Our CMC® certification process confirms your education, continuing professional develop and commitment to the highest ethical standards, and our examiners rigorously assess your consulting engagements and competence to apply the knowledge and skills defined in IMC USA’s Competency Framework and Certification Scheme for Certified Management Consultants™ (CMC®). This framework was recently revised to adopt the global standards for consulting crafted by the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI).
The CMC certificate mark behind your name is one way differentiate yourself from other consultants worldwide.
FAQs on Why Get Certified? Link to IMC USA Certification Standards and Procedures.
Our Three Application Streams
There are three certification streams for qualified candidates:
|Basic for consultants with a minimum of 3 up to 9 years of management consulting experience as independent or internal consultants with five satisfactory clients evaluations, and a Bachelor's degree or at least 5 years of work experience including 3 years of full time consulting plus significant professional education in management consulting. Pass a written and oral examinations.|
|Experienced for consultants with 10 or more years as independent or internal consultants and otherwise meeting the Basic requirements. The scope of the written and oral examination may be reduced.|
|Management for high level managers with 20 or more years experience with at least 3 years of consulting with clients and accountability for successful completion of projects involving management consultants and otherwise meeting requirements of the Basic track. The scope of the written and oral examination may be reduced.|
FAQs on eligibility.
|Submit a CMC® Multi-stream Application with supporting documentation to IMC USA, answering 15 questions and including three written engagment summaries and provide contact information for five or six clients who will be invited to complete an on-line client evaluations. (Download CMC® Application at bottom of page.) FAQs on the Application and the Multiple Streams, on Client Evaluations, on Engagment Summaries.|
|After receipt of five satisfactory client evaluations and a review of your application, take the Ethics and Consulting Competency sections of the on-line examination, about one hour each. (Download the study materials below.) FAQs on the On-line Examination.|
|Pass a Peer Review Oral Examination with three senior consultants who are CMCs. There are four parts: presentation of one of your engagements, answering questions on engagement management, answering questions on ethics and answering questions on consulting core competencies. FAQs on the Oral Examination.|
How Long Does It Take?
The process can take as little as two months, depending on how quickly your references are submitted and they complete a client evaluation, when you pass the online examinations, and when you schedule your panel interview. FAQs on the Application Process.
Watch a 20 minute webinar on completing
the CMC Application page by page
Please download the Application to review the Certification Point System and determine if you are qualified. Ask your Chapter Certification Chair for help. FAQs on the Point System.
Identify five or six references, most of them should be officers or executives of client organizations served. They will be invited to complete an on-line client evaluation. Five satisfactory evaluations must be received before continuing with the certification process. Important FAQs on Client Evaluations.
Identify at least three client assignments to use to prepare concise written summaries, disguised to protect client identity. Ensure you will not violate your non-disclosure agreement with your clients. FAQs on Engagement Summaries.
When submitting your application, you pledge in writing to abide by the Institute's Code of Ethics.
What does It cost?
Your certification fee is determined by your IMC USA member status. IMC USA awards the CMC® to members and non-members. There is no requirement for membership in any professional association or to attend any specific course to apply for the CMC®. IMC USA member rates will apply only if you are in good standing at the time you submit payment. If you join IMC USA after being awarded the CMC mark, member rates will be applicable in the next calendar year.
All CMCs pay an CMC® Annual Charge in December to maintain their certification for the next calendar year. Every third year each CMC® re-certifies in June (see CMC® Renewal below). The costs vary for IMC USA members and non-members.
|IMC USA Member Status|
Initial Certification Application and Assessment
Convert a hard copy application to electronic files
|Annual CMC® charge (prorated first year)|
|Triennial Re-Certification (an assessment of your continuing professional development)|
Submit the application as a MSWORD file and supporting documents as PDFs. FAQs on the Application.
Information on joining IMC USA, member benefits and membership categories/dues.
What Do I Study for the Written Examination?
The Oral Examination is conducted face to face with 3 experienced CMCs normally in your local Chapter region. (Rarely, the panel is conducted on a conference call.) There are four parts: presenting one of your engagements, answering questions on engagement management, answering questions on ethics and answering questions on consulting core competencies. You should conduct yourself during the examination like you would for a client meeting, study materials found at the bottom of this page, review your application and FAQs on the Oral Examination.
Surprisingly, many consultants years past their degree programs take the Oral Exam too casually and do not pass. Short, concise answers about engagement management, ethical traps and working/communicating with senior managers through the life of a major project that demonstrate a breath of knowledge are expected.
FAQs on the Oral Examination.
Award of CMC® Certificate
After completing the Oral Examination, the candidate's file is reviewed by the IMC USA CMC Certification Committee. This review is conducted to ensure that all of the documents submitted are complete and validated and that all examinations have been completed with a passing grade. The Certification Committee meets once each month to approve certifications and notifies the candidate if the CMC® is awarded. All CMCs follow the guidelines for use of the CMC certificate mark.
