Career Center

Leadership in Place Management Certification

IDA’s Leadership in Place Management (LPM) certification recognizes place management professionals who demonstrate the knowledge and skills to manage and lead a place management organization. The goal of the certification program is to provide LPM professionals the ability to demonstrate proficiency in all aspects of the place management profession while also maintaining a commitment to ethical conduct and personal and professional growth. Below are the steps on your LPM journey. 

Join IDA’s webinar on December 1, 2021 at 3:00pm ET to learn more about the program and why the LPM Certification program is important to the place management profession and industry. Register now!

To be eligible to apply for the exam, certificants must meet all of the following requirements:  

  • Three years’ experience employed as the CEO/Executive Director or five years’ employment at a staff level of any qualifying organization(s)*.  
  • AND Have a bachelor’s degree or higher, or in lieu of a degree, have three additional years’ employment at a staff level of any qualifying organization(s)*.  
  • AND Two letters of recommendation regarding professional work experience as it relates to at least two or more of the seven domains of professional practice. The reference letters should be addressed to the LPM Commission. (IDA has developed seven official knowledge domains, recognizing the distinct areas of professional practice used to shape vibrant urban districts which anchor the well-being of towns, cities, and regions around the world.) 
  • AND Are committed to upholding the IDA Code of Ethics

 *Qualifying organizations include any of the following which are actively engaged in urban place management in North America: business improvement district (BID), business improvement area (BIA), place management partnerships, alliances, chamber of commerce, community development corporation, Main Street program, municipal government agency and/or consultancies and vendors engaged in urban place management. 

If a candidate has questions, please contact certification@downtown.org. 

The first step towards earning your LPM credential is to complete the application. To apply, candidates are required to login to their IDA account. If a candidate does not currently have an IDA account, they will be able to create one. Please be sure to read all information included in IDA’s Certification Candidate Handbook and follow all instructions in the application carefully. 

The window to apply for the November 2021 exam has ended. The application window for the May 2022 exam will be January 4, 2022 to Monday, February 28, 2022.

The nonrefundable application fee ($200 USD IDA member / $300 USD nonmember) is due at the time of application. The application is valid for one year from date of application submission.  

Candidates applying to sit for the exam will be asked to provide the following:  

  • Current resume that includes Education: Name of institution attended with highest level of education achieved, and name of degree received with dates of attendance and graduation; and Professional Experience: List of position titles and include dates of related experience. 
  • Two letters of recommendation regarding professional work experience as it relates to at least two or more of the seven domains of professional practice. 
  • Copy of diploma or transcript (if applicable). 
  • Reasonable Accommodations Request (if applicable). 
  • Confirmation that the applicant is committed to upholding the IDA Code of Ethics.

Confidentiality: Certification applications and candidates’ performance on the LPM exam shall remain confidential unless otherwise stipulated by the examinee or as required by law. The LPM program will release application and pass/fail information only to the applicant and in writing.  

Non-Discrimination Policy: IDA does not discriminate against any person based on race, color, national origin, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion or disability. 

Appeals: Applicants may appeal an application denial decision by submitting a written request (Appeal Request Formto the LPM Commission within ten (10) days of denial. The request must describe in detail and include pertinent evidence as to why the denial was made in error. 

If a candidate has questions, please contact certification@downtown.org. 

The composition of the exam is guided by extensive research done through the job task analysis. The exam and content outline will be updated as determined by the LPM Commission. For a detailed outline of the seven major areas of content used to guide the composition of the current exam please visit the Exam Content Outline. Each domain contains several subcategories with detailed knowledge needed. Not every item will be found on every exam and questions in each area will be randomized.

Candidates applying to sit for the LPM Exam are encouraged to develop a study plan based on the Exam Content Outline. The IDA Knowledge Center can be used as a source of study in each of the seven domains of professional practice. The LPM Commission is not involved in developing any preparatory program or materials, and no preparatory program is endorsed by the LPM Commission nor is it a prerequisite to earning the LPM credential.

The exam will consist of 100 multiple choice questions, and candidates will be given three hours to complete the exam. A break is optional and only ONE break (up to 10 minutes) is allowed during the exam. The 10 minute break is included in the total three hour time frame to complete the exam. Please note, after the break, cadndiates will no longer be able to review or change pre-break exam questions.

The exam will be administered remotely through a secure online system (Prolydian, a leading virtual credential platform) with live remote proctoring by Examity. Once the candidate has paid for the exam through IDA, they will be able to schedule an exam time via a link provided by email. Prior to beginning the exam, candidates MUST complete their Prolydian/Examity profile setup, including the upload of a government issued Photo ID and computer requirements check. Please note, your Prolydian/Examity account profile name MUST match the name on your government issued Photo ID.

