Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The following is provided as a quick reference and is intended to answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the certification program and recertification process. It is not comprehensive. For complete details, review www.cdms.org and reference the CDMS Guide for Candidate Certification and the Candidate Guide for Recertification.

CDMS Certification FAQs

Q. How many times per year is the CDMS exam administered?
A. There are two exam windows each year. One in March and one in September. Specific dates for each year can be found at www.cdms.org on the homepage under get certified – CDMS certification – becoming certified.

Q. What is the application deadline?
A. The exam application deadline for the March exam is January 31st and for the September exam, the deadline is June 30th. Specific dates for each year can be found at www.cdms.org on the homepage under get certified – CDMS certification – becoming certified.

Q. How do I apply?
A. Applicants for the CDMS certification exam may complete their application online and submit, with the appropriate fees, by the application package deadline. The CDMS Guide for Candidate Certification provides step-by-step instructions.

Q. Do I need a Bachelor’s degree in a specific field?
A. Your degree can be in any field, however, the granting college or university must have been accredited at the time the degree was conferred by one of the national or regional accrediting associations accredited by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Q. How do I know if my employment is acceptable?
A. Only paid employment is accepted. Internships and volunteer activities are NOT acceptable forms of employment experience. At the time of application, you must be able to attest that within the past five years a minimum of 2,080 hours of documented work experience aligns with at least 2 of the 4 Domains/practice areas. Complete details on acceptable work experience can be found in the CDMS Guide for Candidate Certification.

Q. What is the fee for certification? What is the fee for a retake if I fail once?
A. The application fee is $420. The fee to retake the exam for the second time is $195. To qualify for the $195 retake fee, you must sit for the exam within one of the two subsequent exam windows after receiving a non-passing score.

Q. How do I prepare for the exam?
A. The Commission does not endorse any particular study materials or preparation courses. However, in response to the increased need for educational resources, the Commission has developed the CDMS Core Knowledge Curriculum (CKC) – a unique online learning program within the disability management field. You can access comprehensive knowledge, skills, interactive exercises, and case study examples all in one place. This curriculum is not necessarily intended as an exam preparation course but may be used as a supplement. Also available is the CDMS Practice Exam.

Q. Where do I take the exam?
A. Candidates can choose from approximately 300 test administration centers in the U.S. It is recommended that candidates schedule their testing appointment as soon as possible in order to obtain a preferred location, date, and time. Extensions will not be granted due to delays in scheduling.

Q. How do I request accommodations for the exam?
A. Special consideration may be given to applicants who can document a bona fide disability as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA). Notification for the need for exam accommodation must be made at the time of application. Complete guidelines are provided in the CDMS Guide for Candidate Certification.

Q. What is the length of the exam?
A. The certification exam consists of 175 multiple-choice questions drawn from the Commission’s item bank.

Q. How is the exam scored?
A. A detailed explanation can be found on page 19 of the CDMS Guide for Candidate Certification.

Q - I failed the exam.  What are my options?
A - You can schedule a retake ($200) for the next cycle by contacting CDMS staff at 844-681-8156 or cdmshq@cdms.org.  The candidate is only permitted one retake per application.  The application is only good for two consecutive exam windows.  If you do not schedule the retake in the next consecutive cycle, you will have to re-apply and pay the application and exam fee ($420)

Q. When will I receive the results?
A. Immediately after testing, all candidates will receive examination scores on-site. Approximately 4-6 weeks following the test administration window, all candidates will receive written notification. The exception to this rule occurs when a new test form is introduced. In this instance, candidates will not receive examination scores on-site, but will receive written notification of their scores approximately 4-6 weeks following the test administration window.

https://cdms.org/get-certified/cdms-certification

 

Q - If I do not pass, how will I be notified of my performance on the exam?

A - CCMC receives the official results from Pearson VUE about 2 weeks after the last day of the exam administration. All candidates will receive an email notification to check their dashboards. For those that did not pass, the dashboard will include their performance for each domain. 

