Certified disability management specialists are well qualified to tackle workforce challenges of COVID-19
2019 CDMS Role and Function Study reveals real-world practice aligns with certification exam
MOUNT LAUREL, NJ, March 9, 2021— The COVID-19 pandemic has vastly changed how and
where employees work, and the need to support their health and wellbeing is more critical than
ever. A new study confirms that professionals with the Certified Disability Management Specialist
(CDMS ® ) credential have the knowledge required and are well prepared to support programs that
keep employees productive, safe, and healthy.
Actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 represent only a portion of solutions needed to maintain
employee health and productivity. Stress, anxiety, and depression rates are rising as more employees
deal with isolation. Those with the CDMS credential are often on the front lines helping employees
manage serious health issues which helps employers reduce absenteeism while enhancing
“Our roles are positioned to expand,” said Ed Quick, CDMS, global senior leader for a worldwide
technology company and Commissioner for the Commission for Case Manager Certification ®,
administrator of the CDMS credential program. “Much like the growth from the introduction of
the Rehabilitation Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act, the ongoing introduction of statutory
state paid family and medical leave laws and the possibility of a federal act will drive and expand
the need for the CDMS.”
Board-certified disability management specialists must pass an independent, nationally accredited
exam to earn the credential. The exam is informed by a periodic Role and Function Study, a
rigorous job task analysis of the current knowledge and skills needed for competent, effective
performance. The study gathers data about how disability management is changing, and the
knowledge, skills, and activities required to maintain competence.
The 2019 CDMS Role and Function Study identified the current activities performed by disability
management specialists and then used that to inform the exam content, ensuring content is
representative of the field. Only two tasks that were previously part of the exam were found to be of
low importance and will not be included in exam questions as of March 2021.
“The study findings affirm that those who hold the CDMS credential are well prepared to practice
integrated disability management,” said MaryBeth Kurland, the Commission’s chief executive
officer. “The Commission is committed to ensuring that certification requirements evolve to reflect
what’s happening in real-world practice.”
Of those participating in the study, 87% currently hold the CDMS credential. They are seasoned
professionals, with more than 66% indicating they’ve been practicing for more than a decade.
Other key findings:
- They are well educated; 90% hold at least a bachelor’s degree, and 48% hold advanced degrees.
- Just over half (51%) work for employers who require certification in disability management.
- The role is dispersed among many employer types; the largest proportion (38%) work for case management organizations, while nearly 12% are self-employed or in private practice.
To learn more about the CDMS 2019 Role and Function Study, please visit the summary on our website.
About the Commission for Case Manager Certification
The Commission for Case Manager Certification is the first and largest nationally accredited case
management certification organization, credentialing more than 50,000 professional case managers
and disability management specialists. The Commission is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that
oversees the process of case manager certification with its CCM® and CDMS® credentials.
Offering an extensive portfolio of certification and professional advancement activities, the
Commission is the most active and prestigious certification organization supporting the practices of
case management and disability management. For more information, visit www.certification.org
and www.cdms.org, connect with the Commission on Facebook or follow us on Twitter
Contact: Nataleigh Cromwell