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Develop : Talent Management: Certification Track:

Certified Public Manager ® Program (CPM)

History | Enrollment | Selection Criteria | Prerequisites | Curriculum | Cost
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The Certified Public Manager® (CPM) program provides in-depth, comprehensive, competency-based leadership development to middle managers in North Carolina’s state government agencies/universities and local government organizations. A graduate of the CPM program earns the Certified Public Manager® designation, which is recognized by a National CPM Consortium of over 40 states and public sector entities. 

Each year 72 participants are selected by their organizations to enroll in the CPM Program. The 300-hour CPM Program format is blended, which means that participants complete some courses online. Online courses are supported through in-class application and skill enhancement. Approximately twelve in-class days (80 hours) are required of participants during the 16-month active CPM Program. Additionally, 120 hours are required outside the classroom sessions to complete online modules, and pre/post class assignments. Participants also may choose to take additional courses that would add to the online and/or contact days. A CPM Project, which applies and demonstrates the concepts learned to a problem or service improvement opportunity in the participant’s work unit, is also completed over the 16-month Program period.

Program Enrollment

Nominees are solicited annually from NC state agencies/universities and local government organizations. Specific enrollment information is sent to state agency/university Training Coordinators and published in the state-wide Learning Management System (LMS) each Spring to start the process. Participant selection criteria (including the prerequisite training program information) are provided to help in the nomination process. State agencies/universities and local government organizations are responsible for ensuring that their nominated employees meet all criteria for CPM Program enrollment.

NC State government agency/university managers interested in enrolling in the CPM program should download an application from the Learning Managment System (LMS) and contact their agency/university training coordinator for specific details about the CPM selection guidelines.

Selection Criteria

The selection criteria listed below is valid as of 4/21/15.

To be nominated by their NC state government agency/university or local government organization, managers must fit the following criteria:

  1. Organizational Level
    1. Nominees must be North Carolina middle managers in a state agency or constituent institution of The University of North Carolina system, or in a city/county local government organization. This may include UNC faculty members who have middle management responsibilities as a significant portion of their work assignment. The middle manager functions at the level between executive management and the first line supervisor.
    2. The middle management role in state agencies/universities or local government organizations is defined, for purposes of nomination to the Certified Public Manager® Program (CPM), as including one or more of the following:
      1. supervising the supervisors of first-line employees;
      2. managing a program which has broad impact upon delivery of core services of the agency/university/organization (e.g., statewide and cross- agency/departmental impact for state government; city- or county-wide for local government)
      3. consulting and interacting on a regular basis with executive management.
    3. The design of the CPM Program presupposes that (1) participants have subordinate employees, which requires the middle manager to carry out the managerial functions of supervision and performance management and/or (2) participants provide program management to meet the needs of broad and varied groups of stakeholders/clients, necessitating the middle manager’s exercise of influence at or above their own organizational level.
  2. Required Time Commitment for the CPM
    To earn the CPM designation, each candidate must complete 100 hours of pre and co-requisite coursework (see item #3 above) plus an additional 200 hours of coursework in the core CPM Program curriculum. Thus, a minimum of 300 hours of course work is required to complete the entire CPM Program. Additional time may be needed to complete the CPM project requirement.
    The 200 hour core CPM Program curriculum format is blended. This means participants complete online course work, which is supported through classroom sessions focused upon practicing skills and giving/receiving “real-time” performance feedback.  CPM Program content is covered in four different modules; each module is comprised of pre- and post-class assignments in addition to a classroom session.    For the core CPM Program curriculum, approximately twelve in-class days (80 contact hours) will be required over a 14 month period.  During this same period, an additional 120+ hours will be required outside the classroom sessions to complete on-line modules and meetings as well as other pre/post class assignments.  It is expected that sponsoring state agencies/universities and local government organizations will allow participants to use paid work time to complete all CPM Program activities, including prerequisite and co-requisite course work (see Section 3 of this document).
  3. Executive Commitment of Support
    Each nomination carries with it the commitment of the applicant’s state or local government executive management to support the nominee.  This includes:
    1. Support of the nominee’s learning process:
      1. Making participation in the CPM Program a part of the nominee's work plan by building in paid work time to attend all courses and complete all non-classroom-based assignments on schedule.
      2. Encouraging and supporting application of CPM Program competencies on the job through a variety of strategies including the CPM final project.
      3. Completing all feedback instruments, evaluations and assessments required for the nominee.
      4. Becoming engaged in the learning process by having the nominee share competencies gained during a just-completed CPM module (learning objectives will be provided to the participant to share with his/her immediate supervisor).
      5. Providing feedback on curriculum content and program design to the CPM faculty and staff in order to ensure continuous quality improvement.
    2. Allocation of appropriate resources:
      1. Approval of funds for:
      2. participant fees for the Certified Public Manager® Program, including pre and co-requisite courses; and
      3. travel costs (mileage and per diem) for nominees outside of Raleigh.
      4. Authorization of reasonable use of state or local government organizational resources (e.g., computers and software, clerical support, photocopiers) for participants to complete CPM Program requirements such as assessments, online courses and meetings, reports, learning application assignments, etc.  This includes ensuring that the state or local government organization’s Information Technology function provides timely and reliable access to CPM Program online resources to participants.
  4. Prerequisites and Corequisites

    The selection criteria listed below is valid as of 4/21/15.

    To be eligible for nomination to the CPM Program, nominees must meet the middle management requirement.  They must also successfully complete the following 100 hours of pre and co-requisite programs:



    • Interaction Management may be available through your agency or at additional cost through the CPM Program. The Leading at All Levels High Performance Coaching course for Managers, available from the Office of State Human Resources via the NC Learning Center, will be accepted, completed, or scheduled to be completed within six months of entering the CPM Program, in fulfillment of the Interaction Management Training requirement for CPM purposes. If an applicant does not have access to Interaction Management training or a CPM Program approved equivalent through their agency, they may contact the CPM Director (Kathi Parker at Kathleen.Parker@nc.gov or 919.733.8333) to identify the OSHR/TM options available for meeting this requirement. Completed or scheduled to be completed within six months of entering the CPM Program.


    The CPM curriculum focuses on developing key leadership competencies through practical application. Instructional strategies include online course work, case analysis, simulations, discussion, exercises, small group work, 360 feedback and reflection. The following four required modules are each comprised of a 2-1/2 to 3 day classroom session plus extensive pre and post course work.

    You may review the learning objectives and methods for each of the four core modules by accessing the revised CPM brochure at here.

    Each participant is required to complete a project by the end of his/her CPM Program. The purpose of the project is to allow the participant to demonstrate application of learning by developing and implementing a plan of action which is intended to improve the quality of service in the participant’s work unit. The project entails leading an improvement planning team. It is assessed by program faculty, project team members, and agency personnel.


    The current CPM participant registration fee is $1300. Fees are due once enrollment in the program is awarded, and prior to the first classroom session.


    For information about the the Certified Public Manager® Program, contact Kathi Parker, program director, by phone 919-733-8333 or by email.