By Cynthia Seelhammer
Many professions require licensing or some kind of credentialing. Think about the state boards or tests which doctors, CPAs or lawyers are required
to have. Those same professionals are required to participate in continuing education to keep their credentials.
ICMA offers a voluntary process to do the same for the local government manager. The process is one more way to prove we are "leaders at the core of
better communities." Credentialing is test-based and a self-assessment tool to help identify your strengths as a manager, and where you might benefit
from additional education. Not only does this tool help focus on individual training needs, it can also provide an easy way to decide which areas of
training to focus on for the year through a user-friendly online tracker.
More than 40 managers are already credentialed here in Arizona, which is indicative of our state's leaders' commitment to professionalism and self-initiative
for professional growth.
Here are just a few personal accounts of those who have received ICMA credentialed manager status:
"[Credentialing] sends a clear message to their current and future communities that they have met an elevated national standard for their profession. I
believe that communities that seek out credentialed managers for their openings demonstrate to their citizens a higher level of accountability in ensuring
they find the most qualified city manager possible." -- Patrick Banger, Town Manager, Town of Gilbert
"I wanted to demonstrate my commitment to the profession. We can't possibly know everything, and the initial assessment helped me identify those areas
where I should emphasize future training. In addition, the 360 degree evaluation, which I was very intimidated to do, was a great reaffirmation that I
was holding up my end of the bargain as a competent, ethical manager." -- Mary Jacobs, Assistant City Manager, City of Sierra Vista
"The ICMA Credentialing Program strengthens the value of the profession and actively engages managers in continuous learning and exposure to best
practices. I wanted to be credentialed because it supports my personal belief in how government should be objectively viewed and managed." -- Gilbert
Davidson, Town Manager, Town of Marana
"Since becoming credentialed, I have come to deeply appreciate the process as a means of tracking my professional growth and for setting goals for each
year with respect to increasing my professional competencies. I have found the process to be invaluable to my growth, and as a manager in transition, as
a tool to assist in marketing my abilities to prospective employers." -- Dana P. Hlavac, ICMA-CM CPM
"I chose to become a credentialed manager because it reflects my public commitment to the profession of local government management. Attainment of the
credentialed status not only acknowledges my experience and competency in the field, but signals my support of the council-manager form of government
and the ICMA Code of Ethics." -- Julie Ayers, Human Resource Director, City of Peoria
If you have not yet decided to pursue credentialing, think about doing so and reach out to your colleagues to learn more about their experience with the
process. You can also click here to learn more from the ICMA website.