Certification FAQs

Q - What is the Certification for Disability Management Specialist?

A - The CDMS credential has a rich history that spans 30 years. Offering the only independent, nationally accredited program that certifies disability management specialists, the Certification of Disability Management Specialists (CDMS) credential is the industry standard in workplace solutions and has long been recognized for excellence. It promotes competence, high professional standards, and ethical practice in the field.

Q - I have forgotten my username/password.

A - Go to "Log In" and choose “Forgot Password”. Your password will be emailed to the email listed in your CDMS record.

Q – I am having trouble seeing my dashboard.

A - Internet Explorer has known incompatibilities with the functionality of the CDMS website. Please only use current versions of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox for the best experience.

Q - How can I get a copy of my receipt?

A - Please LOG IN. It will change to MY ACCOUNT. There will be a menu where you can select Print Receipts.

Q - How do I receive my CDMS certificate?

A - An email will be sent to you to order your complimentary certificate, with the option to order additional copies and frames to display your certificate. Please be sure to monitor your emails, including your spam folder for an email from the Commission, info@cdms,org. Adding this email to your address book will ensure receipt.

 

APPLICATION and EXAM

 

Q - How much is the application?

A - $225

Q - How much is the exam?

A - $195
Total paid with the Application is $420

Q - Are there discounts or special offers?

A- Yes, if you are eligible and fall under any of the following:

Active Military and VA Employee discounts

**CCMC will occasionally run promotional campaigns that will be sent via email. This will include promotional codes that will be needed to enter into your application at the time of applying. Please make sure you check your emails to see if there are current promotions running. Your promotion will NOT be applied after you have already submitted an application. 
 

Q - What is the process to become certified?

A - You must meet all eligibility requirements, fill out and submit a complete application, including employer and primary license information, with complete fees. Once your application is approved, you will be notified and assigned a candidate ID number. You may then schedule your exam at a local computer-based testing site. After you take the exam, you will be notified of your test results and mailed a certificate and letter of certification if you have passed.

Q - When can I apply for the exam?

A - View the application timeline.

Q - I am unable to take the exam, can I receive a refund?

A - If you are unable to take the test during the exam cycle for which you are approved, you may request and pay a one-time deferment ($75) to the next consecutive exam cycle. To make this request, you must first contact Pearson VUE to cancel the original appointment. Then contact CDMS at 844-681-8156 or info@cdms.org to set up a deferment. If you do not take the exam, and you do not schedule a deferment, you will have to reapply and pay for a new application and exam. ($420)

Q - How do I know if I am eligible to apply?

A - Refer to the Certification Guide to determine if you are eligible.

Q - I need special testing accommodations. Will CDMS help me?

A - All of the computer-based testing sites operated by Pearson VUE are ADA compliant. Special accommodations must be documented by your physician or other professional familiar with your case and submitted to CDMS. If your accommodations are approved, you will schedule your exam appointment with the Pearson VUE team. This information will be provided to you once your request has been approved.

Q - I have been approved to test. How do I get my testing number so I can schedule with Pearson VUE?

A - Once you are approved, you will receive an email with your candidate ID number and instructions for scheduling your exam with Pearson VUE.

Q - What can I expect when I arrive at the testing center?

A – Please take a moment to view the informational videos below:

Q - How do I request ADA accommodations for my online exam?

A - If you require test accommodations in order to take your online exam, you must apply for and receive approval from CDMS before scheduling your exam. Once your request is submitted, you are required to have your medical provider submit documentation of disability and what accommodations are being requested and send to info@cdms.org. Please note, CDMS will not consider requests for accommodations without supporting documentation, and you will not be unable to schedule your exam until your accommodations are approved. Please note, accommodations for remote proctoring at home are limited, please check with CDMS first.

Q - In what languages are the online exams offered through Pearson VUE?

