As you know, HB13-1277, otherwise known as the Manager Licensing Bill, required all community association managers to be licensed by July 1, 2015. We still get several questions on the steps necessary to get licensed as a community manager, as well as the resources available to take those steps. Here are the steps you should follow in order to get licensed:

STEP ONE: SATISFY THE PRE-LICENSE REQUIREMENTS

Candidates for manager licensure must satisfy the following Pre-License Requirements:

1. CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK/FINGER-PRINTING

Applicants must submit a set of fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for a criminal background check. Even if you hold another professional license, which may have required the same background check/finger-printing process, you will still need to complete this process.

The Division of Real Estate has established a set of Community Association Manager FAQs to assist with this and other processes for community association manager licensure. If you scroll down to the question “How do I complete the criminal history background check for licensure?” you will get the info you need to satisfy this requirement.

2. PRE-LICENSE EDUCATION

HB13-1277 requires community association managers to complete certain pre-license education requirements, which may be satisfied by fulfilling ANY of the following THREE options:

a. Take the CAI Colorado-specific M100 class. Successful completion of the M-100 class is the first step in obtaining a professional credential in community association management. Make sure you register for the Colorado Edition. The full list of M-100 courses can be found here.

OR

b. Obtain ONE of the following three credentials:

i. Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA)

The CMCA is the first level designation. To get your CMCA credential, contact the Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB). You will need to pass the CMCA exam to get this credential. As a prerequisite for taking the CMCA exam, you must first take the M-100 course discussed above. If you already have at least five (5) years’ experience as a community association manager (not an assistant manager), you may receive a one-time waiver of the M-100 course.

ii. Association Management Specialists (AMS)

iii. Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM)

OR

c. Take a 24-hour online instruction alternative credential established by the Division of Real Estate. Again, using the Division of Real Estate’s FAQs, if you scroll down to the question “Where can I obtain the pre-license education requirements for community association licensure in Colorado?” you will see information regarding this alternative credential.

The Division has approved several course providers for the 24-hour instruction alternative credential. After completion of the 24-hour course alternative and passing the course exam, an applicant will have satisfied the pre-license education requirements.

STEP TWO: STUDY…HARD

Once you complete the pre-license requirements, you must also pass a test designed to determine your competency in the following subject matter areas:

• The legal documents and statutes that enable a community association to operate, including the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (“CCIOA”) and other “applicable provisions of Colorado law”; and
• “Other core competencies” as specified by the Director of the Division of Real Estate.

Preparation is the key to success! Altitude Community Law offers a prep course for the licensing exam, for $139 per person. You can register online for our prep courses. Keep checking our website, as we generally set a new prep class regularly.

STEP THREE: TAKE THE MANAGER LICENSING EXAM

Once you’ve satisfied the pre-license requirements and prepped yourself for the exam, it’s now time to take the test.

Exam takers will be tested on the General Community Management portion comprised of 55 test questions and a State Specific portion comprised of 45 questions. Managers will be allowed up to 90 minutes per section which will be graded individually.

In order to pass, you must answer at least 43 questions on the General portion and 35 questions on the State portion.

STEP FOUR: COMPLETE THE DORA APPLICATION

Complete the manager license application found on the DORA website and submit everything to obtain your license and license number.

Additional information may be found on the Description of Examination and Examination Content Outlines.

We hope the above has provided you with enough information to wade your way through the manager licensing maze. If you have additional questions, please contact a Altitude Community Law attorney at 303.432.9999.

4 responses to “Steps to Getting Licensed as a Community Association Manager
  1. Hi Melissa
    What if there is no association manager and the Board of Directors does whatever is needed?
    I can see the entire board resigning if they had to go through this training program. Our association annual dues are too small to support a Paid manager. $50.00 annually. I would appreciate knowing more about whom these regulations apply to.
    Thanks Hugo

    1. Hi Hugo,

      Rest assured, the overwhelming majority of boards would not have to get licensed as long as they are not getting compensated, which includes compensation by fee, commission, salary or anything else of value.

      – Melissa M. Garcia, Esq.

  2. In my opinion the Florida CAM Exam isn’t overly difficult if you prepare adequately.

    I’m a decent test taker but more so I know how to prepare for tests. With that said, the Florida CAM Exam is a legitimate exam. In other words, it is absolutely something you need to prepare for. There’s no way you can simply take the pre-licensing class and then show up for the exam and pass. Again, it’s not a particularly hard exam but there are too many dates and rules to memorize.

    Let me first tell you that time is NOT an issue for the test. You have three hours for 100 questions and I’ve never heard anybody tell me that they ran out of time. When I took it, there were probably 50 questions that I considered “gimmies.” Examples of those questions include “What chapter is the condominium act?” or “How much notice is required for a board meeting?” Those should be layups for you.

    Then there’s probably 20-30 questions that you’ll easily be able to get the answer choices narrowed down to two. Fortunately, the exam creators often give clearly wrong answer choices that you can easily eliminate. For example, “What’s the notice required for XYZ?” and the answer choices are “A) 48 hours, B) 14 days, c) 35 days, or D) dinosaur.” Well, I think I can rule out D.

    Then, I felt that there were about 5-10 questions where I knew the concept that they were testing but the question was written so poorly that I couldn’t tell what they wanted for an answer. They’ll use double negatives in questions (“all of these aren’t right except”) and a few questions in way that doesn’t make sense. When you’re taking the exam don’t get discouraged, just mark those questions for later and come back to them when you’ve answered the others.

    Lastly, you positively and without exception MUST READ THE ENTIRE QUESTION. Again, time is not an issue. You will have plenty of time. You cannot give up any of the 50 or so gemmy question because you failed to read the whole question or read every answer. I discovered an excellent course to prepare for the CAM exam which includes a great practice exam and useful flashcards to memorize key concepts and important topics: https://www.flcaa.com/

    Best of luck to you.

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