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Assess Your Readiness to Certify
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Here’s how it works

Step 1: Scan and plan. 

ASP certification requires experience and preparation.  At our level 1 certification, you will need to meet these minimums:

  • 2 years (minimum) in an internal planning role or as a junior external planning consultant
  • College Graduate or 5 years work experience in strategic planning or related field

If you don’t meet these minimums: 

  • Preparation requires significant study efforts.  If you are new in the field, you might want to create a plan to systematically expose yourself to resources, including books, people, chapter events and webinars that will ground you in the strategy field.

Then once you’ve established your exam readiness…

 Step 2: Prepare a Certification Study Plan.  Use a project management approach.

  • Scan then plan.
    •  Note the deadlines for the application submissions and exam test dates. Decide on your target exam cycle.
    •  Check out the available material on the ASP website.  Be sure to download the Body of Knowledge 2.0 (BOK 2.0) or the specific section related to your desired level of Certification.
    • Download the Self-Assessment for your desired level of certification to identify what you need to learn and where to focus your study efforts.
      • If your focus is SMP, download the BOK Framework Overview (28 pages) to be able to see all 164 certification competencies upon which both exams are based, grouped into the four rubrics of Lead Think Plan Act, as compared to the Self-Assessment workbooks which have the competency statements only for their own focus level.
      • Review the Sample Exam Questions on the ASP Website to gain familiarity with the kinds of questions for which to prepare.
  • Build a specific study plan.  Study for this exam just as you would for any other academic degree. It should include the following:
    • Consider: what is the best study method for you?
      • Are you an entrepreneurial learner where you have the discipline to create your own plan and work that plan…going it alone as long as you know what to study?
        • If so, you may be a good candidate for self-study or self-accelerated online learning.
      • Are you a collaborative learner where you really appreciate talking about concepts and hearing how others interpret and illustrate the ideas?
        • If so, you may be a good candidate for classroom learning and/or an informal study group in your chapter, your company or virtually.
      • Are you a systematic learner where you like things in bite sized chunks and a consistent study routine?
        • If so, you may be a good candidate for facilitated online learning.
  • Our Registered Education Providers can help you with exam-preparation guides and classroom opportunities.
  • Identify a specific time of the week that you will study.  Will it be during your lunch hours? Will you come to work early three days a week to get an hour of study in before the workday?  Will this be a weekend commitment?  Identify a specific block(s) of time and record it in your calendar so you don’t give that time away.
  • Think about how you will keep notes.  For many learners, handwriting or mind-mapping your notations makes information stick.  For some, it is reading, then translating the concepts into your own words on some computer application.  Some people like to go out and buy a really cool spiral notebook…make it fun for you and make the ideas stick as you study. 
  • Consider where you will study.  Some find that a library atmosphere allows for better concentration.  Others prefer a quiet atmosphere and sitting at a table.  Some prefer an easy chair … be intentional about where you study.  Consider the atmosphere and where you will be able to focus and process a lot of complex content. 
  • Consider if you need a mentor.  You may be able to find a mentor in your local ASP chapter, in your company, or you might contact a certified professional near your local area.  See the list of SPPs and SMPs on the website.
  •  Be sure to note your application deadline date on your calendar.  It will take you some significant time to complete the application.  It requires qualitative responses to demonstrate you meet the eligibility requirements to sit for the exam.  



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