Certification program sharpens leadership skills for public-sector professionals

By

Christopher Hernandez

A cohort of more than 50 professionals from the Department of Child Safety recently received their Certified Public Manager credential through a program offered by Arizona State University’s Bob Ramsey Executive Education.

Accredited by the National CPM Consortium – which only allows one authorizing body in each state – the program further develops and sharpens the management and efficiency skills of public managers across Arizona and neighboring states. More than 2,000 individuals working for dozens of organizations throughout Arizona have received this credential.

“(The program) not only allows you to learn about managing in the public sector, but you learn more about yourself,” Arizona Department of Child Safety unit supervisor Amanda Cannon said. “I was able to teach people I manage to think more independently and to develop plans and strategies.”

Participants must complete a demanding curriculum of learning activities addressing various competencies of management as well as topics and courses such as management in the public organization, decision management, and ethics and management simulation.

As employees of the Department of Child Safety already have a demanding schedule, the Certified Public Manager Program is also available online.

“The curriculum is a comprehensive leadership and organizational emphasis program” said Sheila Murphy, developer and instructor of the CPM online course. “We configured the program into five courses, each dealing with public management and making it more relevant and more effective.”

“The constant communication was extremely helpful,” Department of Child Safety ongoing supervisor Rosette Codner explained. “The feedback was real and authentic, and after every week I was able to pull lessons and put them into practice.”

“I was able to interact a lot with my peers and gain their perspective on how the agency is running and where our future should be,” recalled Jay Chapman, Department of Child Safety after-hours supervisor for Maricopa County. “It opens your eyes to the complete running of the entire department and lets you see the difficulties and big decisions made daily by executive level leadership.”

The group aspect is crucial. A big project within the program involves working in regional teams and selecting a primary issue that would produce good and efficient results in returning children to their families or finding proper placement.

“Take this to heart,” advised Sahar Gipson, Department of Child Safety assistant program manager for Pima County. “The quality of your leadership and supervisor skills will improve.”

“These are social workers; their work is incredibly high-pressure,” said Tracey Regenold, program coordinator for ASU’s Bob Ramsey Executive Education. “Sometimes there is a disconnect, especially with all the changes this particular cohort experienced in their field. They were tremendously inspiring.”

The Certified Public Manager program is one of a number of certification programs and trainings offered by Bob Ramsey Executive Education, a center within the School of Public Affairs in the College of Public Service and Community Solutions.