Verify your management expertise with
the Certified Manager Certification

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CM Subpage Logo Certified Manager Certification

Verify your ability to manage and lead with the Certified Manager Certification.

The Certified Manager (CM®) certification is a professional credentialing program that verifies an individual's ability to manage and potential to lead with a level of competency. CM certification is attained by meeting eligibility requirements for education and experience, and passing a series of three CM assessment exams. Program applicants should have prior work experience, but may or may not hold a management title. Employers look to the CM certification to distinguish candidates for hiring and career advancement.

CM Certification Quick Overview

  • - 90-hours of learning
  • - 3 study formats
  • - 3 multiple choice online exams
  • - CM certification upon passing exams
  • - Up to 15 months to complete

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Program Overview

People Graphic Certified Manager Certification

The Certified Manager certification is offered in multiple formats, from self-study to LIVE online to classroom, to fit your specific needs. The 90-hour certification prep program covers essential tools and principles for quality management practice that is applicable to any industry. Applicants are allowed 15 months to pass the CM exams and earn the CM certification from the Institute of Certified Professional Managers. Successful applicants also earn the privilege to use the "CM" professional credential as a sign of their competency. Participants can apply online at any time by completing the CM application and purchasing program materials.

Why CM Certification?

The Certified Manager certification is the product of a comprehensive job task analysis of the management profession to identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for competent performance on-the-job. Upon attaining CM certification, certificants will possess proof of their qualification to manage and lead in the workplace. CM certification empowers certificants to take control of their careers by positioning themselves for advancement.

Learning Materials

Learning Materials

Applicants prepare for the Certified Manager exams using ICPM's custom developed certification prep materials.

The CM certification prep materials consist of 90 hours of learning organized into three modules:

Management Skills I:
Foundations of Management

Provides fundamental leadership and management skills and knowledge

Content Includes:
  • 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

Management Skills II:
Planning and Organizing

Provides skills and knowledge for improved planning and organizing.

Content Includes:
  • Planning and Strategy
  • Value-Chain Management
  • Project Management
  • Organizational Structure and Culture
  • Building Team and Work Groups
  • Human Resource Management
  • Workforce Diversity
  • Coaching and Feedback
  • Networking and Mentoring
  • Facilitating Effective Meetings

Management Skills III:
Leading and Controlling

Provides skills and knowledge for improved leading and controlling

Content Includes:
  • Leadership
  • Motivation
  • Managing Change
  • Conflict, Politics, and Negotiation
  • Managing Misbehavior
  • Time and Stress Management
  • Organizational Control
  • Operations Control
  • Accounting and Financial Information
  • Financial Management

Study Books and E-Learning Center Access

Each module of the Certified Manager Program consists of a printed study book, access to ICPM's e-Learning Center, and a CM certification exam. ICPM's e-Learning Center contains multimedia learning resources such as PowerPoints, quizzes, notes and outlines to reinforce learning and to test your knowledge.

The CM certification, inclusive of learning materials, can be purchased by the bundle--one payment of $775 + shipping for international purchases (free shipping in the US)--or by the module--three payments of $285 + shipping for international purchases (free shipping in the US). Applicants that do not desire to purchase ICPM's learning materials can purchase the CM application and three exams for $525 US dollars.

Certification Prep

CM Study Formats Graphic Certified Manager Certification Prep Formats

Applicants have the option to complete the CM certification individually or as part of a group, according to the formats described below.

Individual, Self-Directed Online Study

Enjoy the flexibility of studying individually anytime and anywhere with ICPM’s self-directed online certification prep. Enrollment is continuous, allowing applicants to apply online and get started right away. A self-directed study agenda helps applicants create a personal study schedule using ICPM’s learning materials and facilitates completion of the three CM exams within the 15 months allowed. The proctored CM exams can be scheduled whenever the applicant is ready to test, allowing individual control over the pace of completion. Additionally, the exams can be taken on any computer with reliable Internet access, eliminating the need to travel to a testing center. CM module and bundle pricing apply.

Group, Instructor-Led Live Online Certification Prep (Pilot Program)

Experience the convenience of studying from your desktop with ICPM's instructor-led live online certification prep. Both US and international applicants can participate in online classes that combine live instruction with dynamic group interaction. A computer with a reliable Internet connection, webcam and microphone are all it takes to get started. Administered by ICPM's Authorized Instructional Partners,* you will receive high-quality, application-based instruction, plus the ability to asynchronously view any missed classes. Applicants can start with any of the three CM modules and enroll up to two weeks before classes begin. Register for a single module or for all three modules at once and save! For specific details and start dates, CLICK HERE. Training fees plus CM module or bundle pricing apply.

