From the Summer 2021 Issue
A Farewell Address from ACMO’s Retiring President
Thank you for being part of ACMO. Your involvement and passion in this profession and industry gives us our strength, reminds us that we are part of a professional community, and provides the spark that allows us to see our way forward into the future.
That future looks different than we thought it would when we met last year, but our mission remains the same. The opportunities presented have grown, and the belief that condo boards will continue to seek out those that pursue and set a higher standard remains unchanged. As a membership association, we would not be ACMO without all of you: committee volunteers, corporate and ACMO 2000 members, RCMs, and Associates that continue to support and promote ACMO every day. Thank you for your ongoing support through what was a strange year; a year that opened our eyes to new methods of operation and cooperation.
From membership and government relations to education and standards, our committees continue to provide ideas and vision while representing us as an organization and as a profession. ACMO truly is the voice of this profession. It is our collective voice and energy that has moved the needle and advanced condominium management over the past 40 years, and it will continue to drive and transform our future. When ACMO was formed in 1977, condominium management was a “wild west.” As the sector grew, it became apparent that there was a need to separate and distinguish those invested in improving their management skills and deepening their knowledge of their chosen profession. That is why the RCM was born. To separate those content with the minimum standards from those who wished to show their colleagues, board members, and employers, they were willing to pursue a higher standard and invest in learning how to be a true professional.
Over the next 40 years, ACMO became the leader in training condominium managers and the RCM became the standard.
Five years ago, when the government reviewed the industry landscape, they realized that condominium management-specific training was already available to regulate the profession. Thanks to ACMO, Ontario was already more advanced in the training of this profession than any other jurisdiction in North America. As such, the government made ACMO’s educational platform the mandatory minimum standard for anyone in Ontario to manage condominium communities and secure a licence. Notwithstanding this, the minimum requirements for licensing in Ontario still do not meet the standards of the RCM designation.
A licensee in Ontario can obtain their licence with a mark of 60% on the core courses, while an RCM submits themselves to an additional umbrella exam with a minimum passing grade of 75%. An RCM must have 3,500-4,000 hours of experience (i.e., 2 years full-time) with primary responsibility for a condo corporation, while the government requirement is only 2,920 hours. In addition, an RCM commits to completing 10 hours of continuing education annually to maintain their professional designation – THOSE ARE HIGHER STANDARDS!
ACMO recognizes the importance of continuing education and has made it a requirement for RCMs to continue to develop their professional knowledge as a mark of their commitment to being a leader in the profession. This signifies that in a world where change is a constant, the only way to remain a leader is to continuously learn and adapt.
Continuing to separate the RCM as superior to general licensing is where ACMO’s future opportunities lie. For the past year and a half, your board has been busy working in preparation for that future.
Earlier this year, it became clear that the regulator wished to develop and provide their own educational platform for general licensing purposes. But make no mistake, they will develop this platform by standing on the shoulders of those who blazed the path and set the standards before them and advocated for their very existence.
Our mission remains the same: to advance the performance and quality of the condominium management profession. I hope that all members, employers, board members and fellow condominium managers that we work alongside take note of that mission.
Our past does not constrain our future. It will be shaped by the current and future board members, their ingenuity, vision, and passion they bring to their roles. As I step away from my time on the Board of Directors of ACMO, I can honestly tell you that I do so with complete confidence that this group has the dedication and expertise to ensure ACMO further develops a presence that we practice our profession.
Over the past 15 years that I have served on your board, I have had the great privilege to work with people that would form a pantheon of condominium managers, if one existed. They are too many to list here (you know who you are), but I must respectfully acknowledge the considerable impact that these people had on my personal and professional life.
To those serving on our Board of Directors now or in the future, I truly believe that the position you hold is one of service working alongside peers. If you are humble in your service, those peers will become mentors. And if you are as blessed as I have been over the past decade and a half, those mentors will become friends.
In closing, ACMO will always have my full support, and although I will be doing it from a greater distance, I will continue to support our members and our mission. I am proud of my profession, of those that choose to practice it, and those that take up the mantle to represent it through this Association.
Stay safe, be well, and see you all soon.
Dean McCabe, RCM, is the President and Founder of Meritus Group Management Inc. and has been a property manager for 28 years. Dean has recently completed his fifth term on the Board of Directors of ACMO and his third term as President of the Association.
Dean was the recipient of the ACMO Ontario Condominium Manager of the Year award in 2008, the President’s Award in 2015 and 2017, and holds a Certificate of Public Service from the Minister of Consumer Services for help in designing provincial qualifications for condominium managers licensing in 2014.