A - CDMS online exams and communication will be conducted in English only

Q - How do I schedule for the CDMS online exam?

A - After you have applied for a CDMS exam, been approved, and received your exam scheduling instructions, you will visit CCMC's scheduling page on the pearson VUE website. 

Q - How do I ensure the OnVUE system is compatible with my computer?

A - To ensure your computer will be compatible, please visit https://home.pearsonvue.com/Standalone-pages/OnVUE-tips.aspx

Q - Can I use a corporate computer for my remote exam?

A - When testing online, you will provide your own computer equipment, so be sure you’ve got the following before exam day:

  • Required: a desktop or a laptop computer. Tablets can only be used as a screen, paired with an external keyboard. Touch screens cannot be used for your exam.
  • Required: a single monitor. Remove any extra monitors from the testing room, or at least unplug them before taking your test-space photos during check-in.
  • Required if using an external monitor with a laptop: an external mouse, keyboard, and webcam, and the lid of your laptop must remain closed throughout your exam.
  • Recommended: a personal computer rather than an employer-issued computer, which may have additional security settings that can interfere with your exam.

Q - Is there anything I need to do before scheduling my online exam? Can I practice for the new online proctored testing format?

A - As a way to prepare for your online exam, we suggest you visit https://home.pearsonvue.com/Standalone-pages/OnVUE-tips.aspx for some tips. Also, to review a short video overview of the testing experience, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSWXzhavOwg

Q: Can I test my computer before my scheduled exam?

A- YES! It is encouraged!

By running this test using the same computer and internet connection you plan to use for your exam, you can feel confident about your setup. Plus, you get a preview of the check-in and exam launch processes.

We suggest running the system test at approximately the same time of day you expect to take your exam, to get a better feel for the internet connection you are likely to have. If you run the system test at 10:00 pm and take your exam at 2:00 pm, the bandwidth available may be quite different.

We recommend running the system test again two to three days before your exam. This will identify any issues that might arise from automatic software downloads, background upgrades, etc.

The system test check-in and exam are only simulated. Your answer to the sample exam question posed will not be checked or retained. You can run the system test as many times as needed.

If your setup fails the system test or doesn’t meet minimum requirements, you can take your exam at a testing center instead.

Q - What are the technical requirements for taking an online exam?

A – Please review the tips for taking the exam online: https://home.pearsonvue.com/Standalone-pages/OnVUE-tips.aspx

Read all the information here: https://home.pearsonvue.com/op/OnVUE-technical-requirements

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Q - How does online exam work?

A - Similar to test center-based testing, online proctored testing requires that you be monitored by a proctor while you take your exam via your microphone and webcam. Before starting the exam, the candidate must present a valid, unexpired government-issued ID that is both signature and photo-bearing. Both ID signature and print must match the candidate’s name in demographics and look like the candidate. Acceptable forms of identification include a driver’s license, military identification card, passport, state identification card, and a valid national identification card. Your image and pictures of your surroundings will be captured. Once you begin the exam, you will not be permitted to leave the room or move out of the proctor’s view without first notifying and being acknowledged by the Proctor. Failure to inform the Proctor prior to taking a break or failure to return on time may result in an inability to complete the exam. Once the candidate returns from a break, a full security scan will be conducted prior to resuming the exam. Please note, exam time will continue to run during a break.

Q - What should I do if I have internet issues during a remote proctored exam?

A - Bandwidth speed drops can occur while using Wi-Fi, and can be spotty. CDMS suggests only the candidate use the internet for testing or hardwire where possible.

Q - What should I do if I have technical issues during a remote proctored exam?

A - Your proctor attempts to resolve technical issues in real time. If an issue cannot be resolved, the proctor will file a case on your behalf. Please contact the Commission as soon as possible.

Q - I have contacted technical support, what can I expect for a resolution to my remote proctor issue?

