may earn a small commission from some purchases made through our site. However, any earnings do not affect how we review services. Learn more about our editorial integrity and research process.

Best Change Management Certifications

The 10 Best Change Management Certification Courses in 2024

If you’re ready to start a career as a change manager or want to further your existing career, you need a change management certification. We’ve rounded up 10 of the best change management certifications for you.

Brett DayAleksander HougenIgor Kurtz

Written by Brett Day (Editor)

Reviewed by Aleksander Hougen (Managing Editor)

Facts checked by Igor Kurtz (Fact-checking editor)

Last Updated: 2024-02-19T17:45:42+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

Key Takeaways: What Are the Top Change Management Certifications?
  1. Certified Change Management Professional (CCMP) — The most respected change management certification program.
  2. Prosci Change Management Certification — A comprehensive three-day change management course that covers Prosci’s ADKAR standard.
  3. Association for Talent Development (ATD) Change Management Certification — The ideal certification for human resources professionals who implement organizational changes.
  4. APGM Organizational Change Management Foundation Certification — Ideal for individuals who need to learn the basic principles of change management.
  5. Cornell University Change Management Certification — Three-month professional development course designed for everyone from aspiring leaders to senior managers.

In this article, we will go over the 10 best change management certifications. You’ll learn how much they cost, how long they take to acquire and what each certification and certificate covers.

It’s no secret that organizations fail without change managers who use the best project management software and implement programs that can help employees accept change. If you run a business and want to enroll a leader in a change management course or want to further your career, don’t miss our change management certification roundup.

Below, we’ll explain what change management is and why it’s essential, and we’ll share with you the very best CM certifications you can get your hands on. If you’re ready for a deeper understanding of change management, you’re in the right place.

What Is Change Management?

Change management is the process of dealing with changes to an organization’s technologies, goals or internal and external processes. The overall goal of change management is to implement effective strategies to help an organization’s employees adapt to changes and embrace any new policies, procedures or technology the company adopts.

Why Is Change Management Important for Modern Organizations?

When implementing changes, change management can help organizations utilize resources effectively, reduce costs and retain employees. Without change management, organizations implementing changes could experience increased expenditures and employee turnover, underutilization of resources or a plan that runs over schedule and budget.

Top 10 Change Management Courses

Below, we will look at the 10 best change management courses for anyone looking to enter the change management field or further enhance their careers.

1. Certified Change Management Professional (CCMP)

Requirements: Four-year degree (or international equivalent) and three years (4,200 hours) of change management experience or secondary education (or international equivalent) and five years (7,000 hours) of change management experience. Completion of 21 hours of instructor-led change management training in the past seven years.

  • Available online: Yes
  • Duration: Three hours, 150 questions
  • Renewal: Every three years
  • Exam fee: $595 for ACMP members, $745 for non-members

The Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) offers the Certified Change Management Professional certification, which is the most widely recognized certification for change leaders. 

The certification is based on ACMP’s Standard for Change Management and covers the practices, processes, tasks and activities in the Standard. Once acquired, the certification will indicate that you have the skills to guide organizations through change initiatives. The certification is globally recognized and grants credentials in line with ISO and ANSI standards.

2. Prosci Change Management Certification

Requirements: No prerequisites

  • Available online: Yes
  • Duration: Three days
  • Renewal: Valid for life
  • Exam fee: $4,500 for online instructor-led training, $4,850 for in-person training

The Prosci Change Management Certification is based on the organization’s ADKAR model and is generally regarded as one of the best certifications around. The three-day course arms individuals with all the change management tools they’ll need to apply Prosci’s methodology and implement change effectively.

The course is aimed at change leaders, project managers and IT professionals. It defines change management, describes the value of change, explains the Prosci ADKAR and Prosci three-phase process and helps you formulate the foundation of a change management plan. It’s not cheap, but the three-day course will help you implement a change process in any industry. 

