​Guide to manager licensing in Colorado

In 2013, the Colorado General Assembly enacted HB 1277, which requires community association managers, management company CEOs and executives of management companies who directly supervise managers to be licensed by the Division of Real Estate (DRE). The bill outlines key aspects of the licensure program, including recognition of the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA®) credential as an equivalent to the general portion examination requirement.

Overview of Important Dates

2015 Regulatory Dates

DateRegulatory Activity
January 1, 2015HB 1227 goes into effect
January 1, 2015Colorado Bureau of Investigation will accept fingerprints
January 2015 – exact date TBDRules that regulate the managers becomes effective
January 2, 2015Public hearing on emergency proposed rules A, C and D (education, testing, licensing and insurance requirements)
​February 1, 2015​DRE CAM 2 part examination available
March 4, 2015DRE permanent rule-making hearing
April 1, 2015 Manager licensing application available
July 1, 2015Deadline to be licensed

 

CMCA Examination Dates

Computer-based Examination
Examination Date
2014
   December 1-31
   January 1-31
   February 1-28
   March 1-31
   April 1-30
   May 1-31
   June 1-30
   July 1-31

 

Paper and Pencil Examination 
Examination Date Application Deadline
2015 
   March 6February 1
   September 4August 1
Additional paper-and-pencil examinations will be added based on demand. 

 

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions 

Who needs to be licensed?

Most likely, you. Any person and or entity that performs more than one community association management service (listed below) to any form of common interest community for any form of compensation must be licensed by July 1, 2015. This includes chief executive officers of an entity that provides management services and executives who supervise individuals that perform management services.

If you are not provided compensation to provide management services for your association, then you do not need to hold a license.

The following are community association management practices as defined by law:

  • Receiving, depositing, controlling, or disbursing funds of the common interest community, preparing budgets, or preparing other financial documents
  • Assisting in the creation and implementation of a reserve program for the replacement of capital assets
  • Assisting in the provision of notice or conduct of meetings of board members or unit owners
  • Contracting for or coordinating maintenance of property and facilities of the common interest community
  • Conducting property inspections, administering applications for architectural review
  • Keeping records of violations of the governing documents of the common interest community
  • Performing other services relating to the day-to-day operation of the common interest community

 

How do I become licensed? 

In order to be licensed by July 1, 2015, you must complete the following:

 

How do I earn a CMCA?

Community managers interested in obtaining the CMCA certification can do so by following these three steps.

Step 1:

  • Education - Complete and pass CAI's M-100: The Essentials of Community Association Management course;
  • Experience - If you have at least five years of experience as a community association manager (not as an assistant manager), you may receive a one-time waiver of the prerequisite course; or
  • License or Credential - Hold an active Arizona CAAM, California CCAM, Florida CAM or Nevada CAM

Step 2: Complete and submit the online application for the CMCA examination.

Step 3: Successfully pass the CMCA examination.

The cost for the computer-based examination is $300, which includes the application fee, examination, your first year of certification and access to the CMCA online community. You may sit for the CMCA examination at 15 Pearson VUE testing centers across Colorado and 1 near Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The cost for the CMCA paper-and-pencil examination is $350.  You may sit for the CMCA examination in various cities throughout Colorado on March 6, 2015.  Contact info@camicb.org for exact locations or to inquire about additional paper-and-pencil offerings. 

 

How do I take the Colorado Specific M-100 Course?

Community Associations Institute (CAI) adminsters the Colorado Specific M-100: Essentials for Community Association Management course.  This course is one prerequisite option to sit for the CMCA examination.  The M-100 may be taken online or by seminar. Dates for the seminars held in Colorado are listed online at www.caionline.org/pmdp; registration for the online course may also be found by at www.caionline.org/pmdp.

Tuition for the M-100 is $445 for CAI members and $545 for nonmembers.

 

What do the rules say?

The DRE held the final rule-making hearing on Wednesday, March 4. DRE accepted and considered oral testimony at the hearing, along with written comments submitted during the comment period. On March 9, Director Marcia Waters adopted the final, permanent rules to implement the Community Association Manager Program. These permanent rules went into effect May 6.

The Colorado Legislative Action Committee succeeded in having several of its concerns addressed in the permanent rules. DRE modified the provisions of that address fidelity insurance (D-10); the prohibition of commingling funds (E-6); the maintenance of records (F-2); in addition to the time frame for continuing education (B-1).

