SAVE International Certification Program Update

By Bob Rude, PE, CVS-Life – Chairman, SAVE International Certification Board 

Over the past year, the SAVE International Certification Board has been quite busy working on and implementing changes to the Society’s certification program. Those changes have focused on the development of two new teaching courses, redefining the VMA and CVS certifications, implementing an electronic testing management system, streamlining the qualifications for CVS applicants, and replacing recertification with annual maintenance. 

New Teaching Courses 

The Value Methodology Fundamentals 1 (VMF 1) course introduces the SAVE Value Methodology Core Competencies expected of a Value Methodology Associate (VMA) and must be completed in order to sit for the VMA exam. It is similar to the old Module I workshop and includes 32 hours of classroom learning and optional practical exercises (instructors option). 

The Value Methodology Fundamentals 2 (VMF 2) course introduces the SAVE Value Methodology Core Competencies expected of a Certified Value Specialist (CVS), and must be completed, in addition to the VMF 1 course, in order to sit for the CVS exam. It includes 32 hours of classroom learning and new subject matter from the core competencies. 

Teaching materials for both the VMF 1 and VMF 2 courses are issued to qualified instructors via a license agreement and fee. 

Redefined VMA and CVS 

The Value Methodology Associate (VMA) certification is for entry level individuals who are new to the Value Methodology field. An applicant must successfully complete an approved VMF 1 course and pass the VMA exam. After receiving VMA certification, an individual is qualified as a value team member. 

The Certified Value Specialist (CVS) certification is an advanced certification for those already in the Value Methodology field. An applicant must complete the VMF 1 and VMF 2 courses, accumulate the required certification points (CPs), submit an application for approval and pass the CVS exam. After receiving CVS certification, an individual is qualified to lead value studies. 

Electronic Testing 

The VMA exam is now only being offered online as a computer-based test. Applicants can take the VMA exam remotely at any time after completing the VMF 1 course. The exam consists of 60 multiple choice questions that must be completed within 90 minutes and is proctored via computer webcam. Access to the exam is issued by SAVE and/or an Affiliate Certification Board. The CVS exam will be offered online in the coming months. 

CVS Qualifications 

The following changes have been made to the qualifications for CVS certification: 

  • Practice VM – applicants must submit a total of 240 contact hours and a minimum of six value studies. 
  • Experience – applicants must select six “focus studies” that become the experience basis for 1) facilitate one session each for Function Analysis, Creativity and Evaluation, and 2) document your facilitation experiences. 
  • CVS Paper – the paper topic is assigned and based from the six focus studies. 
  • Learn VM – qualifications remain the same except applicants are required to complete 24 hours of facilitation training and there are simplified qualifying activities for CPs for those who manage value programs. 
  • Share VM – includes VM presentations (inside and outside normal work duties), VM society service and VM publications and publicity. 

Maintenance Replaces Recertification 

To maintain VMA certification, certificants must pay an annual fee and complete one SAVE approved e-learning course per year. To maintain CVS certification, certificants must pay an annual fee and complete 40 professional development units (PDUs) bi-annually. Also, 10% of VMAs and CVSs will be audited each year. 

Complete information about VMA and CVS certification, including the newest edition of the SAVE Certification Program Manual, can be found on the SAVE website at