History of the Certified Public Manager Program
The idea for the CPM began in the early 1970s at the University of Georgia with the realization that the state was experiencing explosive growth in information and knowledge, significant new social legislation, and rapidly altering social values. During this time the Institute of Government and the Georgia Merit System were offering management training to public employees. It was recognized that these two organizations were offering duplications of training in some areas of management and were failing to meet the needs of other management areas. In 1974 University of Georgia’s Institute of Government, the Georgia Center for Continuing Education, and the Georgia State Merit System for Personnel Administration convened to discuss ways to broaden and refine Georgia state management training programs to meet the challenges of rapid change in the state and society. A consensus was reached that management in the state government needed to become more professional.
Ken Henning is considered the father of the CPM. He observed that most state training programs consisted of separate courses in which content was varied and lacked consistent focus. Henning felt that an integrated program would achieve a more organized approach to competencies needed by management. The CPM program was modeled after the CPA program, consisting of the creation of a coordinated program addressing specific and various training needs relevant to management as well as with content involving study and preparation, practice and application of learning, examination, and prestigious recognition. The CPM would also involve the eventual creation of the American Academy of Certified Public Managers similar to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as a central capstone organization.
Planners believed that awarding certificates of attendance were insufficient in the creation of a program based on quality. Early planners for the CPM determined that an innovative and rigorous program of study, application of knowledge, examination, and certification should be developed. University courses and the Georgia Merit System collaborated to reduce training duplication, and maximize efforts. Initially a program was developed in which six courses would be taught, three by the Georgia Merit System and three by the University of Georgia. After a series of meetings, two long-term goals for the CPM were created:
After gathering strong support for the CPM program from the governor, legislative leadership, top management of state agencies, University of Georgia, regional intergovernmental personnel assistance (IPA) offices of the U.S. Civil Service Commission, the University of Georgia’s Institute for Government and Center for Continuing Education and the Georgia State Merit System of Personnel Administration co-authored a detailed proposal.
February 9, 1976 the Georgia House of Representatives passed Resolution Act No. 97 in response to Governor Busbee’s request authorizing and directing the State Personnel Board and the State Merit System of Personnel Administration to implement the Certified Public Manager Program in the State Government of Georgia. On February 19, 1976 the Senate adopted the resolution and the legislature unanimously passed the resolution on February 26, 1976. On March 1, 1976 the CPM was formally established.
In 1977 the Georgia Society of Public Managers was created affiliated with a national organization to be known as the American Academy of Certified Public Managers.