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ASFPM Certified Floodplain Manager Program Information

     Download the CFM Application

Adobe PDFDownload ASFPM Certified Floodplain Manager Program Information
Adobe PDFDownload History of the Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) Program
Adobe PDFFloodplain Management Body of Knowledge
Adobe PDFModel Job Description for a Community Floodplain Manager

The Association of State Floodplain Managers has established a national program for professional certification of floodplain managers. The program recognizes continuing education and professional development that enhance the knowledge and performance of local, state, federal, and private-sector floodplain managers.

The role of the nation's floodplain managers is expanding due to increases in disaster losses, the emphasis being placed upon mitigation to alleviate the cycle of damage-rebuild-damage, and a recognized need for professionals to adequately address these issues. Floodplain managers come from a variety of curricula and backgrounds; there is no college-level degree program for floodplain management. This certification program will lay the foundation for ensuring that highly qualified individuals are available to meet the challenge of breaking the damage cycle and stopping its negative drain on the nation's human, financial, and natural resources.

The formation of a professional certification program is recognized as an effective means to:

  • Formalize a procedure to recognize and provide an incentive for individuals to improve their knowledge of floodplain management concepts;
  • Enhance individual professional development goals;
  • Promote an understanding of relevant subject matter that is consistent nationwide;
  • Convey new concepts and practices; and
  • Build partnerships among organizations and agencies that share the goal of advancing sound floodplain management.

The primary goal of the ASFPM Certified Floodplain Manager Program (CFM Program) is to help reduce the nation's flood losses and protect and enhance the natural resources and functions of its floodplains by improving the knowledge and abilities of floodplain managers in the United States. This goal will be achieved over time by:

  • Encouraging self-study and attendance at training courses to pass testing to obtain certification;
  • Requiring continuing education as a condition for renewal;
  • Encouraging ASFPM chapters, state agencies, and state or regional associations to prepare tests for floodplain managers on specific knowledge of state and regional requirements and legislation: and
  • Ensuring that the CFMs have an awareness not only of the NFIP, but of comprehensive floodplain management.

A second goal of the CFM Program is to increase the prominence of floodplain management in decision-making by local officials and the public. This goal will be achieved on a larger scale and over a longer time frame by:

  • Improving the recognition of floodplain management as a specific discipline;
  • Increasing the status of floodplain managers as knowledgeable professionals in a complex and important field;
  • Providing greater credibility and visibility for the profession; and
  • Increasing the educational and training opportunities for floodplain managers through partnerships with other organizations.
  • Encouraging CFMs to contribute to the profession of floodplain management for the betterment of the nation.

Certification Classifications

The ASFPM CFM Program recognizes individuals who become certified, who pass the ASFPM exam, or an exam prepared ASFPM chapters that certify floodplain managers. The ASFPM offers floodplain manager certifications in two categories.

CFMis a registered trademark of the ASFPM Certified Floodplain Manager Program and may only be used by Nationally Accredited CFMs.

1. ASFPM awarded Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM)

ASFPM Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) This certification is awarded by the ASFPM directly to individuals who apply and successfully pass the exam, demonstrating their knowledge of the basic national standards and programs of floodplain management, but who reside or work in states where ASFPM accredited certification is not available.

2. State [or another entity] Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM)

This certification is awarded directly by a state, ASFPM chapter, state agency, or state or regional association that has been accredited by the ASFPM Certification Board of Regents (CBOR) in accordance with the CFM Program Charter. This certification, although issued by the appropriate state or other entity, is entitled to include a statement that it is "ASFPM accredited".

A person awarded ASFPM accredited certification under a state program might not be recognized as an ASFPM accredited CFM in other states. States with an ASFPM accredited CFM Program will determine the conditions for certification in that state.


The initial ASFPM Certified Floodplain Manager certification will be awarded upon the successful completion of three steps: (1) submitting completed application and fee: (2) submitting a completed employment Verification form: and (3) receiving a grade of 70% or higher on the certification exam.

Eligibility For ASFPM CFM

The ASFPM CFM Program is directed toward individuals from widely varying occupations, interests, and educational backgrounds who have routine floodplain management duties. This includes representatives from the following groups; community/state/federal officials, the private sector, academia, interest groups, and private citizens. For the purposes of the ASFPM CFM Program, floodplain management is defined as "Activities and efforts undertaken to reduce flood losses and human suffering and to protect the natural and beneficial values and functions of floodplains." Anyone can apply and take the ASFPM CFM exam, except those from a state with an accredited state certification program, who must apply for and take that state's exam. A list of certified state programs is available from the ASFPM website at . Under special circumstances, exceptions may be granted by the state entity for an applicant to take the national exam.

ADA Compliance

The Association of State Floodplain Managers, Inc. acknowledges the need and desirability to provide reasonable accommodations to prospective applicants for certification and recertification with a qualified disability.

