Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Clear Path: Task Force Members Discuss the Philosophy and Decisions Behind the CPM and ARM Program Modifications

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Clear Path: Task Force Members Discuss the Philosophy and Decisions Behind the CPM and ARM Program Modifications

Article excerpt

The IREM Membership Admissions Task Force met throughout 2003, soliciting and considering member input and recommending changes to enhance the CPM and ARM programs. The group's hard work is evident in the well-considered admissions requirements that will take effect at the beginning of 2005. In addition to statements of purpose and streamlined administrative procedures, programs of required coursework leading to the CPM designation and ARM certification were adopted. A checklist will track progress toward that goal, eliminating the current points-based system.

The Journal recently spoke with task force members about their accomplishments and how the positive changes to the programs will improve the learning experience for Candidates and revitalize the Institute's membership base and market position.

Journal of Property Management: Part of the task force's charge was to ensure the CPM requirements are responsive to the changing real estate market and relevant to property management employers and clients. What are some of the key changes that reflect this revitalization of the designation program?

Patty Nooney, CPM: In today's real estate market there are many organizations and educational offerings a company can choose from as it looks to train its employees. Employers want to know there is an organization that can educate its employees in the broad range of tasks it expects them to master. The Institute's required designation curriculum addresses all of the functions performed by professional property managers today. Having a specific, required curriculum simplifies the process. An employer will understand the knowledge base a CPM Member has obtained.

Employers are also looking for the most effective way to handle training. Time commitments, monetary outlays for classes and other organizational requirements are scrutinized more than ever. Requirements for the designation need to translate into value for the employer. Simplifying the application process and reducing irrelevant steps at the local level will address these concerns.

Clients and employers looking to hire property managers can be assured of certain standards with a CPM designee. The person will have a broad base of knowledge, relevant experience and adhere to a strict code of ethics. The value a CPM Member can bring to an employer or client can be more easily understood, and this in turn translates into more and better opportunities for those professional property managers who decide to pursue the CPM credential.

JPM: One of the big challenges you faced was easing the administrative burdens placed on CPM Candidates while ensuring they have consistent experiences throughout the credentialing process. In addition, you were charged with bringing uniformity to the CPM designation and ARM certification programs. What were some of the tactics used to accomplish these goals?

Vickie Gaskill, CPM, ARM: Probably the change with the biggest impact on streamlining the application and administrative process was the adoption of a program of specific required courses. Previously, Candidates knew they needed 30 education points for their CPM and five for their ARM, but there were no required courses. The Candidate could choose from a plethora and hope they took the appropriate ones. The new course requirements are designed to prepare the student for the certification exam.

Property management experience is no longer required to become a Candidate. Someone just entering the industry or a recent college graduate can apply. Experience is still needed to become a CPM Member, but the time frame has been reduced from five to three years. No longer will "accelerated credit" be necessary. Everyone will need three years' experience with specific portfolio requirements.

Administratively, a Candidate can now track their progress through a checklist system. The cumbersome points-based system will no longer be in effect. …

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