Certification Process


How to Get Certified

To become a CLGBO, you must have sufficient professional experience and/or education, completed the necessary coursework and exams, be a member of the NCLGBA and subscribed to the NCLGBA listserv to apply for the CLGBO Certification. Membership and interest in the Association is encouraged throughout your career; however, it is only confirmed at the time of application. The listserv is the primary communication method used to provide information on the certification program, continuing education opportunities, course offerings, exam registration, etc.; some information may also be available on the website. To be eligible, you must meet/achieve a combination of requirements in the three areas below.

Professional Experience and/or Education

One of these combinations of related/applicable experience and education:
  • eight (8) years of experience in local government budget and evaluation
  • seven (7) years of experience in local government budget and evaluation and an Associate’s degree
  • five (5) years of experience in local government budget and evaluation and a Bachelor’s degree
  • three (3) years of experience in local government budget and evaluation and a Master’s degree in Public Administration, Public Policy, Business Administration, or related field

Continuing Professional Education

The following course track, in four (4) categories over nine (9) days:
  • three (3) days on local government budgeting,
  • three (3) days on capital financing,
  • two (2) days on performance measurement and management, and
  • one (1) day on evaluation.
Do you want to work on obtaining your certification? View upcoming courses here.


A proficient score (at least 80%) for three (3) exams:
  • Local Government Budgeting
  • Capital Financing
  • Performance Measurement and Management
Periodically, refresher study sessions are offered at the NCLGBA conferences. For review materials, check out our resource guide. Exams are currently offered at the biannual NCLGBA conferences or the School of Government. To date, virtual exams are not an option; however, data gathered from the 2020 membership survey indicates this is an item of interest and it will remain a consideration.

Certification Application

Once you meet the certification requirements of professional experience and/or degree, continuing professional education, and exams, you must complete the certification application form and submit it to Bill Rivenbark for review and approval. The deadline to apply typically coincides with the NCLGBA Planning Committee meeting date. Each deadline will be communicated on the NCLGBA website and via the listserv.


Effective with the FY21-22 fiscal year, the certification must be renewed every five years. The first required renewal year will be FY26-27. This applies to existing certification holders. Renewal may be achieved by accumulating continuing professional education hours by attending courses, conferences, and other continuing education events, as well as from professional contributions, such as speaking engagements, authoring/publishing related material, or acquiring a degree. Certification holders should accumulate at least 100 CPE hours (50 minutes of training = one CPE hour) and maintain the records to support the dates and times of coursework, conferences, and contributions. Maintenance of the certification will be the responsibility of the NCLGBA Secretary and recordkeeping will be in accordance with the Association’s policies.

Administration of the Program

The certification program is administered by the NCLGBA Certification Committee; this Committee is comprised of one (1) at-large board member, the Secretary*, the President, the School of Government Liaison, and two non-board member certification holders (appointed by the President). The School of Government provides staff assistance to the committee and recordkeeping to obtain the certification will be housed at the SOG. *Effective FY 21-22: Secretary replaced an at-large board member as a result of the involvement required to maintain records. 


There are no guidelines on what the designation should be or how the title should be used. Since the program's inception, "Certified Budget and Evaluation Officer (CBEO)" has been the most common designation. With consideration to how evaluation has evolved in our profession; the inclusion of other functions such as management, performance, innovation and strategic planning; and in keeping with other North Carolina Local Government Certification designations, the official title of the certification will change to "Certified Local Government Budget Officer" or CLGBO effective FY 21-22. It is not required, nor is it discouraged that this, or any designation be used for signature lines, social media accounts, etc. Those who earned their certification prior to FY 21-22 may choose to adopt the new CLGBO designation or keep the CBEO designation, as the certification was known when they earned it.