3. Association for Talent Development (ATD) Change Management Certification

Requirements: No prerequisites

  • Available online: Yes
  • Duration: Four 3.5-hour online courses over roughly 10 days
  • Renewal: No renewal
  • Exam fee: $1,875 for ATD members, $2,125 for non-members

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) Change Management Certification is for professionals working in human resources and leaders who implement organizational change. No prerequisites are required for the course, the certification does not need to be renewed and the course is aligned with the ACMP standard.

The online course will help you explore the dynamics of change based on current research and systems theory and understand how to analyze an organization’s need for change, establish a change management team, generate stakeholder buy-in and facilitate a change initiative based on the ATD change model. The course is ideal for those who work in a constantly changing corporate environment.

4. APGM Organizational Change Management Foundation Certification

Requirements: Training courses are encouraged, but not required.

  • Available online: Yes
  • Duration: 40-minute exam
  • Renewal: Does not expire
  • Exam fee: Course fees vary by provider; exam cost is approximately $364

If you’re looking to move into the world of change management, the APGM Organizational Change Management Foundation certificate is for you. This certificate will show prospective and current employers that you can process organizational change, help people adapt to change, develop strategies to keep people motivated, explain different change processes and keep stakeholders engaged.

You do not need to take the APGM Organizational Change Management Foundation course to be eligible for the exam, but it is encouraged. The closed-book exam lasts 40 minutes, and you must correctly answer 25 of 50 questions to pass. If you’re ready to start your change management career, you should look into the Change Management Foundation Certificate.

5. Cornell University Change Management Certification

Requirements: No prerequisites

  • Available online: Yes
  • Duration: Six two-week courses
  • Renewal: No renewal
  • Exam fee: $3,900

The Cornell University Change Management Certification is a 100% online course that lasts three months. There are no prerequisites and no certificate renewals. Individuals will learn how to navigate power relationships, develop negotiating skills and lead strategic and organizational change programs. The course is ideal for everyone from senior leaders to those aspiring to leadership roles.

6. Change Management Specialist (CMS)

Requirements: No prerequisites

  • Available online: Yes
  • Duration: Self-paced
  • Renewal: No renewal
  • Exam fee: $299.95

The Management and Strategy Institute (MSI) offers the $299.95 Change Management Specialist (CMS) course, which comes with all the course materials you need for the exam. The course is designed to help you learn how to create and manage change programs, persuade people to accept change, respond to change resistance and more. It is ideal for those with limited experience.

7. Certified Problem and Change Manager (CPCM)

Requirements: No prerequisites, but coursework is recommended.

  • Available online: Yes
  • Duration: 10-15 hours
  • Renewal: Valid for life
  • Exam fee: Standard package with e-course but no exam voucher $50, Premium package with e-course and exam voucher $188, exam voucher $128

The Global Association for Quality Management offers the Certified Problem and Change Manager (CPCM) certification for those who want to learn how to deal with change and help others. The course will help you deal with anger from those resisting change, set plans, enlist the help of others and manage stressors. The certification is valid for life, and there are no prerequisites.

8. Certified Local Change Agent (CLCA)

Requirements: CLCA coursework

  • Available online: Yes
  • Duration: Two days
  • Renewal: No renewal
  • Exam fee: Course cost varies by provider

If you hold a supporting role and would like to learn about colleague support, help develop local change plans, mitigate resistance and develop personal and interpersonal skills, APMG International’s entry-level Certified Local Change Agent (CLCA) certificate is for you. The two-day course provides you with a lifetime certificate and has no prerequisites.

9. Change Management Institute (CMI) Accreditation

For experienced professionals who want to stand out from the crowd, the Change Management Institute (CMI) offers three levels of accreditation: Foundation, Specialist and Master. The three levels are based on the institute’s Change Manager Competency Models and the Change Management Body of Knowledge (CMBOK).

