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.
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
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.