Group, Instructor-Led Classroom Study

Benefit from thought-provoking instruction and discussion with the instructor-led classroom certification prep. Small class sizes of 15-25 students facilitate learning and maximize group interaction. Administered by ICPM's Authorized Instructional Partners,* classroom programs are offered in specific geographic regions that have high demand. Each program is designed to meet the needs of its local customers; accordingly, costs, duration, and program formats vary by location. For specific details and start dates, contact partners directly from the Instructional Partners page. Training fees, plus CM module or bundle pricing apply.

*ICPM’s Instructional Partners comprise an elite group of high-quality, well-experienced training organizations and academic institutions. To learn about becoming an ICPM Authorized Instructional Partner, visit the link or contact ICPM by emailing or calling 540-568-3247.

CM Exam Specifications

CM Exam Specifications

In order to earn the Certified Manager certification applicants must pass 3 multiple choice CM exams.

The three exams that must be passed include:

  • Management Skills I: Foundations of Management
  • Management Skills II: Planning and Organizing
  • Management Skills III: Leading and Controlling

Content Areas

Together all three Certified Manager exams assess essential analytical skills, knowledge and decision-making skills in the following areas:

  • The Practice of Professional Management
  • Managing in a Global Marketplace
  • Communication and Information Technology
  • Legal and Economic Influences on Organizations
  • Creating Plans and Strategies for Success
  • Structuring and Organizing Work Projects and Teams
  • Selecting and Training a Diverse Staff
  • Maximizing Employee Performance
  • Leading and Motivating Others
  • Managing Employee Behavior and Conflict
  • Establishing and Following Effective Control Standards
  • Financial and Accounting Concepts

For full CM exam specifications, please view the CM Exam Blueprint.

CM Exam Specs Graphic Taking the CM Exams

Exams are administered through ICPM's e-Learning Center and may be taken on any computer with reliable Internet access. Separate versions of the CM exams are provided for US and international applicants. US exams contain 120 multiple-choice questions, while international exams contain 100 multiple-choice questions (void of US laws and regulations). Each exam is time limited to a maximum of 120 minutes.


CM exams are proctored and should be taken without assistance from others, notes or reference materials. All CM applicants whose applications were approved on or after October 1, 2015 must take proctored exams and may choose to use either an online or in-person proctor. Click on the "Proctoring Requirements" tab for additional proctoring information.

Exam Results and Grading

Test takers receive immediate pass or fail results on-screen and by email. Exams are officially processed on the 16th of each month or the next business day. Detailed feedback that highlights strengths and weaknesses in specific content areas is sent by email after this grading. Test takers who pass the exam can use this feedback to help them address areas of weakness, while those who fail can use the feedback to prepare to retake the exam.

New CMs will receive a CM certification packet, including two copies of their CM certificate. These packets will be sent within 4 weeks after the official results of the third and final CM exam have been sent.

Proctoring Requirements

Proctoring Requirements

ICPM requires that all CM exams be proctored, and has provided applicants with two proctoring options:

ProctorU Graphic ProctorU

ICPM has partnered with ProctorU to provide live, secure, online proctoring for the CM exam. ProctorU's unique system combines the convenience of online testing with the security of live proctoring. Applicants can test anywhere and on any computer with Internet access, a web-cam, and microphone. No special software is needed.

To take the CM exam with ProctorU, an applicant must visit the ICPM ProctorU Exam Portal to create a user account and schedule an appointment to test. Appointments are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and should be made at least 72 hours in advance. A $25 fee is payable directly to ProctorU when scheduling an exam. View specific instructions here.


Applicants have the option to use an in-person proctor to observe and monitor their exam. Applicants who choose this option are responsible for securing a proctor that meets the requirements established by ICPM. All proctors must be pre-approved by providing the following documentation to ICPM at least 2 weeks prior to testing:

  1. A copy of the proctor's photo ID
  2. A resume or CV to verify proctor requirements
  3. A signed copy of ICPM's Exam Proctor Agreement

Proctor Criteria

In order to proctor an ICPM exam an individual must be:

  1. At least one level above the applicant in their organization
  2. Unrelated to the applicant
  3. Currently not a CM applicant

Preferred Proctor Candidates Include:

  • Active CMs and CMARs
  • Certified Manager or Foundations of Management program instructors
  • Approved ICPM Instructional partners
  • An HR representative or training coordinator in the applicant's organization
  • The applicant's manager or supervisor


CM certification embodies a commitment to life-long learning in order to stay current on ever changing management practices. As such, Certified Managers are required to recertify in order to continue to use the CM credential.

Recertification is accomplished by meeting two requirements

  1. Paying a $50 recertification fee annually.
  2. Completing 45 management/leadership-related professional development units (PDUs) during the three year renewal period.

