring to your employer.