CFM Application & Exam Process

IFMA's premier credential for experienced professionals

STEPS TO CERTIFICATION

The CFM is earned by passing a comprehensive exam based on the facility management body of knowledge competency areas. Follow the steps below to earn the CFM credential.

STEP 1: Meeting the Eligibility Requirements
STEP 2: Preparing for the CFM Exam
STEP 3: Filling out the CFM Application
STEP 4: Submitting the Application and Payment
STEP 5: Application Approval/Denial and Scheduling the Exam
STEP 6: Sit for the CFM Exam and Exam Results
STEP 7: Recertification
QUESTIONS


STEP 1: Meeting the eligibility requirements

Candidates must meet education and work experience requirements outlined in one of the categories below in order to eligible to sit for the CFM Exam. Candidates will include this information in the CFM Exam application.  Once the application is approved, individuals have 90 days to sit for the exam.

Education
Number/years of FM experience
WITH the FMP
Number/years of FM experience
WITHOUT the FMP

Facility Management Master’s Degree or Bachelor’s Degree from an IFMA Accredited Degree Program

3 years

3 years

Related Bachelor’s Degree*

3 years

4 years

Non-related Bachelor’s Degree or Associate Degree

4 years

5 years

Some Post-secondary Education**

5 years

8 years

Internships do not count toward FM work experience. * Related degrees include, but are not limited to: facility management, business, architecture, interior design, building construction, construction management, engineering and property management. ** Education occurring after high school or secondary school. This can be university courses, community college, vocation schools, trade programs or continuing education courses.

Unsure if you need eligibility requirements? You can request a review of application BEFORE you submit the application (please see Step 3 on how to fill out the CFM Application). To do this, you must still fill out the application; however, please select “Saved” versus “Submitted.” Once you complete the application and save it, you must send an email request to Rhonda Hager, IFMA Credentials Manager, at rhonda.hager@ifma.org letting her know the application is ready for a preliminary review.

More questions about CFM Exam eligibility? Contact Rhonda Hager, IFMA Credentials Manager, at rhonda.hager@ifma.org.

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STEP 2: Preparing for the CFM Exam

Candidates should prepare for the exam; however, if you believe you are ready to sit for the exam and meet the eligibility requirements, please proceed to Step 3.

Preparation methods are optional, and there is no required coursework. The IFMA FM Learning System (FMLS) is a preferred source for CFM Exam preparation. For more information on the FMLS and other available tools, please go to CFM Exam Preparation Resources.

FM Experience means successful candidates will have experience in the competency areas listed below. These eleven areas have been identified as the core areas of skills and knowledge necessary for a successful facility manager:
  • Operations and Maintenance
  • Project Management
  • Finance and Business
  • Leadership and Strategy
  • Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability
  • Communication
  • Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity
  • Human Factors
  • Quality
  • Real Estate and Property Management
  • Technology

 

Ideally, candidates should have experience in all 11 areas; however, it is possible for a candidate to have experience in most competency areas, minimal exposure to others and still pass the exam. Candidates are encouraged to evaluate their readiness to take the exam by downloading the Complete List of Competencies [pdf] and a self-evaluation. This document gives detailed information about the scope of knowledge and experience covered on the CFM Exam. In reviewing this document, make an honest assessment of your competence and experience in each of the performances.

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Step 3: Filling out the CFM Application

EACH candidate must complete the CFM Application before any determination can be made on eligibility requirements. All applications MUST be completed online using the IFMA Credential Application and Maintenance Program (CAMP) found at http://www.ifma.org/my-account/camp. We strongly encourage anyone using CAMP for the first time to please read the CAMP User Guide, and follow the instructions.

If you are a member of IFMA, a past member of IFMA OR ever set-up an IFMA username and password to purchase something as a nonmember, you should use the same username and password to log into CAMP (see below if you have never set-up a username and password). If the candidate does not recall their username and password, but believes one was set-one up in the past, it will be necessary to contact IFMA by calling +1-713-623-4362 or emailing credentials@ifma.org to obtain the required login information.

If you have never set-up a username or password with IFMA, you can simply go to http://www.ifma.org/my-account/camp and follow the directions to create a username and password. If you encounter any issues, please email credentials@ifma.org for assistance.

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Step 4: Submitting the Application and Payment

To complete the application process, the CFM Application Payment Form must be completed, submitted and confirmed. (Please note: If you asked for preliminary approval, you will need to go back into CAMP and hit Submit and apply payment before you receive the information on making your exam appointment.) If the exam payment has been pre-paid by an employer, the candidate should see the approved CFM Exam Payment form in the “Completed Forms” section of Applications and Forms.

If the employer or candidate is paying for the application fee by check, the candidate should complete the form choosing "Pay with Check." An invoice will be forwarded to the employer and the application will be processed when payment is received.

If either the employer or the candidate is paying the application fee by credit card, “Credit Card” should be chosen and the prompts followed to process the payment. Credit card payments are processed immediately and the application moves into the approval queue.

If you will be seeking reimbursement for the CFM Exam through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) under the G.I. Bill, click here for more details and instructions.

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Step 5: Application Approval/Denial and Scheduling the Exam

If the application is approved, the candidate will receive an email with instructions for scheduling an exam date at a one of Prometric Testing Center in a convenient location. The exam eligibility period is three months (90 days) from the date the application is approved, and there are policies regarding rescheduling and/or cancelling an exam date. This information will be included in the scheduling email. The applicant must take the exam during the three month (90 day) period.

If an application is denied, the Credentials Manager will follow-up with the candidate accordingly. Any payment that has been processed will be refunded.

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Step 6: Sitting for the CFM Exam and Exam Results

The CFM Exam, which takes 4 hours to complete, consists of 180 multiple-choice questions delivered in random order. The test is strictly pass/fail based on the total number of correct answers. At the present time, the computerized exam is available in English only.

Testing must occur within 90 days of candidate acceptance.If you need to reschedule or cancel your exam date you must contact to Prometric direclty (not IFMA).  To review Prometric's policies, click here. If you do not cancel before their deadlines, you will be considered a “no show” and may incur additional charges to reschedule your exam.

The candidate is notified immediately after completing the exam regarding pass/fail status. IFMA credentialing staff will confirm the results and process the credential certificate packet if applicable. Candidates should receive certificate packets within 30 days of the successful testing date.

Unsuccessful CFM Exam candidates have up to one year to retake the exam at a reduced fee. The CFM Exam Retake Application and Payment Form, found in the CAMP program, will need to be submitted and processed in order for the candidate to retake the exam.

For more information about exam details such as rescheduling an exam and retake see, visit CFM Exam Fees & Details.

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Step 7: Recertification

The CFM Certification is valid for three (3) years. To maintain the CFM credential, a list of the activities performed along with the appropriate supporting documentation including a processing fee must be submitted to IFMA credentialing department every three years. CFMs are required to earn 120 maintenance points in at least two of the following four categories:

I. Practice
II. Continuing education
III. Professional involvement
IV. Development of the profession

For more information on the recertification process, visit Recertification.

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QUESTIONS

Visit the CFM FAQs to get more information on the most frequently asked questions regarding the CFM certification. CFM FAQs

If you have other questions, contact Rhonda Hager, IFMA Credentials Manager Email: rhonda.hager@ifma.org Phone: +1-281-974-5632

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Learn More > Recertification