What is the Certification Program?
The certification program is a professional development program with college/university-level courses. Personal development is as much a goal of the certification as career development—the municipal clerk gains a greater sense of confidence and self-esteem as professional growth and development occur.
The Texas Municipal Clerks Certification Program provides current insight into such areas as public relations, interpersonal communications, and community organization which will improve on-the-job ability and enhance the clerk personally and individually. Increasing personal awareness, flexibility, knowledge, and innovations result in new professionalism.
Successful completion of TMCCP requires approximately 200 hours of individual home study and online homework; examinations over each of the four courses; and attendance at eight two-day seminars. Some enrollees complete the program in as few as three years; some take several years. There is a 10-year limit to complete the Certification Program; after this the enrollee must start over. Paid fees do not transfer.
Recertification requires an additional 80 hours of professional development course work every five years, including attendance at in-person/virtual seminars and webinars, and a selection of educational opportunities to earn points towards recertification.
Currently, hundreds of municipal clerks are enrolled in TMCCP and are working toward certification or recertification. As of 2022, 1,059 enrollees have completed the extensive certification program.
Goals of the Certification Program
The program seeks to establish certain qualifications for fulfilling the office of municipal clerk in order to retain the traditional and rightful standing as an officer of the municipality. The program also aims to provide the municipal clerk with the knowledge and methods to execute the duties of his/her office, as well as develop familiarity with the theory and practices of one's local government.
The Certification Program Background
The Texas Municipal Clerks Certification Program began in 1967 at the University of North Texas from a study initiated by the Association of City Clerks and Secretaries of Texas, now Texas Municipal Clerks Association, Inc., and prepared by Dorothy Byrd. Ms. Byrd continued as the executive director until her retirement in December 1993. Dr. Joyce Snay became the new executive director in January 1994. In 2007 the executive director's position was split to form a co-directorship, consisting of Education Director Joyce Snay and Administrative Director Peggy Burnside. In 2013 Dr. Joyce Snay retired and Dr. Amy Holt became the new education director. In 2021 Peggy Burnside retired and Miriam Sheehan became the new administrative director.
TMCCP is the only university-level professional education program for city clerks and city secretaries in Texas, and is the third oldest of such programs in the country. It is administered by the Texas Municipal Clerks Association, Inc., located at the University of North Texas. The certification program is recognized by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks. Through the years many changes have occurred, improving the program and increasing public recognition. The 69th Texas Legislature adopted H.B. 2092, which gives State sanction of the program and provides that certification will be issued to each person who successfully completes the program. H.B. 2092 also requires persons who certify in Texas to recertify every five years.
The Texas Municipal Clerks Association, Inc., and the Texas Municipal Clerks Certification Program are dedicated to providing an educational and professional development program for novice and experienced municipal clerks.