Certification Process Frequently Asked Questions
Certification is optional and entirely voluntary. AADMM is the certifying body, but there is no connection between membership in the organization and the certification process.
As the only national organization representing daily money managers, AADMM is committed to promoting high standards of client services provided by members, and to supporting the growth of the daily money management industry, in numbers of providers, in recognition of the field, and in the quality of services provided.
- Credentialing raises the status of DMMs by demonstrating that practitioners take a professional approach to their duties and to their clients.
- The public gains a higher level of protection because certified daily money managers are acknowledged to have met certain standards and have demonstrated their competence in relevant skill-sets.
- As individuals who work with clients’ money and deal with some of the most personal areas of their lives, having a certification program is a proactive stance that may assuage efforts to enact state licensing. The demand for professional and occupational certification and licensure continues to increase as professions and occupations become more specialized and issues such as individual professional accountability become increasingly critical.
- The value of certification and what it means to the public provides a marketing advantage to the individuals who successfully complete the process and gain the status of a certified daily money manager.
AADMM has closely followed the guidelines of the National Organization for Competency Assurance – the leader in accreditation of certification programs. Their publication entitled “The NOCA Guide to Understanding Credentialing Concepts” is an excellent reference piece.
The organization also sought expert, hands-on guidance in creating the certification process by hiring Professional Credential Services, Inc. (PCS), a company that carries the recommendation of the NOCA and that is a full service, national provider of examination services, including candidate application processing, eligibility determination, examination development, examination administration, scoring and reporting. PCS, headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, has been servicing state regulatory agencies, national and international associations, and federal agencies since 1998. (www.pcshq.com)
This professional company has assisted a committee of established DMMs, AADMM Board Members, and staff.
Proctored exams are offered at the Annual conference or can be set up in your local area by contacting the AADMM Business Office at 814-357-9191.
The non-refundable application fee to sit for the first exam is $300 for members and $450 for non-members. The fee to retest will be $100 for members and $200 for non-members.
Recertification after three years is typical for certification programs. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be the basis for recertification. There will be a small processing fee for recertification. Details on recertification have been finalized and can be found on the AADMM website.
As promoted in the NOCA guidelines, the certification program is geared to test and validate the application of knowledge required to perform a specific job. AADMM certification will test more than the theoretical basis or the knowledge of “how” to perform a job – the certification process as a whole validates the demonstrated ability of the individual to do the job.
AADMM is requiring experience of 1,500 hours within the prior three-year period (which equates to less than 10 hours per week). For further details of requirements visit the certification section of the AADMM website.
AADMM’s certification program assures that the individual has had sufficient opportunity to apply learned skills and knowledge, and has also been exposed to the nuances and challenges of the profession, learning how to adapt and confront these experiences.
Certification as a daily money manager is not the same as being licensed as a Realtor or insurance agent, or certified as a CSA. In those instances, testing is simply to prove you have learned and understand certain material. In many cases, people can have no experience in real estate, but take a cram course, pass the exam, and obtain a license which enables them to practice. This is not a “typical” profession –experiences and knowledge used are different every day. The AADMM exam will evaluate your competency to meet those challenges. Becoming certified does not merely indicate you “are” a DMM, it will signify that you have a reached a higher standard, proven by a set of achievements which include experience. In recognition that many DMMs gain experience through service that is unpaid, the Board will allow up to 250 hours of unpaid or pro-bono work to qualify toward the 1,500 minimum hours.
AADMM has a Code of Ethics and expects people to be honest. Your application must be notarized before it is submitted. AADMM will do background checks and will ask each individual to explain any past criminal activity. The Certification Board will have the right to evaluate any information that is obtained in the application process and to accept or deny any application. Spot check audits using standard records will help to insure that people are accurate in reporting their experience.
Candidates do not have to read everything on the suggested reading list. AADMM encourages candidates to pick and choose what they feel will be most helpful based on their experience level.
It is important to remember that certification is a voluntary process. No one should feel compelled to sit for the exam. If you are not comfortable with all areas of the test or do not feel properly prepared, we recommend that you wait for another testing period. AADMM will also use the exam to help determine how study materials can best augment knowledge gained by a DMM in actual work experience.
There is a list of resources for an applicant’s review. This resource list was compiled by the same DMMs who wrote the exam questions. As the certification program evolves, development of supplementary study materials will also continue. In addition, AADMM offers a Certification Study Guide available for purchase from the association’s book store. A Certification Review course is also offered periodically to help DMMs prepare for the exam.
Anti-trust laws are in place in this country to protect people in business from artificial constraints in the marketplace. A membership organization offering certification must make the opportunity available to everyone in the marketplace who meets the qualifications; otherwise it is against anti-trust laws. An organization can charge more for non-members who use its services, including a certification program, but even that must be no more than the difference in the dues to join the organization. The laws are very specific and AADMM has designed its policies to abide by those regulations.