Certified Board Member (CBM)

State Mandated Training for Board Members

Missouri's Outstanding School's Act requires all school board members to receive 16 hours of training, within their first 12 months of service. MSBA’s Certified Board Member (CBM) program offers Essential Board Member Certification, which fulfills this requirement and provides the foundation for becoming an effective board member. CBM Essential addresses all the state-required content.

New Board Member Training Format and Content

CBM Essential new board member training is delivered in a blended format. Some of the training is provided online through a web-based application. The remainder is provided in a classroom setting at locations around the state. Diverse presenters deliver the content based on research in effective board governance. The required content is addressed and includes sessions on:

Student Achievement
School Law
School Finance
Board Policy
Board Relations
Board Operations
Goal Setting/Strategic Planning

How Do I Register for New Board Member Training?

To register online, select the date and location most convenient for you from the list on the right. To register offline, complete the registration form and follow directions on the form to fax or mail it to MSBA. Questions may be directed to MSBA's Leadership Development Department at 800-221-6722, ext. 329; or email

Those in need of accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act should call 800-221-6722, ext 329 at least two weeks prior to the session.

MSBA originated the Certified Board Member (CBM) program as a structured training program in 1989. The state of Missouri affirmed this need for leadership training by making board orientation mandatory as part of the Outstanding Schools Act in 1993. Since that time, thousands of Missouri board members have become certified through the CBM program.

Advanced/Master Certification Requirements

After satisfying the statutory training requirement through CBM Essential, CBM certification level is determined by credits rather than hours. All CBM credit-bearing coursework is designated in one of four study tracks, or “strands.” Board members pursuing certification beyond Essential should start by choosing one of these four strands as their focus:

  • Student Achievement
  • Board Governance and Operations
  • School Law and School Finance
  • Contemporary Issues in Education

The CBM credit requirement is 12 additional credits for each additional certification level:

  • Essential = 16 hours
  • Advanced = Essential (16 credits) + 12 additional credits (28 CBM credits total)
  • Master = Essential (16 credits) + Advanced (12 credits) + 12 additional credits (40 CBM credits total)

The Advanced certification requires the accumulation of least 28 total CBM credits (16 credits must include MSBA’s Essential CBM training); for Advanced, 4 of the remaining credits must fall under your chosen study strand.

The Master certification requires the accumulation of at least 40 total CBM credits of which 6 credits must be within your chosen Master study strand. The 6 strand credits for Master certification are in addition to the 4 already acquired for Advanced.

Board members may choose different focus strands at the Advanced and Master level, or they may pursue the same focus strands through both levels of certification.

To be recognized for Advancedpdf or Masterpdf level certification, complete the appropriate application form.

Credits can be earned through participation in various MSBA-sponsored activities: Fall and Spring Regional Meetings, Annual Conference concurrent sessions, Legislative Forum, Delegate Assembly, Leadership Summit, audio conferences, webinars and other events as designated. Up to two additional credits can be earned by reading additional books beyond the minimum reading requirement.

How to View Your Transcript

  • Under the Board Training Tab, select “Certified Board Member (CBM).”
  • In the lower right corner, select “Check Your Credits”
  • You will be asked to log in. If you have not yet registered on our website, return to the Home page and select Request an Account in the “Find It Now” column on the left.

Reading Requirement

Reading two books, at least 100 pages each on educational or board governance topics, is required at each of the Advanced and Master levels. One of the two books read for the Advanced reading requirement must be within the focus strand. Both of the books for the Master reading requirement must be within the focus strand.

Each book should focus on education-related or board governance-related subject matter and be published within the last 10 years (exceptions by permission). Board members should be able to relate information from the book to their board service. A list of approved books is available on the MSBA website for those who prefer not to select their own titles. Prior approval must be obtained for books not on the booklist.

Writing Requirement

A brief written paper of one to three pages in length is required for both Advanced and Master levels of study. The Advanced composition should make a connection between the board member’s service or district and the topics explored in CBM coursework, especially those within the focus strand. The Master composition should connect topics from the focus strand to the board member’s service in the district by showing how the board member has converted awareness gained through CBM study to informed action in board service. Additional questions regarding the writing requirement should be forwarded to MSBA’s Board Development Department.

Attendance Requirement

For Advanced certification, attendance is required at two MSBA core meetings (one attended within the year of final application). For Master certification, attendance is required for at least two more core meetings (again, at least one attended within the year of final application). Core meetings include MSBA Spring or Fall Regional Meetings, MSBA Annual Conference, MSBA Legislative Forum, MSBA Leadership Summit, MSBA Delegate Assembly and NSBA Annual Conference.

If you have questions or need more information, please contact Debby Duermeyer at 800-221-6722, ext. 329 or