Community association management in Florida is more than understanding HOA rules and regulations. It’s a journey towards professional growth, legal acumen, and effective leadership. At the heart of this experience lies the CMCA certification. The Certified Manager of Community Associations, or CMCA, certification is a credential. It’s also a gateway to unparalleled opportunities, though. In this guide, we unravel the layers of HOA rules and navigate the nuances of Florida Statute §720.3033. Then, we explore what a CMCA certification is and how to obtain one in Florida.

Beyond being a legal requirement, this certification adds to your professional credibility. It can aid in career advancement and improve community leadership skills. Let’s address questions about the certification process, its duration, and why the pursuit of a CMCA is a key step toward a thriving career in community association management.

Understanding HOA Rules

HOA rules form the very threads that weave together the fabric of harmonious living. These rules are not mere directives. They serve as the guiding principles that shape a community. There are a diverse array of regulations in the HOA world. These range from architectural guidelines that define the visual landscape of residences to standards outlining maintenance responsibilities and community behavior.

Architectural guidelines, for example, provide a blueprint for the aesthetics of the community. They ensure architectural changes align with the overall vision. Maintenance responsibilities come with a shared commitment to preserving property values and community aesthetics.

However, the significance of HOA rules extends beyond their formulation. Understanding the enforcement mechanisms is paramount for association owners.

Florida Statute §720.3033

To summarize, Florida Statute §720.3033 outlines the responsibilities, conduct, and procedures for officers and directors within an HOA. The statute is meant to help ensure transparency, accountability, and ethical behavior.

Let’s simplify the key points of Florida Statute §720.3033.

  • Directors must, within 90 days of election, certify in writing that they’ve read the association’s governing documents and will uphold them. Of, they can complete an educational curriculum within a year of election. Failure to comply results in suspension from the board until either is fulfilled.
  • If the association enters into a contract with a director or an entity where a director has a financial interest, certain steps must be followed. These include disclosures and member approval. Members have the right to vote to cancel a contract disclosed in such a manner.
  • Officers, directors, or managers may not accept anything of value from service providers without providing consideration. Violations may result in monetary damages and immediate removal from office.
  • Directors or officers charged with specific crimes related to association matters must be removed. The board fills the vacancy until the end of the suspension or the term. Individuals with pending criminal charges may not be appointed or elected to positions in any association.
  • The association must maintain insurance or a fidelity bond. It must cover individuals handling association funds. Members can annually waive this requirement with majority approval. Otherwise, the association bears the cost.
  • Finally, directors and officers appointed by the developer must disclose their relationship annually. All directors and officers must disclose potential conflicts of interest at least 14 days before voting on relevant issues or contracts.

What is a CMCA Certification?

The CMCA is a professional certification in the field of community association management. The Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB) administers the certification, among others.

The CMCA certification verifies that community association managers have the knowledge and skills necessary to manage community associations effectively. These include homeowners associations (HOAs), condominiums, and cooperative housing communities.

To obtain the CMCA certification, individually typically need to meet certain education and experience requirements. Then, they must pass a comprehensive CMCA exam.

The certification covers various aspects of community association management. These include legal, financial, operational, ethical considerations, and more. One can expect CMCA-certified professionals to adhere to a code of conduct. They stay current with industry developments through continuing educations.

How Long is a CMCA Certification Good For?

A CMCA certification is valid for two years before renewal is necessary. You must re-certify every two years, meeting the education requirements and paying the necessary maintenance fees.

How to Obtain Your CMCA Certification in Florida

Becoming a CMCA in Florida involves a strategic process. That helps ensure comprehensive knowledge and proficiency in community association management. Here’s a simplified guide to obtaining your CMCA certification.

Educational Requirement

You must complete an educational curriculum from a division-approved provider. It must be completed within one year before or within 90 days of being elected and/or appointed to the board.

Written Certification

Then, directors must provide a written certification to the association secretary. It declares the individual’s commitment to upholding the association’s governing documents and policies. And the written certificate must be send within 90 days of being elected or appointed.

Alternatively, directors may opt for a certificate that they completed certain educational curriculum. Passing that satisfactorily voids needing the written certification.

Pursiano Law’s Expertise

Pursiano Law offers specialized 1-on-1 and group workshops on the CMCA certification process. Our dedicated team of Florida Community Association attorneys are division-approved providers in helping you obtain the necessary skills and insight in earning the CMCA certification. Get a tailored guide through the complex and comprehensive educational program.

These classes provide in-depth insights into the educational curriculum. That ensures participants are well-prepared for the certification requirements.

Maybe you prefer the personalized approach of 1-on-1 sessions. Or, you may seek the collaborative environment of group classes. Through Pursiano Law, we aim to maximize your learning experience, taking your needs into consideration.

Florida Statute §720.3033 Requirements

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Becoming a Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) in Florida involves understanding and meeting the state’s rigorous licensing requirements. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), operating through the Regulatory Council of Community Association Managers, oversees the licensure of community association managers in the state. Let’s look deep into Florida’s specific requirements.

Aspiring CMCA candidates must complete at least 18 hours of pre-licensure education from an approved provider. This education is a foundational requirement. It sets the stage for a comprehensive understanding of community association management.