The following are the permanent rules:

A Rules - License Qualification, Applications and Examinations

B Rules – Continuing Education

C Rules - Licensing - Office

D Rules - Renewal Transfer, Inactive License, Reinstatement and Insurance

E Rules – Separate Accounts, Records, Accountings

F Rules – Professional Standards

G Rules – Declaratory Orders

H Rules – Exceptions and Director Review of Initial Decision

How do I undergo the criminal history background check?

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will accept fingerprints to perform background checks starting January 1, 2015. However, the CBI does not perform the actual fingerprinting.

Prior to submitting an application, each applicant must submit a set of fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for the purpose of conducting a Colorado and national fingerprint-based criminal history background check utilizing records of CBI and the FBI.  (See Proposed Rule A-11)

Applicants applying for a community association license, who currently hold any other professional license (such as a real estate broker license) will still be required to complete this process. 

 

Options for Getting and Submitting Your Fingerprints

CBI only conducts background checks; they do not perform the actual fingerprinting. You must utilize one of the following methods for getting fingerprinted and communicating information to CBI.

Option 1: Electronic Transfer

Utilize an electronic transfer of fingerprints and identification information directly to CBI. The providers listed below will collect the CBI fee and transmit the fingerprint data and identification information to CBI. This process does not utilize a paper fingerprint card. However, when you are asked by the person taking your fingerprints, you will need to know the identification information described below in the Additional Information section.

Locations

Option 2: Fingerprint Card with Electronic Transfer

Use the fingerprint card # FD-258 and utilize an electronic transfer of fingerprints onto the card. See Additional Information below for availability of card #FD-258. Leave the identification information area of the fingerprint card blank until the person taking your fingerprints asks you to furnish the information. You must complete all fields on the fingerprint card. Afterward, you will need to either mail or deliver the completed fingerprint card to CBI along with the fee. See CBI contact information above.

Leave the identification information area of the fingerprint card blank until the person taking your fingerprints asks you to furnish the information.

The following County Sheriff Departments will electronically transfer fingerprints onto the fingerprint card. You will need to contact them for hours of operation and payment information: 

DouglasBoulderEagleElbert
GrandGunnisonHinsdaleLarimer
LoganMoffatOurayPueblo
Rio GrandeSaguacheSummitWeld

Option 3: Rolled Ink Transfer

Most police departments will utilize the rolled ink transfer of fingerprints onto card #FD-258. Call for hours of operations and cost. See Additional Information below for availability of card #FD-258. Leave the identification information area of the fingerprint card blank until the person taking your fingerprints asks you to furnish the information. Afterward, you will need to either mail or deliver the completed card to CBI along with the fee. Click here for CBI contact information.

The ink method can have the highest rate of failure due to lower quality of print characteristics. If you choose this method it is recommended that it be performed by a law enforcement agency trained in the process.

Additional Information

If you utilize option 2 or 3 be sure all of the information asked for in the spaces on the top portion of the fingerprint card are completely filled out, or the fingerprint card will be rejected.

You will need to also fill in the following spaces on the fingerprint card with the following information:
 

EMPLOYER AND ADDRESSREASON FINGERPRINTED Your No. OCAORI
Colorado Division of Real Estate
1560 Broadway, Ste.925
Denver, CO 80202
Community Association Managers 
12-61-1003(1)(b)(1)
CONCJ0800COCBI0000
COLO 
B OF I
Denver, CO

Notice  

The above methods produce varying degrees of quality of fingerprint characteristics and length of time involved in the background check. Information available at this time indicates that the electronic method of fingerprinting and transmittal with Arapahoe Community College has the highest degree of quality of fingerprint characteristics and transmittal.

Applicants whose fingerprints are not readable due to low quality of fingerprint characteristics will be required to resubmit to CBI (for an additional fee) fingerprints that are readable.

Be sure to sign the fingerprint card, and have the person performing the fingerprinting sign the fingerprint card in the space titled: SIGNATURE OF OFFICIAL TAKING FINGERPRINTS. 

Blank Card Number FD-258 (REV. 5-11-99) is available at some real estate schools and at State Forms Center: 4200 Garfield Street, Denver CO 80216. Phone 303-379-5835. Hours of operation: M–F, 8:00 am–4:00 pm. Cost: $.25 cents.

 

What about my firm?

Before a license is issued to a partnership, limited liability company, or corporation, an active qualified manager must be designated, and all persons the entity employs to perform community association management duties must pass the competency examination.

All active licensed community association management companies that employ licensees in addition to the community association management company's designated manager must also have in effect a policy of errors and omissions insurance to cover all acts requiring a license. Additionally, every active designated manger licensee must have in effect a blanket fidelity bond covering the dishonest acts of all employees in the community association management company.


What about Insurance?

