The Voluntary Credentialing Program for Government Managers

International City/County Management Association pic
International City/County Management Association

As the City Manager of Hot Springs, Arkansas, David Frasher oversees the city’s departments, funds, and hiring process for city employees. David Frasher also maintains certification as a Credentialed Manager with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Professional local government managers may acquire certification through the Voluntary Credentialing Program.

ICMA’s Voluntary Credentialing Program awards certification to deserving government managers who meet the proper educational and experiential qualifications. Certified professionals maintain an adherence to lifelong learning, professional development, and high standards of integrity. The self-directed Credentialing Program consists of a peer review credentialing process and emphasizes the importance of long-term professional development opportunities. In order to complete the credentialing process, managers must possess a degree from a regionally accredited or DETC-accredited university, complete an Applied Knowledge Assessment, and submit an application within three years of receiving the assessment results.

Managers with ICMA Credentialed Manager designation are entitled to an assortment of benefits. In addition to recognition as a professional local government manager, the title serves as a symbol of the individual’s commitment to integrity, lifelong learning, and high standards. Such managers also receive access to various special workshops and other exclusive training opportunities that foster professional development and peer review. Furthermore, they are eligible for the Legacy Leaders Program, which encourages managers to coach the next generation.

The ICMA accepts applications for the Voluntary Credentialing Program on the first of each quarter. Applicants must pay $75 for the Applied Knowledge Assessment and an online application fee of $50. For more information, click the “Credentialing” link in the Membership menu at


ICMA’s Voluntary Credentialing Program

International City Management Association pic
International City Management Association

In the late 1990s, David Frasher decided to discontinue his private law practice to accept a job as city administrator of Oak Grove, Missouri. In his new line of work, David Frasher managed all aspects of running a municipality, such as finance, public works, and code enforcement. After a few years of experience, the International City Management Association (ICMA) accredited him as a credentialed manager.

The ICMA Credentialing Program recognizes local government managers as professionals in public service. This voluntary program qualifies government managers in terms of education, experience, and commitment to professional development. To apply for the credential, ICMA requires up to 15 years of experience, which varies depending on the applicant’s educational background. Qualified applicants undergo a peer review credentialing process to assess their expertise.

Currently, ICMA has over 1,454 credentialed managers. To renew the credential, ICMA requires members to complete 40 hours of continuing professional development, recorded and submitted through an annual report.

The Benefits of Being an ICMA Credentialed Manager

International City County Management Association pic
International City County Management Association

David Frasher received his legal education from the Washington University School of Law. Currently serving as City Manager of Hot Springs, Arkansas, David Frasher is credentialed by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).

In keeping with its mission of advancing professional local government worldwide, ICMA established its voluntary credentialing program, which aims to recognize professional local government managers who are deemed to be qualified based on a combination of relevant education, adequate experience, adherence to ethical principles, and a commitment to lifelong professional development. Those who pass the peer review credentialing process receive the title “ICMA Credentialed Manager,” which is granted by the ICMA Executive Board.

There are many benefits to being an ICMA Credentialed Manager. First, the title-bearer will be a recognized professional local government manager whose unique expertise has been quantified and who demonstrates adherence to the highest ethical standards. Moreover, it provides a sense of community by allowing a peer review of the title-bearer’s professional activities and learning. The title can also provide a gateway to eligibility for the Legacy Leaders Program, as well as access to workshops and other training specially designed for ICMA Credentialed Managers.

Leadership Development Programs at ICMA

International City County Management Association pic
International City County Management Association

Municipal administrator David Frasher is the City Manager of Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he oversees all city departments and budgets. Outside of his work in Hot Springs, David Frasher contributes to the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Fund for Professional Development.

A professional organization focused on creating excellence in local government, ICMA offers a number of professional development opportunities through its ICMA University program. In particular, ICMA sponsors leadership development programs for individuals involved in all levels of local government.

Recent graduates of MPA/MPP programs can participate in the Local Government Management Fellowship (LGMF), which provides a pathway for securing an entry-level position in local government management. Once accepted to the program, fellows begin management-track positions with local governments, often rotating through a variety of departments.

For local government officials in the middle stages of their careers, the Mid-Career Manager Institute (MCM) raises awareness of leadership responsibilities and important management issues. Credentialed managers can participate in the Legacy Leaders program, where they provide mentoring and professional support to the next generation of local government managers.

To learn more about leadership development programs at ICMA, visit