A – Pearson VUE’s technical support agents will work with you to troubleshoot your individual and unique problem. Steps they may take as part of the resolution will vary depending upon the issue. This may include asking you to reboot your machine, and in some cases, it is necessary for them to see what you are experiencing on screen. This will help expedite your resolution and get you back to your exam as quickly as possible.

Q - Where can I take my remote proctored exam?

A - The place where you will take your exam is one of your most crucial decisions. For best results, prepare your testing environment before exam day to ensure it will be:

  • Private: Ideally, choose an enclosed space that allows for privacy and prevents others from entering or even passing through once you have started your exam. Avoid testing near windows or glass partitions to prevent others from viewing your screen.
  • Quiet: Background noise may distract proctors monitoring your exam session and could interfere with your session.
  • Free from interruptions: Inform any other members of your household that you are taking an exam and cannot be interrupted during it.
  • Well lit: Proctors must be able to see you and your testing space well. Too much background light (natural or electric) could create visibility issues for your proctor, so avoid sitting in front of a window or other strong light.
  • Cleared of personal and preparatory items: Clear your desk/workspace of all personal and preparatory items, except for those allowed by your exam program, which must be on the desk during check-in. Keep your mobile phone in the room where you’re testing, but out of arm’s reach; it must be available should we need to contact you.

Q - What devices do I need for online proctor testing?

A - You will need a stable internet connection and a reliable computer with a microphone and webcam. Please visit https://home.pearsonvue.com/op/OnVUE-technical-requirements to review a full list of system requirements and instructions for running a system test prior to your exam.

Q - Where do I go to check in on exam day for my remote proctored exam?

A: On exam day: 

  • We recommend logging into your account 30 minutes early to start the check-in process and to allow for any troubleshooting. 
  • This allows optimal preparedness but does not guarantee an early admittance or start time.
  • If you are more than 15 minutes late after your scheduled exam time, you will be unable to begin your exam and you will not receive a refund.

To check into your exam: 

  • Select Check-in to start exam on your confirmation, reschedule or reminder emails, OR
  • Log in: https://home.pearsonvue.com/ccmc/onvue
  • View your upcoming appointment.
  • Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the check-in process.
  • You will need to complete check-in before you can start your exam. 

Q - Once logged in to OnVUE, what is the hold time to actually start my exam?

Q - Will I be able to access the internet while taking my remote proctored exam?

A - Your computer will be locked down once you start your exam.

Q - Will I be able to use my phone while taking my remote proctored exam?

A - The use of mobile phones is prohibited during your exam. Using your phone may result in your exam session being terminated and you should prepare to be unreachable by phone while taking your exams. Mobile phones and other electronic devices must be placed out of arm's reach before you begin your exam. If there is a technical software issue during the exam, the proctor will try to contact you online using the software. If the proctor cannot contact you via software, they will call you at the phone number you provided during the check-in process.

Q - Will I receive instant results once I complete my online remote exam?

A - Upon completion of the computer-based examination, you will receive an e-mail from Prometric with your test results. CCMC emails exam results within six weeks of the end of the exam period.

Q - Is technical software assistance available during the exam? For example, what if there is a power outage during the exam?

A - Pearson VUE will text your mobile device and if the internet is still available, they will chat with you via the software. If not resolved, a case will be filed, with most cases investigated and resolved within 3-5 business days.

Q - What if I can’t find an appointment date and time to meet my needs?

A -A -There are nearly 6,000 test centers to choose from in more than 180 countries, chances are you’ll find a location nearby. Some exams can even be taken online, from the convenience of your own home if you cannot find a convenient location. Check your program page to find out if this is an option you can choose

Q - How long will it take for me to be notified of my results?

A - You will receive a Pass/Not Pass notification at the test center.

Q - If I did not pass, how will I be notified of my performance on the exam?

A - CDMS receives the official results from Pearson VUE about 2 weeks after the last day of the exam administration. All candidates will receive an email notification to check their dashboard. For those that did not pass, the dashboard will include their performance for each domain (proficient, marginal, or deficient).

