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Recertification: Looking Back and Moving Forward, by Erika Smith, CEP

11/22/2021 1:46 PM | Erika Smith

Recertification Reflections by Erika Smith, CEP, AICEP Commissioner

It is hard to believe I am already up for recertification for the first time.  December 1 to be exact.  Instead of writing this, I probably should be busy making copies and getting everything submitted! 

Becoming certified is something I, like so many of you, worked towards for years.  I remember having the application printed out on my desk.  I would peek at it periodically—especially when I was having one of “those” days.  It was my guide on my professional journey toward a career that I could be proud of.  A career built on professionalism, education, ethics, and experience.  A career that included becoming a Certified Educational Planner (CEP)—the highest recognition in the field of independent educational consulting.

To be honest, I’ve dreaded the recertification process.  As the years have passed, my work has become more demanding and my life more complicated.  The kids I work with and the kids I am trying to raise can take up a lot of time and energy!  Throw in murder hornets, a global pandemic, and civil unrest and it has been a little overwhelming for all of us.  Now that I am in the midst of the process, I am realizing something very valuable and unexpected that I want to share.

As I look back on what I have (and have not) done over the past several years, I am finding myself re-energized and re-focused.  I thought I might feel bad about all the things I haven’t done, but that hasn’t happened.  I feel good about what I’ve done and looking forward to all those things I can still do—to serve my students, promote the CEP, and make a difference.  As I am looking back, I am moving forward.

I encourage other CEPs (and those considering earning the designation) to focus less on what hasn’t been done yet and what can be done next.  We give our students a plan to reach their goals.  We also have a plan that can be realized and developed through the certification and recertification process.  Like so many other things in life—the CEP is more about the journey than the destination. 

If you have questions about earning your CEP or the recertification process, reach out and talk to someone.  The AICEP Commission is made up of a group of professionals who like (almost) nothing better than to encourage other professionals to pursue and make the most of the CEP designation.  You can contact us by visiting


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