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Do HOA Management Certifications Matter?

When HOA management is running smoothly, it seems easy. However, quality management requires much more behind-the-scenes education than you may realize. This rigorous training helps managers keep pace with changing legislation and best practices to ensure that the communities they oversee receive the best possible service.

One way you can determine whether or not your management company is staying current is by taking a look at the certifications they have individually and collectively achieved.  Here are some of the most common HOA management industry certifications and why they matter to your community.

Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA)

This Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB) designation — or its equivalent in other industry organizations — is the starting point for most community managers. Achieving a CMCA designation means that the manager possesses a core set of comprehension regarding responsible community management. Managers must pass a prerequisite course to ensure that they are adept at practicing the of basic principles of HOA management.

Certified Community Association Manager (CCAM)

Offered by the California Association of Community Managers, Inc. (CACM), this designation is specific to managers who are operating within California. As an introduction to the fundamentals of California property management, the CCAM designation ensures that new managers have a deep understanding of core principles such as the key roles of the community manager, how federal and state fair housing regulations affect HOAs, the daily financial operations of the association, and more.

Association Management Specialist (AMS)

Part of the second level of career development for community association managers, an AMS designation demonstrates that a manager is moving toward a more advanced understanding of the challenges that affect the operations and long-term decision-making of an HOA. This designation is for practicing, currently accredited managers who are looking to further develop specialized skills that will assist them in managing large or complex HOAs.

Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM)

The PCAM designation is the highest level of professional recognition within the industry. Managers who earn PCAM accreditation must not only be practicing professionals who have achieved all lower levels of certification, they must participate in an intensive training course that addresses the complex issues facing today’s residential and mixed-use communities. The accreditation process culminates with a detailed thesis project that requires managers to address real-world challenges facing actual communities. This exposure to community needs that are often outside the manager’s general scope of experience allows the manager to apply their skills, education, and experience in creative new ways. At present, the PCAM designation is exclusive to approximately 3,000 managers globally.

Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC)

This CAI accreditation for management companies ensures that company staff possesses the highest level of knowledge, skills, and experience to help community associations succeed in today. To receive the AAMC designation, at least 50% of a company’s managers must hold individual professional designations through CAI (or an equivalent), and the company’s senior manager must hold a Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM) accreditation. This exclusive designation is achieved by only 250 management companies around the world, and we are proud to be among them.

Investing in human resources

At Keystone Pacific, we strongly support our management team’s continuing education. Our staff dedicates additional hours on top of their daily professional duties to achieve industry certifications. We believe that investing in our staff’s success helps us provide top tier support to the HOAs we manage. As a result, not only do we require our managers to achieve accreditation, we help cover the costs.

The certifications above are just a few of the most common HOA management accreditations. Managers can further specialize in a variety of topics unique to the communities they oversee. With regards to certification in general, the bottom line is that haphazard management practices can be disastrous for an HOA. By insisting that a management company possess at least the most basic certifications, communities can avoid exposure to unnecessary risk. From there, higher levels of accreditation from individuals and the management company itself indicate that the team working on behalf of your HOA has the most current and detailed knowledge and experience about how to help your community achieve its goals.

Want to know more about Keystone Pacific’s professional certifications? Give us a call and we’ll fill you in.


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