CFM® Certification – The most respected global credential in facility management

The Certified Facility Manager® (CFM) credential sets the industry standard for ensuring the knowledge and competence of practicing facility managers.

Now more than ever, recognizing competency, establishing benchmarks and setting performance standards are vital to the global economy. Never before, have public and private sector employers relied as much on certification organizations as they do today. Professional associations are now taking a lead role in the development of credentialing programs, and IFMA’s CFM program was the first, and is still the only globally recognized, certification in facility management.

IFMA’s certification process is designed to assess competency in the field through work experience, education and the ability to pass a comprehensive exam. Since the program began in 1992, more than 3,100 facility managers from 32 countries have achieved this prestigious recognition.

Competency-based – The CFM Exam is competency-based, testing what a person can do compared to standards that define the practice of facility management. One cannot take a course or a simple knowledge-based exam to earn the credential. IFMA’s competency-based program is at a higher level than a knowledge-based program, reflecting the growing importance of facility management in the international business world.

Recognized globally – In addition, the CFM is the only global facility management certification available.

Goals of IFMA’s certification program:
-Assure professional excellence
-Establish standards for global professional practice
-Promote the added value of the profession
-Influence the future direction of the profession

Eligibility Requirements & Components
Step 1: Review candidate eligibility requirements and fees.
Candidates must first meet the education and experience requirements outlined in the box below. Once the application is accepted, the candidate must pass an exam.

Candidates must fall into one of the following education or work experience categories:

Number/years of FM experience
Number/years of FM experience
Facility Management Master’s Degree or Bachelor’s Degree from an IFMA Recognized Degree Program
3 years
3 years
Related Bachelor’s Degree*
3 years4 years
Non-related Bachelor’s Degree or Associate Degree4 years5 years
Some Post-secondary Education5 years
8 years

* Related degrees include, but are not limited to: facility management, business, architecture, interior design, building construction, construction management, engineering and property management.

Successful candidates will also have experience in the following competency areas. These nine areas have been identified as the core areas of skills and knowledge necessary for a successful facility manager.

Planning and Project Management
Operations and Maintenance
Real Estate
Quality Assessment and Innovation
Leadership and Management
Human and Environmental Factors

Ideally, candidates should have experience in all nine areas; however, it is possible for a candidate to have experience in most competency areas, minimal exposure to others and still pass the exam.

Application Fees: US $550 Member / US $815 Nonmember
Application fees are not refundable unless the application is denied.

Step 2: Submit application.

Step 3: Schedule and pass exam.
Within several days of submission, candidates are e-mailed information on how to contact Prometric, the IFMA testing provider, to register for their exam. Candidates must take the exam within three months of acceptance.

Step 4: You’re a CFM!
Once you receive your official notification you may begin using the CFM after your name. You will also receive a certificate, lapel pin and press release in your welcome packet.

About the Exam
The exam, which takes 4 hours to complete, consists of 180 multiple-choice questions delivered in random order. The test is strictly pass/fail based on the total number of correct answers. At the present time, the computerized exam is available in English only.

Approved candidates will be sent information about scheduling the exam at one of Prometric’s testing centers in more than 70 countries. Testing must occur within 90 days of candidate acceptance.

If you need to reschedule or cancel your exam date you must give Prometric (not IFMA) 48 hours notice. You must call prior to noon (Eastern Standard Time) two business days before the original appointment. If you do not cancel before the deadline, you will be considered a “no show” and may incur additional charges to reschedule your exam.

Detailed information about the CFM Exam:

Allotted time
Appointments are scheduled for 5 hours in order to provide ample time to take the tutorial, etc., but when the actual test begins, the timer will count down from 4 hours. There will be no scheduled breaks. Fifteen minutes have been added to the 3.75-hour testing period to allow examinees to take “bio breaks” as needed. Please note that the timer will continue to run.

Test structure
The CFM Exam consists of 180 multiple-choice questions delivered in random order. There are no pre-set sections. Passing score is based on the total number of correct answers. Candidates may mark questions they wish to skip and return to later. In addition, at the end of the exam candidates will be alerted to any questions which have not been answered fully. If time allows, they’ll have the opportunity to return to complete those questions.

Multiple response questions
The test is composed of multiple-choice questions. Some items will ask for two correct responses to be selected and some will ask for three. These questions will clearly say “choose two” or “choose three” and you will not be allowed to choose more than the required number. At the end of the exam, examinees will be alerted and given the opportunity to return to any questions that do not have the correct number of options selected. Each question counts as one right or one wrong regardless of how many options need to be selected. In order to have a question marked correct, all correct options must be given; there is no partial score.

Click Here for more information from IFMA National or to register.

Local Boston Chapter Support
Regularly throughout the year the Boston Chapter offers access to a free self directed Study Hall series that meets weekly for approximately 2 months. The Study Hall is kicked off by having prospective candidates sit for an initial practice test, to determine their strength and weakness competency areas. Then the group meets to go over in more detail all of the components of the exam with other peers who are planning to sit for the test as well. At the conclusion of the Study Hall series we offer a CFM 2 Day Review course with esteemed CFM educator Vicky Hardy for a nominal fee. This 2 Day Review assists candidates in understanding any competencies that are still presenting challenges and proctors an additional practice exam to determine if candidates are ready to sit for the exam.

Please contact the local Boston Chapter administration office at ifma@nullifmaboston.org if you are interested in utilizing the Boston Chapter CFM preparation opportunities.