Credentialing Program: Frequently Asked Questions for Elected Officials


Why should we support employees who want to become 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 individual must be a member of ICMA. That means he or she is committed to upholding high ethical standards. In addition, the person who becomes credentialed commits to an annual training program, meaning continuous improvement of skills and practices that are applied on the job.

What kind of training does an ICMA Credentialed Manager have to commit to? Won’t that take time away from the job?

Many activities can count: conferences, workshops, seminars, university courses, professional reading, distance learning, and so on. Many professionals already engage in these activities. The Voluntary Credentialing Program offers the person a way to structure these experiences and focus them on the skills or practices that he or she particularly wants to strengthen.

We know that two assessments are required as part of the Voluntary Credentialing Program. Tell us about those.

The Management Assessment (formerly Applied Knowledge Assessment), which is required before a person applies to the credentialing program, helps the member assess his or her knowledge of local government principles and practices and the ability to apply them to management situations. The multi-rater assessment, which is required within the first five years in the program, provides an opportunity for elected officials and staff to provide feedback on the person’s work. It is not a performance evaluation of progress toward strategic goals, but a training planning tool that measures the application of management practices on the job. Spending the time to provide your manager with feedback is a good investment for your community.

Okay, you’ve convinced us. What is the cost?

The ICMA Voluntary Credentialing Program application fee is $50, and the local government frequently covers it. There is no annual renewal fee at this time. The initial Management Assessment costs $75, and the multi-rater assessment required within the first five years varies in regard to cost. It depends on which assessment the member chooses.