Demonstrate Your Leadership in Performance Management

Apply now for an ICMA Certificate in Performance Management to recognize your leading practices and results.

ARTICLE | Nov 1, 2018

You probably gather performance data on local government services and encourage staff to identify and use measures that tell you how you’re doing. You probably use the data to make decisions about resource allocation. And maybe you also report data to the public in documents or on your local government website.

If you’re doing any of these things, you may already qualify for an ICMA Certificate in Performance Management—or you may be only a few steps away. Applications for the 2019 certificates opened on November 1, and now is a good time to make a commitment to apply.

Because performance management is one of the pillars of professionalism in local government, ICMA promotes it by recognizing jurisdictions that are committed to collecting, using, and sharing performance data and building a performance culture. ICMA does this each year by awarding certificates to recognize exemplary performance management programs, encourage comparative analysis, and reward transparency.

Certificates are based on established criteria and are awarded at three levels—Achievement, Distinction, and Excellence (the highest level):

  • Recipients at all levels collect and verify data to ensure reliability, train staff in performance measurement, and report data to the public, such as through budgets, newsletters, or electronic outreach.
  • Certificates of Distinction are awarded to those who also use performance data in strategic planning and operational decision-making and share their knowledge with other local governments through presentations, site visits, and other networking activities.
  • Certificates of Excellence go to those who, in addition, track and report key outcomes in addition to inputs and outputs, survey residents and local government employees, incorporate data into performance dashboards or other visual communications, and foster the development of a performance culture throughout their organizations.

In addition to receiving recognition, certificate recipients contribute to a body of knowledge by submitting examples of their public reporting formats, scorecards, strategic plans, and other initiatives as part of the application. ICMA shares these leading practices through conference sessions, workshops, articles, downloadable documents, and the Certificate Program website page, which has links to dozens of examples.

Applications for the 2019 certificates will be accepted through May 3, 2019, so now is a good time to review the criteria and application to see how your program measures up. The application fee is $200 and can be paid using this payment voucher.

Recipients will be formally recognized at the 2019 ICMA Annual Conference in Nashville. In 2018, ICMA awarded Certificates in Performance Management to 57 local governments. They are listed on the ICMA website and were officially recognized at ICMA’s 104th Annual Conference in Baltimore in September.



If you have questions, contact Gerald Young (


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