[ Education ]

Business Partner Credentials

CAI offers various opportunities for qualified business partners to earn credentials in the community association industry. If you are a manager, insurance and risk management consultant, reserve provider or attorney wishing to enhance your career, the information here can help you. CAI awards qualified professionals and companies with these credentials to improve the quality and effectiveness of community management.

Credentials for Business Partners

Business Partner Credentials
[ RS® ] — Reserve Specialist
Are you seeking to expand your clientele and enhance your career? Community associations rely on qualified reserve specialists to assist them in extensive reserve planning to keep their communities running smoothly. Gain the confidence of board members by obtaining the Reserve Specialist® (RS®) designation.

The RS designation is awarded to qualified reserve specialists who, through years of specialized experience, can help ensure that community associations prepare their reserve budget as accurately as possible.

For more information or for an application call CAI at (888) 224-4321.

How do you earn the RS designation?

  • Prepare at least 30 reserve studies within the past three full calendar years.
  • Hold a bachelors degree in construction management, architecture, or engineering (or equivalent experience and education).
  • Comply with strict rules of conduct outlined by the Professional Reserve Specialist Code of Ethics.
  • Pay the application fee:
    • Member: $300 (Business Partner Membership)
    • Nonmember: $550

How do you maintain the RS designation?

  • Pay annual maintenance fees (due August 1st of each year):
    • Member: $110 (Business Partner Membership)
    • Nonmember: $335
  • Redesignate every three years on August 1st by submitting the redesignation application and required client listing.


[ CIRMS® ] — Community Insurance & Risk Management Specialist

Community board members are looking for qualified professionals to help them protect their most valuable investments. Obtaining the Community Insurance and Risk Management Specialist™ (CIRMS™) designation can help instill your client’s confidence in you and assist you in growing your business.

The CIRMS designation recognizes a demonstrated high level of competency within the risk management profession.

How do you earn the CIRMS designation?

  • Have five years experience in the community association insurance field.
  • Be of satisfactory legal and ethical standing in the industry.
  • Comply with strict rules of conduct outlined by the CIRMS Code of Ethics.
  • Complete the CIRMS Application, ensuring that you have enough points in each section.
  • Pay the application fee:
    • Member: $205 (Business Partner Membership)
    • Nonmember: $455

How do you maintain the CIRMS designation?

  • Pay annual maintenance fees (due August 1st of each year):
    • Member: $120 (Business Partner Membership)
    • Nonmember: $235
  • Redesignation requires the attainment of 35 points every three (3) years on August 1st. Please see the redesignation form below for details on how points are earned for various continuing education activities.


[ EBP ] — Educated Business Partner Distinction

CAI Business Partners are indispensable to the community associations they support with their guidance, products and services. CAI education helps these businesses and professionals differentiate themselves in the competitive community association marketplace.

Business Partner Essentials is a two-part, online course to help CAI-member product and service providers better understand CAI, community associations and the industry at large.

How do you earn the CAI Educated Business Partner (EPB) designation?

Individuals who pass the Business Partner Essentials course and maintain CAI membership earn the CAI Educated Business Partner distinction, gaining special recognition among thousands of companies and professionals who support common-interest communities—accountants, attorneys, bankers, insurance professionals, landscapers, painters, reserve specialists, software providers and many others.

To earn this business partner designation, an individual will have successfully completed the Business Partners Essentials course and is currently affiliated with an active CAI Business Partner membership. Reference to the CAI Educated Business Partner distinction can be used as long as the holder remains a CAI Business Partner member or affiliate.

While the distinction can be referenced in corporate marketing materials, it must be clearly associated with the individual who earned the distinction, not a company.

To register for the Business Partner Essentials Online course, click here.

Management Company Credentials
[ AAMC® ] — Accredited Association Management Company

Do you want to expand your business, increase your earning potential and retain experienced employees? Learn how you can increase the quality of your staff and get noticed by associations. Community associations are looking for qualified, dedicated professionals to manage their communities—will you be their first call? Expand your business and increase your earning potential with an Accredited Association Management Company® (AAMC®) accreditation. The AAMC accreditation demonstrates a company’s commitment to providing the unique and diverse services community associations need. An Accredited Association Management Company ensures that their staff have 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!

