About CSM

The purpose of the Certified Stormwater Manager (CSM) credential is to promote excellence and commitment to public service by advancing the knowledge and practice of stormwater management to benefit the community, public agencies, and the profession.

Who Might Be a Stormwater Manager?

The CSM is intended for experts in the public and private sectors who coordinate and implement stormwater management programs for city, county, state, provincial, and federal agencies.

These individuals are responsible for administering drainage, flood control, and/or water quality programs.

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Step 1: Eligibility and Preparation

Eligibility Requirements

To demonstrate eligibility, candidates must document the following.

  • Completion of one of the following education and work experience pathways:
    • High school graduation or equivalent and seven years of relevant work experience.
    • Associate degree or equivalent trade school certificate and five years’ experience.
    • Bachelor’s degree and three years of relevant work experience.
    • Master's degree and two years of relevant work experience.
    • Doctoral degree and one year of relevant work experience.
  • Agreement in writing to adhere to the APWA Standards of Professional Conduct.
  • Payment of the application fee.

Eligibility Application Process

  • Complete and save the CSM Eligibility Application.
  • Email the completed digital version to certification@apwa.org.
  • APWA will confirm receipt of the CSM Eligibility Application and notify the candidate of the status of their application via email within 20 business days.
  • If proven eligible, the candidate will have 24 months (two years) to sit for the exam before having to requalify.

Eligibility Application Fee

APWA Members: $195

Nonmembers: $245

Preparing for the Exam

The expectation for earning the CSM is a minimum level of competence across all areas of stormwater management:

  • Program Management
    • Overall Stormwater Management
    • Program Administration
    • Communication/Education
    • Planning and Design
  • Water Quality and Quantity
    • Regulatory Programs
    • Structural Best Management Practices
    • Hydrology and Hydraulics
  • Operations and Maintenance

The CSM Content Outline details the full list of tasks that are assessed on the exam. The candidate should use the CSM Examination Self-Assessment Form to determine the areas for which additional study may be warranted and develop a study plan focusing on those areas.

No preparatory materials are prerequisites to earning APWA certifications, nor does review of the suggested materials provide any guarantees that the candidate will pass the exam. However, reviewing materials can refresh and improve the candidate's understanding of the processes and functions.

Step 2: Scheduling and Taking the Exam

Scheduling the Exam

  • The candidate must sit for the CSM exam prior to expiration of their eligibility period.
  • Review the Exam Administration FAQs.
  • Select the desired date from the available dates on the Certification Exam Schedule. The exam must be scheduled at least 30 days prior to the candidate's preferred exam date.
  • The candidate should determine and secure the preferred location and proctoring administration. The exam can be administered directly to the candidate's place of employment or a testing center of their choosing.
  • Complete and save the CSM Exam Application.
  • Email the completed digital version to certification@apwa.org.
  • APWA will confirm receipt of the CSM Exam Application and initiate discussions with the proctor to ensure they are trained, prepared, and software is loaded.
  • The candidate and proctor will be notified of the specifics of the schedule within 10–14 days of the scheduled exam date.

Taking the Exam

  • The computer-based, proctored exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions based on the CSM Content Outline.
  • The candidate is given a maximum of 3.5 hours to complete the exam.

Exam Fee

Place of employment administration: $500

Testing center administration: $500 plus any testing center fees paid directly to the center

Step 3: Navigating Certification and Recertification

Congratulations! Earning the CSM is a significant achievement.

Share the Success

A newly certified individual is encouraged to:

  • Add their digital badge and certification to their LinkedIn profile.
  • Share their accomplishment on social media.
  • Add their credential to their name and signature on email, business cards, and social media profiles.
  • Send a press release to their local paper.
  • Write an article or record a testimonial.

Recertification

Certification is valid for five years. To maintain certification, the individual must complete a minimum of 100 credits (20 credits per year) earned through a combination of continuing education and contributions to the profession.

Applying for Recertification

Recertification requests must be initiated prior to the end of the individual's certification term. To recertify, the individual should:

Recertification Application Fee

APWA Members: $195

Nonmembers: $245

CSM Certification Spotlight On:

John Schexnayder, P.E., CFM, CSM, Senior Water Resources Engineer, Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

“I encourage anyone considering the CSM program to commit to certification. It has proven to be a valuable enhancement to my career, and I have no doubts that it can do the same for any water resources professional.”

Questions About the Certification Programs?

Reach out to the Certification team at certification@apwa.org or by phone at 800-848-2792.

Please note: APWA Education is independent of APWA Certification. APWA certification programs are governed by the Certification Commission, a semi-independent certifying body of APWA. In adherence to certification industry standards, the Commission volunteers are independent and not involved in the development of preparatory programs.

Certification Program Governance