ICMA’s Strategic Plan includes the following strategy:

Establish a voluntary credentialing program to define and recognize professional local government managers and to promote lifelong learning.

A voluntary credentialing program can benefit members as well as strengthen the profession. In addition to providing recognition for life-long learning, it can help explain the difference between a professional local government manager and anyone else who applies for a manager’s job from outside the profession. It offers an opportunity for interested members to promote the unique expertise that they bring to the profession of local government management. Such a program can help demonstrate what professionalism means—that education and experience, commitment to high standards of integrity, and the pursuit of ongoing professional development have meaning and bring added value to the communities we serve.

The board sought member input since it developed a concept paper in January 2001 on how to design the program to ensure that it will meet its intended purpose. Members were encouraged to participate in discussions at state or affiliate meetings or communicate their views to any member of the ICMA Executive Board. In addition, a mailed survey in May provided an opportunity for members to comment on all aspects of the proposed program. Results of the survey are highlighted in the attached article (see below). The survey document with a complete report of results is also attached.

The ICMA Executive Board adopted the policy outline of a voluntary credentialing program at its July 19-21, 2001, board meeting. Member support for the basic outline of the program as proposed in the concept paper led the board to design the program very similarly to that proposal. The board, in response to member feedback, did make two key changes to the proposed program: adding a Credentialed Manager Candidate level and providing alternatives to the Performance-Based Assessment requirement.

ICMA President Dave Mora appointed a nine-member Credentialing Advisory Board to advise on implementation and on granting credentials.  The first credentials were granted by the ICMA Executive Board at its May 2002 meeting.



Concept Paper on the Development of a Voluntary Credentialing Program, January 2001 (doc, 71 KB)

Article highlighting the results of the member survey (doc, 23 KB)

Member Survey on Developing a Voluntary Credentialing Program (Shows aggregate responses) (doc, 62 KB)