9 Change Management Certifications To Consider Getting

Updated July 31, 2023

Change management is an important part of a company's ability to adjust to changes within the workplace, and professionals who specialize in facilitating this change often play critical roles in a company's success. If you'd like to advance in your career as a change management professional, you may consider earning certifications to expand your knowledge and develop your job-specific skill set. Knowing which specific certifications you can earn in change management and how you can get them can be helpful if you're hoping to progress in your role.

In this article, we explain what change management is, discover why it's important and explore nine different certifications you may consider earning as a change management professional to boost your success in this role.

Related: Change Management: What It Is and Why It's Important

What is change management?

Change management is the active management and oversight of any type of change process within a company or organization. With change management, a company puts a detailed plan into use to adequately prepare its staff for a transitional period so all parties involved can adapt and use new changes. There are several types of change management, including enterprise, individual and organizational, and each type functions differently according to its intended purpose.

All types of fields and industries may use change management and require the use of a change management professional any time a company or organization anticipates or plans for a major change within the workplace.

Related: Change Management: Definition, Types and Benefits

Why is change management important?

Change management is important for a variety of reasons. Ultimately, change management increases the likelihood of a company or organization succeeding after undergoing changes at any level. Additionally, change management also important because it creates a clearly outlined plan for not only beginning to change something within a company but also guides on how to implement these changes fully, how to adapt to these changes and how to make any necessary revisions to these changes. The change management process accounts for anticipated challenges or issues that may arise when facilitating changes and helps tackle these challenges head-on.

Change management can also help companies and organizations to keep up with the market and economic trends and expand due to its ability to assist in facilitating successful changes.

Related: Change Management Plan Guide (With Examples)

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9 change management certifications

There are a variety of different types of change management certifications that you may consider earning. These certifications range from general change management certifications to specific change management methodology certifications. Here are nine change management certifications for you to consider earning:

1. Certified Change Management Professional certification

A Certified Change Management Professional certification, or CCMP certification, is a certification offered by the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP). This certification is available for change management professionals who have applied to ACMP's Qualified Education Provider (QEP) program, taken courses from it, received training and paid for the program. Once you've completed these tests, you're eligible to take the exam to certify you meet ACMP's Standard for Change Management and adult education best practices.

You can take the certification exam, which costs $300 for members of the ACMP and $375 for non-members, up to three times within a one-year timeframe. The renewal fee, which you pay every three years, costs $100 for members of the ACMP and $150 for non-members, and you complete 60 professional development hours, or PDUs, every three years to be eligible to renew your credential.

2. Change Management Specialist certification

The Change Management Specialist certification, otherwise known as a CMS certification, is a professional change management certification given by the Management and Strategy Institute (MSI).This certification is an a organization-specific certification and it doesn't exist elsewhere and you can't earn the credential through another agency. This certification is available for those looking to verify that they understand the foundations of change management and how to apply it to a corporate work environment. MSI offers training and education materials for free to prepare for the exam.

The exam, which is taken online, costs $299.95, and if you pass it, there's no renewal fee to actively hold your new certification, but you do have to renew it every three years. You can take this exam up to two additional times if you don't pass on your first try for no additional fee.

Related: 8 Proven Change Management Models for the Workplace

3. Accelerating Implementation Methodology change management certification

The Accelerating Implementation Methodology (AIM) change management certification offered by IMA Worldwide is a change management certification you can earn by taking in-person certification courses at organizations that teach AIM methodology. This certification is available for change management professionals willing to travel to either the state of California or various locations in the United Kingdom to undergo formal education in AIM for four days straight.

Typically, courses for this certification cost $3,500 and you immediately receive your new credential upon completion of the course. You don't have to renew this certification as it's valid for life once you receive it.

4. Certified Problem and Change Manager certification

The Certified Problem and Change Manager certification, or (CPCM) certification, is offered by the Global Association for Quality Management (GAQM) and aimed at confirming a change management professional's ability to identify and solve problems within an organization. The certification exam targets the certification at professionals who work in product development oversee product life cycles in specific, but any type of change management professional may take the exam to earn the certification. While you aren't required to take GAQM's course for the certification, it's recommended, and you can take the exam an unlimited number of times until you pass it.

At this time, the CPCM certification exam costs $213 to take. Once you receive this certification, it's valid for life and you don't have to renew it.

Related: What Is Change Management Training? (With Tips)

5. Association for Talent Development Change Management Program certification

The Change Management Program certification offered by the Association for Talent Development is a program aimed at certifying that you're an efficient, productive and high-quality change management professional. The certification course is available for professionals who are interested in confirming their competence in implementing change processes, showing their qualities as a change leader and demonstrating their ability to encouraging a company to embrace change. You can take this course online, which takes places over six different sessions, or in-person, which takes place over two days.

Once you receive this certification, there's no need to renew it as it's valid for life.

6. APGM Organizational Change Management Foundation certification

The APGM Organizational Change Management Foundation certification is a certification offered by APMG International and CMI that certifies a professional's ability to facilitate smooth organizational change at the company they work for. To earn this certification, you take a course either online or in-person through an organization that delivers the course and then take the exam.

The course costs $729 if you take it online, at your own pace, $1,695 if you take a scheduled course online and $1,995 if you take an in-person course. You then need to renew this certification every year at no additional cost.

Related: How To Manage Change: A Guide to Organizational Change

7. Cornell University Change Management Certification

The Change Management certification offered by Cornell University is a professional certification course available to change management professionals all over the country. You don't have to be a student at this university in order to take the course. This certification is available for those willing to take six courses from the school aimed at teaching you the foundations of change management and change implementation in the workplace. Once you complete the course, you receive your official certification from the school.

The course costs $2,520 to take, and the certification is valid for life once you earn it.

Related: What Is a Change Management Plan? (With Templates)

8. Prosci Change Management Certification

The Prosci Change Management Certification is a credential offered by Prosci that proves your competence in utilizing the company's ADKAR model for change management techniques. The certification is available for those willing to take a three day-long workshop aimed at understanding the change management model. Once you complete the workshop and the accompanying exam, you receive the official certification.

The workshop costs $4,260 to undergo, but this includes all accommodations involved. There's also no need to renew the certification as it's valid for life.

Related: Guide to Change Leadership: Uses and Key Elements

9. Project Management Professional certification

The Project Management Professional certification (PMP) is a certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) aimed at certifying your ability as a project manager. This certification is available for those who manage change-based projects with a focus on business, people and process. There are requirements you meet in order to apply to earn this certification.

You need either a four-year degree, three years of experience leading projects and 35 hours of project management training or a Capital Asset Pricing Model certification, or a high school diploma or associates degree, five years of experience leading project and 35 hours of project management training or a Capital Asset Pricing Model certification. If you meet the requirements, you can apply to take the exam either in-person or online, which costs $405 for members of the PMI and $555 for non-members.

Please note that none of the organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to earn a change management certification?

The duration of a change management workshop can vary depending on the organization conducting it. Some programs allow you to earn this certification in as little as a few days, while others require a more significant time commitment.

How much does a change management certification cost?

The cost of a change management certification varies depending on the program you select. They range from less than $200 to $6000, so consider which program suits your budget and unique professional goals.

How do you know which change management certification is right for you?

When considering which certification to pursue, review the responsibilities you typically handle. This will help you to find the program that aligns with your duties, objectives and industry.

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