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Top 11 Shop Manager Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top shop manager certifications available and their benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications for a shop manager are important in the job market because they demonstrate that the individual has knowledge and experience in the retail industry. Certifications also provide employers with an assurance that the shop manager has the necessary qualifications to effectively manage a retail store. Additionally, certifications can give shop managers an edge over other applicants who do not have such qualifications, as they show employers that they have put in the effort to gain additional skills and knowledge related to their profession. Finally, certifications can help shop managers stand out from other candidates by providing evidence of their commitment to professional development.

The purpose of this article is to review the most beneficial certifications for Shop Managers and explain how they can help enhance their career.

What are Shop Manager Certifications?

Shop Manager Certification is a professional credential that demonstrates a person's expertise in managing a retail or service business. It is designed to help retail managers develop and refine their knowledge, skills, and abilities to become more effective in their roles. With this certification, shop managers can demonstrate their ability to manage the operations of a store and its staff successfully, as well as understand the complexities of running a retail business. They will be able to create effective strategies and plans for merchandising, pricing, customer service, inventory management, personnel management and other functions required to run a successful store.

The certification also provides shop managers with additional opportunities for career advancement. Managers who are certified have an advantage when it comes to promotions and job searches because they have proven their capabilities in the retail industry. Having this certification shows employers that these individuals are serious about their work and are committed to developing their skills further. Additionally, having the certification may give employers more confidence in hiring them due to the rigorous training they have undergone in order to obtain it.

Overall, Shop Manager Certification can provide numerous benefits for both employers and employees alike. By becoming certified, shop managers can demonstrate their commitment to excellence in the retail industry while providing employers with assurance that they are qualified applicants who possess the necessary knowledge and skills needed for success in managing a retail business.

Pro Tip: Make sure to research and understand the requirements for shop manager certification before beginning the process. Certification processes may vary from state to state, so be sure to check with your local regulations to ensure you are meeting all necessary criteria.

Related: What does a Shop Manager do?

Top 11 Shop Manager Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Shop Managers today.

1. Certified Retail Manager (CRM)

Certified Retail Manager (CRM) is a professional certification program designed to recognize and promote excellence in retail management. The CRM certification is offered by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and is recognized as the premier credential for retail managers.

The CRM program consists of an online exam that tests knowledge in areas such as customer service, operations, finance, human resources, and merchandising. To be eligible for the exam, applicants must have at least two years of experience in a supervisory or managerial position in a retail environment.

The exam takes approximately three hours to complete and can be taken at any Prometric testing center across the United States. The cost of taking the exam is $250 USD. Upon successful completion of the exam, applicants will receive their CRM certification from NRF.

2. Certified Professional in Retail Management (CPRM)

Certified Professional in Retail Management (CPRM) is a certification program designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated expertise and proficiency in retail management. The certification is offered by the National Retail Federation (NRF), the world's largest retail trade association.

The CPRM program consists of five courses, each focusing on a different area of retail management: Strategic Planning, Merchandising & Marketing, Financial Analysis & Reporting, Human Resources & Leadership, and Operations Management. Each course requires 40 hours of study time and includes an online exam that must be passed with a score of 80% or higher. In order to receive the CPRM certification, all five courses must be completed successfully within two years.

To get certified as a CPRM, you must first apply for the program through the NRF website. The application fee is $150 and includes access to all five courses and exams. Once your application has been approved, you will be able to begin studying for the exams. After successfully completing all five courses and passing all five exams with a score of 80% or higher, you will receive your CPRM certificate from the NRF.

The cost for the entire Certified Professional in Retail Management program is $750 USD ($150 application fee + $600 course fees).

3. Certified Store Manager (CSM)

Certified Store Manager (CSM) is a certification program designed to recognize store managers who have demonstrated excellence in their field. The certification is offered through the National Retail Federation (NRF) and requires applicants to pass an exam that covers topics such as customer service, inventory management, marketing, and financial management.

The CSM certification process typically takes about three months from start to finish. The first step is to complete an online application form and submit it to the NRF. Once the application has been approved, applicants must register for the exam and pay a fee of $350. After registering for the exam, applicants will receive study materials from the NRF which should be studied thoroughly before taking the exam.

The CSM exam consists of two parts: a written portion and a practical portion. The written portion consists of multiple-choice questions that assess knowledge in areas such as retail operations, customer service, marketing, and financial management. The practical portion involves demonstrating skills in areas such as visual merchandising and sales techniques.

Once both portions of the exam have been passed with a score of 70% or higher, applicants will receive their Certified Store Manager certification from the NRF. This certification is valid for three years before needing to be renewed by taking an updated version of the exam.

4. Certified Retail Operations Manager (CROM)

Certified Retail Operations Manager (CROM) is a professional certification program offered by the National Retail Federation (NRF). It is designed to recognize retail professionals who have demonstrated advanced knowledge and expertise in retail operations. The certification covers topics such as customer service, store operations, merchandising, inventory management, loss prevention and human resources.

