This is a required course for the CEBS and CMS designations.

This course is under review. If you have already purchased study materials, you will need to complete your exam in 2017. 

This course provides a framework for understanding various types of compensation approaches. The course begins by presenting a pay model outlining strategic compensation objectives, policies that form the foundation of a compensation system, and alternate techniques that can be used in paying employees. The course distinguishes between job-based and person-based pay structures and the ongoing management functions that maintain internal alignment, enhance organizational competitiveness, and create employee incentives within these various types of pay systems. Methods for decision-making regarding pay level, pay mix and pay structures are explored. Various pay-for-performance plans are explained along with research evidence concerning their effectiveness in motivating employees and achieving business objectives. The course also examines the role of government and legal compliance issues in determining compensation practices.  

Testing Appointments: Please note the course number to use to for making appointments at Prometric for CMS 2 is Course 30.

Study Materials

  • Learning Guide, 2nd edition-includes Practice Exam on CD (PC only), $195.00
  • Compensation, 11th edition, Milkovich, Newman and Gerhart, McGraw-Hill, 2014, $293.00  ISBN  978-0-07-802949-3

May meet CE Credit Requirements

Click here for ACE Credit Recommendation.

Assignment Topics


  1. Compensation Management: A Strategic Approach and Analytical Framework
  2. Establishing Internal Alignment
  3. Job Analysis--Critical First Step in Job-Based Pay Systems
  4. Job Evaluation: Measuring Content, Value, and External Market Links
  5. Person-Based Pay Systems
  6. Attracting and Retaining Talent 
  7. Designing Pay Levels, Mix and Pay Structures
  8. Rewarding Talent: Pay for Performance
  9. Aligning Strategy, Talent and Rewards: Pay-for-Performance Plans
  10. Employee Benefits: Key Feature of Total Rewards
  11. Rewards in a Global Marketplace
  12. Managing the Compensation Process