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When you implement modern CMMS software, you get stronger workflows and tighter tracking, helping the maintenance team keep assets up and running for less money and with fewer headaches.  But if you want to truly take control of maintenance management, you need to invest in more than just your processes.

With the CMRP certification, you can invest in yourself and your people. 

What is the Certified Maintenance & Reliability Professional (CMRP) certification? 

The CMRP is the credentialing program that certifies that maintenance technicians, reliability experts, and physical asset management professionals have the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to excel in the industry. To pass, test-takers need a solid understanding of both the theories and practices of maintenance management. 

The Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP) oversees the credential, but it's also accredited by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB), which reviews and evaluates certificates. In fact, the CMRP is the only exam of its kind that the ANAB accredits. 

Wayne Metro success story

Why does that matter? Accreditation is a sort of quality control process that confirms a program meets a strict set of standards. You can trust that the exam and the credential reflect current, real-world knowledge. 

What do I need to know for the CMRP exam? 

Because the exam is run by the SMRP, they've based it on the five pillars of their Body of Knowledge: 

  • Business Management 
  • Equipment Reliability 
  • Manufacturing Process Reliability 
  • Organization and Leadership 
  • Work Management 

Let's look at the pillars in a bit more detail. 

Business Management 

Take business goals and translate them directly into reliability goals that help the organization succeed 

Equipment Reliability 

Ensure efficiency and safety by applying the best maintenance practices for the organization's specific combinations of assets and equipment 

Manufacturing Process Reliability 

Use data-driven analytical technologies to maximize the manufacturing process 

Organization and Leadership 

Support the maintenance team and ensure it has the knowledge and tools it needs to meet the organization's maintenance goals 

Work Management 

Control planning and scheduling, quality checks, and inventory levels and usage rates to boost efficiency 

The result is an exam that covers a lot of ground and tests against universal standards. 

What are the benefits of the CMRP? 

On the most basic level, the credential is a seal of approval, ensuring a maintenance professional has the right knowledge and experience to work efficiently. It's a way of quickly, reliably seeing the difference between a dedicated professional and everyone else. But there are other benefits, for both maintenance departments and maintenance professionals. 

For maintenance departments 

Faced with a stack of resumes, it can be hard to know how to weed out the weaker candidates. Everyone looks great when they're describing themselves. The CMRP helps you find candidates who can not only talk a good game but also deliver. 

Departments can also use the CMRP exam as part of a structured program to help current employees develop their understanding of maintenance theories and practices. The SMRP offers a library of related educational materials that can help techs learn and grow, and departments can help facilitate study groups to grow the department's collective expertise. 

For maintenance managers and technicians 

The exam is a great way to test your knowledge and see where you stand in the industry. By just preparing to take the exam, you can find and fix the gaps in your professional knowledge and catch up on any recent developments. You might have learned the best ways of doing things years ago, but things have changed, and now your skill set is out of date. 

When it comes to finding a job or asking for a raise, the credential helps you highlight both your knowledge and skills as well as your dedication. Having a CMRP shows you care. 

technician in safety vest works on laptop

And if you are currently working as a maintenance tech, getting the credential is a great way to show you're interested in making the move to a more senior or management position. It shows you're looking to move up in the organization. 

What are the differences between the CMRP and the CRE?

The differences between the CMRP and Certified Reliability Engineer credential (CRE) are clear as soon as you look at the learning objectives. While the CMRP has a broad scope and feels a bit like a buffet-style meal, the CRE is more focused on performance evaluation and prediction. Staying with the same analogy, the CRE is more like ordering one item off the menu. 

CRE tests your ability to, for example: 

  • Show an overall understanding of reliability engineering 
  • Measure times to failure using the right distribution 
  • Analyze the reliability of both repairable and non-reparable systems 

How do you know which you should pick? It depends on the gaps you currently have in your maintenance knowledge and practices. If you need to focus on working with data to determine reliability and risk, the CRE is your best choice. 

That said, there's no reason not to go for both. Based on the exams, though, it likely makes more sense to do the CMRP first. 

How can I study for the CMRP exam? 

The SMRP has a lot of helpful information on the exam and the credential. But there are also a number of online classes geared specifically to preparing you for the exam. You can even find online guides developed by current and former students. 

There's even an app to help you prepare. The CMRP Study Quiz has 200 technical questions you can use to find and fix knowledge gaps and get a feel for the types of things you need to know for the exam. The third version of the app is free but has a smaller number of quiz questions. 

Quick, concise summary 

The CMRP tests your knowledge of current maintenance theories and best practices. The SMRP oversees the credential, with review and accreditation from the ANSI National Accreditation Board. Based on the five pillars of the SMRP Book of Knowledge, the exam covers business management, equipment reliability, manufacturing process reliability, organization and leadership, and work management. For technicians, preparing for the exam is a good way to find and fix knowledge gaps and prove their dedication to professional development. For departments, the credential helps them choose between job applicants. The SMRP is more general than the CRE, which has a narrower focus on using data to increase reliability. There are lots of study materials available, including from the SMRP, third-party prep companies, and even a quiz-based app. 

Let's get you started

Have more general questions about maintenance or specific questions about CMMS solutions? 

Hippo's here to help you get what you need, including answering your questions about maintenance strategies (and everything else related to maintenance), helping you book a live software demo, or even setting you up with a free trial.  

About The Author

Jonathan Davis

Jonathan has been covering asset management, maintenance software, and SaaS solutions since joining Hippo CMMS. Prior to that, he wrote for textbooks and video games.
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