For more details on the AAMC accreditation requirements or an application, or for information on the AMS, LSM, or PCAM designation requirements, visit caionline.org or call CAI at (888) 224-4321.

Why should I pursue accreditation for my company?

An AAMC accreditation can help you:

  • Gain credibility, trust, and loyalty from the associations you manage
  • Expand your business by gaining a competitive advantage
  • Increase the quality of your staff and reduce turnover
  • Ensure that you have well-trained managers who can handle the myriad of responsibilities involved in managing a community

What are the requirements of the AAMC accreditation?

  • A minimum of three years of experience providing community association management services, based on client verification.
  • A Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM) designee as the company’s senior manager.
  • A staff of which 50% of managers who have been at the company for at least two years hold a professional manager credential (CMCA, AMS, LSM, or PCAM).
  • Maintain fidelity, general liability, and worker’s compensation insurance in addition to meeting federal, state and local laws. A Certificate of Insurance Liability showing the required insurance must be included with the application which should list CAI Headquarters as the Certificate Holder.
  • Comply with the CAI Professional Manager Code of Ethics.
  • Complete and submit an AAMC Application.
  • Pay the application fee.
    • Member: $300 (Management Company Member)
    • Nonmember: $550

How do you maintain the AAMC accreditation?

  • Pay the annual maintenance fee.
    • Member: $160 (Management Company Member)
    • Nonmember: $390
  • Renew designation every three years by August 1 by completing and submitting the renewal application below along with an up to date copy of theCertificate of Insurance Liability listing CAI Headquarters as a Certificate Holder.


Attorney Credentials
[ CCAL ] — College of Community Association Lawyers

The College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL) includes lawyers who have demonstrated skill, experience and high standards of professional and ethical conduct in the practice of community association law, and who are dedicated to excellence in the specialized practice of community association law.

The College provides advanced professional educational programs to its fellows and identifies and contributes to the solution of community association legal challenges. It is a collegial forum for the exchange and development of ideas by some of the most knowledgeable attorneys in community association law.


Since 1993, the Community Associations Institute has recognized excellence in the practice of community association law through the College of Community Association Lawyers. Of the thousands of attorneys practicing community association law in the United States, fewer than 200 have been granted membership in the College. Fellows of the College distinguish themselves through contributions to the development of community association law. Their service is demonstrated by a commitment to educate and empower boards and residents of the more than 35​0,000 community associations across the country. CCAL attorneys commit themselves to high standards of professional and ethical conduct and work to create a community of experienced legal professionals to advance community association law for the betterment of the communities they serve.


  • Promoting high standards of professional and ethical responsibility in the practice of community association law
  • Developing and educating attorneys working in the field of community association law
  • Facilitating the development of community association educational materials and programming related to legal issues for use by other professionals and homeowners
  • Cooperating with international, national, state and local organizations, government agencies and other groups having an interest in community association law
  • Assisting community associations in maximizing effective governance practices
  • Creating a community of scholars to promote professional development needs and career goals of CCAL fellows
  • Implementing the goals and objectives of Community Associations Institute

Apply For Entry Into The College

Applicants must submit the required fee and one (1) completed electronic application with supporting materials. The materials shall be arranged in order by labeled bookmarks, dividers or hyperlinks that follow a complete table of contents of all materials submitted. Please limit the size of your application and attachments to 150 pages.

Download a pdf of the CCAL Application here.

Applications may be submitted at any time, but are reviewed twice a year with a cutoff date of June 30  for summer applicants and September 30 for winter applicants.

Submit the electronic application to:
CAI CCAL Membership Committee
C/O Government & Public Affairs Department


  • CCAL application fee — $325
  • Annual maintenance fee — $325
CAI designations and accreditation programs are trademarks of CAI. Misuse of CAI trademarks, designations, or other copyrighted materials without proper authorization is a violation of CAI policy and federal law.
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