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9 Change Management Certifications to Boost your Career

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‘Change Management Certifications’ may seem like a new-age business keyword, but you will be shocked at how valuable the right certification can be for anyone looking to build a career in the field.

Businesses today are changing the way they work. An environment like this has been created because of competition and value. Businesses are always competing and trying to provide incredible value to their customers. 

This makes it imperative for organizations to invest in the right digital assets which invariably requires them to also invest in the right Change Management Strategies.

Having the right Organizational Change Management Certification can not only help individuals grow by leaps and bounds in their professional journeys but also empower organizations with the right strategies to implement in the change management initiatives.

In this environment, change becomes inevitable and organizations that do not embrace change, eventually perish.

As a result, organizations are always looking for Change Management professionals with adequate organizational change management training who can carry out this challenging task without negatively impacting the company.

In this guide we are going to explain in detail,

What type of change management qualifications is required?  

Change Managers need to have a Bachelor’s degree in either business or in a relevant field. Then they need years of managerial experience in their respective field.

Post this they should get a change management certification that can help them to understand industry-approved frameworks in great detail. They can also opt for project management certification to accelerate their career.

What is a Change Management Certification Program?

A Change management certification program trains professionals to handle organizational change smoothly and effectively. A certified change manager can help the organization prevent resistance to change, provide teams support to accept change, and manage key stakeholders throughout the process.

A Change Management certificate is not the same as a certification. The distinction is that certificate programs do not require training and the certificate can be earned by passing an exam. While a certification program also requires passing an exam, it also requires training and hands-on experience so that the trainee meets industry standards.

Simply put, earning a certificate is not the same as being certified. A certification carries more weight.

How does Change Management Program help?

Change management programs allow the organization to manage new processes efficiently and achieve the desired business outcomes. These programs have to be structured properly as they involve multiple elements that can determine the future of your organization.

To ensure the success of the change management program organizations must get organizational buy-in, implement change initiatives seamlessly and design a program that can be scaled across the organization.

A change Management Program allows the leader to identify the gaps and mitigate risks by continuous monitoring.

Things that you would learn during Change Management programs:-

  • What is change management all about?
  • How to add value through it?
  • Principles of change management
  • The framework of change management
  • When to implement change and how to manage it?
  • How to analyze the potential of any change initiatives?

People have to learn all these aspects during the certification program. The approach from one program to another may vary but the end goal of these enterprise change management certification programs remains the same.

Whether you are a student currently pursuing a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, or a professional with a few years of experience. You can enhance your existing skills with these self-paced certifications.

Top 9 Change Management Certification

There are many organizational change management certifications in the market, it could be confusing to go through all of those certifications. As a result, we have shortlisted the top 9 certification programs to consider.

1. Change Management Specialist

Change management specialist certification is for those who want a good understanding of change management. This certification will help you design and implement change across the organization. It also trains you on how to manage change and persuade people as to why change is a must.

This certification is for those people who have just started their careers or already have a few years of experience.

On completion of this program, you would receive 30 Professional competency units(CPU) from the MSI. You would also receive 30 Professional Development Credits (PDC).

Advantages of this change management specialist certification:-

  • Respected across the industry- Once you receive the certificate you would be equipped with knowledge that can be implemented across any industry.
  • Save time- As training is through online mediums, it gives you a good opportunity to learn from the comfort of your home or office. As a result, you save a lot of valuable time.
  • Flexibility-Complete it at your own pace since the time of purchase, You have a whole year to finish it without being panic. It gives you time to internalize the learnings that have been imparted.

Other relevant details:-

  • Pre-Requisite:- None
  • Price:- $299.95/-
  • Duration:- Should be completed in one year from the date of purchase.
  • Renewal Period:- Never expires

2. Change Management Foundation Certificate

APMG International provides Change Management Foundation Certification program in collaboration with CMI (Change Management Institute). It’s been purely designed by keeping beginners in mind. If you are new to change management then this is the way to go as it would take you through all the basics that one might require in their very first project.

Even if you have a decent amount of experience and looking to get a Change Management practitioner certification then, in that case, this certification program is mandatory.

This program provides certification only when you score 25 marks out of 50

Things you will learn in Change Management Foundation Program:-

  • It helps you understand how people react to change and how to make them embrace change.
  • They teach different types of processes that would help you enable change.
  • Guide you to develop strategies that would keep people motivated all the time during change. Also, helps to understand the roles and team required to achieve change in the organization.

