What is a Credentialed Manager?
The International City/County Management Association Credentialed Manager (ICMA-CM) designation has become widely respected, frequently requested in recruitment of positions, and cited in positive media coverage of public stewardship. ICMA Credentialed Managers are professional local government managers qualified by a combination of education and experience, adherence to high standards of integrity, and an assessed commitment to lifelong learning and professional development.
Credentialed Managers are ICMA members who participate in the Voluntary Credentialing Program. To be eligible for the credential, the person must be a member of ICMA, meaning he or she is committed to upholding high ethical standards. In addition, Credentialed Managers commit to an annual program of professional development, meaning that they are continuously improving the skills and practices that they apply on the job.
Why should we want our local government manager to be credentialed?
ICMA members who participate in the Voluntary Credentialing Program bring benefits to the local government and its governing body. To be eligible for the credential, the person must be a full member of ICMA. That means he or she is committed to upholding high ethical standards. In addition, members who becomes credentialed commit to an annual program of professional development, meaning that they are continuously improving the skills and practices that they apply on the job.
Each Credentialed Manager has completed the Management Assessment. This assessment helps the member assess his or her knowledge of the Practices for Effective Local Government Management and Leadership and the ability to apply them to management situations.
The 14 Practices for Effective Local Government Management and Leadership
- Personal and Professional Integrity
- Community Engagement
- Equity and Inclusion
- Staff Effectiveness
- Personal Resiliency and Development
- Strategic Leadership
- Strategic Planning
- Policy Facilitation and Implementation
- Community and Resident Service
- Service Delivery
- Technological Literacy
- Financial Management and Budgeting
- Human Resources Management and Workforce Engagement
- Communication and Information Sharing
Management and Leadership Assessments
In addition, each Credentialed Manager must complete a multi-rater assessment within the first five years of entering the Voluntary Credentialing Program. This is a "360-degree" instrument that provides an opportunity for councilmembers and others (such as staff) to provide feedback on the person’s managerial performance. It is not a performance evaluation. It is a professional development planning tool.
Every ICMA member commits to 40 hours annually of professional development (Tenet 8 of the Code of Ethics). What distinguishes Credentialed Managers and Candidates is their commitment to plan for continuous personal improvement, to reflect upon their development activities, and to document their learning for peer review.
The Credentialing Advisory Board, made up of member volunteers, spends a considerable amount of time evaluating and reviewing applications and annual reports. They carefully consider each one, paying special attention to experience, education, plans, and annual reports.
In addition, all applications recommended for approval by the Credentialing Advisory Board are printed in ICMA’s e-newsletter for review and objections by all members. Approval of each Credentialed Manager is ultimately granted by the ICMA Executive Board.
ICMA maintains a Directory of Credentialed Managers and Candidates. Roughly 1,500 members have earned the ICMA-CM (ICMA Credentialed Manager) or the ICMA Credentialed Manager Candidate designation as part of the ICMA Voluntary Credentialing Program. Candidates are members who are within two years of meeting the criteria. When the experience requirement is met, these members will become ICMA Credentialed Managers.