Special arrangements may be made available for applicants for certification at the examination site by submitting a written request to the Association with a letter from licensed physician or health care specialist knowledgeable of the requester's disability stating the specific needs to be accommodated. An accommodation will be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities to the extent the accommodation does not fundamentally alter the examination, cause disruption to other test takers or cause an undue burden to the Association. The Association may deny special accommodations which include but are not limited to unlimited testing time, modification of the format or content of the examination, paraphrasing or translating the test materials by a reader or interpreter.

All requests for accommodations must be sent to the Association of State Floodplain Managers, Inc., 575 D'Onofrio Dr., Ste. 200, Madison, WI 53719 and received by the Association not less than thirty (30) days prior to the date of the examination. Late requests for an accommodation may not be honored.


It is the policy of the Association of State Floodplain Managers, Inc. not to discriminate against any applicant for certification or recertification, any employee or any applicant for employment because of race, color, creed, age, religion, sex, physical condition, ancestry, handicap, developmental disability, sexual orientation, arrest or conviction record or national origin. This policy shall include but is not limited to certification, recertification, recruitment, employment, fringe benefits, promotion, demotion, transfer, compensation, selection for training, discipline, layoff and termination. The Association of State Floodplain Managers, Inc. will take affirmative action to ensure equal employment opportunities.


The following fees have been established: Fee Discounted Member Fee*

Application packet, Application Review, & Exam
Biennial Renewal
$100 ($60 Earlybird Discount)
Re-take Exam Fee
Late Fee
Request for Appeal Fee
(Exam results are not eligible for appeal)

1. An applicant can become a member of ASFPM at the same time they apply for the exam. Download the one page membership or join online at "Join Here"

2. To be eligible for the member exam or renewal rate the applicant needs to be an individual member of ASFPM at the time of application and throughout the duration of the certification period. 
* Corporate, Agency, and Chapter Partners do not make an applicant eligible for the member rate in this certification process.

3. When an applicant cancels from a scheduled exam, with at least two weeks notice to the ASFPM Executive Office, he/she may receive a 50% refund. No refund will be given if the cancellation occurs with less than two weeks notice. An exam may be rescheduled within 1 year.

Additional fees may be established, if necessary to maintain the CFM Program.


The ASFPM CFM exam shall be approved by the ASFPM Certification Board of Regents (CBOR). The exam will be "closed book" and will be held in a proctored classroom environment. All exams will be pass/fail and the results will be held in strict confidence. ASFPM CFM exams will be given at each ASFPM annual conference and other locations as approved and specified by the CBOR.

The ASFPM certification exam measures a person's knowledge of a community's responsibilities under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and related floodplain management topics. The ASFPM CFM Program has established a policy in which the National Exam is approximately 120 multiple choice and true/false questions. Approximately 20 questions require obtaining information from a Flood Insurance Rate Map, Flood Boundary and Floodway Map and Flood Insurance Study. Another 5 to 10 questions focus on the FEMA Elevation Certificate.

The exam requires approximately 2 to 3 hours to complete. It covers the following seven categories in the proportions shown. Under each category are examples of the topics that are tested.

Topic with Examples
Percentage of Total Questions

Overall Context of Floodplain Management
-Unified National Program
-Community Sanctions
-History and Background of the NFIP
-Other Federal Programs
Floodplain Mapping
-Base flood concept
-Discharges, profiles, floodways
-Coastal flooding
-Reading/using maps
-Revising FEMA maps
NFIP Regulatory and Non-regulatory Standards
-"Development," requirements for a permit
-Encroachment rules
-V Zone rules
-Building protection standards
-Substantial improvement/damage
-Floodproofing and Retrofitting
Regulatory Administrative Procedures
-Permit Process and Inspections
-Elevation records
-NFIP Regulations
-Variance rules
Flood Insurance
-Mandatory Purchase Requirements
-NFIP grandfather Rules
-Section 1316
Flood Hazard Mitigation
-Disaster assistance procedures
-Mitigation Planning (DMA2000)
-Funding sources
-Wind, earthquake, fire, erosion and other hazards
Natural and Beneficial Functions
-Multi-objective management
-Stream Corridor Restoration
-Water Quality (NEPA, NPDES, MS4s)

Exam Results

Applicants approved for certification will be notified in writing. A certification number will be assigned to the individual and the appropriate certificate will be issued, designating the applicant as an ASFPM Certified Floodplain Manager "CFM."

Applicants who fail the exam will also be notified in writing. They will be eligible to retake the exam within one year or at the next ASFPM annual conference. They must submit a retake application and retake fee. After one year a new application and regular fees must be submitted.


If an application for certification or renewal is denied or a CFM challenges the basis for decertification, the person may appeal to the CBOR, according to the guidelines specified below.An appeal is a request for review of a decision by the ASFPM or the President of CBOR. An appeal may be made only on the grounds that the decision was in conflict with this Charter. All actions related to unprofessional conduct or requests for renewal extensions shall be reviewed by a CBOR Review Panel before action is taken by the CBOR. Exam results are not eligible for appeal.

Maintaining Certified Status For ASFPM CFM

This page last update on 8/2014

Association of State Flood Plain Managers
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