Failure of Examinations
Candidates who fail any portion of an examination are invited to retake that portion after agreeing for a reasonable amount of time to either re-study the materials or take remedial action enabling them to pass. If a candidate is dissatisfied with the outcome of the examinations, there is an appeal process to the IMC USA Board of Directors. FAQs on the Appeal Process.
CMC® certification renewal is due June 30th of the every third year from your original certification date (how to confirm a renewal date). CMC® must affirm at each renewal that they will continue to comply with the Institute's Code of Ethics.
FAQs on CMC® Renewal.
Reciprocity or Transferring my CMC®
If you belong to another Institute that awards the CMC® and will move to the United States, you may transfer your CMC®. If you will work in the United States temporarily, you should request reciprocity for your CMC®. FAQs
The Chair of the CMC® Certification Committee is Wayne Outlaw CMC®. This committee at the national level administers the certification process.
Documents used to apply for and recertify the Certified Mananagement Consultant - CMC - certification.
Study materials for open book online exam sections on ethics and core competencies and for the Oral Examination.
Once you’ve set your sights on consulting as a career path—and figured out what type of firm you would like to work for—the next step is to get your resume ready.
By now, you have probably realized that consulting requires a more unique (and sometimes hard to describe skill set) than your regular marketing or accounting job. So it should come as no surprise that you’ll need to adjust your resume accordingly.
To help you prepare the most compelling application possible, I’ve broken down the differences between a general resume and one that’ll shine in the consulting world. Follow these tips and guidelines, and you’ll craft an application that shows off exactly what consulting firms want to see so you can land that consulting interview.
On Any Resume: Include Your Education
On a Consulting Resume: Be Specific About Your GPA
While you should include your degrees and institutions on any resume, listing your specific GPA generally isn’t advised. But on the consulting resume, it’s a must. In fact, it is standard practice to include your cumulative grade point average (not past semester or past two years) and class ranking if available.
So, make sure to stick your education and GPA somewhere prominent and easy to find on your resume—right at the top if you are a new or recent grad. Just make sure they don’t take up more than a line or two, so you have plenty of space to talk about the things that make you really stand out from the rest of the well-educated, highly achieved applicant pool. On that note:
On Any Resume: Highlight Your Skills
On a Consulting Resume: Focus on Your Soft Skills
For any job, showing off your abilities on your resume is important. But while most people highlight their functional or hard skills—like great financial modeling or project management experience—consulting prowess always comes down to the soft skills.
In other words, you can highlight your tangible skills, but don’t rely on them to get you through the process. Your resume (and cover letter) should demonstrate both your interest and competence at core consulting skills such as problem solving, communication, client management, and general high achievement. For advice on how to do this effectively, Lily Zhang has some great tips.
On Any Resume: Talk About Your Achievements
On a Consulting Resume: Quantify Them as Much as Possible
It’s common resume knowledge that you should talk about not only what you did, but also the outcomes you achieved. In a consulting resume, you’ll want to take this a step further and quantity your experiences and accomplishments.
For example, if you won a business case competition, you should also include what you placed and how many teams you were up against (e.g., 2nd place out of 15 teams). The same goes for work or volunteer experience. If you managed a team, state how many members there were. If you implemented a cost-saving initiative, include the dollar or percentage savings that occurred as a result of your work. It’s this extra level of detail that will illustrate your impact as compared to other applicants—and bring your high achievement to life.
On Any Resume: Be Succinct
On a Consulting Resume: Be Even More Succinct
Communication is one of the most important skills for consultants, and the best way for you to show this skill off before you get in the door for an interview is in how you write your resume.
While it’s always important not to be long-winded (that 8.5x11” sheet of paper may only be reviewed for a couple minutes, if that), it’s extra important on a consulting resume. Crafting short, compelling bullet points shows that you’re able to weed through a lot of information (your experiences and accomplishments) to pull out the most important tidbits, that you can quickly and clearly communicate, and that you’re able to make an effective and compelling case. If you can do it for yourself, you can certainly do it for client work!
On Any Resume: Don’t Be Humble
On a Consulting Resume: Blow Your Own Horn, Loudly
Consulting is a competitive field, which means everyone is doing their best to showcase themselves (and most of them are superstars). So, if you don’t use your resume as an opportunity to show how great you are, guaranteed someone else will—and will ultimately shine a bit brighter.
Here’s an example: Through my resume reviewing experience, I have seen people with similar backgrounds represent them in largely different ways. One candidate might provide a one-liner listing of the experience hoping it will speak for itself (e.g., “Lead volunteer team”), while others will use it to their advantage (e.g., Lead a volunteer team of 5 to provide consulting services to a nonprofit which ultimately led to a 20% increase in fundraising).
The lesson: For every statement you make on your resume, see how you can take it a few steps further to describe how awesome you are. While showing off can be difficult to do, it is really important for standing out—and continuing through the process to land a consulting interview.
That's great news, because we know about a bunch of openings.
find a consulting job here