National Credential
Credential: Certified Disability Management Specialist (CDMS)  NCCA resource
Credentialing Agency: Certification of Disability Management Specialists Commission

The Certification of Disability Management Specialists Commission, Certified Disability Management Specialist (CDMS) is a professional certification for those wishing to demonstrate credibility and competence in the field. Candidates for the CDMS come from a variety of backgrounds such as human resources, nursing or occupational health. A CDMS may act as a case manager for disability cases, help organize and run disability management programs for employers, and assist in the administering of employment leave and benefits. To obtain the CDMS, candidates must meet eligibility criteria and pass an exam. 

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Renewal Period: 5 years

Certified Disability Management Specialist (CDMS)

The following Army Occupations provide training and/or experience that contributes to attaining this credential:

Personnel Category Occupation Occupation Type Related As Promotion Points Skill Level Star Proponent Funded Gap Analysis
Enlisted 68L Occupational Therapy Specialist MOS some  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information.        
Enlisted 68W Combat Medic Specialist MOS other          
Enlisted W1 Special Operations Combat Medic (SOCOM) ASI other          

Army Table Legend

Related As

The military occupations shown in this table are related to this credential in one of four ways: Most, Some, or Other.

Most: This credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Some: This credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (related 80% to at least one or more critical tasks but less than 80% of all of the entire military occupation). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Other: This credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience.

Promotion Points Promotion Points icon

This credential has been approved for promotion points for this MOS towards promotion to Sergeant and Staff Sergeant. Clicking the Promotion Points icon will open a link to the promotion points fact sheet.

Skill Level Designation

Skill Level I: This skill level consists of all Soldiers in the ranks of Private (pay grade E-1) up to Specialist (pay grade E-4). Time in Service (TIS) is generally between initial entry and four Years of Service (YOS). This skill level is Entry-level positions requiring performance of tasks under direct supervision.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level I
  • Basic Leader Course (BLC)

Skill Level II: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Sergeant (paygrade E-5). TIS is generally between 4-8 YOS. Positions requiring performance of more difficult tasks under general supervision; and in some instances, involving supervision of Soldiers in SL1.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level II
  • Advance Leader Course (ALC)

Skill Level III: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Staff Sergeant (paygrade E-6). TIS is generally between 8-12 YOS. Positions requiring performance of still more difficult tasks and involving first line supervision of Soldiers in SL1 & SL2.

Institutional training:

  • Senior Leader Course (SLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level III

Skill level IV: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class (paygrade E-7). TIS is generally between 12-18 YOS. Positions requiring relatively detailed knowledge of all tasks specified for a given MOS, normally involving first-line supervision of Soldiers in SLs 1, 2, and 3, and involving managerial duties.

Institutional training:

  • Master Leader Course (MLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level IV
  • Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education (SEJPME) I Course

Skill level V: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant (paygrade E-8). TIS is generally between 18-22 YOS. Positions requiring direct and indirect leadership roles with expertise in company and battalion-level operations and competency across a given CMF, serving as members of a staff at every level in the Army, with a full understanding of the allocation of resources and their utilization in order to accomplish Army functions and missions.

Institutional training:

  • United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level V

Skill level VI: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeants Major (paygrade E-9). TIS is generally between 22-30 YOS. Positions requiring organizational leadership roles with multi-dimensional expertise in units and teams on division, corps, and Army staffs, integrated with Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) partners with a full understanding of the Force Generation process, operations at all echelons, and how the Army runs.

Star Credential Star icon

Star credentials are MOS enhancing, as designated by the Proponent. MOS enhancing credentials are directly related to an MOS or ASI, are taught either partially or completely as part of a Program of Instruction (POI), and improve the MOS technical proficiency.

Proponent Funded Funded icon

This icon indicates credentials which Soldiers may have funded through their MOS proponent. Some proponents offer credentialing opportunities in conjunction with military training and/or as part of MOS development beyond the training base.

Gap Analysis Has Analysis icon

A detailed analysis comparing the credential requirements to the military occupation has been completed. Click on the gap analysis icon to view the analysis page.

Certified Disability Management Specialist (CDMS)

Eligibility Requirements ()

Note: This credential may have multiple options for becoming eligible. Listed below are the minimum requirements based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

  • Credential Prerequisite: The applicant must be currently employed in the field of absence and disability management
  • Experience: 2080 hours
  • Education: Bachelors
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Exam Requirements ()

  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

Renewal Period: 5 years

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

Certification of Disability Management Specialists Commission
1120 Route 73
Suite 200
Mount Laurel, NJ  08054
Phone: 844-681-8156
Fax: 856-439-0525

Certified Disability Management Specialist (CDMS)

Candidates must have a Bachelor's degree in any discipline, or RN state licensure

Criteria 1: At the time of application, the candidate must be currently employed in the field of absence and disability management. CDMS only accepts paid employment to fulfill employment criteria. Internships and volunteer activities are not acceptable employment experience.

