The DoD Financial Management (FM) Certification is different than other certifications you may be familiar with because it is course-based rather than test-based. It is also based on established DoD FM and leadership competencies. Competencies are defined knowledge and behaviors that the DoD wants to see exhibited by its FM workforce. In other words, to get the job done, the DoD FM workforce has to know certain things and be able to act in certain ways. The DoD FM Certification requires training on those needed competencies.
What does this mean for you?
There are courses created by DoD, as well as commercial offerings, that have been mapped to the FM competencies and count toward your certification. For example, an eight hour course will have been mapped to eight hours of training at one or more of the DoD FM Competencies. You will need to collect these hours of training to meet the certification requirements. There is no test you will have to pass to achieve Level 1, 2, or 3 – only specific courses that map to and cover all of the competencies required for your job classification. Experience requirements and Continuing Education and Training (CET) are also required to meet and maintain your certification, but you will not have to cram for a final exam every two years!
You may be wondering if other certifications such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Defense Financial Manager (CDFM), or Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) will count towards your certification. The DoD FM Certification program seems to be encouraging formal education (i.e., college degrees) and FM test-based certifications such as those mentioned above, but the certifications do not directly overlap. For each course you have taken for a separate test-based certification, you will need to check FM myLearn to see if the classes you completed count towards your new certification.