 

Q - What is my actual score?

CDMS strives to improve our processes and performance. In conjunction with the release of the new exam blueprint, the Commission reviews its policies and procedures in accordance with our accreditations regularly. As a result of these ongoing reviews, specific scores are not available. Candidates can be assured that the pass/no pass results are reliable.

Q - Why won’t you share my actual score?

CDMS strives to improve our processes and performance. In conjunction with the release of the new exam blueprint, the Commission reviews its policies and procedures in accordance with our accreditations regularly. As a result of these ongoing reviews, specific scores are not available. Candidates can be assured that the pass/no pass results are reliable.

Q - I failed the exam. What are my options?

A - You can schedule a retake ($195) for the next cycle by contacting Customer Service at 844-681-8156 or info@cdms.org. The candidate is only permitted one retake per application. The application is only good for two consecutive exam windows. If you do not schedule the retake in the next consecutive cycle, you will have to re-apply and pay the application and exam fee ($420)

Q - I had a death in the family. I would like to defer to the next cycle. What do I do?

A - You can request a one-time deferment by first contacting Pearson VUE via their website to cancel the original exam appointment. Then contact CDMS Customer Service at 844-681-8156 or info@cdms.org to set up a deferment ($75). Deferment can be made any time between the time of initial approval and the week before the last day of the next exam cycle. If you do not take the exam in the first available cycle and you fail to schedule a deferral, you will need to complete a new application and pay application and exam fees ($420)

Q - Can you recommend any study guides to help me prepare?

A - CDMS does not endorse or recommend any preparatory course or materials. Review the certification guide and the different Domains that are included in the exam and concentrate on those areas in which you feel you have had less experience or that you do not perform on a regular basis. CDMS does offer a practice exam to provide a true exam experience for applicants.

Q - How many questions are on the exam?

A - The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. 25 are pretest items. The exam is comprised of 4 major domains and 27 subdomains. You will have 3 1/2 hours to complete the content portion of the test.

Q - My application was denied. What can I do?

A - You can appeal the decision by making a request through your dashboard within 30 days. You will be required to submit additional information. If the denial is upheld, you will receive a refund of the examination fee.

 

Digital Badges

Q - What is a digital badge?
A - A digital badge is a validated indicator of accomplishment, skill, quality, or interest that can be earned in many learning environments. Certified Disability Management Specialist (CDMS) issues digital badges to its Disability Management Experts through CDMS® Digital Badging to make it easier for you to provide proof of your hard-earned CDMS® status to your clients and colleagues.

Q - How do I get issued a CDMS® digital badge?
A - The Commission issues digital badges to those who have successfully passed the CDMS® exam or have renewed their CDMS® certification. Please allow 6 weeks after the exam period or certification period to access your digital badge.

Q - How do I use my CDMS® digital badge?
A - The CDMS® digital badges can be shared via digital media platforms and/or as part of your email signature. When someone clicks on the badge image, the link will bring them to your personal validation page on the CDMS Digital Badging website which provides official confirmation of your CDMS® status.

Q - How do I access my digital badge?
A - You will receive an email from the Commission informing you that you have been issued a CDMS® Certified badge. You will then login using your CDMS credentials and will be given instructions on how to share your badge. If you missed your email, you can visit https://badging.cdms.org and follow the steps above.

CDMS Recertification FAQs

Q. When do I need to recertify?
A. CDMS certification is valid for five (5) years. All candidates for recertification are required to recertify by December 31 in the year they are due to recertify.

