Professional Development


If you still have questions or would like additional help, please contact the Certification Department at (817) 847-7700 or certification@landman.org.

Which colleges and universities are AAPL-approved?

AAPL recognizes all colleges and universities that are regionally accredited. In addition, AAPL works closely with the certain universities which have AAPL-accredited land or energy management degree programs

Do I need a college transcript to apply?

Only the CPL certification requires a four-year college degree or higher as a prerequisite. RPL certification does not require a four-year college degree; however, for applicants applying for RPL without a college degree, you must have five credit years of landwork experience as further described in the RPL application and AAPL Policy Manual. For both RPL and CPL, a master’s and/or law degree counts additionally towards your qualification. 

How long does it take the Certification Committee to review my application?

Completed applications (to include sponsor verification forms, university transcript(s) and application affidavit) are sent to the Certification Committee once a month.  The Committee reviews the applications over the course of 6-8 weeks. Applicants are then notified of their application status.

How can I speed up the application process?

To prevent delays with your application: 1) Read the current AAPL Policy Manual and the summary of requirements prior to applying; 2) Answer all questions completely and accurately; 3) Clearly and thoroughly describe your work experience in detail; 4) Secure sponsors prior to submitting your application who can verify your entire work history to meet the required minimum “credit years” for your application. You may need more than the minimum required sponsors to verify your required work history credits, and; 5) Remind your sponsors that you are waiting on their forms to be submitted to have a complete application. The entire application process must be completed within 120 days from the date that the application is received by AAPL. It is the responsibility of the applicant to monitor the time process and to assure that all necessary parts of the application are accurately and timely completed, including sufficient Sponsor Verification Forms. If the application process is not complete by the expiration of the 120 days the application expires and a new application would be required to continue the certification process. 

What landwork is required at the time of application?

For CPLs, and RPLs applying with a college degree, each applicant must, for at least the immediate past two years, be primarily engaged in landwork. For RPLs applying without a college degree, each applicant must be engaged in landwork for the immediate past four years.

What is the definition of landwork?

According to AAPL Bylaws, Article II, landwork is defined as:
A. Negotiating for the acquisition or divestiture of mineral rights.
B. Negotiating business agreements that provide for the exploration for and/or development of minerals.
C. Determining ownership in minerals through the research of public and private records.
D. Reviewing the status of title, curing title defects, providing title due diligence and otherwise reducing title risk associated with ownership in minerals or the acquisition and divestiture of mineral properties, but shall not include division order or lease analyst functions.
E. Managing rights and/or obligations derived from ownership of interests in minerals.
F. Unitizing or pooling of interests in minerals.

Do I have to apply for RL before applying for RPL or CPL?

No. You should apply for the highest designation in which you are eligible.

What is required to be eligible for Retired CPL?

Please refer to the Retired CPL Application and read the current AAPL Policy Manual Page 41.

What is required to be eligible for RL?

Please refer to the certification table and read the current AAPL Policy Manual Pages 34-44.

What is required to be eligible for RPL?

Please refer to the certification table and read the current AAPL Policy Manual Pages 34-44

What is required to be eligible for CPL?

Please refer to the certification table and read the current AAPL Policy Manual Pages 34-44.

Must I be a member of AAPL to apply for Certification?

Yes. You must be an Active Member of AAPL for at least one year prior to applying for RPL and CPL certification. Any Active Member may apply for RL certification without a waiting period. Student and Associate Members, division order and lease analysts are not eligible to apply for certification. Learn more about the different membership types available through AAPL.

How many sponsors do I need?

CPLs must have a minimum of three CPL sponsors. RPLs must have a minimum of 1 RPL and 1 CPL or may have 2 CPL sponsors. RLs must have one RPL or CPL sponsor. Sponsors must have known the applicant for a minimum of 6 months. The sum of all verifications must reflect in detail the type, quantity and quality of the applicant’s work history covering ALL of the applicant’s required "credit years."

I cannot find sufficient sponsors to complete my application. Can this requirement be waived?

