Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Certified Public Manager program?

The Certified Public Manager Program of Illinois (CPMPI) is a nationally-accredited comprehensive statewide management development program specifically for managers in federal, state, and local government. The CPMPI program consists of three levels, totaling 300 hours of training. Like CPM programs in other states, it recognizes the public management profession and its unique demands and challenges as well as your professional commitment and achievement. The program is administered by the University of Illinois-Springfield.

Who can enroll in CPMPI classes?
Supervisors, directors, administrators, and managers working at any level of government or non-profit management can participate in courses. It is not necessary to enroll in the CPMPI program to attend classes. Most trainings are one-day or ten-hour classes.

Where will classes be offered?
CPM trainings are offered online and are available via web conferencing. With Microsoft Link, our web conferencing system, participants are connected online to a live CPM trainings. Microsoft Link, allows users with different Internet connection speeds to collaborate online. Microsoft Link software is especially useful in providing audio exchanges, the sharing of desktop computer applications, text-based chatting, and interactive whiteboards.

We are eager to offer the program in other places if there is sufficient interest. Let the CPMPI Office know of your interest in bringing the program to your area by sending an e-mail to Program Coordinator Lorena Johnson at or more information about CPM courses via Elluminate please contact Lorena Johnson at 217 206 – 6079 or

CPMPI classes also can be offered for individual agencies or government units upon request.

Who will teach?
All classes are taught by University faculty or experienced public manager practitioners.

What are the requirements for certification?
The CPMPI program consists of 300 hours in three levels. You must complete all levels to be certified. Level III is open only to those people who have completed Levels I and II. The requirements are:

Level I: Effective Supervision (60 Hours or 6 Training Days) It is suggested that candidates begin with CPM 100 Leadership and Management: A Self Assessment.  This class gives you both an understanding of your strengths as a manager and an overview of the program.

Level II: Core Competencies: Effective Management Training and Electives (140 or 14 Training Days).

Level III: Up to 140 hours

  • Credit for Prior Learning Portfolio
  • Leadership Seminar
  • Capstone Project
  • Learning Portfolio

Why should I enroll in the CPMPI program?

  • Opportunity to explore the knowledge and skills of effective and successful management practices with practitioners and experts in the field of public management;
  • Enhancing leadership abilities by identifying your areas strength and areas of growth and development;
  • Networking and exploring what works with other professional public managers and learning from and with representatives of other nonprofit and governmental agencies across the state and nationally.
  • Applying to your work the latest ideas and best practices in the field of public administration;
  • Advancing your professional growth and development by having access to University of Illinois – Springfield’s rich resources and leading experts in the field of public administration;
  • Developing a Professional Learning Portfolio that both captures and reflects your efforts, progress, and achievement, serving as a resource for your continued life long learning and professional development.
  • How do you apply to be a CPM Certification Candidate?
    You have two options for completing the CPM certification: our traditional open-enrollment format or as part of a Candidate Group. The open enrollment format is for participants interested in taking CPM professional development trainings at their own pace. The Candidate Group attends trainings collectively: on average, three times per month, becoming Certified Public Managers together in 18—24 months.

What is the added benefits to the Candidate Group participation?

  • Collegiality!! You will participate in the entire program with the same group; this allows you to develop professional networks and to work on group projects.
  • Responsiveness!!! The curriculum will be tailored to the needs of the class; information from the first sessions will be used to select instructors or instructional materials that respond to your individual and agency-specific needs.
  • Easier Registration!! Fewer Decisions!! You only have to register once, and you will not have to choose between elective classes, or be concerned that the class you need is not available in a given semester.
  • Cost Savings!! Offering a group based program saves significant program administration costs; we pass those savings on to you. The cost of this program is less than if you were to register for classes on an individual basis.

What is the total cost of the program?
There is a one time $50.00 application fee to apply as a candidate for the CPM Certification. The total cost of the 300 hour program, including the application and project fees, is approximately $3750. 00.
For CPM candidates the cost for attending each training is $170.00. However, if you are not a candidate for the CPM Certificate the cost for each training is $200.00.

How long does it take to become certified?
On average, it takes 18 – 24 months to complete the program. You can work at your own rate, taking classes as your work and personal schedules permit. Some students finish in as short a period as 15 months; others have taken three or more years. The program requires that you make progress every year, but there is no limit on the time necessary to complete the program.

What are the benefits of participating in the program? Of getting a CPM?
Candidates in CPM programs report that they receive useful, work-based tools, skills and knowledge from the CPM classes. They also report that they meet and talk to a variety of public managers, and learn from them. Of current CPM graduates, approximately one-half have received a promotion while in the program or after completing the program. But the real benefit of participating is that, if you apply what you learn in the classroom, you will become a better manager, have a more satisfying work-life, and a more productive and happier workforce.

How do I register for classes?
Open enrollment classes are those open to CPM candidates and the general public. The registration process for such classes is through the CPMPI Office. Open enrollment classes are publicized in periodic brochures as well as the CPMPI website

Registration procedures are outlined in each brochure and on the website.

What if I need to cancel?
Notice of cancellation must be made to the CPMPI Program Office. The CPMPI cancellation policy states: If you are unable to attend a class, you are welcome to send a substitute. If you must cancel and do so up to ten business days prior to the class, you will receive a full refund minus a $30 administrative fee. If you cancel less than ten business days prior to the class, or do not participate, you are responsible for the entire fee. Exceptions to this policy are made by CPMPI staff on a case-by-case basis.

What classes should I take to start the CPMPI Program?
Within one year of applying for the program, you must take the class 100 Leadership and Management: A Self-Assessment. This class gives you an understanding of your strengths as a manager and an overview of the program. As a part of this class you will complete a Certified Public Manager of Illinois Personal Professional Development Plan, to guide you in your professional development education.

How do I move to Level II?
You may take Level II classes while still a Level I candidate. However, in order to be considered a Level II candidate you must compete the following:

1. 100 Leadership and Management Self-Assessment

2. Up to 30 hours of Credit for Prior Learning in the area of Leadership and Management.

3. 101 Introduction to Effective Supervision: A Seminar 10hrs x 2 days

4. 110 Team Building and Team Management

5. 120 Succession/Orientation Planning, and Mentoring

6. 130 Conflict Management

What are the requirements for Level II?
Level II consists of 140 training hours: seven core trainings and seven elective trainings.

Elective courses are chosen from the categories of the seven core competency areas:

  • Leadership: Ethics, Values, and the Public Manager
  • Effective Supervision
  • Cultural Competency and the Public Sector Workplace of the 21st Century.
  • Human Resources Management: Productivity and Quality Improvement
  • Organizational Development and Managements
  • Outcome Based Program/Project Management
  • Building Effective Partnerships

How do I get more information?
Please contact:
Illinois Certified Public Manager Program
University of Illinois Springfield
One University Plaza MS PAC 452
Springfield, IL 62703-5407
Phone: 217 206-6079
Fax: 217 206 – 7397