To get the CROM certification, you must pass an exam that consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. The exam covers five key areas: customer service, store operations, merchandising, inventory management and loss prevention. The exam can be taken either online or at a testing center.

The cost of the CROM certification varies depending on your location and whether you take the exam online or at a testing center. In general, it costs around $400 for the online version and up to $600 for the in-person version.

It typically takes between 6-8 weeks to prepare for the CROM exam and receive your results. However, this time frame may vary depending on how quickly you are able to study and complete all of the required material.

5. Certified Visual Merchandiser (CVM)

Certified Visual Merchandiser (CVM) is a professional certification that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and expertise in visual merchandising. It is designed for those who want to work in the retail industry, either as a store manager or as a visual merchandiser.

The CVM certification is provided by the International Visual Merchandising Association (IVMA). To become certified, applicants must pass an exam that covers topics such as store design, product display, lighting techniques, customer service, and other related topics. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately two hours to complete.

In order to take the exam, applicants must be at least 18 years old and have at least one year of experience working in the retail industry. Additionally, applicants must submit their resume and provide proof of education or training related to visual merchandising.

The cost of becoming certified varies depending on where you take the exam. Generally speaking, it costs between $200-$500 USD to take the exam.

6. Certified Inventory Manager (CIM)

Certified Inventory Manager (CIM) is a professional certification program designed to recognize and promote excellence in inventory management. It is offered by the Association for Operations Management (APICS). The CIM program is designed to equip individuals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to effectively manage inventory and materials in any organization.

The CIM program consists of three courses: Principles of Inventory Management, Inventory Planning & Control, and Logistics & Distribution. Each course is divided into several modules that cover topics such as inventory control systems, forecasting methods, supply chain management, warehouse operations, logistics planning, and more.

To become a Certified Inventory Manager (CIM), you must complete all three courses within 12 months and pass an exam for each course. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions that test your knowledge of the material covered in each course. You can take the exams online or in person at an APICS testing center.

The cost of the CIM program varies depending on whether you choose to take the courses online or in-person. Online courses typically cost around $1,500 USD while in-person classes can range from $2,000-$3,000 USD. Additionally, you must pay an exam fee of $150 USD per course when taking the exams online or $200 USD per course when taking them in person.

7. Certified Loss Prevention Manager (CLPM)

Certified Loss Prevention Manager (CLPM) is a professional certification program designed to provide loss prevention professionals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to effectively manage an organization’s loss prevention program. This certification is offered through the Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the loss prevention profession.

The CLPM certification requires applicants to have at least three years of experience in the field of loss prevention or related disciplines. Applicants must also pass a written exam that covers topics such as risk management, security operations, investigations, and safety management. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours to complete.

To obtain the CLPM certification, applicants must first register for the exam on the LPF website. The cost of registration is $250 USD and includes access to study materials and practice exams. Once registered, applicants can take the exam at any Pearson VUE testing center located throughout the United States.

The CLPM certification is valid for three years from the date of issue. To maintain their certification status, holders must earn 30 continuing education credits during this time period by attending seminars or workshops approved by LPF or by completing online courses offered through LPF's Learning Management System (LMS).

8. Certified Sales Associate/Manager (CSAM)

A Certified Sales Associate/Manager (CSAM) is a professional designation for those in the sales field. It is an industry-recognized certification that demonstrates a commitment to excellence and a high level of expertise in sales management.

The CSAM program is offered through the American Management Association (AMA). The program consists of three courses: Sales Fundamentals, Advanced Selling Techniques, and Strategic Sales Management. Each course takes approximately 30 hours to complete.

To obtain the CSAM certification, you must successfully complete all three courses and pass the final exam with a score of 70% or higher. You must also have at least two years of sales experience in order to be eligible for the certification.

The cost of the CSAM program varies depending on which format you choose (online or classroom). The total cost ranges from $1,500 - $2,000 USD for all three courses and exam fees.

9. National Retail Federation Certification (NRF-C)

The National Retail Federation Certification (NRF-C) is a professional certification program designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of retail professionals. The NRF-C is a comprehensive program that covers all aspects of retail operations, including customer service, store operations, merchandising, marketing, finance, and human resources.

It typically takes about six months to complete the NRF-C program. The program consists of four core courses: Retail Fundamentals; Store Operations; Merchandising; and Marketing & Customer Service. Each course requires approximately 40 hours of study time and includes an online assessment at the end. After completing all four courses, candidates must pass a comprehensive exam in order to receive their certification.

To get started with the NRF-C program, you must first register for the program on the NRF website. Once registered, you will have access to all four courses as well as additional resources such as practice exams and study guides. You can then begin studying for each course at your own pace. Once you have completed all four courses and passed the exam, you will be awarded your NRF-C certification.

