Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP) Guide

The safety, continuity, and efficiency of your operation depend on the effectiveness of your maintenance program. This is why it’s so important to ground your maintenance program in a foundation of effective training and education. Knowledgeable, skilled, and well-trained maintenance technicians will contribute directly to the success of your organization by optimizing asset performance, minimizing equipment downtime, and reducing the costs associated with repairs and replacement.

To provide these organization-wide benefits, your maintenance personnel must have a working knowledge of internal standard operating procedures, industry best practices, regulatory standards, and more. There are several key certifications awarded in the maintenance sector to signify the completion of comprehensive training in these areas. 

The Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP) exam is one such credential. The CMRP exam is designed to measure various maintenance competencies. Successful completion of this exam is generally an indication of strong industry experience, a robust skill set, and valuable practical knowledge.  

In the discussion below, we’ll take a closer look at this certification exam and explore some of the credential’s benefits–both to the maintenance technicians who earn them and to the organizations they service.

What is the Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional exam? 

The Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP) exam is described as the leading credential for maintenance, reliability, and asset management professionals. The CMRP is designed to verify the skills, knowledge, and abilities of professionals in these areas, and measures competencies in these overlapping fields using a universal standard. 

The CMRP exam is administered by the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP) and is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). While there are no formal prerequisites for taking the CMRP, candidates are expected to have several years of experience in the field before approaching this challenging exam. The objective of the CMRP is to ensure that certified individuals have the required competencies to perform maintenance tasks safely, reliably, and effectively. 

The CMRP is a multiple-choice exam designed to measure both theoretical knowledge and practical real-world smarts. Exam questions fall into the following five categories: 

  1. Business and Management
  2. Manufacturing Process Reliability
  3. Equipment Reliability
  4. Organization and Leadership
  5. Work Management

We’ll take a closer look at the five pillars of the CMRP exam in a later section.

The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals

As noted above, the CMRP exam is administered by a nonprofit professional association called the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP). The organization was formed in 1992 with the mission of developing and promoting excellence in maintenance, reliability, and physical asset management. In 1997, SMRP furthered that mission by establishing the SMRPCO to administer its certification program.

Over 30 years, the society has evolved into its role as a global resource for education, training, certification, and networking. The SMRP reports a current membership of 7,000 individuals and more than 5,000 active certifications across 60 countries. 

The SMRP offers a number of prestigious industry certifications.

Key Certifications

  • Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP) indicates expertise and practical knowledge in maintenance, reliability, and asset management.
  • Certified Maintenance and Reliability Technician (CMRT) indicates the proficiency of individuals who carry out preventative, predictive, and corrective maintenance programs.
  • Certified Asset Management Assessor (CAMA) recognizes individuals who audit asset management systems and is offered in partnership with World Partners in Asset Management (WPiAM).

Who is eligible for the CMRP exam?

The CMRP exam is open to individuals from a wide range of professions. There are no formal prerequisites for exam eligibility. 

The exam consists of 110 multiple-choice questions, which must be completed within 2.5 hours. Those without both comprehensive practical and theoretical knowledge in the areas of maintenance, reliability, and asset management will likely find it difficult to achieve certification. 

Therefore, while there are no formal eligibility requirements, it is generally expected that applicants will have experience in roles such as:

  • Maintenance and reliability professionals
  • Reliability engineers and technicians
  • Physical asset management professionals
  • Facilities managers and supervisors
  • Inspectors and auditors

Benefits of passing the CMRP exam

Becoming a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP) offers numerous advantages for individuals in the maintenance and reliability fields including: 

  • Professional recognition, industry credibility, and demonstrated commitment to the field of maintenance and reliability
  • Career growth, including improved qualifications for internal advancement, eligibility for new job opportunities, and a higher earning potential
  • Professional development and continuous learning through exam preparation and recertification
  • Access to valuable resources, including publications, webinars, and professional networking opportunities
  • Leadership development, with the certification process cultivating management skills, and giving CMRP-certified individuals the power to drive positive change and innovation within their teams and organizations

CMRP: The five pillars

The CMRP exam is structured around The Five Pillars of the SMRP Body of Knowledge. These pillars are meant to encompass the essential knowledge and skills required for effective maintenance and reliability management. 

Below, we take a closer look at each of these pillars. 

  1. Business & Management focuses on the strategic aspects of maintenance and reliability such as planning, financial management, and risk management. 
  2. Manufacturing Process Reliability emphasizes reliability and efficiency in the manufacturing processes and covers topics such as process improvement, quality control, and production planning.
  3. Equipment Reliability concerns the reliability and performance of physical assets and equipment and covers topics such as condition monitoring, failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA), and various strategic maintenance frameworks including preventive, predictive, and corrective maintenance.
  4. Organization and Leadership focuses on the human aspects of maintenance and reliability such as leadership development, team building, and communication.
  5. Work Management covers the management and execution of maintenance work, and includes topics such as maintenance scheduling, resource management, and leveraging maintenance technologies to improve work management processes.

More Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP) exam FAQs

What is the format of the CMRP exam?

The CMRP exam consists of 110 multiple-choice questions, and candidates are given 2.5 hours to complete the exam either online or in person at designated testing centers

How can I register for the CMRP exam?

Candidates can register for the CMRP exam through the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP) website by creating an account, completing an application form, and paying the exam fee. 

What are the costs associated with the CMRP exam?

SMRP members pay $300 for exam registration; non-members pay $465; Sustaining Sponsor employees and U.S. military veterans pay $250.

How long is CMRP certification valid?

CMRP certification is valid for three years. To be eligible for recertification, you must have completed a minimum of 50 continuing education credits through participation in webinars, workshops, conferences, or coursework. Alternatively, you can be recertified after three years by retaking the CMRP exam.

What is a passing score for the CMRP exam?

Candidates must have a minimum scaled score of 70% to pass.

How often can I retake the CMRP exam if I do not pass on the first attempt?

There is no limit to the number of times a candidate may take the test, but a 30-day waiting period is required following a non-passing effort.

Can I take the CMRP exam online?

Yes, you can take the exam online. SMRP provides candidates with access to an online proctoring option.

Tips for acing the CMRP exam

Below, we highlight some proven best practices to incorporate into your CMRP exam prep:

  • Understand the exam, including the five key pillars, the format, the length, and the nature of the questions you’ll be asked to answer. 
  • Purchase a practice exam directly from SMRPCO and use it both to familiarize yourself with typical exam questions and to practice effective time management. 
  • Utilize the study guides provided by SMRP, which are tailored directly to exam content. 
  • Attend SMRP-sponsored workshops and webinars to hear from industry experts, gain valuable insights, and ask questions.
  • Stay current on industry trends as well as updates to SMRP’s testing policies and testing center locations by checking in regularly on the SMRP website.

More maintenance education resources

The SMRP offers a wealth of valuable education resources to help you prepare for your exam including access to free study materials as well as practice tests, which are available for purchase.

We also strongly encourage casting a wider net in your preparation. Explore resources from a variety of reputable third-party providers for a more comprehensive and dynamic working knowledge of your field. 

For instance, Limble offers an array of educational resources that can help maintenance professionals enhance their skills and knowledge in anticipation of the exam’s practical components. Explore our comprehensive library of resources, including webinars, whitepapers, and product demos for a wider view of the maintenance and reliability topics that will be covered in your exam.

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