CPM Certificate overview

Find answers to our most frequently asked questions below. If you continue to have questions, please contact us at:

CPM Director
Chrystyna Mursky

Program Coordinator
Sunshine Jansen

CPM Certificate overview

The Wisconsin Certified Public Manager® (CPM) Program offers 2 paths to certification. Classes are offered by UW campuses as well as state and local government agencies.

Requirements for certification

The CPM program consists of three phases, totaling 300 instructional hours. This includes a total of 23 1-day, 6-hour, face-to-face classes, and 2 multiple-day classes. You must complete all 3 phases to be certified. You may work on Phases I and II concurrently. Phase III is open only to those people who have completed Phases I and II. The requirements are:


(Focuses on supervisory training and assessment of managerial skills; it concludes with a written project.)

  • MANAGEMENT ASSESSMENT (6 Hours): You must complete the 1-day class, Management Assessment for Personal Planning and Development within 1 year of enrollment. This class gives you an understanding of your strengths as a manager and an overview of the program.
  • SUPERVISORY TRAINING (60 Hours): The CPM Program does not offer supervisory training on a regularly scheduled basis. Classes may be scheduled on request. Most students meet this requirement through university credit or noncredit classes, training offered through governmental units, vocational/technical classes and professional training seminars focused on supervision. Provide evidence of at least 60 hours of supervisory training within 1 year of enrolling in the program.
  • PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN (2 Hours): Develop a long-range plan for your personal and professional development which addresses the competencies, skills or effectiveness characteristics you believe are necessary to be a better public manager. Requires identification of specific methods to achieve goals, as well as an anticipated timeline and evaluation component.
  • WRITTEN PROJECT (4 Hours): A paper in which you discuss a supervisory situation in which you were the supervisor or in which you discuss three or more supervisory situations in which you were the one supervised. Main focus is on the lessons learned about effective supervision from personal experience.


(Complete 7 required core classes and 15 elective classes. Complete a take-home review demonstrating what you have learned.)

  • MANAGEMENT CORE CLASSES (42 Hours): Complete the following 7 1-day classes:
  1. The Public Management Profession and Environment
  2. Strategic Thinking, Planning, and Organizational Transformation
  3. Productivity and Quality Improvement
  4. Problem Analysis and Problem Solving
  5. Presenting Yourself to One or Many
  6. Ethics, Values and the Public Manager
  7. Leadership
  • MANAGEMENT ELECTIVE CLASSES (90 Hours): Take 3 classes in each of 5 categories.
  1. Quantitative Methods and Tools (18 Hours): Topics include quantitative decision making, research methods, systems techniques, productivity measurement, and others. Descriptions of Quantitative Methods classes are found on the index of classes page.
  2. Public Policy (18 Hours): Topics include legislative relations, policy analysis and implementation, media relations, customer/client relations, negotiating with the public and others. Please note: Effective January 1, 2001, new candidates must take #227 “Executive Writing” as well as 2 additional public policy classes. Descriptions of Public Policy classes are found on the index of classes page.
  3. Organizational Management (18 Hours): Topics include organizational design and analysis, team building, change management, conflict management and others. Descriptions of Organizational Management classes are found on the index of classes page.
  4. Resource Management (18 Hours): Topics include budgeting, information management, risk management, program evaluation, project management and others. Descriptions of Resource Management classes are found on the index of classes page.
  5. Personnel Management (18 Hours): Topics include personnel law, advanced interpersonal relations, human resource development, advanced performance appraisal, advanced discipline and grievance, labor relations, managing the diverse work force and others. Descriptions of Personnel Management classes are found on the index of classes page.
  • WRITTEN REVIEW (6 Hours):Take-home review requiring synthesis and application of material learned in Phase I and Phase II classes or, in the Colleague Group format, reflective essays written for each class.


(Brings together training from the previous phases in case studies, a simulation, an applied project and leadership seminar. Download sample timeline of Phase III )

  • DECISION MAKING CASE STUDIES (24 Hours) 4 days devoted to analyzing cases which synthesize management practices and theory.
  • CLASS PROJECT (18 Hours) Apply managerial skills and knowledge to a real-world management situation through a collegial team effort, contributing to the improvement of a public or non-profit organization.
  • WRITTEN PROJECT/CASE STUDY (18 Hours) An applied project or case study which can be done as an individual or team project.
  • LEADERSHIP SEMINAR (12 Hours) Presentation of project or case study to other class members, and discussion of topics such as the future of public management, public management ethics, or other timely topics.
  • PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ELECTIVES (18 Hours) Electives may be general or professionally-specific management classes. You may choose CPM classes or classes provided by other approved sources. It is strongly recommended that you arrange prior approval for an elective class not provided by a UW System campus or government unit. Professional Development Electives may be taken at any time during the program.