CGMS


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How to Earn Your Credential

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to sit for the CGMS exam, candidates must attest to having one of the following:

a)  A minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education or equivalent foreign degree that would allow you to qualify for a master’s or doctoral degree program at an accredited U.S. college or university AND a minimum of three (3) years full-time* grants management experience in the last 10 years**; or

b) No college degree, BUT a minimum of five (5) years full-time* grants management experience within
the last 10 years**.

*Full-time is defined as 32 hours per week or more.

**Grants management experience includes any and all activities covered by the Grants Management Body of Knowledge, a summary of which is available on the NGMA website (www.ngma.org) and in Appendix B of this handbook.


Study and Prepare for the Exam

NGMA encourages candidates to prepare for the exam by using resources such as those listed in Appendix A of the CGMS Candidate Handbook.Join the CGMS Study Buddy social community page in the NGMA Network. You can also connect with a CGMS Mentor through the social community.Taking the NGMA GMBoK Training is a great way to get prepared for the CGMS Exam as it covers the full life cycle of grants management.

  • Read and know 2 CFR 200.

  • Take the CGMS Practice Test.

  • Even experienced grant professionals will need to study for the exam!


Take the Practice Test

The Practice Test was designed using test specifications similar to the actual CGMS examination. The Practice Test includes fifty (50) multiple-choice questions that are similar in type to those that will be found on the actual credentialing examination.

The Practice Test is intended to provide individuals with a sample of the type of questions that will be asked on the actual credentialing exam. These practice questions do not appear on the credentialing examination.

The practice test can be taken from the comfort of your home or office and has a time limit of two hours.

The cost of the Practice Test is FREE for Members and $50 for Nonmembers.



Take the Exam

You must submit a CGMS application and pay the exam fee before scheduling your exam.

The computer-based CGMS exam is offered at over 400 proctored testing centers throughout the U.S and contains 150 multiple-choice questions.  Candidates will be given three (3) hours to complete the exam.

If you need to take an international exam, please contact Kelli Klepic at [email protected] for more information.

The CGMS Exam fee is $500 for members and $674 for nonmembers (includes a 1-year membership to NGMA). 
The exam fee includes a non-refundable $75 application fee.


 


Adhere to the Ethics

Read and adhere to the NGMA Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (link to the code of ethics).

The document articulates ideals and values related to the organization’s:

  • Responsibility
  • Respect
  • Fairness
  • Honest

Failure to adhere to ideals and values may result in the revocation of the CGMS credential.


Earn Continuing Education

Upon receiving your CGMS, you will then need to work toward earning 60 continuing education credits in the next three years.

Continuing Education credits must be earned through training with subjects related to grants, financial management, audit control, and the grant-making process. 

According to generally accepted standards, 50 minutes of training equals one (1) CPE. 

General knowledge and ethics-related CPE/CEUs that are not related to grants will not be accepted. 

Applicants may accrue grant-related CPEs/CEUs from a variety of sources.

NGMA offers 20 CPEs for attending the entire Annual Grants Training; if you attend the training each year, you will easily earn your 60 CPEs.

CPE Tracking Form 


What if I Need to Retake the Exam?

Candidates are permitted to retake the exam 90 days after test dates and are allowed three attempts in 365 days.  You will also be required to pay the retesting fee for each retake exam.

The CGMS Retesting Fee is $175 for members and $250 for nonmembers.



I Passed, Now What?

Congratulations! Your CGMS designation will be good for three years from the date you passed the exam.  You will receive an email from NGMA welcoming you to this elite group.  You will also receive a personalized CGMS certificate and will have access to the CGMS social community page.Upon receiving your CGMS, you will then need to work toward earning 60 continuing education credits in the next three years.  When your credential expires after those three years, you will also be required to pay a CGMS renewal fee.

The CGMS Renewal Fee is $175 for members and $250 for nonmembers.


“During previous NGMA conferences, grant professionals spoke highly about the opportunity, which inspired me to grow in my profession and obtain the certification when the new exam became available…. It is my hope that having knowledge of the federal regulations will allow me to be a better resource for the grants department and the district as a whole.” (Pasadena ISD’s Stewart earns prestigious grant certification)

- Rikitra Cephus, CGMS