Other relevant details:-

  • Pre-Requisite:- None
  • Duration:- At your own pace.
  • Renewal Period:- Never expires

3. Change Management Practitioner

Again, this certification is being provided by APMG international. The Change Management Practitioner certification is for those professionals who are in the mid-level of their career or in a phase where they want to climb the corporate ladder.

Before applying for this program, one has to complete the Change Management Foundation certification.

This certification will further enhance your knowledge as one has already completed the foundation program. It gives you in-depth knowledge of change as it trains you to plan by keeping people at the heart of your strategy.

Things that one would learn from Change Management Practitioner Programs are:-

  • You will learn the process framework to understand organizational change.
  • You will learn how to build a team that is required for change and how to boost their performance.
  • How to establish roles and skills to enable change in the organization

Other relevant things:-

  • Pre-Requisite:- Change Management Foundation Certificate by APMG
  • Duration:- At your own pace.
  • Renewal Period:- Every five years once, one has to appear for a re-exam after 5 years.

4. Certified Change Management Professional

Association of Change Management Professional(ACMP) offers a Certified Change Management Professional Certification(CCMP). CCMP certification adheres to the industry-leading standard for change management by ACMP.

It’s one of the most recognized change management certifications in the world and many corporate companies value it more than anything else.

The certificate is for those who have a vast amount of experience and knowledge in the field of change management.

On passing this certification one gets 60 Professional Development Units(PDU).

The objective of this certification is not only to impart best practices but it is also useful for an individual to gain knowledge.

Advantages associated with CCMP certification:-

  • It gives a much-needed push to your already growing career and an opportunity to receive credentials developed by ANSI and ISO.
  • Showcase your subject matter expertise and establish authority to enable consistency in the organization.
  • It gives you an extra edge over your peers and you can reduce the chances of making an error.

Other relevant things:-

  • Pre-Requisite:- A 4-year degree (or international equivalent) and 3 years (4200 hours) of change management experience or Secondary education (high school or international equivalent) and 5 years (7000 hours) of change management experience and completion of 21 hours of instructor-led training in past 7 years.
  • Duration:- Minimum 3 years (But could vary)
  • Renewal Period:- Every 3 years once, one has to appear for re-exam and on completion, 60 PDU’S are added.

5. Prosci Change Management Certification

It’s a three-day in-person certification program. Here you will learn the ADKAR model and PROSCI methodology, and the learning would be applied in one of your ongoing projects.

It is for those who are at the mid-manager level or for managers who handle the complete project. The program is expensive but it takes care of your hotel accommodation and food.

Source: Prosci

It’s one of the rarest programs where you would come across a collaborative approach in real-time and in-person. Since the program is being conducted in a resort, you have enough time to network with like-minded people across the industry. You would also have an opportunity to get a one-on-one session with the Prosci Master.

Advantages of PROSCI Change Management Certification:-

  • Learn to apply the research-based methodology and facilitate change.
  • Learn the change management 3-phase Prosci process in projects.
  • Get a program workbook to learn best practices and achieve success.

Other relevant things:-

  • Pre-requisite:- None (But would be better if you had some prior experience)
  • Duration:- Program takes place for 3 days
  • Renewal Period:- None

6. Change Manager – Foundation Certification

Global Association for Quality Management provides Change Manager Foundation Certification program. It’s a foundational program that helps you to get a basic understanding of change management. It helps you to be an informed team member in a change management initiative in your organization.

It is targeted towards Team members and Process Managers.

It’s a pre-requisite for those who want to get “Practitioner Certification”.

Advantage of Change Manager-Foundation Certification:-

  • Learn a structured way of change management and also the types of organizational structures in modern businesses.
  • Implement strategies drawn from the analysis and improve your organization’s change strategy.
  • Develop a positive attitude toward change and convert challenges into opportunities.

Other relevant aspects:-

  • Pre-requisite:- None.
  • Duration:- 15 hours of online training.
  • Renewal Period:- None.

7. Certified Problem and Change Manager

Certified Problem and Change Manager(CPCM) is another certification that is being offered by the Global Association for Quality Management(GAQM). It teaches you how to cope with change and manage people during change.

It’s targeted towards Change Managers and Process Managers. People who have the problem-solving ability can take up this course to enhance and boost their ability.

