Which Case Management Certification Should I Get? (Updated February 2024)

Which CM Certification Should I Get


This article gives a comparison of the most popular certifications available for case managers. It also gives you a look at the eligibility requirements and cost of the exam.

A popular question in our Case Managers Community Facebook Group is “Which Case Management Certification should I get?” While we can’t answer that question for you we can give you the information you need to decide for yourself. 

Things to consider are where you are now and where you see yourself in the future. You will also want to take into consideration your professional background and where you work. 

This article gives a comparison of 3 of the most popular certifications available for case managers to help you decide which one is best for you.


How CCMC Develops the CCM® Exam and How You Can Prepare for It

The following is a guest article written by Debby Formica, CAE, ICE-CCP COO, Commission for Case Manager Certification

Group of Women helping Develop the CCM® Exam

Research-Based  Exam Development

Have you ever wondered about the rigor and process of constructing and managing the CCM exam? It is more complex than meets the eye. The CCM exam is carefully crafted through a comprehensive, multi-phase process. This involves a team of subject matter experts and test development specialists who design and rigorously evaluate questions, with a focus on precision, clarity, and validity. These questions are thoughtfully curated based on extensive literature review and research. The categories for job functions are defined based on the results of an extensive job task analysis, which delves into the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary for effective case management. This research conducted by CCMC to support exam development is the Role & Function Study. This is an evidence-based study of the knowledge, skills, and activities case managers are performing in the field. CCMC validates and updates the CCM certification exam with data from this study every five (5) years to ensure it is reflective of the current state of case management as a practice

 The Commission is committed to constant improvement as a testament to our dedication to individuals who are wholeheartedly pursuing excellence in the field of case management. CCMC meticulously oversees the development of its test question bank, ensuring the inclusion of high-quality questions while also managing the retirement of outdated ones to maintain the certification’s rigor and relevance.

Harnessing the Power of Study Groups

As you begin your journey of preparing for the CCM exam, it’s worth considering the significant benefits of creating workplace or community study groups. These group study sessions offer numerous opportunities for mutual growth and support. By participating in these groups, you not only get a chance to assess your strengths but also to tap into the expertise of your peers who may have a deeper understanding of specific topics. Ultimately, study groups create a supportive and enriching environment as you strive to achieve your CCM certification goals.

Professional development beyond certification:

CCMC provides numerous educational opportunities aimed at fostering ongoing professional development and keeping CCMs up-to-date with the latest advancements in case management practices. Here are a few of CCMC’s most helpful resources:

  • Learn and earn CE credits effortlessly with our CMLearning Network. Discover current topics for enrichment and watch as CEs are automatically added to your dashboard, making professional development easy and convenient.
  • Stay updated with relevant case management topics through our official CCMC CareManagement Journal. It is available 6 times a year and you can earn at least 2 CEUs in ethics credits annually by reading our articles.
  • Try PACE™ and explore a vast directory of CE-approved webinars, onsite events, journal articles, home-based courses, and web-based education from multiple providers, giving you the flexibility to tailor your learning to your needs.

CCMC also offers a “Develop Others” toolkit which is designed to assist managers, supervisors, and senior case managers in fostering the professional growth of their staff and junior counterparts and guiding them toward certification.

Commission Partnerships that Matter

Becoming a Certified Case Manager (CCM) is a significant achievement, and it’s essential to recognize the pivotal role that CCMC’s partnerships play in this endeavor. These collaborations are more than mere logistics; they are the foundation for a seamless and reputable certification experience.

Our partnership with the Data Recognition Corporation (DRC), experts in test development, is instrumental in ensuring the quality and credibility of CCM exams. Their expertise guarantees that every question is thoughtfully crafted, adhering to the highest standards of fairness, validity, and reliability. When you face the CCM exam, you’re not just answering questions; you’re engaging with a meticulously designed assessment, a testament to your dedication and expertise.

DRC’s commitment to excellence extends to safeguarding the credibility of your certification, instilling trust in both professionals seeking certification and the organizations that employ them.

On the administrative front, CCMC partners with Pearson VUE to simplify the entire exam process. Pearson VUE’s extensive network of testing centers makes registration effortless, helps you find convenient testing locations, and ensures swift result delivery. This accessibility is more than a convenience; it’s a bridge to encourage more individuals to embark on the journey of certification.

Pearson VUE’s proficiency in delivering high-stakes examinations means that the CCM exam is administered efficiently and professionally. This commitment to accessibility empowers you to choose when and where to take the exam, making it easier for you to focus on mastering the content.

Beyond logistics, these partnerships represent a continuous commitment to improvement. Your journey to CCM certification is a collaborative effort. These partnerships elevate your experience, making the CCM exam more than just an exam—it’s a recognition of your excellence in case management.

Our Partnership with You

If you are a dedicated case manager preparing for the CCM exam, this is a pivotal phase of your case management career. The Commission stands by you, ready to provide unwavering support to you as your case management journey evolves.