Criteria 2: Candidates must be able to attest that within the past 36 months a minimum of 2080 hours of their documented work experience aligns with at least 2 of the 4 domains/practice areas.

Certified Disability Management Specialist (CDMS)

  • Disability and Work Interruption Case Management (35%)
    • Perform comprehensive individual case analyses and benefits
      assessments using best practices to develop appropriate interventions.
    • Review and assess disability case management interventions to ensure quality care, recovery, and cost-effectiveness.
    • Facilitate collaboration among stakeholders using effective communication strategies to optimize functional recovery.
    • Perform worksite/job analyses using observation, assessment, interview, and records review to determine the requirements of jobs and appropriate accommodations.
    • Develop individualized return-to-work/stay-at-work and worker retention plans consistent with practice standards and program policy by collaborating with relevant stakeholders to facilitate successful employment outcomes.
    • Implement interventions using appropriate counseling and behavior change techniques to optimize functioning and productivity.
    • Coordinate benefits, services, and community resources to facilitate optimal functioning in a cost-effective and medically appropriate way.
    • Monitor case progress by assessing medical conditions, health status, and functional capacity on an on-going basis to optimize recovery and facilitate successful employment outcomes.
    • Disseminate appropriate information, keep stakeholders informed, document case activities, and prepare reports in compliance with standard practice and regulations.
    • Develop and implement solutions that optimize the overall health and productivity of workers by addressing their health and work/life issues impacting employment outcomes.
    • Coordinate service providers to maximize the quality of services and return on investment.
  • Workplace Intervention for Disability Prevention (30%)
    • Implement disability management practices through training, education, and collaboration to integrate prevention and change organizational behavior/culture.
    • Develop and administer a comprehensive transitional work program through collaboration with stakeholders to facilitate optimal productivity and worker retention.
    • Develop an interactive, organizational process for accommodation needs, incorporating appropriate resources for optimal functioning in the workplace.
    • Recommend workplace strategies to address ergonomic, safety, and risk factors using available data to prevent disability and mitigate loss.
    • Recommend strategies that integrate benefit plan designs and related services to promote prevention, optimal productivity, quality care, and cost containment.
    • Promote health and wellness interventions that demonstrate measurable value by targeting the specific needs of workers and the organization.
  • Program Development, Management, and Evaluation (20%)
    • Establish disability management program goals by assessing organizational needs and evaluating best practices.
    • Design the disability management program in cooperation with stakeholders, using supporting policies, best practices, roles, and benchmarks to achieve established program goals.
    • Assist in the design of a financially sustainable disability management program.
    • Provide staff development consistent with disability management program goals and the financial plan.
    • Select disability management program performance metrics based on goals, design, best practices, and benchmarking data to assess effectiveness and make adjustments as needed.
    • Implement cross-functional/multiple stakeholder processes consistent with disability management program philosophy, objectives, and best practices to meet program goals.
    • Educate and train stakeholders to promote disability management program goals.
    • Monitor the disability management program's operational and financial performance using established metrics to identify costs, trends, and productivity loss for the purpose of program evaluation and return on investment.
    • Integrate data to support decision making for disability management program improvement, assessment of cost-effectiveness, and return on investment.
    • Procure internal and external services using selection criteria to achieve disability management program goals.
  • Employment Leaves and Benefits Administration (15%)
    • Manage employment health-related leaves in accordance with local, state, and federal requirements to maintain legal and regulatory compliance.
    • Identify risks associated with health-related work interruptions and employment leaves to enhance organizational decision making.
    • Effectively communicate and explain essential elements of benefits and employment policies to workers to mitigate adverse impact and facilitate informed decision making.

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Certified Disability Management Specialist (CDMS) examination:

An additional resource is Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

Certified Disability Management Specialist (CDMS)

Renewal Period: 5 years

The Certified Disability Management Specialist (CDMS) credential has the following recertification information:

The CDMS certification is valid for 5 years. Certification holders must complete one of the two options to recertify:
  1. Provide documentation of 80 clock hours of approved continuing education, of which 4 clock hours must be in ethics.
  2. Re-examination - certification holders must take the exam in the year they are due to recertify. They will lose the option once their credential has expired.