The ICM Certified Crisis Communication ManagerTM


The Institute for Crisis Management® (ICM) is the only organization in North America that offers the Certified Crisis Communication ManagerTM (CCM) program.  The certification program was created to provide a broad range of communications professionals a vehicle to recognize and demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed to help organizations prevent, minimize or mitigate an issue or crisis that threatens brand, reputation and financial performance.

What is an Organizational Crisis? 

ICM defines a crisis as “any issue, problem or disruption which triggers negative stakeholder reactions that can impact the organization’s business and financial strength.”

Program Overview

Achieving certification as a Crisis Communication Manager signals that a candidate has demonstrated professional crisis communication competencies in the following areas:

  1. Crisis identification and assessment
  2. Key stakeholder identification and assessment
  3. Communication strategy
  4. Messaging
  5. Media relations
  6. Social media management
  7. Crisis communication plan development
  8. Exercises and drills

The Institute for Crisis Management is the only organization in North America that offers the Certified Crisis Communication Manager program. 

Why Get Certified? 

  1. Career advancement
  2. Professional/ peer recognition
  3. Increase your value to senior management
  4. Earn education credit towards other accreditation programs
  5. Learn important new communication skills
  6. Protect your organization brand, reputation
  7. Recognize trends, issues
  8. Represent ethical standards of conduct as professional communicator

Benefits provided by ICM to the Certified Crisis Communication Manager

  1. Inclusion on ICM’s Registry of Certified CCM’s
  2. Press release announcement
  3. Designation as Certified Crisis Communication Manager, “CCM”
  4. Network with other CCMs, share ideas, get advice
  5. Enhanced access and special pricing for ICM consulting and training resources


To seek certification, candidates must first apply to the program.  The applicant demonstrates foundational competencies, education and experience as a practitioner of public relations, marketing communications or a related discipline.  Applicants agree to adhere to the ICM Commitment to Ethical Communication Practices.

Upon acceptance, candidates must complete two required education programs:  the ICM Crisis Communication Management Certification Course and the ICM Crisis Media Training Workshop. Following successful completion of the two foundational programs, candidates must take and successfully pass the Certification Exam.

Required Education and Training 

CCM candidates must complete two ICM education and training programs before they can take the Certification Exam.  The foundation course, the Crisis Communication Management Certification Course, is offered as an in-person course or an online on-demand program.  Course content is the same for the in-person and the online course.

The online course is designed for those professionals who may be unable to travel to attend in-person training.  Ten course modules are completed through the Certification portal, including webinar content and completion of two short case studies, all done at the candidate’s convenience.

For those who prefer face-to-face training and the opportunity to discuss course concepts with the trainer and other participants, the Course is offered four times annually, twice each in Denver, Colorado and Louisville, Kentucky.

Candidates must also complete ICM’s in-person crisis media training workshop.  This one-day program is offered four times annually, twice each in Denver, Colorado and Louisville, Kentucky.

Exam and Maintenance

Candidates who have completed the required education programs must next take and successfully pass the Certification Exam.  The Exam is a timed test delivered on-demand through the Certification portal at the convenience of the candidate. Exam content includes both multiple-choice and short essay questions designed to demonstrate comprehension of the concepts learned in class.

Maintaining Certification

Once earned, Certification is valid for one year from the date the candidate passes the Certification Exam.  To maintain valid certification, CCMs pay an annual fee of $150.00 USD.

Commitment to Ethical Communication Practices 

Certified Crisis Communication Managers must be committed to the ethical practice of the profession. In seeking to earn the trust and respect of employers, clients, stakeholders, journalists, colleagues, coworkers and others, ethical crisis communicators adhere to the following standards of conduct.

As an ICM Certified Crisis Communication Manager:

  1. I am truthful and honest. My actions earn respect and trust as a professional communicator.
  2. I strive to communicate accurate information and act promptly to acknowledge and correct any errors.
  3. I check facts for accuracy before communicating them.
  4. I am a responsible advocate for my clients or employers, always acting in their best interests and subordinating my personal interests.
  5. I protect privileged, confidential and insider information always, while acting within the law.
  6. I obey all applicable laws, regulations and public policies.
  7. I notify the appropriate authority if I discover a breach of confidentiality or violation of law.
  8. I never use confidential information for personal gain.
  9. I give proper credit to the work of others, citing sources, respecting intellectual property rights and acknowledging the contributions of others.
  10. I do not represent conflicting or competing interests without complete disclosure and the written consent of all those involved.
  11. I take responsibility for my actions.
  12. I do not represent clients or organizations that would require me to violate the ethical requirements of these standards of conduct.

Deborah Hileman, SCMP
ICM President and CEO

CEO Expertise for Every Client

Deborah Hileman, SCMP, President and CEO. A certified strategic communication management professional (SCMP), business leader, coach and consultant with more than 30 years’ experience in public and private companies and non-profit organizations, Ms. Hileman has led high-performing communications and marketing teams in health care, manufacturing, insurance and financial services, nonprofits and higher education. Her most significant areas of expertise include strategic communications planning and reputation/crisis management, change management, employee engagement and communication training.

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