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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.

For a more detailed description of the requirements for CPL certification, please download the CPL Application, reference this CPL Eligibility Flowchart, or visit the Certification Program Specifications ("CPS") which provides the current specifications for the Certification, including eligibility, process and timing rules and regulations. The CPS can also be found in your printed membership directory.

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.  Student and associate members, division order and lease analysts are not eligible to apply for certification
  • 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; (Click here for more information)
    • 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; (Click here for more information)
    • 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 from a regionally accredited university or college.
  • Be sponsored by three CPLs who must submit a Sponsor Verification Form conjointly with your application. When combined, your sponsors must cover ALL the required total credit years' experience. Family members may not be sponsors. Each Sponsor must have personally known the applicant for longer than six months prior to sponsoring.
  • 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
  • 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 by the certification committee. 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 or the date the application is received, whichever occurs first. 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.

Partial retake exams shall be coordinated through AAPL staff and may be proctored either at AAPL headquarters in Fort Worth, at an AAPL educational event, or via any CPL who is in good standing with AAPL. Please contact the Certification Department 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.

CPL Educational Requirements

A CPL shall have an educational requirement of fifty (50) recertification credits, two of which must be ethics, per five year certification period, which shall be earned by attending educational courses, seminars and/or institutes that have been approved by AAPL for such educational credit. For more information on maintaining your certification, please click here.

Retired CPL

For those CPLs who are 55 years or older, have recertified their CPL twice before and have retired, but desire to continue to be considered a CPL pursuant to AAPL's Certification Program Specifications. For more information, please see the Retired CPL Application or contact the Certification Department at (817) 847 - 7700 or


For more information, please see the Certification FAQs section.



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