The Foundation-level accreditation requires a written application with a managerial reference. One to two years of change manager experience will be beneficial. Specialist-level participants will benefit from having three to six years of change manager experience. Applicants must complete a written application, and reference checks are conducted. Applicants must take the Specialist assessment and participate in a virtual interview.

Master-level applicants will benefit from having seven years or more of change manager experience and an extensive project portfolio. You must also submit an application, provide references, take the Master competency model assessment, pass a virtual interview and complete a virtual evaluation. If you’re highly experienced, these courses could be for you.

10. Project Management Institute (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP)

Requirements: Four-year college or university degree, 36 months of experience leading projects in the last eight years and 35 hours of project management training or CAPM certification or high school or secondary education diploma,60 months of experience leading projects in the last eight years and35 hours of project management training or CAPM certification.

  • Available online: Yes
  • Duration: Exam lasts 230 minutes
  • Renewal: Every three years
  • Exam fee: $405 for PMI members and $575 for non-members. PMP exam prep classes are $639.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers the globally recognized Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, which is for those who wish to show employers that they can manage projects and change in multiple industries.

The certification shows that you’re capable of motivating others through all project phases; that you can use traditional, agile methods and hybrid work approaches; and that you can impact overall organizational goals. You can take a prep course, which is recommended, or jump straight into the 180-question exam if you meet the requirements.

Selecting the Right Certification Program

Certification vs Certificate: What’s the Difference?

The terms “certification” and “certificate” are often used interchangeably, but they are different. A certificate is evidence that a person has received an education to advance their knowledge in their field. A certification, on the other hand, shows that an individual has passed an examination process that validates their knowledge by current industry standards.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Certification

Though many certifications may seem similar, we can assure you that they’re not. You must do your due diligence before signing up for any course. When researching certifications, ensure that the certificate or certification is established, well respected and has received strong, positive feedback.

When choosing a certification, you must also factor in cost and whether it fits within your budget, as you often must pay a fee to take the exam. You must also ensure that the course material meets your needs, and understand what you need to do to keep your certification over time.

Take your time, do plenty of research and make sure the certification you want aligns with your career aspirations.

Tips, Resources & Exam Prep Strategies for Your Change Management Certification

Before deciding which course to take and sitting for any exam, you should do the following:

  • Check the cost — Before agreeing to enroll in any course or certificate, ensure it fits within your budget.
  • Read the course syllabus — Ensure that the course is right for you and that it aligns with your career goals by reading about the course and what it covers.
  • Check the requirements — Some but not all certifications ask that you meet the key competencies required before enrolling in the course. Ensure that you have the necessary experience and knowledge before signing up.
  • Go over the training materials — Many certifications and certificate courses come with training materials. Read the materials until you understand the frameworks. Only when you fully grasp the material should you sit for the exam.
  • Check the course length — Some of the certificates listed above can be acquired in just a few days, whereas others require a more considerable investment of time. Check your schedule and ensure that you have time to complete the courses.

Final Thoughts

There you have it: the 10 best change management certifications for those looking to start a new career or enhance their current role. The Certified Change Management Professional (CCMP) is the leading certification for those wishing to learn about change efforts. Still, each program listed will deepen your change management knowledge and enhance your earning potential.

Which change management certification program piques your interest? Are you a certified change manager? How has it impacted your career, and which certification or certificate do you hold? Let us know in the comments section, and as always, thanks for reading. 

FAQ: Best Change Management Courses

  • Yes, obtaining a CM certification is worthwhile, especially if you want to be a change leader, show your value to prospective or current employers and increase your earning potential.

  • The most respected certification is ACMP’s CCMP certificate.

  • The CCMP certification is the leading certification for change managers. This certification shows that you can lead organizations through complex changes.

  • The qualifications to be a change manager vary from job to job. Ideally, employers would like individuals to have a four-year college degree and one of the change manager certifications listed above. However, if you have grown in a role with a company, they may not require a degree at all.

↑ Top