The ICMA Voluntary Credentialing Program recognizes professional local government managers who through their education and experience, their adherence to high standards of integrity, and their commitment to lifelong learning and professional development are deserving of the credential.

Credentialed Managers gain this recognition from ICMA through a peer review credentialing process that emphasizes not only their participation in professional development activities but, more importantly, what they learned from these activities. 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.

Learn More


The ICMA Credentialing Program is eligible to only ICMA Members. Become part of the international network of 13,000+ local government management professionals.


Benefits of Being Credentialed

ICMA knows the importance of continuous learning and ICMA Voluntary Credentialing Program gives you an easy way to focus and structure that learning, as well as become involved in coaching younger managers. As members of ICMA, you are already required by Tenet 8 of the Code of Ethics to commit to at least 40 hours of professional development every year. This program encourages you to reflect on your learning, and receive feedback and recognition. Please consider beginning the process today and join your colleagues who are already credentialed.

  • Recognition as a professional local government manager
  • Quantification of the unique expertise you offer
  • Demonstration of adherence to high standards of integrity
  • Demonstration of commitment to lifelong learning
  • Structured and focused professional development plan
  • Peer review of professional development activities and learning
  • Eligibility for Legacy Leaders Program
  • Special consideration for workshops and other trainings, such as the Gettysburg Leadership Institute and Williamsburg Leadership Institute

See your colleagues who are already credentialed

ICMA Credentialed Managers are viewed with growing distinction by local governing bodies and progressive, civically engaged communities.

View the directory


Get Started

Managers often ask whether they can make the time to become credentialed. The application process does not take a lot of time. Applying is quite easy, yet the benefits of the program itself are immeasurable.

Verify Your Eligibility

Your work experience must be full-time and appointed, and your degree must be from a regionally accredited or DEAC (formerly DETC) accredited university. You must also be a full member of ICMA.

Complete the Management Assessment

Your Management Assessment (or Applied Knowledge Assessment) results must be less than three years old to make an initial application.
Take an assessment

Apply Online

Watch a tutorial with step-by-step instructions regarding how to access and apply online.
Learn More

Application Deadline
October 2, 2023
January 2, 2024
April 1, 2024
July 1, 2024
Product Price
Management Assessment $75
Application Fee $50


Read the frequently asked questions about the multi-rater assessment requirement, sample annual report and other common questions about the ICMA Voluntary Credentialing Program.

E-mail or call 202-962-3504 (Star-Aisha Boyd).


What happens after I apply?

What happens after I apply?

  • The Credentialing Advisory Board will review your application within 45 days of the application deadline. For example, if your application is submitted before the April deadline, it will be reviewed by the end of May.
  • Recommended names will be printed in the Leadership Matters e-newsletter for member review by mid-June.
  • Approval will be granted by the ICMA Executive Board by mid-July.
  • Notification will be sent via e-mail by late July.
  • Online annual reports will be due every year after executive board approval of ICMA Credentialed Manager or Candidate status to renew your credential. Be prepared to provide at least one specific example of something you learned from each activity.
  • Within the first five years of being in the program, you must complete a multi-rater assessment. If you cannot complete a multi-rater assessment for political or financial reasons, e-mail so the Credentialing Advisory Board can help you devise another method of external feedback.
What is the credential called?

What is the credential called?

ICMA-CM or ICMA Credentialed Manager. Initials or title can be used after the name on letterhead, business cards, or other professional documents.

How are ICMA Credentialed Managers recognized?

How are ICMA Credentialed Managers recognized?

Members receive certificates or lapel pins by mail upon request to ICMA-CMs and Candidates are also invited to a special reception at the annual conference and are invited to attend special sessions and seminars during the conference and throughout the year. The online Who's Who record also indicates whether a member is an ICMA Credentialed Manager.

How do I renew?

How do I renew?

Members are required to renew annually. Watch a video tutorial for step-by-step instructions on how to access your credentialing history and renew your credential.

What happens after I retire?

What happens after I retire?

Retired members who have been credentialed for at least five years are eligible to become Retired Credentialed Managers. Retired Credentialed Managers do not have to submit annual reports unless they desire to retain the "active" credential. E-mail to find out whether you are eligible.