Assessments

Assessments help members and others assess their knowledge for the purpose of professional development planning.

Management Assessment (formerly Applied Knowledge Assessment)

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 (now Management Assessment). This instrument was developed for the local government management profession and is based on the management dimensions of the ICMA Practices for Effective Local Government Leadership. It is designed to identify professional strengths and pinpoint opportunities for professional development.

What is the Management Assessment?

The Management 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 and the score for each core content area.

How does this assessment relate to the Voluntary Credentialing Program?

The first step in the voluntary credentialing process is to complete the Management 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.

How much does it cost?

For members and applicants to ELDP, Leadership ICMA, and MCMI, the ICMA Management Assessment costs $75. For non-members, it costs $149. Sales tax may apply.

How was the Management Assessment developed?

The Management Assessment (formerly Applied Knowledge Assessment) was developed by ICMA and the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, with extensive involvement by 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. In addition, 250 members participated in the validation of that assessment by mail or in person at the ICMA annual conference. Since that time, the assessment has been revised twice, once in 2007 and once in 2019, both year-long processes that involved extensive input from assessment validation experts and ICMA members from all regions.

How many people have taken the Applied Knowledge Assessment?

Since the Applied Knowledge Assessment became available in the summer of 1999, around 6,000 members and others have purchased it.

How can state associations use the Management Assessment results?

State associations can request a state summary of assessment results by contacting Jenese Jackson at jjackson@icma.org. These aggregate summaries help states plan professional development activities for their members.

Leadership Assessment 

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 and to respond to the recommendations of the 2014 ICMA Task Force on Leadership, ICMA partnered with Scantron to develop the Leadership Assessment. This instrument was developed for the local government management profession and is based on the leadership dimensions of the ICMA Practices for Effective Local Government Leadership. It is designed to identify professional strengths and pinpoint opportunities for professional development.

What is the Leadership Assessment?

The Leadership Assessment is made up of multiple-choice questions that tap your knowledge of local government principles and practices and your ability to apply them to leadership 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 leadership development program. You complete the assessment online and receive immediate results showing the overall score and the score for each core content area.

How much does it cost?

For members, the ICMA Leadership Assessment costs $75. For non-members, it costs $149.

How was the Leadership Assessment developed?

The Leadership Assessment was developed by ICMA and Scantron, with extensive involvement by members. During the year-long development period, ICMA members from all regions participated in a series of focus groups to help craft questions. In addition, 150 members participated in the validation of that assessment. 

How can state associations use the Leadership Assessment results?

State associations can request a state summary of assessment results by contacting credentialing@icma.org. These aggregate summaries help states plan professional development activities for their members.

Multi-rater Assessments

To maintain the ICMA credential, members must complete a multi-rater assessment within the first five years of entering the Voluntary Credentialing Program. 

Credentialed Managers must choose from this list of preapproved multi-rater assessment tools, which are designed to assess the ICMA Practices for Effective Local Government Leadership. The assessments are not a performance evaluation. Please be aware that the list of preapproved assessments is not an indication of endorsement by ICMA. This is simply a list of assessments that have received approval as meeting the credentialing multi-rater requirement based on the ICMA Practices.

The Credentialing Advisory Board will accept requests from organizations wishing to have their multi-rater tools added to the pre-approved list for review. These requests should be submitted to credentialing@icma.org, and the requests will be reviewed twice a year. Deadline for submissions is the first Monday in June and the first Monday in December; please allow 90 days following the submission deadline for an e-mail response.

Requests must include a sample of the tool and the tool MUST meet the following criteria:

After the first five-year period, there is no requirement to continue multi-rater assessments. However, it is recommended that a multi-rater assessment be completed every five years, or as significant career changes occur, such as a position change (i.e. going from Assistant City Manager to City Manager or vice versa), or a significant change in the makeup of the governing body, to see how results may have changed as the manager’s career has matured, etc. The multi-rater assessment is an assessment of practice and the Credentialing Advisory Board sees this as a benefit to the manager.

If a multi-rater assessment is completed on a voluntary basis, beyond the initial five-year requirement, it could qualify as a professional development activity and count towards the required 40 hours to maintain the credential.  The manager could get up to 10 hours for completing the tool by doing the following:

  • Completing one of the pre-approved assessments and receiving results 
  • Reporting completion of the assessment in the online annual report renewal 
  • Providing a narrative on how the results of the assessment will be used

NOTE: The initial multi-rater that is to be completed within the first five years of being in the program does NOT count toward a completed professional development activity. Completed activity credit only applies to subsequent multi-raters that are in the approved list or have been pre-approved by the credentialing staff. Completed activity credit may only be applied once every five years.   

How do I submit evidence of completion of a multi-rater assessment for the credentialing requirement?

Upon completion of the assessment, send an email to credentialing@icma.org that includes the name of the assessment tool used, the date of completion, and the job functions of the participants (direct reports, support staff, supervisor, etc.).

How much do they cost?

Multi-rater assessment prices vary, and are not sold by ICMA.

If you have further questions concerning the assessment instruments, email credentialing@icma.org.

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