The Society of Defense Financial Management (SDFM) and the Defense Health Agency (DHA) are collaborating on the Certified Defense Financial Manager with Healthcare Specialty (CDFM-H) certification to build a dedicated group of comptrollers across DHA facilities. This specialty credential is the latest in SDFM’s effort to expand professional development opportunities for the Department of Defense (DoD) under its Certified Defense Financial Manager™ (CDFM) Certification Program which verifies the competency, professionalism, and expertise of defense financial managers.

SDFM developed the CDFM in partnership with the DoD and launched the test-based certification in 2000. It is the premier certification for defense financial managers. More recently, the CDFM was accepted by OUSD(C) as an alternative to any level of Defense Financial Management Certification Program (DFMCP) certification. It is a DoD-approved, test-based certification for financial management professionals who are civilian or military members of the Department of Defense, U.S. Coast Guard, or employees of defense contractors and suppliers.

Earning and maintaining the CDFM credential requires meeting education and experience criteria, passing three multiple-choice exam modules, and recertifying every two years. The certification exams cover three primary areas as defined by the CDFM Competency Model:

  • Module 1. Resource Management Environment
  • Module 2. Budget and Cost Analysis
  • Module 3. Accounting and Finance

Individuals who meet all the requirements earn the right to display the CDFM designation after their names. CDFMs who also pass the Module 4 exam, which tests defense acquisition competencies, earn the CDFM-A: CDFM with Acquisition Specialty.

The CDFM-H is being created for civilian and military financial specialists in the DHA, senior level accounting and finance management professionals, similar to the specialty credential for acquisition professionals (the CDFM-A). According to a recent article by DVIDS, “It takes 24 to 36 months for comptrollers to develop their health care management skills, and there is an ongoing need for comptrollers to fill positions within the DHA. To meet those needs, the DHA has developed a standardized comptroller training and continuing education program.”

U.S. Army COL John Lee, Deputy Chief Financial Officer of DHA financial operations, commented in the DVIDs article, “U.S. Army captains and majors, and similar-level officers in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force who are looking to move into the comptroller world should apply for the program, as well as senior comptrollers who need to comply with some of the new program’s objectives.” According to the DVIDS article, Syracuse and Harvard Universities will offer their training online and DHA will continue to provide online training via existing program offerings.

SDFM provides continuing professional development through its Professional Development Institute (PDI) as well as other training events around the year that certificants will be able to attend to maintain the CDFM-H certification.

The CDFM-H is expected to launch in 2024.

To learn more, contact Phara Rodrigue, Director of Certification, at