Are you eligible to take the CCM exam? Know before you apply. For more information about eligibility requirements click here

Editors Note:

If you are ready to start studying for your CCM exam the Case Management Institute has developed numerous resources to make your journey to certification a pleasant one. Start your journey at CaseManagementStudyGuide.com

Last Minute Tips to Pass the CCM Exam

Last Minute Tips to Pass the CCM Exam

Whether you have studied for months to prepare for your Case Management Certification exam or just finished some last-minute cramming, we have a few last-minute tips that have stood the test of time and helped countless individuals pass their CCM Exam.

Here are a few tips for the last week of preparation.

A Week Before the CCM Exam

In the week leading up to the CCM Exam, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the logistics of the test day.

If you’re heading to a testing center, consider taking a “test drive” to the location. This will help you gauge potential traffic hurdles, identify parking spots, locate the entrance, pinpoint the office – basically, iron out all the logistical details.

Are you opting for a home-based exam on your computer? Take a thorough look at the instructions regarding computer testing, room specifications, and the monitoring process. If you have any uncertainties or questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the testing company now. Addressing concerns beforehand ensures a smooth test day experience and minimizes the risk of tech-related frustrations.

A Day Before the Exam

One day before your exam take a break from your study sessions. Allow your mind to rest and absorb the knowledge you’ve acquired over the weeks.

Monitor your caffeine intake, ensuring it’s moderate. While caffeine can boost alertness, excessive amounts might affect your sleep the night before the exam and we all know how important a good night’s sleep is!

To enhance your sleep quality, engage in physical activity like going for a walk. Taking a walk outdoors in nature not only contributes to better sleep but also aids in relieving stress, setting the stage for a more relaxed exam day.

Night Before the Exam

The evening before the exam eat a nutritious dinner that won’t trigger heartburn or indigestion, ensuring a good night’s sleep without discomfort.

Organize your essentials for the morning by laying out your clothes, ID, and directions to the testing center. If testing online make sure the room you are testing in is free of clutter and ready for inspection. This minimizes last-minute stress and ensures a smooth start to your day.

Utilize the final moments before sleep for a brief review. Glance over your notes, vocabulary, or essential points to reinforce your understanding.

To avoid oversleeping set an alarm, or two. 

Morning of Exam

The morning of your CCM Exam start your day with a healthy, low-sugar breakfast. This helps maintain stable blood sugar levels, ensuring optimal concentration during the test.

Take a moment to review any last-minute details or topics you want to reinforce before heading to the test center.

Plan to leave early, allowing plenty of time for travel. If taking the exam from home log in early. This will eliminate unnecessary stress and panic, ensuring a calm and composed start to your test-taking experience.

Upon Arrival

Once you arrive shift your focus away from last-minute reviews. If you don’t know the information now it’s too late.

Maintain a relaxed and confident mindset. A confident mindset is one of the most important factors to success. Remind yourself that your studies and preparation have given you all you need to succeed. 

Avoid engaging in conversations with fellow students before the exam if they are anxious or nervous as stress can be contagious. Stay positive and confident.

Find a balance between comfort and alertness to optimize your concentration during the exam.

Tips for Multiple-Choice Questions

  • Try to identify the answer before you read all the choices, but look at all choices before selecting, as two answers will often be similar
  • Narrow choices by eliminating obvious wrong answers
  • Do not be afraid to change an answer if you feel strongly about it
  • If you do not know the answer to a question make your best guess, flag the question so you can come back to it, and then move on

If you have to guess:

  • Length is often a clue, choose the longest most precise answer
  • Reject answers with specific determiners such as everyone, always, never, none, except, most, or least
  • Look for answers with words like often, most
  • If two choices are similar, choose neither
  • If two choices are opposite, choose one of them
  • The most general answer is usually correct

Specific CCM Exam Tips

When answering questions, think of the “perfect situation” answer. I know we do not work in “perfect” situations where all of the needed resources are at our fingertips, but the test will expect you to know the “best practice” answer. So answer as you would in the perfect world scenario.

This test is not about how you do it where you work. It is about best practices. Don’t answer the question based on policies and procedures where you work, but on “best practice” which may or may not be the way it is done in your organization.  

Think like a social worker and not a nurse. As nurses, we are accustomed to “doing for” our patients. We change their dressings, start their IVs, and make sure they are warm. Social workers are trained to help patients help themselves. As case managers, we are to empower our patients. Remember this when taking the exam.

And finally, here is the best advice I was given before my exam:

Remember to breathe!

Write “breathe” on top of the scrap paper they give you, and each time you look at it, stop and take a few deep cleansing breaths, relax, and let the knowledge inside you work its way out.  

You have been working hard getting ready for this exam; I know these tips help you with your final preparations!

And don’t forget to let me know how you do! Send me an email at Deanna@CaseManagementStudyGuide.com and post your results in the Facebook group “Case Managers Community”.

Why Take a Prep Course Before You Sit For a Case Management Certification Examination?

Many ask, “should I take a prep course to help me pass the case management certification examination”? The answer is ‘it depends’. This article provides ten reasons why people take a prep course to help them prepare for their certification exam or any national examination that requires recall from various domains or practice. If these points resonate with you, check out the resources from the Case Management Institute to help you prepare as you step up to case management certification.

