Institute of Certified Professional Managers

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The Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM) is a US-based, non-profit, educational institute and certification body affiliated with the James Madison University College of Business, that provides education and certification in management to managers, supervisors and leaders working in all industries. Founded in 1974, ICPM has a 40-year history of successfully developing and certifying managers around the globe.

Certified Manager[edit]

The Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM) sponsors the professional Certified Manager (CM) certification. Through a comprehensive program of management and leadership development and assessment, the CM certification validates managerial competency and leadership potential. Fortune 500 companies that employ CMs benefit from the enhanced credibility, professionalism, and quality of management that CMs bring to the organization.

The CM certification program comprises application, training and assessment. CM applicants meet eligibility requirements for education and experience to receive approval to pursue the CM certification. Training on the comprehensive CM body of knowledge comprises 75–90 hours and can be completed in groups, as classroom training, or individually, as self-directed study. A job task analysis performed periodically confirms the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to lead and manage in the global workplace and forms the basis of the CM body of knowledge. Three challenging CM exams assess knowledge and critical thinking skills to verify a level of managerial competency has been achieved. The CM program imparts flexibility that allows applicants to begin the certification process at any time (continuous enrollment) and test at their convenience (on-demand testing). Applicants control the pace of program completion within 15 months.

The CM certification is obtained by meeting eligibility requirements and passing three CM exams. Certificants earn the right to use the “CM” professional credential after their name, i.e. John Smith, CM, which is recognized worldwide as a sign of managerial competency and professionalism. CM certification embodies lifelong learning to stay current in management. Certificants complete professional development activities annually and pay a professional fee ($50) to maintain current CM status.


The Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM) was established in 1974 through a grant from the George R. Brown Foundation. The Institute was formed to enhance recognition of management as a profession and to provide direction in the study of management. Two organizations founded ICPM: the International Management Council (IMC) and the National Management Association (NMA)NMA.

The International Management Council (IMC) was founded in 1903 by foremen who were members of the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association). Initially, named the Industrial Management Club, its mission was to train line managers for jobs in manufacturing. IMC chapters were formed in over 40 US states and internationally in Taipei, Taiwan and Japan. In 1971, the organization’s name was changed to the International Management Council and its membership expanded to include company presidents, managers and first line supervisors. In 2003, IMC merged with the National Management Association to form one strong, united organization for the development of managers and leaders.

The National Management Association (NMA) was founded in 1925 by Mr. Charles F. Kettering, a pioneer in human resource development. Initially named the National Association of Foreman, today it goes by "NMA . . . THE Leadership Development Organization" to reflect its focus on leadership development. NMA is a national, non-profit leadership development organization headquartered in Dayton, Ohio with a membership of over 22,000. NMA is dedicated to managerial excellence, professional growth, and leadership development.

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