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International Facility Management Association (IFMA) - Resource for Facility Managers


1 East Greenway Plaza, 11th floor
Houston, TX 77046-0194
Tel: 713/632-4362 or 800/359-4362
Fax: 713/623-6124
Main IFMA Web site:

Links of IFMA Chapter Web Sites

IFMA is the largest professional association for facility management, with more than 14,000 members located in the United States, Canada and other industrialized nations throughout the world. As the premier association for facility management professionals, IFMA has an obligation to the profession to provide avenues for advancement of facility management and its practitioners.

For more general information about IFMA, visit the FMLink Organizations page.

Professional Certified Facility Manager (CFM) Designation

Today's competitive marketplace dictates that facility managers who are determined to advance their careers and secure their positions seek out opportunities that will allow them to achieve these goals. Long hours, hard work and years of experience are no longer enough. You must aim to achieve the recognition you deserve for your noteworthy contributions to the professional management of facilities.

Certification was developed by IFMA to meet the recognized need for a designation that would not only help facility managers gain additional credibility but also increase recognition of the profession. The goals of IFMA's certification program are to:

  • Assure professional competence
  • Establish standards for professional practice
  • Increase recognition for the profession in the organization and the community
  • Influence the future direction of the profession

Although IFMA developed the Certified Facility Manager program, you do not have to be a member to take advantage of the program, nor do you automatically become a member of IFMA upon receiving your CFM designation. In order to take the exam, potential participants must see if they fall into one of the following education/work experience categories:

  • Related bachelor's degree and continuing education; four years of FM experience
  • Non-related bachelors' degree or associate degree and continuing education; five years of FM experience
  • Some post-secondary education and continuing education; eight years of FM experience

Related degrees include, but are not limited to, facility management, business, architecture, interior design, building construction, construction management, engineering and property management.

In addition to the requirements above, examinees ideally should have experience in all eight competency areas listed below. However, a candidate can be well versed in at least six of the following competency areas and have minimal exposure to the remaining two and still pass the exam.

  • Operations and Maintenance
  • Real Estate
  • Human and Environmental Factors
  • Planning and Project Management
  • Facility Function
  • Finance
  • Quality Assessment and Innovation
  • Communication

All facility management practitioners who meet the requirements should apply. Individuals who meet the requirements but are temporarily between work assignments or are working in another field while searching for a facility-related position are encouraged to apply. Individuals who work in related fields, such as architecture or interior design, and IFMA Allied or Affiliate members who meet the requirements, can qualify to take the exam.

If you would like to review the exam application and/or the certification maintenance package before starting on the path to certification, please contact your local IFMA chapter president, who can provide you samples of these documents, or call IFMA's Manager of Certification at 800/359-4362.

ASHRAE Self-Study Programs

Nine American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) self-directed learning programs now are available to IFMA members through the Association. The format of these courses, which cost $250 each, allows you to review and study the material at your own pace and provides exercises that enable you to evaluate how well you are learning the material.

CFM Exam Review
Preparation for IFMA's Certified Facility Manager examination. Designed to assist facility professionals seeking certification with the preparation for the competency-based examination.

Time and Money: Facilities Planning and Project Management
This course covers the basics in bringing in projects on time and on budget. Includes the technical skills to manage the program and design phase as well as the management skills to lead a team.