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Certified Professional Landman (CPL)

AAPL’s Certified Professional Landman (CPL) certification is the highest designation offered in the energy management industry. By meeting the requirements set forth below, a CPL demonstrates their comprehensive competency, proficiency and professionalism in the landman field. 

Download the CPL Application Revised September 2015 or see your printed membership directory for a more detailed description of the requirements of CPL certification.

To help potential applicant’s determine if they are eligible for CPL Certification prior to applying, please reference this CPL Eligibility Flowchart.

Already a CPL? Learn how to 
maintain your certification or check your continuing education credits.

CPL Application Requirements

  • Be an active member of AAPL for at least one year
  • Be primarily engaged, on a full-time basis, for at least the immediate past two (2) years in the performance of “Qualifying Landwork”
  • “Qualifying Landwork” is defined as Letters A, B and/or C under the definition of Landwork in the AAPL Bylaws.  For each year during which you primarily performed, on a full-time basis, Qualifying Landwork, you will be awarded 1 “Credit Year.”
  • “Other Landwork” is described as Letters D, E and/or F under the definition of Landwork in the AAPL Bylaws. For each year during which you primarily performed, on a full-time basis, Other Landwork, you will be awarded 1/2 “Credit Year”, up to a maximum 3 “Credit Years”
  • Possess a four-year degree or higher from a regionally accredited university or college
  • Have at least ten credit years of full-time Landwork experience as a land professional.  A bachelor’s, graduate and/or law degree(s) will count toward your total credit years per the following criteria (maximum of five education credits allowed): 
    • Three “Credit Years” are awarded for a bachelor's degree earned from a regionally accredited university or college;
    • One additional “Credit Year” will be awarded if the bachelor’s degree credited above is with a concentration or major in Petroleum Land, Energy or Natural Resource Management from an AAPL accredited university or college;
    • One additional “Credit Year” will be awarded if you have earned a law degree from an ABA-approved law school;
    • One additional “Credit Year” will be awarded if you have earned an advanced degree in business or certain other programs specified by the AAPL at a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Be sponsored by three CPLs who must submit an applicant verification form conjointly with your application
  • Complete and submit the CPL application in its entirety with the $75 non-refundable application fee
  • You must submit your application within 60 days of taking the exam for the exam to qualify; however, this does not apply to the CPL Sponsor Verification Forms.
  • The entire application process must be completed within one hundred-twenty (120) days from the date that the application is received by AAPL, and
  • Pass the comprehensive CPL exam with a minimum score of 70 on each part

CPL Exam

The CPL exam is a comprehensive examination dealing with the various areas of landwork. Extensive landwork knowledge and experience is required to pass the examination. However, it is not expected that a landman be an expert in every area; AAPL recognizes that specialization is sometimes the case in landwork. Successful completion of the exam requires that a minimum grade of 70 be made on all five parts. The AAPL certification committee approves the content of the examination.

Exam scores will not be revealed until the candidate's application has been approved. An applicant who fails one or more portions of the CPL examination has the opportunity to retake those portions within two years from the date of the exam. A candidate may only retake any portion of the exam twice. Failure to pass any part during the two retakes will require the candidate to reapply for approval, pay the required fees and retake the entire CPL examination.

Retakes may be scheduled at AAPL Headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, through your local certification chairman or an approved CPL proctor in good standing at any AAPL exam site by contacting Joanne Stoy at (817) 847-7700 or

CPL Fees

The CPL application fee is $75. All applicable certification, recertification and record maintenance fees are established by the AAPL executive committee by a majority vote of those present and may be changed as deemed appropriate at any time.

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