Is it Time…To Get Your CFM?

As the Facilities Management industry grows more established, job requirements escalate and the competition for the best jobs increases one way to distinguish yourself from the competition is to obtain your Certified Facility Manager designation (CFM).

Designed with the experienced Facility Manager in mind the CFM certification is a rigorous, knowledge and experience based, exam requirement that bestows one of the best pedigrees in the business on whoever is successful enough to put in the time and effort to pass the 4 hour, 180 question exam.  As anyone who has gone through the process can tell you, it’s a daunting undertaking requiring significant effort with weeks, if not months of preparation needed.  The Boston chapter currently has 62 members who have successfully attained their CFM.  As a credential it’s hard to beat.  Once or twice a year, the Boston Chapter of IFMA sponsors a self-study process that brings interested students together to study and support one another in preparing for the exam.  Generally, the 8 to 10 week session begins with a practice test, supplied by IFMA, to establish a baseline.  Normally the study group will take it as one unit deciding on the correct answer by consensus.  For the next couple of months the group meet on a weekly basis and try to concentrate on a specific competency (9 in total) using the study guides and texts, (which you can purchase from IFMA National).  The culmination is a two-day, intensive review led by a IFMA certified instructor (Vicky Hardy, the CEO of Star Island usually accommodates us).  Everyone is then encouraged to schedule and sit for the exam at his or her earliest convenience.  The success rate is about 70% and we’d like to think it’s even higher for those groups that can work together in a self study format.  IFMA Boston will try to find a convenient location for the weekly meetings, usually in the early evenings, as well as providing refreshments and a liaison to help coordinate.  Whenever possible, a subject matter expert in a particular competency is encouraged to mentor the class.

For those FMs with only a few years experience the more appropriate certification may be the FMP (Facility Management Professional) which has just been developed as a classroom/online process, with testing  by subject module, to take the student through 4 stages of the study/examination process.  For the professional that’s newer to the field of FM the FMP may be the best choice to start.

To determine if you’re eligible to sit for the CFM exam click here for specific information on the requirements.

If you are interested in starting/joining a self-study group to pursue your CFM or if you want more information on the FMP program please contact Richard Christiano,CFM, at