Chart Your Path

Credentials That Count

Demonstrate Your Commitment to M&A Excellence

CMAS logo
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The Standard in M&A Certification

Since its inception in 2016 as the corporate M&A sector’s first-ever professional development certificate program, CMAS® has steadily grown over the years to be the global standard of M&A distinction. Becoming a Certified M&A Specialist helps you showcase your M&A competencies and display your commitment to being an effective leader for growth by acquisitions.

The CMAS Program is designed especially for officers and company leaders who want to learn and master the fundamentals and best practices within the M&A life cycle from real experts in M&A leadership — experienced practitioners and luminaries in the field.

The path to becoming a Certified M&A Specialist combines flexible elective courses that let you focus on the subject areas of most value to you, the submission of your own field experiences, and a foundational exam.


The Benefits of Becoming a Certified M&A Specialist

Recognition as a CMAS documents your M&A education and experiences as you seek greater responsibility within your company or should you pursue future career changes.

Awarded by the recognized authority on exemplary M&A leadership, and sanctioned by the Board of M&A Standards, your stature as an M&A Specialist helps you develop your corporate M&A competencies.

The M&A Leadership Council can help you create a schedule to complete your CMAS. Click here for the training calendar to select the curriculum and activities that meet your needs and fit your schedule.


How it Works - The Three E's

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STEP 1: EDUCATION - Complete Your Course Work

  • Candidates begin their course of study by attending the various M&A Leadership Council training courses; these are sanctioned by the Board of M&A Standards
  • Credits are awarded for each hour of attendance at these programs
  • See the full calendar of training programs

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STEP 2: EXPERIENCE - Submit Your M&A Experience

  • Candidates build on the knowledge and insights gained from "The Art of M&A" courses
  • The documentation of real-world experience confirms a candidate’s qualification for certification; at least one Experience Submission Form will be completed by the candidate and evaluated by the M&A Leadership Council
  • Credits awarded will range from 25 to 100 per Initiative; your submission(s) will be evaluated on deal size and type/complexity; duration of your experience in your role; how instrumental you were to the success of the deal; any innovations contributed and/or new learnings that were gleaned as a result of the experience

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STEP 3: EXAM - Pass the Fundamentals Exam

  • Once a minimum of 200 credits have been accumulated through education and experience, a candidate is eligible to take an online exam
  • Information in the exam is based on the contents of the M&A Library provided to all active candidates
  • The exam is a rigorous test of 60 questions, rooted in the fundamentals of M&A Strategy, Due Diligence and Integration

Sample Paths to Certification
Effective 12/16/2022

Sample Path #1 Sample Path #2 Sample Path #3
Item Credits Item Credits Item Credits
The Art of M&A® for Integration Leaders / In-Person 70 The Art of M&A® for HR Leaders / In-Person 70 The Art of M&A® for Integration Leaders / Live-Online 42
The Art of M&A® for Due Diligence Leaders / In-Person 70 The Art of M&A® for Integration Leaders / Live-Online 42 The Art of M&A® for Due Diligence Leaders / Live-Online 42
Experience Form #1 50 Experience Form #1 50 The Art of M&A® for HR Leaders / Live-Online 42
Experience Form #2 25 Experience Form #2 25 Experience Form #1 50
Experience Form #3 25 Experience Form #2 25
TOTAL CREDITS 215 TOTAL CREDITS 212 TOTAL CREDITS 201

The fee to launch your certification journey is $750 and includes:


Study Materials

  • M&A LIBRARY: Candidates will receive our newest book, The Art of M&A, 5th Edition (choice of hardcopy or electronic version for US addresses; electronic version will be sent to all international addresses) - this book will enable you to pass the Fundamentals Exam
  • COURSE DISCOUNTS: All active CMAS candidates will receive a 30% discount on all M&A Leadership Council public training
  • M&A COMPETENCIES TRAINING BOOK: from the Board of M&A Standards. This book defines the knowledge, skills, attributes and behaviors required to drive excellence in M&A activities. This Framework includes the identification of 13 Competencies that are applied across four roles within the M&A practice

Program Aids

  • EXPERIENCE SUBMISSION(S): You will receive a sample Experience Form as well as a Planning Guide
  • TRACKING & LOG-IN CREDENTIALS: A personalized dashboard will allow you to track your progress toward certification
  • EXPERIENCE LIBRARY: Your earned CMAS credentials will give you access our exclusive compilation of Experience Submissions (case studies), which include M&A best practices, project objectives, outcomes, and key learnings

CMAS sample certificate

When You Become a Certified M&A Specialist (CMAS),
the Council Will:

  • Provide a beautiful frameable certificate of completion to you by mail
  • Post an announcement to the M&A Leadership Council’s LinkedIn page to share the news
  • Provide you with a CMAS email signature badge

Have more questions? See the CMAS Program FAQ or send us an email for more information - [email protected]