  1. Certification Examinations are scary. Most people who sit for a certification exam have not taken a formal test for many years, so taking a certification prep course can help decrease anxiety and help you feel confident.
  2. A prep course will cover a wide variety of topics that will help you know the essential areas/ the domains of practice on which the exam is based.
  3. A prep course will explain concepts and theory and how it relates to actual practice. A prep course will help you think critically and associate theory with actual practice as you answer questions.
  4. A prep course will help you think outside of the box. Most certification examinations are broad, so you must look at what the question is asking vs. what you do in your job.
  5. A prep course will remind you that you are taking an examination that tests the fundamentals of the practice.
  6. A prep course will help you organize your thoughts and help you focus on what you don’t know. A prep course s will help you maximize your time, so you focus on things you need to understand better.
  7. A prep course will allow you to interact with others taking the certification exam. The interaction will help you think critically.
  8. A prep course will help you understand how to break down questions so you can zero in on what is being asked and help you not overthink a question.
  9. A prep course will help you understand how to eliminate answers that don’t fit the question. Narrowing down answers is an important skill, especially when you don’t know the right answer.
  10. A prep course will set you on a path of study that is organized and focused on what you need to know for the exam you are taking.

The Case Management Institute has several resources to help you prepare for two of the National Case Management Certification examinations, the Commission for Case Management CCM Exam and American Nurses Credentialing Center Nursing Case Management Exam. As an instructor for both courses, I have seen firsthand how taking a prep course can turn anxious test takers into confident test takes. If you have questions, please feel free to email me at allewellyn48@gmail.com , 


Considering the Case Managers exam? Clients and health care organizations need CCM’s more than ever—and so do you!

reading glasses for studyingIt’s time to get unstuck. With 2021—and a coronavirus vaccine—finally in sight, it’s time to move forward. One way to do that is to stretch yourself professionally. For professional case managers, this could mean earning the Certified Case Manager® (CCM®) credential.

More than 48,000 case managers hold the CCM—the oldest and most widely held case manager credential. It’s the gold standard.

Who we are:
The Commission for Case Manager Certification® is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that oversees the process of case manager certification with its CCM and CDMS credentials.

We’re not an association or a society. We are a credentialing organization that advances research-based standards built on decades of experience. We promote quality case management practice; ethical standards and behavior; and scientific and practice-based knowledge development and dissemination.
In the era of COVID-19, the advancement of scientific and practice-based knowledge has become most important. (more…)

How Does Your Case Management Salary Compare? (Updated August 2020)

How does your case management salary compare?Wonder how your employer compares with others? How does your case management salary compare to the industry? Need a reference to show your employer standards for salary, benefits, caseload, education, certification, and continuing education reimbursement?

We have you covered. The 2020 Salary and Trends Survey provides all this and more.

We’ve updated the salary and trends survey for 2020 and here is an updated summary. The survey was participated in by 1,000 case management professions. It collated valuable data on the case management industry that helps us understand who case managers are, the challenges they face, their salary potential, job satisfaction, and the value they bring to consumers of healthcare and the organizations for which they work.


Understanding the enemy: A curated list of COVID-19 resources for case managers!

covid-19 resourcesCase managers are struggling. Preliminary results from over 5,900 CCMs in our recent “Checking in With Our CCMs” survey reveals some of the burdens our case managers carry, and it’s eye-opening.

We’re not that surprised by the results on the professional side. Most case managers are working remotely (57%) and have limited contact with clients and patients (55%). Some, however, have been called upon to work on the frontlines. Regardless, many (40%) are fielding more questions than ever from clients and patients.

Significant percentages are dealing with staff shortages (15%) and lack of supplies (28%). Clearly, work has become more challenging, but that’s to be expected. And we know that professional case managers will always rise to the challenge.

What has been a surprise is how much the coronavirus has personally affected case managers. We’re seeing that, as you continue to advocate for clients and connect them to the resources they need, many case managers themselves carry a heavy burden. (more…)

CCM Preparation with Ethics in Mind

CCM preparation with ethics in mind:

Swim with the current, stand like a rock

swimming with the current“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” When it comes to helping case management clients achieve their goals, Thomas Jefferson’s words were never truer. Every day, case managers need flexibility while standing firmly on ethical principles and standards.

When you earn the CCM, you’ve demonstrated you have the knowledge and skills to practice with excellence. But CCMs also represent a professional code and standard of practice. The Commission’s values include advocacy for consumer protection, quality case management practice, and ethical standards and behavior. That’s why the CCM exam includes the ethics, legal and practice standards knowledge domain. (more…)

Patrice V. Sminkey Foundation Scholarship

Patrice V. Sminkey Foundation Scholarship

Honoring a commitment to certification: The Patrice V. Sminkey Foundation

By Debby Formica COO, Commission for Case Manager Certification

The phones are ringing in our offices here at the Commission, as they always do during a certification application window. The energy is high—the kind of day my friend and colleague Patrice Sminkey thrived in. (more…)