Competency is Measured

Propel Your Career Forward with the CDFM Certification

The Certified Defense Financial Manager™ (CDFM) credential, offered exclusively by the Society of Defense Financial Management (SDFM), is the premier certification recognizing the verified competency, professionalism, and expertise of defense financial managers.

The CDFM is more than a designation behind your name. The preparation for—and successful completion of—the required examinations provides certificants with broad knowledge across a range of disciplines. Whether a DoD employee or an individual in the private sector, the CDFM Program exposes you to the fundamentals you need to succeed in the defense financial management field.


Demonstrate mastery

The CDFM is designed to show your mastery of financial management competencies in all areas of defense financial management.


Advance your career

As a highly-regarded credential in both the public and private sector, the CDFM equips you for the next step in your career.


Stand apart and lead

With its rigorous and thorough requirements, the CDFM demonstrates your preparedness to lead your organization into the future.


It’s DoD-approved

The CDFM is one of the DoD-approved, test-based certifications recommended for individuals with DFMCP Certification Levels 2 and 3.

CDFM Background

The CDFM was originally developed by the American Society of Military Comptrollers (now the Society of Defense Financial Management) in partnership with the Department of Defense, with the support of the Chauncey Group. Since its launch in 2000, the CDFM has been awarded to more than 14,000 professionals. The CDFM Program is governed by the SDFM Certification Commission, and the SDFM Certification Department runs the day-to-day operations.”


The CDFM is one of the DoD-approved Test-Based Certifications recommended for those with DFMC2 and DFMC3 level certification, and OUSD(C) accepts the CDFM as an alternative to any of the three DFMCP certification levels.The certification exams cover three primary areas as defined by the CDFM Competency Model:

  • Resource Management Environment
  • Budget and Cost Analysis
  • Accounting and Finance

Earning and maintaining the CDFM credential requires meeting eligibility and experience criteria, passing three multiple-choice exams, and recertifying every two years. Individuals who meet the requirements and commit to uphold the ethical standards of the SDFM Pledge of Professionalism earn the right to display the CDFM designation after their names.


Elizabeth McCullough

CDFM-A, MBA, DFMC3, Director, Resource Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

I decided to pursue the CDFM as one of my professional goals as an Army civilian in the Department of Defense. To be competitive for the next level of my career, pursuing a test-based certification was important to me. I chose to earn the CDFM for both personal and professional reasons, and to grow my knowledge, my skills, and abilities.

CDFM-A for Defense Acquisition Professionals

After achieving your CDFM, pass the Module 4 exam which tests defense acquisition competencies to earn the CDFM with Acquisition Specialty (CDFM-A).


Check Eligibility

See if you qualify and learn about possible funding sources.


Prepare for Examination

Download the Candidate Handbook and learn about available exam prep options.


Enroll in the CDFM Program

When you’re ready to test, enroll as a CDFM or CDFM-A candidate and purchase the exams.


Take Exams & Verify

Pass your exams online or at a test center then submit your VFME form.