The cost of the NRF-C program varies depending on which package you choose. The basic package costs $599 USD and includes access to all four courses as well as additional resources such as practice exams and study guides. There are also more expensive packages available that include additional benefits such as one-on-one coaching or personalized feedback from industry experts.

10. Professional in Human Resources Certification for Retail Managers (PHR-RMs)

The Professional in Human Resources Certification for Retail Managers (PHR-RMs) is a certification program designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of retail managers in the field of human resources. It is offered by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI), a global leader in professional certifications for HR professionals. The PHR-RM certification validates that retail managers have the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively manage their organization's human resources functions.

The PHR-RM certification requires a combination of education, experience, and examination. To be eligible for the certification, applicants must have at least three years of professional experience in a retail management role and must have completed an approved HR course or program within the last five years. Additionally, applicants must pass an exam that covers topics such as recruitment, employee relations, compensation and benefits, labor laws, organizational development, training and development, and performance management.

The cost of obtaining the PHR-RM certification varies depending on whether you take an online or classroom course to prepare for the exam. Online courses typically range from $400-$1000 while classroom courses range from $500-$1500. The exam itself costs $395 if you are a member of HRCI or $495 if you are not a member.

It typically takes about six months to complete all requirements for the PHR-RM certification once you begin studying for it. This includes completing any required coursework or training programs as well as studying for and taking the exam itself.

11. International Council of Shopping Centers Certification Program (ICSC-CP).

The International Council of Shopping Centers Certification Program (ICSC-CP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize and promote excellence in the shopping center industry. It is the only global certification program that recognizes the expertise of shopping center professionals who have demonstrated their knowledge, skills, and abilities in the field.

The ICSC-CP consists of two parts: an online course and an exam. The online course covers topics such as leasing, management, marketing, finance, construction, legal issues, and more. After completing the course, candidates must pass a comprehensive exam to earn their certification. The exam includes multiple choice questions and case studies related to all aspects of shopping center management.

The entire process typically takes between six months and one year to complete. Candidates must first register for the program and pay a fee before they can begin taking the online course or sit for the exam. The registration fee varies depending on whether you are a member or non-member of ICSC; members typically pay less than non-members.

Once you have completed your registration for the ICSC-CP program and paid your fees, you will be able to access the online course materials and take practice exams to help prepare for the final exam. You will also be provided with study guides that cover all topics related to shopping center management.

After passing the final exam with a score of 70% or higher, you will receive your official ICSC-CP certification from ICSC. This certification is valid for three years from date of issue and may be renewed by taking additional courses or exams as required by ICSC after three years have passed.

Overall, obtaining an ICSC-CP certification is an excellent way to demonstrate your expertise in shopping center management and increase your value as a professional in this field.

Do You Really Need a Shop Manager Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on the individual's career goals and current job responsibilities. A shop manager certificate is a valuable asset that can help an individual stand out in the workplace and increase their chances of getting hired or promoted. For those who are interested in pursuing a career as a shop manager, a shop manager certificate can provide them with the necessary knowledge and skills to become successful in this field. This type of certification will also demonstrate an individual’s commitment to their career and show employers that they have the skills needed to manage a store effectively.

For those who are already employed as a shop manager, obtaining a shop manager certificate may not be necessary. However, if the individual wishes to advance their career and take on more responsibilities within the company, then it could be beneficial for them to obtain one. The additional knowledge and skills gained through this certification can help them become better qualified for higher positions within their organization.

In conclusion, whether or not you need a shop manager certificate depends on your current job situation and your future career aspirations. If you want to pursue a career as a shop manager or if you want to advance within your current organization, then obtaining one could be beneficial for you.

Related: Shop Manager Resume Examples

FAQs About Shop Manager Certifications

Q1: What is a Shop Manager Certification?

A1: A Shop Manager Certification is a professional credential that recognizes individuals who have completed an approved program of study in shop management and possess the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to manage a retail store.

Q2: How do I become certified as a Shop Manager?

A2: To become certified as a Shop Manager, you must complete an approved program of study in shop management and pass an examination. The American Retail Association offers certification programs for qualified candidates.

Q3: What are the benefits of becoming a certified Shop Manager?

A3: Certified Shop Managers benefit from increased job opportunities, higher salaries, and greater credibility with employers. Additionally, they demonstrate their commitment to professional development and their ability to lead teams effectively.

Q4: How long does it take to become certified?

A4: The amount of time it takes will vary depending on the specific certification program chosen. Generally speaking, most programs require around 40 hours of study time before taking the exam.

Q5: Are there any other requirements for becoming certified?

A5: Yes, some certification programs may require additional work experience or continuing education credits after obtaining certification. Be sure to check with your chosen certification provider for more information about any additional requirements.