At the end of the three year renewal period each CM is required to report 45 professional development units (PDUs) to ICPM. ICPM encourages Certified Managers to participate in a variety of different activities to earn the required PDUs. Learn More about professional development requirements for recertification.

Who Must Recertify?

All CMs must recertify. Initial CM certification is current for 3 years. CMs are responsible for paying recertification fees beginning one year after their initial certification date, as shown on their CM certificate, and annually thereafter. CMs are also responsible for reporting 45 PDUs beginning 3 years after their initial certification date, and every 3 years thereafter. For example, a CM who attains initial certification on June 16, 2015 is responsible for paying a $50 recertification fee for the first time on June 16, 2016 and for reporting 45 PDUs for the first time by June, 16 2018. Learn More about the recertification process.


Your CM Application has Been Successfully Submitted

Thank you for submitting your Certified Manager (CM) certification application. ICPM will review your application in the next 24 - 72 hours and will email you further instructions on how to get started with the CM certification.

Your professional development is ICPM's number one priority, therefore, do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

Certified Manager Application

Thank you for your interest in applying for the Certified Manager (CM) certification. The CM Application is required for all CM applicants to verify eligibility to take the CM certification exams. Please review the eligibility requirements below before completing the application.

Please Note: If you are a CMAR applicant, please complete the CMAR application. If you are a Military applicant, please complete the Military application.

Applications are reviewed every Tuesday and Thursday and applicants are notified of their approval status by email within 5 business days.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Certified Manager certification, an applicant must document at least 10 total points and meet the minimum point requirement for both education and experience.

I. Personal Contact Information

Please provide your contact information below. All fields marked with an * are required.

II. Education Points & Documentation

To meet the education eligibility requirement for the CM certification applicants must record and document at least 3 but no more than 6 points. Education points should be documented with:

  • A copy of your highest degree or global equivalent attained, and/or
  • A college/university transcript, and/or
  • Letter/certificate(s) of management training attended.
High School (1 point)
College (record highest degree attained only: AA = 2 pts, BA/BS = 4 pts, Master's/PhD = 5pts)
Management Training (40 hours = 1 pt)
Certifications (PMP, PHR, etc. - each certification = 1pt, maximum = 2 pts)
Education Documentation Upload (accepted file types include - jpg, jpeg, png, gif, pdf, doc, docx, odt, tiff)

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III. Experience Points & Documentation

Record and document at least 4 but no more than 7 points, beginning with your current or most recent employer and working backward. Points must be documented via a Reference Statement completed and signed by your current or most recent employer, or a copy of your resume.

If you are self employed or are unable to provide a reference statement because an employer is no longer in business, please provide a note to this effect and submit a copy of your resume.

Points for military service should be documented by a Joint Services Transcript, Smart Transcript, Career Data Brief, or other appropriate source. Active duty military do not need to provide a resume.

Management (manager, supervisor, leader, etc. - full-time = 1 pt/yr, part-time = 0.5 pts/yr)
Non-Management (sales, manufacturing, etc. - full-time = 0.5 pts/yr)
Military Service (leadership role = 1 pt/yr, non-leadership role = 0.5 pts/yr)
Experience Documentation Upload (accepted file types include - jpg, jpeg, png, gif, pdf, doc, docx, odt, tiff)

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IV. Signature Verification

I attest that all information provided on this application is true and verifiable. I further attest that I agree to abide by the ICPM Code of Ethics. I understand that payment of an annual recertification fee and the completion of ongoing professional development are required to maintain current certification status.

What Customers are Saying CM Quote Icon

"As a result of the CM certification, I am able to leverage a new-found arsenal of management skills, knowledge and perspectives to enhance my performance in a newly acquired leadership role."
Alex Rodriquez, CM - , Lockheed Martin, Manassas, VA
"During my participation in the Certified Management program, I felt empowered to make positive changes in my career. The program was supported with excellent training material that provided an opportunity for me to enhance my management skills. As a result of the Certification Program, I have excelled in my current role and gained respect from the leader of the organization. "
Monique Easley, CM - Mortgage Loan Originator, Star One Credit Union, Sunnyvale, CA

Ready to Pursue the Certified Manager Certification?

Complete a program application to determine your eligibility for the CM Certification. Enrollment is continuous so you can begin your program at any time.


Get Started with the Certified Manager Certification


CM Application and Exams

$ 525


  • CM application fee
  • 3 CM certification exams
  • Online Learning Center access
  • Purchase Program
CM Certification Bundle

$ 775


  • CM application fee
  • 3 CM study books
  • 3 CM certification exams
  • Online Learning Center access
  • Free Shipping (US Only)
  • Purchase Program