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Dare to be Different: Set Yourself Apart with AAPL Certification

Featured in Landman, March/April 2019  /  By Charles D. Walton Jr., CPL, AAPL Secretary

Many years ago the leaders of the American Association of Professional Landmen understood the importance and value our profession contributed to the oil and gas industry. They also knew that to maintain that value as an organization they had "to promote the highest standards of performance for all Land Professionals, to advance their stature, and to encourage sound and ethical stewardship of energy and mineral resources," as noted in AAPL's mission statement. That clearly definded purpose has shaped and guided professinal, trade or private vendor organizations that they are trying to do the same. It is standard practice. Can you imagine paying dues to a professional organization that doesn't have a mission statement or, even worse, that promises to make you less effective at your craft/professional skill? The goal of organizational standards is to improve skills, attitudes, personal integrity and community service within our profession. 

For many years the AAPL's Certification Program has been recognized throughout industry as an indicator of competency, proficiency and professionalism. The AAPL offers three certification designations proven to enhance a member's credibility and increase his or her earning potential: Registered Landmen, Registered Professional Landman and - the highest level of achievement - Certified Professional Landman.

When professionals hang framed certificates in their offices, they are displaying evidence of their "professionalism" and their continuing efforts to be leaders in their field. Most of us applaud hard work and the sacrifice required to achieve personal goals. But AAPL certifications represent much more than personal achievement. The Certified Professional Landman designation is the highest achievement in our industry and it's a personal contribution to the value of a profession that is essential to our industry. Those of us who hold professional certifications have intentionally underscored the value of our work. We also project an attitude of significance, competence and professionalism to those people already in our profession as well as those to come. 

Perhaps the most important benefit of AAPL certification is the demonstration of personal dedication to one's profession. As landmen, we focus a large portion of our time understanding our competitors, studying current events and educating ourselves on regulations, rules and policies so that we can do a better job of differentiating the company we are working for from our competitors - with the hope that someone will choose to sign our agreement versus a competitior's. If it's so important for us to be able to convince others why the company we are representing is so much better than all the rest, doesn't it also make sense that we landman should take some time to differentiate ourselves from our peers? A Certified landman, regardless of their level of certification, sends a message to their peers, industry and the public that he or she is a professional, dedicated to continuing professional advancement and adherence to the highest code of ethics and standards of practice.