Certification Process

Certification Process

Applications from librarians will be reviewed on a quarterly basis, with one quarter coinciding with the ALA Annual Conference and another with the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Spring and Fall quarter reviews will be announced.

Candidates will take courses with an evaluative-based component from continuing education program providers related specifically to the administration of public libraries of all sizes. Each candidate must satisfy seven of nine specific competency standards, four core standards and three electives. Candidates have five years from the date of acceptance into the program to complete coursework for seven standards.

There will be students in courses who wish to apply for CPLA after they have completed a CPLA-approved course. They have up to 12 months after completing the course to apply and be given credit for taking the CPLA-approved course.

Courses will be offered online. See the list of Approved Course Providers for more information.

Candidates may submit evidence of course completion (received from the provider) to ALA-APA up to 12 months after completing the course. Evidence may be submitted for each course immediately, after several courses have been completed, or once all seven courses are completed.

Once four core courses and three electives have been completed, the Certification Review Committee will perform a final review. Successful candidates will be granted the right to use the designation, CPLA, in professional signatures, and given a certificate.

Certifications are valid for five years. Recertification information.