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New Feature: Board Member Article
Every newsletter will now feature an article written by an ACMA Board Member on a topic of their choice. These articles will discuss important topics in the field of public management.

Credentialed Managers
By Bob Flatley, City Manager, City of Coolidge

One of the main reasons I chose the Credentialed Manager Program in 2003 was an experience I had had earlier in life.

I was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest in 1967 after nine years of seminary education. I was shocked to learn that was the end of my professional training. Continuing education was not part of the profession. Once ordained, you were finished with the need to learn more about the profession. You supposedly had all the education you needed for the rest of your career. I don't know if that is still the situation today, but it was in 1967.

As a City Manager for nearly thirty years, I am proud to say that continuing education has been a critical part of my profession. And the Credentialed Manager Program simply allows you to focus and structure this education.

The ICMA Code of Ethics makes it a duty, "To continually improve the member's professional ability and to develop the competence of associates in the use of management techniques….each member should commit at least 40 hours per year to professional development activities that are based on the Practices identified by the ICMA membership."

To me, there is no excuse not to pursue the Credentialed Manager Program. It is simply continuing your education to master a wide range of knowledge and skills.

As a Credentialed Manager, elected officials recognize you as a professional local government manager qualified by a combination of education and experience, adherence to high standards of integrity, and a commitment to lifelong learning and professional development.

This was the profession I had hoped to find versus the one whose education ended with the degree. One can't successfully survive as a City Manager unless one continues to learn and improve upon certain areas that are weak points and strive to become better at the job. Everyone has weaknesses that can be improved upon through continuing education.

The Credentialed Manager Program is viewed with growing distinction by local governing bodies and progressive, civically engaged communities. The application process does not take a lot of time and is quite easy and very private.

Each Credentialed Manager should document annually how he or she has improved competency in the Practices required of a local government manager. This improvement can result from various learning experiences, such as reading, attending conference workshops, seminars and university courses.

To conclude, the ICMA Credentialing Program is centered on the idea that one should have maximum flexibility in meeting professional development needs. If you take the time to reflect as you proceed, you will find the knowledge gained is deeper and more likely to become part of your wisdom into the future.
Arizona City/County Management Association
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