Q. Do I have options for recertification?
A. Yes. Candidates may choose one of the following options to meet the requirements for recertification:
Option 1: Recertification by Continuing Education
Option 2: Re-examination (Exam windows are offered once in March and once in September)

Q. If I choose the Recertification by Continuing Education Option, how many hours of continuing education are required?
A. 80 clock hours of approved continuing education are required of which a minimum of 30 hours must align with any of the four domains of practice and 4 hours must be in Ethics. All continuing education hours must be completed within the five-year interval through December 31 of the year you are due to recertify. For complete details on a breakdown of the continuing education hours required for re-certification make sure you review the Candidate Guide
for Re-certification prior to completing your application. NOTE: All continuing education hours must be earned by December 31 of the year you are due to recertify. No exceptions!

Q. What is the fee to recertify?
A. The fees are as follows:
Recertification through Continuing Education: $275*
Recertification through Re-examination: $475*
Late Fee: $175 (add to the applicable rate above if submitting your application during the late period)

Q. What is the deadline to recertify?
A. The deadline to submit your recertification application and the fee is December 31 of the year you are due to recertify. If a candidate does not submit their completed application and fee by December 31 of the year they are due to recertify, applications will be accepted during the late fee period of January 1 through January 31 immediately following the recertification deadline. Applications received during the late fee period must include a $175 late fee in addition to the rates listed above. NOTE: All continuing education hours must be earned by December 31 of the year you are due to recertify. No Exceptions!

Q. How can I find providers of CDMS continuing education hours?
A. Here is a list of some CE Providers who offer programs/events that have been pre-approved for CDMS continuing education. Additionally, the CDMS Commission offers curriculum-based and webinar products that provide continuing education hours. They may be accessed in the online store.

Q. How do I report my continuing education activities?
A. It’s easy. You can report your continuing education activities in your dashboard as you complete them or anytime up to the day of submission. Since you are responsible for ensuring you have the required 80 clock hours for each 5-year recertification cycle, the Commission recommends that you report your activities at least once a year to make sure you have the sufficient number of required hours prior to the recertification deadline.

Q. Do I need to send the original certificates when submitting CEs?
A. No, unless requested, do not send any paperwork to the CDMS office. All continuing education activities are recorded online by the candidate for recertification. Certificates of completion should be maintained by the candidate and readily available if they are asked to produce as part of a random recertification audit.

Q. Why might I be audited?
A. Each year the CDMS Commission randomly selects 10% of recertification applications for audit. To obtain more information on recertification audits, review the CDMS Guide for Candidate Recertification.

Q. If a program/activity is not pre-approved can I still receive credit and what do I need to do?
A. Yes, but the program/activity must fall within one of the domains of practice. For complete details, review the CDMS Guide for Candidate Recertification.

Q: I did not pass the exam, how do I interpret my domain breakdown?

A: CCMC exams apply three domain breakdown levels: Deficient (1), Marginal (2), and Proficient (3)

Disclaimer: the domain-level information has limitations and is provided for information purposes only.

Diagnostic Level score descriptions:

1. Deficient - The score you obtained is below an acceptable level; substantial study of this content area is recommended prior to retaking the examination.

2. Marginal - The score you obtained is near an acceptable level; study of this content area is recommended prior to retaking the examination.

3. Proficient - The score you obtained in this domain is at or above the acceptable level. A review of this content area may be helpful to you prior to retaking the examination.

Note about Interpreting Domain Diagnostics:

The domain diagnostic information is intended to provide candidates feedback on their performance at each domain area, i.e. their demonstrated areas of strengths and weaknesses. However, prior success in one content area does not guarantee repeated success in the same content area on another attempt at the exam. Therefore, candidates should use this feedback as a guide to help determine areas to focus on should they elect to retake the exam.


Q. What is the CDMS exam pass rate?
A. The pass rate is defined as the percentage of people who pass the exam each time it is administered. This rate varies with each administration as well as for the first-time exam candidates vs. retake candidates. The pass rate is NOT the exam candidate's score on the exam. For example, annual exam results are included below:

Exam Administration Total number of candidates Total candidate % passed Total Certified
March 2022 46 73.9% 34
September 2023 46 59% 27