No. Sponsor Verification Forms are a firm requirement that cannot be waived. Part of the process of becoming certified through AAPL is getting to know your peers and becoming involved in the industry. Your sponsors do not have to be previous coworkers or employers, but they must be acquainted enough with your work experience and practices to verify your work history and ethical behavior on your application.  A sponsor may verify additional work history by contacting your former supervisor(s) to discuss your duties and attesting to such in questions 5 and 6 on the Sponsor Verification Form. Each Sponsor must have known the applicant for longer than six months prior to sponsoring, with the exception of AAPL Board of Directors Members who may sponsor applicants without having personally known the applicant. Applicants may only be sponsored by one Board of Directors Member per application. 

If one of my sponsors verifies additional work history by contacting my previous employer, what information do they need to include in Questions 5 and 6 of the sponsor verification form?

The sponsor needs to include the name of the supervisor they spoke with, when they spoke to them, describe the type and quality of work, and what time frame they are verifying.

My sponsors are taking too long to upload their form. What do I do?

Contact your sponsors. It is your responsibility to make sure your sponsors complete their part of the application process within 120 days from the time your application is received by AAPL. All sponsors are sent an automated sponsor verification notification the same day you submit your application. The notification is sent from certifcation@landman.org.

When are exams held?

The initial exam must be taken at an AAPL testing event or AAPL's office. AAPL holds a number of testing opportunities. Please consult the education calendar for upcoming exam dates.

How long is the exam?

CPL: Applicants may take seven hours to complete the exam. The exam is divided into two sessions with a 30-minute break in between. 
RPL:  Applicants have two hours to complete the exam.
RL: The exam is a take-home, self-study exam. Upon application approval, the exam will be sent to the applicant to complete and return within 45 days. It is meant to be an entry level learning exam. 

Must I attend the review to take the exam?

No. However, it is strongly encouraged that each applicant attends an AAPL review, or purchase the review video. AAPL offers several opportunities for its members to sit for both the RPL and CPL exam with and without the recommended review. The review covers all topics on the exams and is designed to assist the applicant in successfully passing all parts of the exam. 

May I take the exam before my application is approved?

No. Your application must be approved by the Certification Chairman prior to registering for the exam. See AAPL Policy Manual Article IV-C

How long do I have to take the exam after my application is approved?

Upon approval of RPL or CPL applications, the applicant has one year to sit for the exam. AAPL sends the applicant an approval notification via e-mail with the date by which the applicant must sit for the exam. 

When will I find out my exam results?

AAPL will mail a letter to each applicant indicating if you passed or which part(s) of the exam you failed. Exact test scores are not released. 

How do I apply for retaking any portion of an exam?

Partial retake exams shall be coordinated through AAPL staff and may be proctored either at AAPL’s office 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 certification@landman.org.

How long do I have to retake portions of an exam?

Any applicant who has failed any portion(s) of the CPL examination shall have the opportunity to retake and pass a re-examination of the part(s) so failed only within the two year period as described in Section IV of the AAPL Policy Manual found online and in your Membership Directory. Any applicant who has failed any portion(s) of the RPL examination shall have the opportunity to retake and pass a re-examination of the part(s) so failed only within the one year period described in Section IV of the AAPL Policy Manual found online and in your Membership Directory. All retakes will be provided the same amount of time to complete the retake section as was allotted in the initial test for that particular section. A candidate may request no more than two retakes of any part. Failure to pass any section in those two retakes will require the candidate to reapply for approval, pay the required fees and take the entire CPL or RPL examination again.  

Must I maintain my membership after I am certified?

Yes. You must maintain your AAPL membership and stay actively involved in landwork to maintain your professional designation. If your AAPL membership lapses in accordance with the AAPL Bylaws, you will be required to reapply according to your most current qualifications for the desired certification and retake that exam.

How do I know when my certification period expires?

Log into your AAPL account and click on My Account.  Under Certifications, click on My Certifications. The Certification Date and Certification Expiration Dates are listed under the Current information. Disregard any information listed under In Process and History.

How do I recertify?

RPLs and CPLs: AAPL sends an automated recertification reminder to you 90 days prior to expiration. A link to the Recertification Application is included. Recertification Applications can also be found on our website. Complete the Recertification Application and scan and return it to certification@landman.org. A confirmation e-mail will be sent to you upon processing.

RLs: Your certification designation will be recertified before your expiration date if you have recorded the required continuing education credits to your AAPL account.

If I attend a non-AAPL event, how do I apply for recertification credits?

Submit a completed Individual Application for Recertification Credits along with required program outline/schedule/proof of attendance to affidavit@landman.org.