[ Education ]

Manager Designations

CAI Credentials – For New & Experienced
Community Managers

Community associations and management companies are looking for qualified, dedicated professionals to manage their communities—do you make the grade? Do you want to gain a competitive advantage, earn more money, and obtain valuable experience? CAI Manager Designations can help!

The Community Association Institute Professional Management Development Program (PMDP) and credentialing program can help you achieve these goals. As a novice or experienced manager, you can learn something new, increase your earning potential, and further your career goals through working towards these manager designations.

Through this program, CAI provides the most comprehensive, expert education courses for community managers seeking to increase their skills, knowledge and job opportunities.

CAI offers four levels of courses that apply towards earning these manager designations. The courses are designed to give new managers a knowledge base and experienced managers a deeper understanding of all aspects of association management.

What is a Community Manager?

A community association manager will have the knowledge, ethics, professionalism and skills with verifiable experience in financial, administrative, and facilities management in at least one community association, either commercial or residential. The community association manager must be compensated for providing professional guidance and assistance to the board of directors of any association(s) managed by that community association manager, whether the individual is acting as an full time independent contractor, or as an employee of a management firm, or as a general manager or executive director of a common interest development. Management of property other than community associations will not meet the qualifications for community association manager.

Manager Designations & Certifications

[ CMCA ] — Certified Manager of Community Associations®
Your first step in gaining the fundamental knowledge you need to manage any type of community association. The CMCA certification, administered by the CAI affiliated organization, Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB), is recommended for all community association managers. This manager designation can elevate your credibility and your community association’s confidence in you.

How do you earn the CMCA certification?

  • First, enroll in the CAI Professional Management Development Program (PMDP) M-100 course, The Essentials of Community Association Management. To find a course near you or to get information on home study options, call CAI Direct at (888) 224-4321 or view courses online.
  • Complete and submit the CMCA application.
  • After you have successfully completed the course, you will be given materials to sign up for the CMCA Examination.

Learn More

For further information on CAMICB or requirements for CMCA certification, call (866) 779-2622 or visit www.camicb.org

[ AMS ] — Association Management Specialist®
The second level in the CAI career development track for community association managers. The AMS designation demonstrates a higher level of commitment to your career and the community association industry. An AMS designation is recommended for managers who want to enhance their career opportunities by increasing their knowledge and expertise.

How do you earn the AMS designation?

  • Two (2) years verified experience in financial, administrative, and facilities management of at least one association.
  • Successfully complete at least two M-200 series courses 
(M-201 – M-206).
  • Successfully passed the CMCA exam administered by CAMICB.
  • Complete the application.
  • Pay the application fee.
    • Member: $150 (Individual Manager Membership)
    • Nonmember: $375

How do you maintain the AMS designation?

  • Pay annual maintenance fees (due in August of each year).
    • Member:  $85 (Individual Manager Membership)
    • Nonmember: $310
  • Redesignate every three years in August and meet continuing education requirements.
  • Comply with the CAI Professional Manager Code of Ethics.


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[ PCAM ] — Professional Community Association Manager®
The pinnacle of community association management. The PCAM designation is the highest professional recognition available nationwide to managers who specialize in community association management. Earn your PCAM and join the elite—the select—the best. Recommended for experienced managers who want to demonstrate advanced skills and knowledge and who wish to be recognized as one of the best and most experienced managers in the nation.

What are the prerequisites for the PCAM designation?

  • Five years of direct community association management experience.
  • Successful completion of all six M-200 level programs (with the last PMDP course completed within the past five years).
  • Successfully passed the CMCA examination administered by 

How do you pursue the PCAM designation?

  • Complete the prerequisites.
    • Earn a minimum total of 125 points on the PCAM application, including:
    • A minimum of 55 points in Section II.
    • A maximum of 20 points is allowed for Professional Designations or Licenses.
    • A maximum of 30 points is allowed for Formal Education.
  • Complete the PCAM application (Attach additional sheets if necessary).
  • All applicants have one year from the date of application approval to complete the Case Study.  Failure to complete a Case Study will require you to re-apply with payment. Submit the PCAM application after you have met the above qualification criteria before applying to sit for the Case Study.
  • Submit the nonrefundable application fee with the PCAM application.
    • Member: $195 (Individual Manager Membership)
    • Nonmember: $420

How do you maintain the PCAM designation?

  • Pay annual maintenance fees (due in August of each year).
    • Member:  $160 (Individual Manager Membership)
    • Nonmember: $385
  • Redesignate every three years in August and meet continuing education requirements.
  • Comply with the CAI Professional Manager Code of Ethics.


[ LSM ] — Large-Scale Manager®
This specialist designation is designed to allow PCAM members to specialize within their profession. CAI acknowledges the unique aspects of being a large-scale community manager and is providing an opportunity for recognition and continuing education in order for you to expand your career opportunities.

How do you earn the LSM specialist designation?

  • This specialist designation is available only to experienced large-scale managers who hold an active PCAM designation.
  • A LSM candidate must have ten years of verified, direct community association management experience or five years of community association management experience and five years of municipal management or a comparable position of responsibility at the executive level.
  • Successful completion of CAI’s M-340 course or attendance at one Large-Scale Managers Workshop within the previous three years.
  • A LSM candidate must be a manager of a large-scale community. For the purpose of this program, the definition of a large-scale community is:
    • A single, contiguous community association with an on-site, full time manager A minimum of 1,000 units
    • – or –
    • a minimum of 1,000 acres
    • A minimum annual operating budget of 2 million dollars

How do you maintain the LSM specialist designation?

Redesignation requires the attainment of 75 points every three (3) years which must include attendance at one (1) Large-Scale Manager Workshop and one (1) CAI Annual Conference and Exposition.  Please see the redesignation form below for details on how points are earned for various continuing education activities.


  • LSM Application Fee:
    • CAI individual manager member – $95
    • Non-member – $320
  • Annual Maintenance Fee:
    • CAI individual manager member – $55
    • Non-member $280


For AMS, LSM, AAMC, or PCAM designation applications, or for PMDP course descriptions, locations, and schedules, follow the links above or call CAI Direct at (888) 224-4321 (M-F, 9-6:30 ET).
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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