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Certified Manager, CM Certification: Details on Examination and Certification for Certified Managers

Written by AnonymousSeptember 7, 2011
Certified Manager

If you’re looking to improve your career in accounting, obtaining an accounting certificate is an excellent first step. Accounting certifications can expand your accounting knowledge and increase your proficiency in a specific area of the accounting field.

Introduction to Certified Manager Certification

Those who typically earn their Certified Manager certificate are usually are supervisors, department managers, or directors.

Content areas that are covered within the CM certification training program include:

  • Business ethics and social responsibility
  • Environmental sustainability sensitivity
  • Risk management in the workplace
  • Managing diversity in the workplace
  • Mentoring and motivating employees
  • How to run meetings effectively
  • Managing conflict and negotiation techniques
  • Operations control
  • Financial planning and supervision

Upon completing the program, Certified Managers possess a number of sought-after skills that help qualify them for leadership positions across many different types of industries. Becoming a Certified Manager:

  • Assures hiring firms that you have the training and experience necessary to effectively manage a team and understand the fundamentals of managing a group or division.
  • Reflects a high level of professional competency in management
  • Improves opportunities for career advancement within an organization

Steps to Certified Manager Certification

The CM certification program involves completing three sections, called modules, and three corresponding exams. You must pass all three exams to earn the certificate.  

Before you begin the program, you must first submit an online application, which is reviewed by a representative from the Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM). The application requires completing three steps:

1.     Confirming your eligibility
2.     Documenting your eligibility points
3.     Paying program fees

ICPM evaluates your eligibility to enter the CM certification program through a point system based on your level of education and experience. Education points are earned as follows:

  • 1 point for being a high school graduate
  • 1 point for ever year of college education completed
  • 1 point for any professional certifications earned
  • 1 point for every additional 40 hours of management training received

Experience points are earned as follows:  

  • 1 point for every year of full-time employment in a management position
  • ½ point for every year of full-time employment in a non-management position
  • ½ point for every year of part-time employment in a management position
  • ¼ point for every year of part-time employment in a non-management position

To qualify to be eligible for CM certification, you must have a combined total of at least 10 points, with a minimum of three education points and four experience points.

If you don’t meet these minimum requirements but do pass the three exams, you can still earn an Associated Certified Manager (ACM) certification prior to earning your full status as a CM. Once your required education and experience points have been accrued, you can then apply for your full CM certification. 

All points require digital documentation to confirm eligibility and may require that you provide some or all of the following support documents:

  • Official college or university transcripts 
  • Diplomas
  • Certificates of course completion
  • Signed references from employers
  • Résumés

ICPM encourages you to complete your CM Program Eligibility Worksheet before you apply for certification to help you determine what documentation you will need to submit.

In addition, the CM application requires that you pay a program fee. There are three payment options to choose from. Note: all fees listed are as of 2011.

  • Bundle pricing: Enables you to pay in advance for all certification costs, which saves you $50. A one-time payment of $745 covers your application fee, the exam fee, and all optional study aids.
  • Module pricing: Allows you to pay for each module and its corresponding optional study aid individually, at $265 each.
  • Application and exam fees only: For $495 you can pay the application and exam fees alone, without buying additional study guides.

After your application is approved, you have a maximum of 15 months to complete the CM program. If you exceed this time limit, you can extend your program completion period by one year, by paying an additional $75.

Details of the Certified Manager Exams

The Certified Manager program is divided into three sections or modules, each of which has a corresponding certification exam. You’re required to pass all three exams in order to earn the certification.

Each online test contains 120 multiple-choice questions and lasts two hours. The tests are designed to evaluate your analytical and decision-making skills using real-world examples. The content of each exam breaks down as follows:

- Foundations of Management

Management fundamentals
Manager vs. leader
Ethics and social responsibility
The global environment
Managing for sustainability
Effective communication
Decision making
Using information technology
The legal environment and risk management
Economics and business

- Planning and Organizing

Planning and strategy
Value-chain management
Project management
Organizational structure and culture
Building teams and work groups
Human resource management
Workforce diversity
Coaching and feedback
Networking and mentoring
Facilitating effective meetings

- Leading and Controlling

Managing Change
Conflict, politics, and negotiation
Managing misbehavior
Time and stress management
Organizational control
Operations control
Accounting and financial information
Financial management

Upon completing each exam, you’re immediately given pass/fail results, which includes detailed feedback outlining your test area strengths and weaknesses.

Preparing for the Certified Manager Examination

The ICPM website offers a variety of study materials to help prepare you for the CM exam.  

Maintaining the Certified Manager Designation

You’re required to renew your CM certification every year. To renew your certification, you must pay an annual membership renewal fee and fulfill the professional development requirement.

Recertification requires completing four professional development (PD) activities throughout the year, all of which must facilitate the development of business management or leadership skills.

The duration of each activity is not important, as long as the results contribute to your professional growth. Each year, at least one activity must be completed from each of the following categories.

- Coursework

Workshops, seminars, or in-house training
Distance or e-learning
Earning other certifications
College or university courses

- Self-development

Participating in webinars
Listening to podcasts
Reading business materials, such as articles, books, newsletters or blogs

- Leadership

Mentoring or coaching
Serving as a project or team leader
Serving as a committee chair or volunteer leader
Joining a business group or board
Providing CM training instruction to others

The ICPM staff conducts random audits to verify that you are complying with their professional development requirement; retain all documents that confirm your participation in an activity.

Governing Board Information

CM® certification is issued by:

The Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM)
James Madison University, MSC 5504
Harrisonburg, VA 22807