Applicants must also pass the Community Association Manager examination, which consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. The exam assesses knowledge in various areas. These areas include state and federal laws, budget preparation, meeting procedures, insurance matters, management skills, and association maintenance.

Application Essentials

Applicants must be at least 18 years old and of good moral character. That’s as defined by the Florida Administrative Code. Then, you must submit fingerprints taken by an authorized law enforcement officer. After that and the completion of the application, the $228 fee is the last mandatory component in the process.

What About for Renewal?

In Florida, you must re-validate your CMCA certification every two years by September 30th. To renew, you must meet CAMICB’s continuing education requirements. Likewise, you’ll pay a biennial license renewal fee of $105.

Before the license renewal date, you must complete at least 20 hours of state-approved continuing education.

That comprises:

  • 4 Hours on HR topics related to community association management;
  • 4 Hours on the operation of the community association’s physical property
  • 4 Hours on insurance & financial management topics;
  • 4 Hours on legal update seminars; and
  • An additional 4 hours on any of the other subjects already mentioned.

Is the CMCA Exam Hard?

A prerequisite in attempting the CMCA is passing the M-100 test. Unlike the M-100 Test, the CMCA exam, unfortunately, only has a 50% pass prate. With a 50% fail rate, it’s important to brush up on any and all information that could be on the test.

The best advice during the test is to mark difficult questions. Move on from them and return them later after completing other questions more confidently. That’ll help ensure you don’t run out of time and get you the most points possible for your exam.

How Many Questions are on the CMCA Exam?

The CMCA examination is a standardized test comprising of 120 multiple-choice items. These questions include 100 scored questions and 20 pilot-test items.

The assessment evaluates your knowledge in eight key topic areas. These encompass the critical aspects of community association management.

How Long is the CMCA Exam?

The CMCA examination is a 120 multiple-choice question, 2.5-hour long exam. You’ll have two and a half hours to complete all 120 questions. That includes both the scored and pilot test items.

Why Your CMCA Certification Matters

Having the CMCA certification is more than just a requirement. It provides incredible useful information for any would-be association owner or board member. The certification holds a profound significance for aspiring board members and association owners. Here are several reasons why it’s more than just a checkbox on your CMCA list.

Professional Credibility

In short, having a CMCA certification enhances your professional credibility. It provides assurance to stakeholders and community members that you possess the right knowledge and skills for the job. The certification is a testament to your commitment and expertise in association management.

Legal Compliance

Community association management involves navigating complex legal landscapes. With a CMCA certification, you demonstrate a thorough understanding of state and federal laws. That helps ensure your decisions align with regulatory requirements and mitigates legal risks.

Effective Leadership

As an association owner or board member, your decisions impact the community’s well-being. The CMCA certification equips you with the managerial skills necessary for effective leadership. There’s financial management and budget preparation, conducting meetings, coordinating day-to-day services, and more. Having that certification equips you with the know-how to confidently tackle these tasks.

Conflict Resolution

Community associations often face conflicts that require tactful resolution. A CMCA-certified professional is well-versed in conflict resolution strategies. They can foster a harmonious environment and sure they address disputes in a fair, equitable manner.

a man and woman applying conflict resolution techniques in accordance with florida statute §720.3033

Member Trust and Confidence

Community association members place trust in their leaders to uphold the association’s values and interests. Possessing a CMCA certification instills confidence among members. It assures them that you are well-prepared to fulfill fiduciary responsibilities and act in the community’s best interests.

Continuous Professional Development

Community association management is a dynamic field with evolving challenges. Holding a CMCA certification reflects your commitment to continuous professional development. It signifies your dedication to staying updated on industry trends, legal changes, and best practices. That goes especially since you have to renew continue your education biennially.

Networking Opportunities

The CMCA certification connects you with a network of professionals committed to excellence in community association management. This network provides opportunities for collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and staying informed about industry advancements.

In summary, the CMCA certification is not just a requirement. It’s a transformative step that empowers you with the knowledge, skills, and credibility needed to excel in community association management.

What’s Comes After the CMCA?

After obtaining a CMCA certification, you may choose to pursue advanced certifications or explore further opportunities in the field of community association management. There are several potential paths and considerations that come after the CMCA.

Association Management Specialist (AMS)

The Community Associations Institute (CAI) offer the AMS designation for experienced community association manager. It signifies a higher level of expertise and commitment to professional development.

Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM)

The CAI also offers the PCAM designation. It’s considered the pinnacle of community association management certifications. Achieving PCAM status involves a significant level of experience, education, and successful completion of the PCAM case study.

Specialized Designations

You might pursue more specialized designations related to community association management. These might focus on financial management, governance, or maintenace.

Leadership Roles

The CMCA certification may make achieving a leadership role easier. That may be within a management firm or within community association. It may include becoming a board member, executive director, or other higher-level managerial position.


The path to excellence is paved with the CMCA certification. We’ve been able to navigate the complexities of the certification, exploring HOA rules and Florida Statutes §720.3033. Throughout, we hope we’ve truly emphasized the pivotal role of the CMCA certification.

Pursiano Law invites you to embrace the path to CMCA certification. It’s not just about meeting standards, but rather, it’s about sculpting a future where communities thrive under knowledgeable leadership. Welcome to a journey of knowledge, growth and enduring success. Reach out to Pursiano Law today to discover more.