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Olly Purdom-Walker


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Certified Learning Practitioner



I've been working as a trainer for about 8 years in the Pharmaceutical industry delivering training in both hard and soft skills. I'm considering becoming a freelance trainer and have recently been researching the freelance training world.

I'm a TAP certified trainer and was considering gaining the Certified Learning Practitioners certification. As I'm relativity new to the concept of CLP I would be grateful if anyone can advice me on the pros and cons of CLP and if this would benefit me greatly as a freelance trainer?

Thank you........

12 Responses

  1. CLP

    Hi. I may be a little bit biased here as I was part of the specialist panel that developed the standards behind the Certified Learning Practitioner certification. However, my opinion is that, yes, it would certainly be worth moving towards this certification. Although not a "qualification", award of CLP status will be testament to the fact that you have mastered your trade.



    Phil Wheeliker

  2. CLP

    Hi Phil,

    Thank you for your response. It’s much appreciated.


  3. Letters and qualifications

    Hi Olly, the most important question for me about a consultant/trainer is – do they listen to me? A simple thing that most fail to do and if they are not listening it matters little what they have after their names. I would be in favour of a new training qualification, the Effective Audio Receiving Scheme or "EARS". Graduates would have to gain a double honour so they had two EARS and show successfully that they could use them when dealing with clients. 




  4. CLP

    Hi Nick, Thank you for taking the time to provide your thoughts. I’m sorry if you were being serious about "EARS", but it did make me laugh. I agree, good listening skills are an accentual attribute of a trainer/consultant.

    Would you mind providing your thoughts on CLP?




  5. CLP

    Hi Olly

    Really biased answer here – I did the CLP – loved the process and discipline of doing it, and gained a lot from it, and have got good work as a direct result.

    Happy to talk more off-line if it helps.

    Best wishes, Kathey

  6. EARS


    when will you be launching EARS and can I book a place on it?


  7. ROI

    Since you are a certified TAP trainer the question is

    What is the cost to you (bearing in mind that you will be funding this from your own pocket rather than from your employer’s pocket) of CLP in terms of fees and time in comparison to what you expect to gain from it with regards to income and over what period…….

    When CLP was first floated I would have liked to have taken it up but it was just too expensive….what the actual return would have been I can only speculate.

    Rus Slater

  8. Qualifications Vs Practical Bottom Line Results

    Hi Olly

    I personally wouldn’t get too hung up on CLP with your current qualifications. My focus when choosing an external consultancy / freelance trainer is their experience and exposure to different businesses.  I’m more interested in what they can do for me and how they’re going to have an impact on the bottom line, than in their qualifications.

    I’m a firm believer of demonstrating competence to a benchmarked set of standards and I think by virtue of you being TAP certified you’ve met some rigorous standards already. 

    If you can afford it and have the time, then the CLP may be worth considering.  However, if you could use the money elsewhere, you’ve got 8 years training experience and TAP status, I’d employ you on that basis (depending on your pitch of course).

    That said, I do have my CIPD and am a member of several professional bodies, this was more from a personal CPD perspective than getting the badges.

    Happy to link up with you on Linked In if you’re on there.



  9. I think your Tap supplies what you need

    Hi Olly, like one other contributor I think your profile is good enough with your experinece and the TAP certification which is globally recognised whereas CLP is yet to gain global acceptance being a self regulated award for members. 

    Your experinece in the pharmacuetical industry would be the major plus for compniaes in that sector as there is a definate bias towards others from the industry as i found when joining my current employer whihc is a large CRO four years ago from financial servises.

    I was joking about EARS but from the response I may think about setting it up?

    If you want to test out your pitch/proposition please get in touch. 

    All the best.


  10. Thank you….

    Hi All, Thank you very much for all the great comments and suggestions you’ve made on this subject. You’ve all really helped me put this in perspective. Any other views on this subject would be very welcome.

  11. Experience is more important than qualifications

    Hi Olly

    I spent 10 years in the pharma industry and have been running Forcefield Training for the last 10 years – most of my clients are medical companies. 

    I am never asked about training qualifications (which is lucky as I do not have any).  However I am often asked about my experience in running successful courses, developing sales people, my work with other clients, my training style and the outcomes of my courses. 

    All the above and an ability to sell and market your services I believe will be more important than your qualifications.

    Best of luck – get in touch if you want some input.



  12. Making the jump


    My comments reflect that of others, mainly as you have such a sound qualification base to start with and obviously have some good experience. Do you really need it to start with? especially as you will be busy getting new clients!

    Whilst you consider the ‘jump’ to becoming freelance may I recommend you get in contact with Sharon Gaskin of The Trainers Training Company (, as she has some great advise for people starting up on their own.

    Good luck.


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Olly Purdom-Walker

Learning & Development Trainer

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