Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This 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 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 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 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 36 months 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 retake if I fail once?
A. The application fee is $420. The fee to retake the exam for the second time is $210. To qualify for the $210 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. These centers are run by Iso-Quality Testing, Inc., a corporate affiliate of the CDMS testing company --Schroeder Measurement Technologies, Inc. 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  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.

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 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 online application 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. 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 2022 71 76.06% 54