Institute for Court Management Consortium

Innovations in the California Courts - 20 of Years of Great Ideas

One Branch: Institute for Court Management Consortium


In 2008, the Administrative Office of the Courts entered into a three-year consortium agreement with the court leadership of six other states and the Institute for Court Management (ICM) for the purpose of enhancing and expanding the existing ICM certification program for current and future court leaders. The ICM is the education arm of the National Center for State Courts, an independent, nonprofit court improvement organization.

As part of the consortium agreement, the states contributed funding to support the creation and revision of 12 courses for court managers offered in national ICM programs. The goals were to offer these revised courses in each of the seven states at a significantly lower cost than the national programs and to certify local faculty in each state.

After the 12-course curriculum was completed and reviewed, the Education Division/Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER) of the AOC began the process of selecting California judicial branch court leaders as faculty for the courses. Individuals were nominated and selected according to their work, teaching experience, and expertise in the subject matter of each course. These faculty members then attended a development program sponsored by CJER and a program sponsored by the ICM that included faculty from other consortium states. At present, 41 court leaders have been certified to teach the ICM curriculum in California.

Since the program began in 2009, CJER has held nearly 40 courses around the state attended by more than 600 participants. These 2008, the Administrative Office of the Courts entered into a three-year consortium agreement with the court leadership of six other states and the Institute for Court Management (ICM) for the purpose of enhancing and expanding the existing ICM certification program for current and future court leaders. The ICM is the education arm of the National Center for State Courts, an independent, nonprofit court improvement organization.

As part of the consortium agreement, the states contributed funding to support the creation and revision of 12 courses for court managers offered in national ICM programs. The goals were to offer these revised courses in each of the seven states at a significantly lower cost than the national programs and to certify local faculty in each state.
Core Competencies: What Court Leaders Should Know and Be Able to Do. This curriculum developed for the consortium incorporates the National Association for Court Management’s core competencies. Developed by national consensus, these competencies constitute a summation of the knowledge, skills, and abilities that court professionals must have to be effective managers and exceptional leaders facing new demands and challenges within the judiciary.
After the 12-course curriculum was completed and reviewed, the Education Division/Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER) of the AOC began the process of selecting California judicial branch court leaders as faculty for the courses. Individuals were nominated and selected according to their work, teaching experience, and expertise in the subject matter of each course. These faculty members then attended a development program sponsored by CJER and a program sponsored by the ICM that included faculty from other consortium states. At present, 41 court leaders have been certified to teach the ICM curriculum in California.

Since the program began in 2009, CJER has held nearly 40 courses around the state attended by more than 600 participants. These courses received very positive reviews, as recorded in an online survey completed by participants. Attendees spoke of enjoying the give and take of the live classes with expert instructors. In addition, during the two-and-a-half-day sessions, they were able to form relationships and share their experience with other managers.

The first six courses constitute Level 1 of the program; this level focuses on finance, human resources, and general operational management techniques. A participant who completes Level 1 is recognized by the ICM as a Certified Court Manager. By January 2011, 40 court managers had completed Level 1 and received this certification. Level 2, which consists of the second six courses, focuses on strategic planning, leadership, and high-performance courts. Upon completion of Level 2, a participant is recognized as a Certified Court Executive. For those who wish to go further, there is an ICM Fellows program, which applies court management concepts through a cumulative court research project.

The partnership with the ICM and the six other consortium states has brought a number of benefits to the California judiciary. Court managers can now attend in-state training programs at a much lower cost: a $50 registration fee per course as opposed to $650 to $850 for out-of-state or online courses. Current court leaders can take any of these courses to fulfill their continuing education requirement. In addition, the program promotes Goal V of the Judicial Council's strategic plan, which calls for "high-quality education and professional development . . . to achieve high standards of professionalism, ethics and performance."


COST COMPARISON

The cost of certifying 40 participants in five required courses is substantially less than if each had to travel out of state to the five courses. The following table shows an estimated cost comparison per participant per course.*

Venue

Registration Cost

Travel
Cost

 Total
per Course

Total for Five Courses

California

$50

$400

$450

$2,250

Out of State

$645 to $845

$1,700 to $2,000

$2,345 to $2,845

$11,725 to $14,225



*Source: Institute for Court Management and the Administrative Office of the Courts, Education Division/Center for Judicial Education and Research, Court Management Program Consortium Project: Final Report (January 2011), p. 3.
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