Manager Education and Credentials

CAI offers many online and classroom learning opportunities for community managers, homeowner leaders and business partners. Many education programs provide credit toward professional credentials for managers.

A community association manager will have the knowledge, ethics, professionalism and skills with verifiable experience in financial, administrative, and facilities management in at least one community association, either commercial or residential. The community association manager must be compensated for providing professional guidance and assistance to the board of directors of any association(s) managed by that community association manager, whether the individual is acting as an full time independent contractor, or as an employee of a management firm, or as a general manager or executive director of a common interest development. Management of property other than community associations will not meet the qualifications for community association manager.​​​

Successful community management starts with the essentials! The Essentials of Community Management or M-100, a comprehensive community association management course provides a practical overview for new managers, an essential review for veteran managers and an advanced course for board members. Successful completion of the M-100 can be the first step toward earning the CMCA credential, awarded by ***CAMICB.

CAI is dedicated to providing professional community managers with the resources, practical tools and information they need to achieve success in the dynamic community association marketplace. Community managers are the professional backbone of the communities they serve, providing the skills and expertise that are essential to the successful management of associations. CAI offers various education courses for community managers that cover a wide variety of topics. Courses are available as live, in-person seminars with an instructor or via a self-paced, independent-study online learning format. A full list of CAI's national level courses with links can be found at CAI National Level Courses

Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB) Credentials***

CMCA® - Certified Manager of Community Associations® - The first step for a professional community manager to demonstrate the fundamental knowledge required to manage a community association.


  • Successfully complete an in-depth comprehensivetraining course covering the essentials of community association management or have 5 years experience of community association management or hold an active Arizona CAAM, California CCAM, Florida CAM or Nevada CAM.
  • Complete and submit the CMCA application.
  • Pass the CMCA Examination; a 120 question, psychometrically sound examination prepared under national standards and guidelines to meet the requirements of a valid certification testing tool. Comply with the CAMICB Standards of Professional Conduct

How to maintain:

  • Pay the annual service fee each year
  • Complete 16 hours of continuing education every two (2) years

*** The CMCA certification, is administered by CAI’s affiliate organization, Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB)

AMS®—Association Management Specialist® - The second level in the nationally recognized career development track for community association managers. The AMS designation demonstrates a higher level of understanding of the role of a community association manager and additional experience in the community association management profession.

  • Pass the CMCA examination.
  • Complete two or more years of community association management experience.
  • Successfully pass two - 200-level Professional Management Development Program (PMDP) courses.
  • Comply with the CAI Professional Manager Code of Ethics

How to maintain:

  • Pay the annual maintenance fee each year
  • Redesignate every three years by meet continuing education requirements (one PMDP Course and 8 hours of advanced continuing education units)
  • Maintaining the CMCA is not required.

PCAM®—Professional Community Association Manager® - The pinnacle of community association management. The PCAM designation is the highest professional recognition available nationwide to managers who specialize in community association management.

  • Pass the CMCA examination.
  • Successfully pass all six 200-level courses in CAI's PMDP curriculum, plus the Case Study.
  • Complete five or more years of community association management experience.
  • Comply with the CAI Professional Manager Code of Ethics.

How to maintain:

  • Pay the annual maintenance fee each year
  • Redesignate every three years by meeting continuing education requirements – advanced PMDP program or Law Seminar or CEO-MC Retreat (see current redesignation application for details)
  • Maintaining the CMCA is not required.

LSM®-Large-Scale Manager® 
 -This specialist designation is designed to allow PCAM designees to specialize within their profession. CAI acknowledges the unique aspects of being a large-scale community manager and is providing an opportunity for recognition and continuing education in order for you to expand your career opportunities.


  • This specialist designation is available only to experienced large-scale managers who hold an active PCAM designation.
  • A LSM candidate must have a minimum ten years of community association management experience or five years of community association management experience and five years of municipal management or a comparable position of responsibility at the executive level, or hold a Master’s degree in Public/Business/Parks & Recreation Administration.
  • A LSM candidate must currently be a professional large-scale manager, for at least five years, responsible for the day-to-day operation of a large-scale community association. For the purpose of this program, the definition of a large-scale community is listed below, all elements of which must be met:
  • A single, contiguous community association with an on-site, full time manager
  • A minimum of 1,000 units or a minimum of 1,000 acres
  • Provides municipal-type services
  • A minimum annual operating budget of 2 million dollars
  • A LSM candidate must have attended one CAI Large-Scale Managers Workshop or completed the CAI's M-340 course within the past five years.
  • A LSM candidate must have earned a total of 135 points, and the minimum points stipulated per section, prior to submitting the application. Please see the application for a detailed listing of the points available and the section requirements.

How to maintain the LSM specialist designation:

  • Pay annual maintenance fees (due August 1st of each year).
  • Attain 75 points every three (3) years by attending these required activities: one (1) Large-Scale Manager Workshop and one (2) CAI Annual Conference and Exposition. Please see there-designation form for details on how points are earned for various continuing education activities.
  • Comply with the CAI Professional Manager Code of Ethics.


Management Company Accreditation

 AAMC®-Accredited Association Management Company®

An Accredited Association Management Company demonstrates their commitment to providing excellence, and to practice association management in an ethically prescribed, fiscally responsible manner. They ensure that their staff has the skills, experience, and integrity to help communities succeed. Its managers have advanced training and demonstrated commitment to the industry—just the type of professionals that community association boards seek to hire!

Helpful Links:

Manager Code of Ethics
Professional Management Development Program
National CAI Events and Online Training
Educational Webinars Live and On-Demand
Continuing Education for GREC License