Please carefully review IDA’s Certification Candidate Handbook for all system requirements, rules, instructions and security guidelines.

When a candidate’s application has been reviewed and accepted, they will receive an email from IDA notifying them to register and pay for an upcoming exam. A fee of $325 USD member / $475 USD nonmember is due at time of registration. This fee is nonrefundable, and the exam must be taken within one year of application submission. A second exam on the same application is subject to a retesting fee of $200 USD member / $250 USD nonmember. 

The window to take the exam in 2021 is November 1-15, 2021 and approved candidates must register for the exam by October 28, 2021. The window to take the exam in the spring of 2022 is May 4-18, 2022 and approved candidates must register for the exam by April 29, 2022.    

The LPM exam is administered through Prolydian, a leading virtual credential platform, and remote proctoring by Examity. Once a candidate has paid for the exam, they will receive instructions about setting up a Prolydian account and scheduling their exam time. Before taking the exam, candidates will be asked to sign a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement. If a candidate does not agree to sign this document, they will be dismissed from taking the exam. For more details regarding the exam process and platform, please read IDA’s Certification Candidate Handbook and view Prolydian’s FAQ videos.  

For information regarding rescheduling or cancelling exams, late arrivals and no shows, please read IDA’s Certification Candidate Handbook.

Exam Scoring and Reporting: Applicants passing the exam will be notified through Prolydian 72 hours after completing the examination. Applicants who failed the exam will receive a scaled score, along with a diagnostic report indicating content areas of weakness. This report is designed to assist the candidate in preparing to take the exam at a later date. Examination scores will be provided only to the candidate and will not be provided via fax or over the phone.  

Retaking the Exam: If a candidate fails the exam the first time, they are eligible to retake the exam one additional time within one year from the date the application is submitted. The candidate will be notified by email by IDA with registration and payment instructions for the next exam timeframe. If the application has expired, the candidate will be required to submit a new application form and fees, and meet all eligibility requirements. If an application is still valid, there is a $200 USD member / $250 USD nonmember fee to retake the exam. Once IDA receives the retest fee, the candidate will receive an email with information to schedule the next exam. Should a candidate fail both times, they must wait a minimum of six months from the last failed exam to reapply. 

Reasonable Accommodations: The LPM Commission will make reasonable efforts to accommodate eligible candidates, who provide detailed documented evidence of their disability or need for reasonable accommodations for a professional certification exam, with auxiliary aids and services that do not present an undue burden to the LPM Commission and do not fundamentally alter the measurement of the knowledge the assessment is intended to test. If a candidate requires reasonable accommodations, please inform IDA of the need in writing with supporting medical documentation at the time of application.   

Appeals: Examination candidates have the right to appeal exam results within ten (10) days of denial according to the criteria established by the LPM Commission. An appeal must be submitted to the International Downtown Association (IDA) using the Appeal Request Form. An appeal will be considered only for the following circumstances: 

  • Extraordinary circumstances that arise with the examination administration procedures;
  • LPM Commission-approved special accommodations were not honored at the time of the exam;
  • Testing conditions were severe enough to cause a major disruption.

If a candidate has questions regarding the exam, please contact certification@downtown.org. 

A certificate will be issued and mailed to the certificant with a confirmation letter after the passing of the exam. IDA will also add your LPM designation to your IDA account profile.  

Individuals who are currently certified may use the title “Certified Leader in Place Management” and the designation “LPM.” The title and designation may not be used to imply that an organization or company is certified. Use of the title and designation by individuals who have not been awarded the certification or who have failed to maintain their certification is prohibited. The designation of LPM and its use is subject to approval by the LPM Commission.  

The purpose of certification maintenance is to ensure the LPM professional continues to stay current in urban place management trends, keep up to date on changes in the field, enhance their knowledge and skills through ongoing professional development, and contribute to the advancement of the profession by taking a leadership role. Those who have successfully met the eligibility requirements and passed the LPM exam will be required to renew their certification every three years.    

In order to maintain certification, certificants will be required to track qualifying continuing education activities from the certification start date. One hour of qualifying continuing education unit (CEU) is equal to one credit hour and certificants are required to complete 40 credit hours over three years.  The deadline for submitting qualifying continuing education units will be 30 days BEFORE the expiration date of the current certification. Please visit IDA’s Certification Candidate Handbook for more information.  

If a certificant has questions regarding the certification maintenance or continuing education credits, please contact certification@downtown.org. 

Here are some helpful resources for your Leadership in Place Management (LPM) certification program journey.  

Please contact IDA at certification@downtown.org with any questions about certification.