Prepare for a management career with
the Foundations of Management certificate

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FoM Subpage Logo Foundations of Management Certificate

Begin your management career with affordable, independent learning

The Foundations of Management (FoM) certificate is designed for employees interested in transitioning to a management or supervisory role. This 45-hour program provides essential tools and principles to establish a working knowledge of management practice and includes a 90-question online exam to validate learning. Applicants who pass the FoM exam within the 12 months allotted receive a Certificate of Achievement from the Institute of Certified Professional Managers. There are no eligibility requirements for the Foundations of Management certificate. Candidates can get started anytime by completing the FoM application online and purchasing program materials from the ICPM online store.

FoM Certificate Quick Overview

  • - 45-hours of learning
  • - 3 study formats
  • - 90-question online exam
  • - Certificate of Achievement
  • - Up to 12 months to complete

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Why FoM?

People Graphic Why Pursue the Foundations of Management Certificate?

The Foundations of Management certificate 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 completion of the Foundations of Management certificate, applicants will possess a foundational understanding of management and develop confidence to perform in their new management role.

A Pathway to the Certified Manager Certification

Applicants who pass the FoM exam and apply for the Certified Manager (CM) certification within 5 years are exempt from taking one of the three CM exams--MS I: Foundations of Management. Eligibility for this exemption is documented by a valid Foundations of Management Certificate of Achievement.

Learning Materials

Foundation of Management Learning Materials

Program applicants receive a custom published study book and access to ICPM's e-Learning Center.

Study Book

The Foundations of Management study book contains 14 chapters each of which includes a pre- and post-test, management spotlight, practical guidelines, self-assessment and cases for analysis.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1 - The Manager's Role in the Workplace
  • Chapter 2 - Discovering the Leader Within You
  • Chapter 3 - Developing Effective Communication Skills
  • Chapter 4 - Solving Problems and Making Ethical Decisions
  • Chapter 5 - Delivering First Rate Customer Service
  • Chapter 6 - Planning for Goal Achievement
  • Chapter 7 - Organizing Work, Relationships and Teams
  • Chapter 8 - Staffing, Training and Appraising Employees
  • Chapter 9 - Leading and Motivating People
  • Chapter 10 - Controlling to Improve Results
  • Chapter 11 - The Business Environment
  • Chapter 12 - The Role of Economics in Business
  • Chapter 13 - Basic Concepts of Information Technology
  • Chapter 14 - Managing Accounting and Financial Information

E-Learning Center

ICPM's e-Learning Center contains multimedia learning resources to reinforce learning and practice exams to test your knowledge. The e-Learning Center also contains PowerPoint presentations, outlines, notes, and additional readings.

Experience the Foundations of Management certificate program by taking an e-Learning demo.

Study Formats

Foundations of Management Certificate Study Formats

Candidates have the option to complete the FoM Certificate program individually or as part of a group, according to the study formats described below.

Study Formats Graphic Individual, Self-Directed Online Study

Enjoy the flexibility of studying individually anytime and anywhere with ICPM’s self-directed online study format. Enrollment is continuous, allowing candidates to apply online and get started right away. A self-directed study agenda helps candidates create a personal study schedule using ICPM’s learning materials and facilitates completion of the FoM exam within the 12 months allowed. The proctored FoM exam can be scheduled whenever the applicant is ready to test, allowing individual control over the pace of completion. Additionally, the FoM exam can be taken on any computer with reliable Internet access, eliminating the need to travel to a testing center.

Group, Instructor-Led Live Online Study (Pilot Program)

Experience the convenience of studying from your desktop with ICPM’s instructor-led live online study format. Both US and international candidates 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 must enroll up to two weeks before classes begin. For specific details and start dates, CLICK HERE. Training fees plus FoM program pricing apply.

Group, instructor-led classroom study

Benefit from thought-provoking instruction and discussion with the instructor-led classroom study format. 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 FoM program 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.

Exam Specifications

Foundations of Management Exam Specifications

The FoM exam assesses foundational management knowledge in the following content domains:

  • The Business Environment
  • Communication and Information Technology
  • Talent/Human Resource Management
  • Planning and Organizing
  • Leading and Controlling
  • Finance and Accounting

For detailed FoM exam specifications, please view the FoM exam blueprint.

Taking the Foundations of Management Certificate Exam

The FoM exam consists of 90 multiple-choice questions and is taken on any computer with reliable internet access, through ICPM's e-Learning Center. Applicants are allowed a maximum of 90 minutes to complete the exam. The exam must be taken without assistance, notes, or reference materials.

The FoM exam is proctored. ICPM has partnered with ProctorU to provide live, secure, online proctoring. FoM applicants may also opt to use an in-person proctor that meet's ICPM requirements and is pre-approved.

Grading and Results

Test takers receive immediate pass or fail results on-screen and by email. Upon passing the FoM exam, applicants can print their own FoM Certificate of Achievement from the ICPM e-Learning Center. 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 grading is complete. Test takers who pass the exam can use this feedback to help address areas of weakness, while those who fail can use their feedback to prepare to retake the exam.

To comply with accreditation standards, ICPM does not report the number or percentage of correct answers attained.

Proctoring Requirements

Foundations of Management Proctoring Requirements

The FoM exam has two proctoring options available to applicants, ProctorU and In-Person.

ProctorU Graphic ProctorU

ICPM has partnered with ProctorU to provide live, secure, online proctoring for the FoM 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 reliable internet access, a web-cam, and microphone. No special software is needed.

To take the FoM 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 the exam. Applicants who choose this option are responsible for finding their own proctor that meets requirements established by ICPM. Examples of acceptable proctors include active CMs, authorized ICPM instructors, HR representatives, training coordinators, managers or supervisors. 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 Requirements

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 FoM certificate applicant

Your FoM Application has Been Successfully Submitted

Thank you for submitting your Foundations of Management 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 Foundations of Management certificate.

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

Foundations of Management Certificate Application

Thank you for your interest in applying for the Foundations of Management Certificate Program. The FoM Application is required for all FoM applicants to verify contact information and to determine whether or not applicants might be eligible for the Certified Manager Program.

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

I. Personal Contact Information

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

II. Education

Please complete the information below to provide ICPM with information regarding your educational background, management training received, and certifications attained.

High School
Highest College Degree
Management Training
Certifications Received (PMP, PHR, etc.)

III. Experience

Please complete the information below to provide ICPM with information regarding your work experience, both management and non-management.

Management (manager, supervisor, leader, etc.)
Non-Management (sales, manufacturing, etc.)
Military Service

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.

What Customers are Saying FoM Quote Icon

"Today's dynamic and fast paced global environment demands more of our leaders than ever before. As managers, there is an expectation to do more, know more, and be more. The CM credential is an excellent designation that says to the world that you have what it takes to set yourself above the rest."
John J. Rivera, PMBA, CM - Consultant, Adjunct Professor and Business Executive, Guam
"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 Foundations of Management Certificate?

Complete a program application to start the FoM program. Enrollment is continuous so you can begin your program at any time.


Get Started with the Foundations of Management Certificate Program


FoM Certificate Bundle

$ 375


  • FoM Study Book
  • Online Learning Center access
  • 90-item FoM online exam
  • Free Shipping (US Only)
  • Purchase Program