Performance Management: Show Your Leadership

Your initiatives may already qualify your local government for an ICMA Certificate in Performance Management. Find out and apply by May 3, 2019.

ARTICLE | Jan 30, 2019

If you're committed to measuring performance, improving service delivery and internal processes, and building a data-driven culture, you may already qualify for an ICMA Certificate in Performance Management—or you may be only a few steps away.

ICMA’s certificates recognize local governments that collect, use, and share performance data. Do you:

  • Compare performance to prior years?
  • Include performance data in the budget or other decision making?
  • Share data with the public, particularly with graphics or narrative to help them understand it?
  • Benchmark with other jurisdictions?
  • Provide performance measurement training to your staff?

If, so, you’ve already met some of the eligibility criteria for certificates at one of three levels—Achievement, Distinction, or Excellence (the highest level). Because performance management is one of the pillars of professionalism in local government, the certificates recognize exemplary programs that instill a culture of performance management, encourage comparative analysis and data-informed decision making, and reward transparency.

To see how close you are, take a look at the systems and practices you have in place and compare them with the criteria. A certificate can offer recognition for what you’ve already done, inspire you and your staff with a sense of accomplishment, and guide you on the path to further improvements. In addition, you’ll be contributing to a body of knowledge for ICMA to share when you submit examples of your public reporting formats, scorecards, strategic plans, and other initiatives as part of the application.

If you haven’t yet met all the criteria, the good news is that the application deadline is not until May 3, 2019, so you have time to make those improvements to your performance management program now.

In 2018, ICMA awarded certificates to 57 jurisdictions, which are listed on the ICMA website along with examples of their leading practices. This year’s recipients will be recognized on the website and at ICMA’s Annual Conference in Nashville. Review the criteria and application and bring your staff the recognition it deserves. The application fee is $200 and can be paid using the Certificates in Performance Management Payment Voucher.

Questions? Contact Gerald Young at ICMA (

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