CMAR Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the difference between CM and CMAR?

The CMAR is a certification for experienced managers of animal laboratory facilities, while the CM is a generalist certification for all types of managers, at all levels, and in all fields. The CMAR credential is earned when a candidate successfully passes all three of the Certified Manager exams administered by ICPM and the AALAS Animal Resources exam.

What is the difference between LATG and Animal Resources exams?

The LATG and the Animal Resources exams differ both in content and style. Although both exams focus on three main areas of knowledge (Animal Husbandry, Facility Management and Animal Health and Welfare) each exam emphasizes different aspect of these areas. Managers are involved in development of programs while technologists are generally responsible for implementation. The AR exam focuses on a managerial perspective of these topics and therefore the exam contains decision-making and analytical questions, as well as some fact-based questions. The LATG focuses on the procedural aspects of these areas, and contains fact-based questions only.

How do I apply to enter the program and whom do I contact?

Application to take the CM exams is made by completing the CM application form and submitting a nonrefundable application fee to ICPM. Application forms can be completed online at or can be requested in paper or downloadable file formats by phone or email. ICPM also accepts the AALAS CMAR application as a substitute for the CM application.

Application to take the Animal Resources exam is made by completing the AALAS CMAR application and submitting a nonrefundable application fee along with the exam fee.

I do not have a bachelor’s degree; can I apply to the program?

Yes! Candidates holding an associate’s degree must document 8 years of work experience in the laboratory animal science field, of which 3 years must be in a managerial capacity. Candidates applying with a high school or GED diploma must document 10 years of work experience in the laboratory animal science field, of which 3 years must be in a managerial capacity.

Do I need to apply to both ICPM & AALAS?

Yes, but ICPM accepts the AALAS CMAR application as a substitute for the CM application.

How do I schedule exams?

To schedule the management exams contact ICPM either by phone or e-mail, at 540-568-3247 or

To schedule the Animal Resources exam contact AALAS, by either phone or e-mail at 901-754-8620 or

At what meetings are the Animal Resources exams held?

The AR is held at the LAMA and AALAS National Meeting each year, as well as a variety of AALAS branch and district meetings.

What type of questions should I expect on the exam?

The Animal Resource exam consist of 150 multiple choice questions with four options to select from. The exam is composed of fact based, decision-making, situational and analytical questions. The ICPM CM exams consist of 120 multiple choice questions with four options to select from.

How do the 3 CM exams differ from the Animal Resources exam?

The CM exams cover essential management skills such as communicating, leading, organizing, planning and controlling. The Animal Resources exam applies these skills in the Animal Laboratory Management field. The exams also differ in number of items on the exams and the length.

How long do you have to complete certification once you have applied?

Each association allows 15 months for a candidate to complete and pass their exam(s).

Which exam do I need to take first?

The exams can be taken in any order that is convenient to the candidate.

How do I take the Animal Resources exam if I cannot attend a meeting?

Candidates unable to take the AR at one of the scheduled venues can arrange to have the exam proctored at their facility by contacting AALAS. AALAS will coordinate with the candidate to locate a suitable proctor, as defined in the CMAR handbook, and arrange an exam at the candidate’s facility. Exam are available online and also pencil and paper. For more information please contact AALAS at 901-754-8620.

What are the study materials?

ICPM: Three manuals titled Management Skills I, II, and III and access to the online learning center is included with the purchase of study manuals.

AALAS: The CMAR resource kit contains the following 10 books:

  • Management of Laboratory Animal Care and Use Programs in Research, Education, and Testing Second Edition
  • Managing the Laboratory Animal Facility, Third Edition
  • Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals
  • Animal Welfare Act and Regulations,
  • Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals,
  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Guidebook,
  • Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Research Animals,
  • 2013 AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia.
  • Good Laboratory Practice Standards FDA 21 CRF Part 58
  • Good Laboratory Practice Standards EPA 40 CRF Part 160 & 792
  • AALAS LATG Training Manual 2016

How long will it take for me to get my AR scores?

Online exam candidates receive immediate pass or fail at end of exam.The length of time a pencil and paper candidate waits to receive their test results varies depending on the date they took the exam. AALAS sends out the exam results by the 20th of each month.

When I complete the exams, do I receive one, two, or three certificates? (CM, AR, and/or CMAR?)

Candidates enrolled in the CMAR program receive one certificate upon completion of all four exams, the three CM exams and the Animal Resources exam.

Is there a single place I can get all the study materials?

No. ICPM processes all orders for study materials for the CM exams, and AALAS processes all orders for the Animal Resources exam study materials.

How much do the study materials cost?

ICPM: Candidates receive a discount when the exams, application and study materials are purchased as a bundle. Discount bundle  is $775 . The study materials purchased per module are $285.

AALAS: The AR resource kit is $290 plus shipping for national members of AALAS and $325 plus shipping for non-members. AALAS recommends you check first to see if these materials exist in your facilities library.

How much do the exams cost?

AALAS Animal Resources exam fee contains $50 non-refundable application fee and $100 exam fee. The $150 processing fee which is non-refundable is waived for National AALAS and LAMA members.

ICPM CM exams: Application and exam costs are included in the module and bundle pricing. Price for CM Application /Exam only is $525 

How long do the tests take? Both the AR and the ones online?

ICPM allows candidates a maximum of two hours to complete each of the CM exams. AALAS allows candidates a maximum of three hours to complete the Animal Resources exam.

Do you have to take all of the CM tests before the AR?

No. The exams can be taken in any order.

What is CMAR maintenance?

Applicants who have applied to AALAS and have not passed the Animal Resources exam and applied to ICPM within their 15 month deadline, must complete a maintenance form and pay a maintenance fee ($50) in order to gain an additional 15 months to pass the Animal Resources exam and apply to ICPM. AALAS will notify candidates at least 30 days prior to their deadline.

How do I maintain my CMAR status once I’m certified?

Candidates will receive a reminder from AALAS prior to their anniversary date that they must complete a CMAR CEU submission form and pay the re-certification fee in order to renew their CMAR certification. Candidates who fail to renew within four months of their anniversary date are listed as inactive and not able to display the CMAR credential. Those candidates who still fail to renew their CMAR after two years lose their AR scores and have to retake and pass the Animal Resources exam in order to be reinstated in the program.

Is a proctor required for the CM online exams?


What happens if my 15 months lapse and I have not yet completed the CM exams? Animal Resources exams?

Applicants must pay a maintenance fee to ICPM to update their records and gain additional time to take the CM exams. The program renewal fee is $75.

Candidates may also pay AALAS the maintenance fee in order to gain an additional 15 months to take and pass the Animal Resources exam. The AR maintenance fee is $50.

For more details please contact ICPM and AALAS.

What are the recertification requirements and with whom do I recertify?

CMARs recertify with AALAS and must complete 24 hours of Continuing Education Units (CEUs), as well as pay a re-certification fee ($50 for LAMA/AALAS members & $85 for non-members) in order to recertify their CMAR credential.