The first guideline to Tenet 8 of the ICMA Code of Ethics commits members to routinely assess their professional skills and abilities. To help members fulfill this responsibility, ICMA partnered with the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University to develop the Applied Knowledge Assessment and the Performance-Based Assessment. ICMA partnered with CCi Surveys International to develop the Professional Development Planning Assessment. All three instruments were developed for the local government management profession and are based on ICMA’s Practices for Effective Local Government Management. They are designed to identify professional strengths and pinpoint opportunities for professional development.
What Can You Tell Me about the Assessments?
1) The Applied Knowledge Assessment is required before you complete the credentialing application; you are also welcome to complete it even if you do not plan to apply for the credential. It is made up of multiple-choice questions that tap your knowledge of local government principles and practices and your ability to apply them to management situations. The assessment is not a test. There is no passing or failing score. It simply provides feedback to guide you as you structure a continuing professional development program. You complete the assessment online and receive immediate results showing the overall score, the score for each core content area, and, for comparison, the mean scores of a large number of individuals who have completed the instrument.
2) The Performance-Based Assessment is a comprehensive professional development tool in a multi-rater format. (You are not required to complete a multi-rater assessment until you have been in the Credentialing Program for five years; however, you are welcome to complete one at any time.) It asks respondents to assess and compare your current work behaviors with expectations through a series of questions, and it takes approximately one hour to complete. After responses are submitted, CCi Surveys provides you with several feedback reports, including a detailed analysis that illustrates any differences between performance and expectations. Recommendations for building on your strengths and what to consider for your professional development plan are also included.
3) The Professional Development Planning Assessment is a shorter professional development planning tool in a multi-rater format. (You are not required to complete a multi-rater assessment until you have been in the Credentialing Program for five years; however, you are welcome to complete one at any time.) The feedback that you receive from this planning tool will help you structure a continuing professional development and training program. It asks respondents to assess your current work behaviors through a series of questions, and it takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. After responses are submitted, CCi Surveys provides you with a brief summary of your feedback. An item is only reported as a strength or development need if at least 50% of your participants identify it, so if you prefer more detailed results, please choose the longer Performance-Based Assessment.
Both multi-rater assessments rely on the feedback of the participant and up to 25 others. For confidentiality reasons, open-ended comments are not reported by participant group like the multiple-choice answers. Please click here for a full page of credentialing resources, including frequently asked questions regarding the multi-rater assessments, a PowerPoint presentation, and previews.
How Do These Assessments Relate to the Voluntary Credentialing Program?
The first step in the voluntary credentialing process is to complete the Applied Knowledge Assessment. Note that you will be asked to create a profile and establish an Assessment login and password, which are different from your ICMA login and password.
To maintain the ICMA credential, members must complete the Performance-Based Assessment, Professional Development Planning Assessment, or an alternative multi-rater assessment at least once every five years (the first one is due five years after entering the Voluntary Credentialing Program). If you cannot complete a multi-rater assessment for political reasons, e-mail email@example.com. The Credentialing Advisory Board will work with you to devise another method of external feedback.
How Much Do They Cost?
For members and ELDP applicants, the Applied Knowledge Assessment costs $75. For non-members, it costs $125.
The Performance-Based Assessment costs $245.
The Professional Development Planning Assessment costs $200.
How Were the Assessments Developed?
The Applied Knowledge and Performance-Based Assessments were developed by ICMA and the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, with extensive involvement of members. During the year-long development period, ICMA members in several parts of the country participated in a series of focus groups to help craft questions for the Applied Knowledge Assessment. In addition, 250 members participated in the validation of that assessment by mail or in person at the Orlando annual conference.
The Professional Development Planning Assessment was developed by ICMA, CCi Surveys International, and the Credentialing Advisory Board.
How Many People Have Taken these Assessments?
Since the assessments became available in the summer of 1999, almost 5,000 members and others have purchased one or both of them.
How Can State Associations Use AKA Results?
State associations can request a state summary of AKA results by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. These aggregate summaries help states plan professional development activities for their members.
If you have further questions concerning the assessment instruments, e-mail email@example.com.