All active licensed community association management companies that employ licensees in addition to the community association management company’s designated manager must also have in effect a policy of errors and omissions insurance to cover all acts requiring a license. Additionally, every active designated manager licensee must have in effect a blanket fidelity bond covering the dishonest acts of all employees in the community association management company.

What if I am licensed in another state?

The Division is reviewing other states’ community association manager license credentials and qualifications, to determine that they are substantially equivalent to the Colorado requirements.

How long will my CO license be valid?

This is still under regulatory development, but the proposed rules state an initial license will be issued for a one-year calendar period commencing on the issuance date and expiring on December 31st of the year of issuance.

Who oversees the Colorado Community Association Manager License?

The Division of Real Estate within the Department of Regulatory Agencies oversees the license.

Will there be a status report?

Yes. Section 12-61-1013 provides the Director must review the operation of the law governing community association managers during the first year of its implementation and shall report to the Senate Committee on Business, Labor, and Technology and the House Committee on Business, Labor, and Economic and Workforce Development, or their successor committees, on or before January 1, 2016, concerning the Director's findings and recommendations for legislative changes, if any. The matters included in the director's report may include:

  • Refinement of the scope, coverage, and definition of key terms in the law governing community association managers;
  • Whether it would be advisable to codify, in statutes or rules, a code of ethics for community association managers;
  • Whether it would be advisable to modify the continuing education requirements;
  • Any significant change in the number or types of complaints reported to the HOA Information and Resource Center created in section 12-61-406.5 since the adoption of the law governing community association managers;
  • The adequacy of existing remedies and of the director's authority under the law governing community association managers; and
  • The estimated cost savings to the public resulting from exercise of the director's authority under the law governing community association managers as compared to private enforcement of rights and remedies under CCIOA by individual unit owners.


Who do I contact if I have questions?

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) will handle all inquiries regarding manager licensing:
Division of Real Estate
1560 Broadway, Suite 9
Denver CO, 80202
303.894.2166 or 303.894.2185
Fax: 303.894.2683

You may also contact CAMICB for the latest regulatory information or with questions pertaining to the CMCA credential:
info@camicb.org
866.779.CMCA
Fax: 1.800.845.4394


Are CAMICB and CAI two different organizations?

Yes, CAMICB and CAI are independent organizations.

Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB)

CAMICB, formerly NBC-CAM, was established under the auspices of Community Associations Institute (CAI) in 1995 as an independent, nonprofit professional credentialing body to develop and administer the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA®) credentialing program. The organization was created in response to a need for benchmark standards of professionalism in common interest community management as growth in the field accelerated. CAMICB is incorporated in the District of Columbia and is governed by an independent Board of Commissioners. While CAMICB shares CAI’s commitment to professionalism in the field of community association management and many of CAI’s near and long term strategic goals, CAMICB functions as an independent credentialing body for the field of common interest community management.

The CMCA credential is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). NCCA accreditation signifies compliance with NCCA's stringent standards for the development and maintenance of a professional credentialing program and is awarded after thorough evaluation of compliance demonstrated in all aspects of program operation including purpose, structure, governance, independence from a parent organization, psychometric foundation, and consistency in operating policies and procedures,. NCCA accreditation validates CMCA adherence to best practices in professional credentialing and places the program on a par with leading professional credentialing programs across the country.

CAMICB’s current nine-member Board of Commissioners includes seven commissioners who are certified community association managers and two who represent the public's interests.


Community Associations Institute (CAI)
Founded in 1973, CAI and its 61 U.S. and international chapters provide information, education and resources to the homeowner leaders and professionals who govern and manage homeowners associations, condominium communities and cooperatives.

CAI’s 30,000-plus members include community association board members, other homeowner leaders, community managers, association management firms and other professionals who support common-interest communities.
CAI serves associations by:

  • Advancing excellence through seminars, workshops, conferences and education programs
  • Publishing the largest collection of resources available on community association management and governance
  • Advocating on behalf of community associations and their residents before legislatures, regulatory bodies and the courts
  • Conducting research and serving as an international clearinghouse for information, innovations and best practices

CAI believes community associations should strive to exceed the expectations of their residents. Their mission is to inspire
professionalism, effective leadership and responsible citizenship, ideals that are reflected in communities that are preferred places to call home

Useful Resources

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Colorado HB13-1277 Community Association Manager (CAM) Licensing Act

Community Association Manager Licensing Proposed Rules

Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (CCIOA)

Colorado Condominium Ownership Act (COA)

Colorado Revised Non-Profit Corporations Act

Colorado Fair Housing Act

Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB)

Community Association Institute (CAI)