Frequently asked questions about the Certified Public Manager® Program
The Wisconsin Certified Public Manager® Program (CPM) is a nationally-accredited comprehensive statewide management development program specifically for managers in federal, state, tribal and local government. The program consists of 3 phases, totaling 300 instructional hours of training and written assignments, and is administered by the University of Wisconsin—Madison. 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.
As a candidate in the Wisconsin CPM program, you will enhance your administrative, technical, analytical and communication skills with structured training that has the broad perspective necessary for effective management. You will be a member of statewide and national cadres of professional public managers, learning from and with representatives of other governmental and non-profit agencies.
Candidates in the program report that they receive useful, work-based tools, skills and knowledge from CPM classes. 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.
All classes are taught by experienced public managers, trainers or UW staff. See more about the program.
The CPM program recognizes that most middle managers have completed significant training in basic supervision. Up to 60 hours of this type of training can be credited to your Phase I requirements. Up to 18 hours of other management training recently received outside of the CPM program can be counted toward the Professional Development Electives requirement. Extensive training you have received may allow you to waive a core class, but you will need to take another class to make up those hours. The Request for Approval of Professional Development Elective Hours appears in the CPM Handbook, which you will receive when you join the program. It can also be found on the Forms and Resources page.
The CPM program is a non-credit, non-degree professional development program. Its practical and applied skills provide a valuable complement to the more theoretical format of an MPA (Masters in Public Administration) or MBA (Masters in Business Administration). Depth of focus is the most significant difference between the 1-day workshops of the CPM program and the semester courses of a graduate degree. For example, in a graduate program you might take a full semester course on policy analysis and development whereas the CPM program offers a 1-day workshop in “Policy Analysis for Non-Analysts.”