Certified Interpretive Manager™

Our Certified Interpretive Manager (CIM) certification is a professional level certification for those who supervise other interpreters. If you are someone who manages an interpretive facility, supervises staff, prepares budgets, or is otherwise responsible for daily operations of an interpretive site, then this is the certification for you.

What are the benefits of being a CIM?

  • Certification helps you cultivate and build a professional self-image.
  • Being recognized by your peers as a professional in the industry. 
  • Certification makes you more competitive and may improve your chances of being hired or getting a promotion. 
  • The process of becoming certified and maintaining the designation provides incentives to continue your professional development.

What are the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities I need to have to earn a CIM?

You should be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of:

  • The history of the interpretive profession
  • The basic principles of interpretation
  • Current literature in the interpretive field
  • Sound business practice
  • Leadership and supervision of subordinate staff
  • Meeting management
  • Budget development and administration
  • Business planning
  • Writing measurable objectives
  • The use of interpretation to accomplish management objectives

What are the Prerequisites for earning the CIM?

  • In order to apply for professional certification, the applicant must demonstrate their eligibility either through academic study, work experience or a combination of both. 
    - Academic experience: the completion of a bachelor’s degree in science, business, arts or an area relevant/related to the field of interpretation.
    - Work experience: the completion of a total of four years (8,000 hours) experience in the category for which certification is requested.
    - Combination/hybrid: the completion of an associate’s degree in science, business, arts, or performing arts and 5,000 hours of experience in the category for which certification is requested.

For More Information on Eligibility  

What do I submit for the peer review process of CIM certification?

  • 50 question, open book literature review
  • Answer four of six essay questions (500 words or less)
  • Two examples of management products you have created (budgets, grant proposals, etc.)
  • 20-30 min video of management meeting or business plan presentation

How much does the CIM certification cost?

Please see Fees page for this information

How do I get certified as a CIM?

  1. Fill out the online Professional Certification Application and upload your eligibility.
  2. Receive in the mail the packet of materials including a checklist of things to do. You will have up to one year to send in your submission.
  3. After submitting your eligibility you will be taken to a page where you can pay your certification fee.
  4. Mail in your submission to the NAI office. You will receive a confirmation email that your package was received and sent to your peer reviewers.
  5. You will be notified in 2-3 months with your results.

NAI Courses or Trainings to help prepare you prior to attempting this certification:

For more in-depth information, please see our Certification Handbook & Study Guide’s section on the Certified Interpretive Manager.