One can complete this program through an online medium.

Advantages of CPCM certification is:-

  • Learn to identify options and research those options.
  • Draft processes from your learning and manage people effectively.
  • Manage anxiety and stress caused due to a project.

Other relevant things:-

  • Pre-requisite:- None
  • Duration:- 10-15 hrs of online training
  • Renewal Period:- None

8. AIM Change Management Certification

AIM stands for Accelerated Implementation Methodology. It’s a practical program and is pricey compared to other certifications.

It’s targeted towards industry leaders and Project Managers. As the name suggests it’s the rapid way towards optimizing change across the organization.

Advantages of AIM change management certification:-

  • Learn to mitigate roadblocks in your organization and build strategies for communication.
  • Implement strategies even in the most complicated enterprise-level project and learn to plan the process and its evaluation.
  • Sessions are tailored to the need of the organization.

Other relevant things:-

  • Pre-requisite:- None
  • Duration:- NA

9. Change Manager Certificate

Change Manager certification is being provided by the Association for Talent Development. It’s for mid-level Managers who are responsible for change management projects.

This certification is targeted towards HR professionals and Managers.

The program can be attended in person or via online medium. It has very strict guidelines according to which a participant wouldn’t receive the certification if they even miss a single session.

Upon completion, one gets 14 CEU’s (Continuing Education Units).

Advantages of attending this certification are:-

  • Learn to gather data to assess the change management efforts required.
  • Draw insights to give feedback to the clients and based on the insights set the right expectations.
  • Learn to manage negative consequences that might arise during the change management effort.

Other relevant things:-

  • Pre-requisite:- None
  • Duration:- 6 weeks of online training or 2 days of in-person training.
  • Renewal Period:- It never gets expired.

As we have seen all the change management certifications and their value. It’s time to answer the question “what other alternatives are available?”

Well, you can go for a Udemy course or you could attend MooC’s course offered by some prominent universities.

You could also attend a part-time course from the universities in your vicinity or you could count on your mentor to guide you through all these concepts, the only drawback is you won’t get any certificate to showcase your expertise.

It all depends on your short-term and long-term objectives.

Let us explore how organizations should structure their change management training programs which can further help the employees to excel and manage change better. 

How to plan Change management training? 

A. Understand what type of training is required

Training is essential for change management. The workforce must receive training that can help them adopt the change.

Organization should identify the struggles of the employees and understand their requirements.

They can conduct a survey or use a digital adoption platform that can help organizations to determine the type of training that is required and help to design relevant content.

B. Incorporate Training

Many change management initiatives fail just because of poor communication. Having a communication plan in place is mandatory as it will help employees to know when specific changes will happen and how they will impact their operations.

A cadence must be set for communication that can help to streamline the complete communication process. It is important to decide which channel should be opted for different types of messages, how the information will be packaged and delivered, who will review it before sending it to all, and what will be the timing of the messages.

Ideally, more than two channels must be opted to communicate messages as this could reinforce and reduce the loss of information.

C.  Select easy to consume and accessible training

Traditional training methods like classroom training, and seminar costs a bomb as it includes expenditures like travel, lodging, equipment, and trainer fees. It takes time to plan this arrangement and if any employee misses this then they usually don’t get an opportunity to revisit the course.

But thanks to technology, today companies can go with on-demand and self-learning programs that help employees to access the course as and when they want.

This provides flexibility and employees can learn without leaving their desks which saves a lot of time and money for the organization.

Going Forward

There are a plethora of programs available both online and offline. It’s up to you to decide what would fit your bill.

All these programs and certifications have their specialties and none of them are similar by any means.

It also depends on your organization’s needs. Sometimes you don’t need any kind of certification at all as they are efficient enough to carry out organizational change management initiatives.

Having said that, all your learnings will go in vain if that learning is not being implemented in the projects handled by you. Eventually, as a certified change manager, you can fuel your change management initiatives with some digital transformation tools.

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Krishnan Kaushik V

Krishnan Kaushik V

Krishnan is a Marketer and Content Crafter. He has an in-depth understanding of Digital Adoption, Transformation, and Enterprise applications that helps business to generate business outcomes. In his former life, he was an IIoT & Automation engineer. You can find him trying new recipes, riding a bike, and wondering about the most complex object on the face of the earth i.e Human Brain.

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