Prepare for a management career with the Foundations of Management Certificate

The Foundations of Management (FoM) certificate is designed for employees interested in transitioning to a management or supervisory role. This program provides essential tools and principles to establish a working knowledge of management practice and includes a 90-question online exam to validate learning. Applicants who pass the FoM exam within the 12 months allotted receive a Certificate of Achievement from the Institute of Certified Professional Managers. There are no eligibility requirements for the Foundations of Management certificate.

Why Pursue the Foundations of Management Certificate?

The Foundations of Management (FoM) certificate is the product of a comprehensive job task analysis of the management profession to identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for competent performance on-the-job. Upon completion of the Foundations of Management certificate, applicants will possess a foundational understanding of management and develop confidence to perform in their new management role.

Watch this video to learn more.

Erick Moore, FoM Participant | Government

FoM - A Pathway to the Certified Manager Certification

Program participants who pass the FoM exam and apply for the Certified Manager (CM) certification within 5 years are exempt from taking one of the three CM exams, Management Skills I: Foundations of Management. Eligibility for this exemption is documented by a valid Foundations of Management Certificate of Achievement.

What is Instructor-Led Live Online Training?

Instructor-Led Live Online Training is a cost-effective and affordable training format that puts instructor-led training within reach of all participants without the cost or inconvenience of traveling beyond one's desktop. Online classes accommodate busy work schedules, and participants have secure access to view recorded sessions if they miss a class. 

Live Online training closely aligns with the way people work and learn in today's workplace. It is very accessible and offers minimal disruption to productivity. The ability to learn from your desktop makes it cost-effective, engaging, and fun! Multimedia content and graphics reinforce learning which is highly adaptive and flexible.  

Dynamic, application-based subject matter will be delivered by our highly qualified instructors. Sixty-minute training sessions and interactive discussions facilitate learning retention. A computer with a reliable Internet connection and a microphone/headset or telephone for audio are all it takes to get started.

Program Contents

The instructor-led live online Foundations of Management (FoM) Certificate program consists of 14 hours of training focused on the following subject areas:

Session 1 - The Manager's Role in the Workplace
Session 2 - Discovering the Leader Within You
Session 3 - Developing Effective Communication Skills
Session 4 - Solving Problems and Making Ethical Decisions
Session 5 - Delivering First Rate Customer Service
Session 6 - Planning for Goal Achievement
Session 7 - Organizing Work, Relationships and Teams
Session 8 - Staffing, Training and Appraising Employees
Session 9 - Leading and Motivating People
Session 10 - Controlling to Improve Results
Session 11 - The Business Environment
Session 12 - The Role of Economics in Business
Session 13 - Basic Concepts of Information Technology
Session 14 - Managing Accounting and Financial Information

Program participants are expected to prepare for each session by reading the corresponding content in the accompanying course study book. 

Program Materials and Fees

Foundations of Management (FoM) Certificate program participants receive a custom published study book, access to ICPM's e-Learning Center, and a FoM Certificate exam. ICPM's e-Learning Center contains multimedia learning resources such as PowerPoint presentations, quizzes, notes and outlines to reinforce learning and to test your knowledge.

The FoM Certificate program, inclusive of learning materials, can be purchased for $840 US dollars for participants attending from the US (lower 48 states and the District of Columbia) and $895 US dollars for international (including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and US territories) participants.

FoM Certificate Exam Specifications

The FoM Certificate exam assesses foundational management knowledge in the following content domains:

  • The Business Environment
  • Communication and Information Technology
  • Talent/Human Resource Management
  • Planning and Organizing
  • Leading and Controlling
  • Finance and Accounting

For detailed FoM exam specifications, please view the FoM Certificate Exam blueprint.

The FoM Certificate exam consists of 90 multiple-choice questions and is taken on any computer with reliable internet access, through ICPM's e-Learning Center. Applicants are allowed a maximum of 90 minutes to complete the exam. The exam must be taken without assistance, notes, or reference materials.

The FoM Certificate exam is proctored. ICPM has partnered with ProctorU to provide live, secure, online proctoring. FoM applicants may also opt to use an in-person proctor that meet's ICPM requirements and is pre-approved.

FoM Certificate Exam Proctoring

The FoM Certificate exam has two proctoring options available to participants, ProctorU and In-Person.


ICPM has partnered with ProctorU to provide live, secure, online proctoring for the FoM Certificate exam. ProctorU's unique system combines the convenience of online testing with the security of live proctoring. Applicants can test anywhere and on any computer with reliable internet access, a web-cam, and microphone. No special software is needed.

To take the FoM Certificate exam with ProctorU, an applicant must visit the ICPM ProctorU Exam Portal to create a user account and schedule an appointment to test. Appointments are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and should be made at least 72 hours in advance. A $25 fee is payable directly to ProctorU when scheduling an exam.

View specific instructions here.


Applicants have the option to use an in-person proctor to observe and monitor the exam. Applicants who choose this option are responsible for finding their own proctor who meets requirements established by ICPM. Examples of acceptable proctors include active CMs, authorized ICPM instructors, HR representatives, training coordinators, managers or supervisors. All proctors must be pre-approved by providing the following documentation to ICPM at least 2 weeks prior to testing:

  • A copy of the proctor's photo ID
  • A resume or CV to verify proctor requirements
  • A signed copy of ICPM's Exam Proctor Agreement

In order to proctor an ICPM exam an individual must be:

  • At least one level above the applicant in their organization
  • Unrelated to the applicant
  • Currently not a FoM certificate applicant

Exam Results and Grading

Test takers receive immediate pass or fail results on-screen and by email. Upon passing the FoM Certificate exam, applicants can print their own FoM Certificate of Achievement from the ICPM e-Learning Center. Exams are officially processed on the 16th of each month or the next business day. Detailed feedback that highlights strengths and weaknesses in specific content areas is sent by email after grading is complete. Test takers who pass the exam can use this feedback to help address areas of weakness, while those who fail can use their feedback to prepare to retake the exam.

To comply with accreditation standards, ICPM does not report the number or percentage of correct answers attained.

Ready to pursue the Foundations of Management Certificate?

Review our course schedule and register for upcoming instructor-led live online FoM Certificate courses.