From the Winter 2019 Issue
The Condominium Industry – A Beginner’s Guide
Technology to Manage Business and Life
Over the last few years, there has been a lot of confusion and questions about the new legislation affecting the industry. Back in 2017, licensing for condominium managers was introduced, and two new administrative authorities were created. At the time ACMO was already offering the Registered Condominium Manager (RCM) designation, along with the courses required to obtain it. When the new licensing regime came into effect, ACMO’s condominium management courses were adopted as the education required to achieve a licence. In other words, a would-be manager who had not already completed the four ACMO courses would need to take them to get a CMRAO licence. To complicate things, transitional licences were also awarded to some exist- ing managers who had experience but who didn’t yet have the education, and limited licences were offered to those entering the industry without experience.
Confused yet? I don’t blame you. Let’s break this down and take a quick look at the major players in the condominium space, starting with the industry associations:
Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario (ACMO)
Founded in 1977, ACMO is the oldest of the industry associations, with the mandate to represent condominium managers in Ontario. ACMO offers the Registered Condominium Manager (RCM) designation; a voluntary designation that denotes quality and professionalism in the industry. ACMO also offers the four courses required to obtain the RCM, along with hours of informational videos that keep managers up to date on changes in the industry. ACMO also produces its own magazine (CM magazine) and has its own voluntary accreditation program for management companies that pursue the highest standards of quality, the ACMO 2000 certification. Note that ACMO does not offer licences to condominium managers.
The Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI)
The CCI was founded in 1982 and has a mandate to represent the interests of condominium corporations, owners and directors. They have chapters all over Canada, and they produce a great deal of educational content for their members, including magazines, newsletters and other publications, educational videos, podcasts and recordings. The CCI also offers voluntary in-person training for directors, and hosts events across the country.
Now let’s look at the regulatory bodies overseeing the condominium industry:
The Condominium Authority of Ontario
The CAO is a regulatory body created in 2017 through provincial legislation. The CAO keeps an extensive database of all condominiums in Ontario, including directors, management companies, and other pertinent information. The CAO offers online director training which must be completed within six months of being elected. Directors that miss this deadline are automatically removed from the board. CAO also oversees the CAT, which is a tribunal that helps settle disputes between condominiums and homeowners. Right now, their scope is limited to providing an online dispute resolution service, but there are plans to broaden their mandate in the future.
The Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO)
The CMRAO was also founded in 2017 through legislation and is the regulatory body responsible for licensing condominium managers and management companies. When the CMRAO came into being, they offered three types of licences for condominium managers: the limited licence, for people who are new to the industry; the transitional licence for those with at least two years of experience but without the accepted educational requirements; and the general licence for those who have both the minimum two years’ experience and the education. The transitional licence is being phased out and will not be available after June of 2021. The educational requirements for the General Licence are the four RCM courses offered by ACMO, or their equivalency exams. As the name implies, the limited licensee cannot perform as many duties as a general licensee. Note that the CMRAO does not offer the RCM. The RCM remains a voluntary designation offered only through ACMO.
So, let’s recap: CCI and CAO provide relevant information for homeowners and directors, whereas ACMO and CMRAO provide relevant information for condominium managers. The RCM designation is a voluntary designation that managers can earn through ACMO, whereas the licence is a mandatory requirement administered by the CMRAO, even though the CMRAO uses ACMO courses for their licensing. Finally, CCI and CAO both offer training for directors, but CCI training is optional whereas CAO training is mandatory.
Eric Plant, RCM is a director at Brilliant Property Management Inc. He can be reached at email@example.com brilliantproperty.ca