RE: Nationwide invitation for AAPL Speakers

  • 1.  RE: Nationwide invitation for AAPL Speakers

    Posted 04-29-2020 10:10
    I would like to point out that there are many many RPLs out there with knowledge and experience far far beyond the knowledge and experience needed to teach any of the RPL/CPL review materials.

    The AAPL is selling themselves short by requiring a CPL to teach pre-prepared course material and answer questions about it.

    The AAPL requiring 15 years experience in addition to being a CPL, tells me the value that the AAPL places in the CPL certification exam, as the AAPL is apparently not confident that the people who pass the exam actually know the concepts in the course material.

    If the AAPL board would would vote to drop the absurd and unprecedented random degree requirement for a trade certification, that would be doing the Association a service as many of us RPLs would upgrade our certification and people hiring landmen would no longer have to face the unenviable prospect of having to explain why they are hiring a RPL to finish or fix a CPLs project.

    No other American trade Association, that I have been able to find, requires a random degree for their top level certification, and I spent the better part of a full day looking for another Association that did. Hypothetically, if another trade Association did exist with a similar random degree requirement, I am fairly confident that it wouldn't have grandfathered hundreds of non-degreed people into the certification, because that random degree would have served some legal or trade skill purpose material to the certification.

    Now, if the AAPL were requiring an energy land management or law degree, and they reduced everyone without those degrees to an RPL, I wouldn't have made this post because that at least makes sense, even if this is a trade certification.

    The current trend in the corporate world is toward dropping random degree requirements that serve no legal or otherwise justifiable purpose, as that type of requirement is seen as un-justifiably exclusionary with a higher impact on minorities. In plain English, it is perceived as being racist, and the optics of defending a valueless requirement that is plainly racially preferential would be a PR and, likely also, a budgetary disaster. The current trend is towards skill/knowledge, years of experience, and job specific degrees, as those are defensible requirements that reliably show fitness to do something.

    It seems to me that the board members who supported maintaining the random degree requirements are either misinformed as to the definitions of professional and trade, and/or they are offloading risk of their companies job requirements onto the AAPL.

    If the AAPL would like to increase the value and exclusivity of the CPL, it can do that with no more than:
    1) A minimum years of experience requirement
    2) Increasing the difficulty of the exam.

    My CPLTA required 7 years of direct experience and the exam covered title, conveyancing, succession, and leasehold across 17(?) producing States, GLO land, BLM land, State land, navigable waters, tribal land, and the outer continental shelf. NALTA is currently retooling that exam with a new, more difficult exam that, I believe, is completely written by Steptoe & Johnson. Their first time exam failure rate is already near 80%, with people walking out of the exam in tears, having no hope that they will ever pass it. Very exclusive, without unnecessary requirements, the exam does nearly all of the work. After passing, you walk away proud of yourself, humbled by how little you really know, and in awe of just how broad the industry is.

    The AAPL needs to do a lot better. A good start would be the review handbook, I thought it was pretty good until I went through the CPLTA and CDOA handbooks or even the Texas (and I assume other States) Bar materials. The RPL/CPL handbook is playing  little league ball when it is more than time to step up to the majors.

    I do have some hope that our new addition from the Paralegal Association will set the record straight on trade and professional certifications along with hopefully retooling the AAPL certifications to be more aligned with the industry, in multiple categories.

    Marcus Brown, RPL CPLTA CNSA
    Independent Field Landman
    Brown Land Services, LLC

  • 2.  RE: Nationwide invitation for AAPL Speakers

    Posted 04-29-2020 13:05
    Marcus, something tells me you will soon be receiving many responses to your statements regarding the CPL program. I am a CPL, and have been a CPL instructor for over 35 years. Therefore, I believe my qualifications give me some credibility to respond to your statements.

    First, while you may be correct regarding degrees not being important for being a certified member of a trade association, you are incorrect in labeling AAPL as a trade association. AAPL is not a trade association; AAPL is a professional association. There is a difference. The last time I saw the number, there were 42 professional associations in the United States. These include such organizations as the American Medical Association, the American Bar Association, Society of Professional Engineers, and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists to name a few, but you won't see any trade associations on the list. Therefore, AAPL is fortunate to be included on this elite list of professional associations, but it does have its requirements. Do you think that not only a college degree, but a degree (or degrees) in a specific college program such as medicine or law, is a requirement for membership and/or certification in many of these other professional associations? Of course they are, and this also explains why AAPL has established the standards it has for membership and certification (ex. - years of experience, college degree, and a requirement that negotiations be part of a members duties in thie land position).

    The purpose of the CPL Program is to assist in maintaining and/or elevating the importance and acceptance of landmen as team members of the exploration, production and development processes of oil, gas, minerals and alternate energy sources. As a professional association, certified members are required to obtain a prescribed number of education credits within a prescibed period of time. The education courses offered by AAPL are taught by instructors who have not only the necessary knowledge and experience and considered experts in thier respective fields, but they also have good teaching skills. Over the past year, AAPL has made several announcements in the AAPL newsletters, on AAPL Connect , in The Landman magazine and with local landmen associations soliciting new speakers to assist in teaching CPL Reviews, seminars and institutes for AAPL. Candidates with the necessary knowledge, experience and speaking skills have been and/or are currently being interviewed.

    In addition to interviewing speaker candidates, AAPL has created several new committees last year including one for updating/revising the CPL Guide Book and PowerPoint slides, and another for updating the CPL Review Exam. Day 1 of the CPL course includes an in-depth and detailed review of what I believe are the most important aspects of what all field landmen and company landmen must know about landwork if they want to be successful in their careers. This includes topics such as real property law, property descriptions, contract law, the oil and gas lease and ethics. Day 2 of the CPL course includes pooling, JOA's, Well Trades and Negotiations. Day 3 of the CPL course includes federal onshore and offshore leases and units, environmental law, hard minerals and federal taxes on o&g. None of these topics are not easy to teach, and require a speaker with substantial knowledge and experience in order to respond to questions from attendees.

    In summary, I do not agree with you that AAPL is selling itself short by using only CPL's as speakers, and for not allowing non-degreed landmen to become CPL's. In my opinion, to do otherwise would lower our standards as a profession to that of a trade association when we should always be trying to raise our standards such as what AAPL is doing by establishing the above CPL-related committees. I believe AAPL is on the right course for maintaining and the improving the standards of the CPL program, and is making all of the right decisions in this regard for the future benefit of its members. After my response, I hope you will re-consider your opinion of the CPL program and the potential benefits it offers to AAPL's membership.

    Dorsey Roach CPL
    Oklahoma City OK
    (405) 301-5068