CMAR Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the difference between CM and CMAR?

The CMAR is a certification earned through AALAS for experienced managers of animal laboratory facilities. The CM is a generalist certification, administered by ICPM for all types of managers, at all levels, and in all fields. The CMAR credential is earned when a candidate successfully completes the AR (Animal Resource), and General Business Management exams. Candidates have the option to take the 2 General Business Management (M1& M2) exams through AALAS, or the 3 CM exams through ICPM. The combination of the AR and General Business exams completes your CMAR certificaton.

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 Animal Resources (AR), or the General Business Management (M1 & M2) exams is made by completing the AALAS CMAR application (found on the AALAS website), and submitting the exam fee per exam to AALAS by fax, mail or email.

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.

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

Yes! Candidates holding an associate 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 AALAS CMAR exams contact AALAS, by either phone or e-mail at 901-754-8620 or

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

At what meetings are the AALAS CMAR exams held?

The AR is held at AALAS National Meeting each year, as well as a variety of AALAS branch and district meetings. The M1 & M2 exams will also be available.

What type of questions should I expect on the exam?

The AALAS CMAR exams 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 General Business exams differ from the Animal Resources exam?

The General Business exams cover essential management skills such as communicating, leading, organizing, planning, controlling, accounting, and financial information. The Animal Resources exam applies these skills in the Animal Laboratory Management field.

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 candidate can take the either the AR exam first or the General Management exams (M1 & M2). It is recommended that you take the AR first if you bundle the exams.

How do I take the AALAS CMAR exams if I cannot attend a meeting?

Candidates unable to take the AR, M1 or M2 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 for the  exams?

AALAS: The Animal Resource kit contains the following 10 books:

  • AALAS LATG Training Manual 
  • Animal Welfare Act and Regulations 2017
  • AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals; 2020 edition
  • Good Laboratory Practice Standards FDA 21 CRF Part 58
  • Good Laboratory Practice Standards EPA 40 CRF Part 160& 792
  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Guidebook 2nd edition 2002
  • Management of Animal Care and Use Programs in Research, Education and Testing , Second Edition
  • Managing the Laboratory Animal Facility, Third Edition
  • Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Research Animals
  • Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory  Animals

AALAS: The General Business Management M1 & M2 has one textbook: Management Training Manual.

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.

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

Online exam candidates receive immediate pass or fail at end of exam.The length of time for a pencil and paper candidate to receive their test results varies depending on the date they took the exam. AALAS sends out the exam results within 2 weeks of test date.

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

Candidates enrolled in the AALAS CMAR program receive one certificate upon successful completion of all required exams. If a candidate takes the 3 CM exams, they will receive their ICPM Certified Manager certificate, along with the CMAR certificate..

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

No. AALAS processes all orders for the AALAS CMAR exams (AR, M1 & M2) and ICPM processes all orders for study materials for the CM exams.

How much do the study materials cost?

AALAS: The AR resource kit is $370 plus shipping for national members of AALAS and $450 plus shipping for non-members. The Management Training Manual is $225 plus shipping for national members of AALAS and $275 plus shipping for non-members. AALAS recommends you check first to see if these materials exist in your facilities library.

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.

How much do the exams cost?

AALAS CMAR exam fee is $150 per exam,with a bundle price of $400, if paying for all 3 (AR, M1 & M2) exams at once. There is a $50 non-refundable cancellation fee included in the exam fee. The non-member fee of each exam is $250, bundle (AR,M1 & M2) non-member fee is $500.

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 General Business Management?

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

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

No. The exams can be taken in any order.

What is AALAS CMAR maintenance?

Applicants who have applied to AALAS and have not passed the Animal Resources  exam and applied for the General Business exams  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 for the General Business exams. 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 should retake and pass the Animal Resources exam in order to be reinstated in the program.

Is a proctor required for the AALAS CMAR and CM online exams?


What happens if my 15 months lapse and I have not yet completed the General Business 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. If applicant is taking the AALAS M1 & M2 exams they must pay a maintenance fee of $50 to AALAS to gain additional time to successfully complete the required exams.

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 AALAS members & $85 for non-members) in order to recertify their CMAR credential.