11 Competency Outline & Self-Evaluation

Within the 11 broad competency areas are groups of competencies which are further broken down into the specific performances which comprise the category. The exam questions were written to identify whether or not examinees are competent in each performance.

To evaluate your readiness to take the exam, please download the Complete List of Competencies [pdf]. 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.

How to use this document as a self-evaluation to prepare for the CFM exam

You can use this information as a type of self-evaluation simply by reading each performance and asking yourself these questions:

  • Have I performed this function?
  • Have I managed this function?
  • How many people were involved with this project?
  • How many of these people reported to me?
  • What was the budgeted amount for this project?
  • Did I prepare the budget?
  • Did I maintain the budget?
  • How many employees were affected?
  • How many square feet were involved?
  • Have I done this for more than one company or in more than one environment?


Not all questions can or will relate to each performance. However, it’s vital to thoroughly analyze your background in each performance. The majority of people who pass the exam have both breadth and depth of experience in at least seven of the nine competency areas. Most also have some exposure to the other two areas.

If you are weak in three or more competency areas, you should wait until you have more experience before sitting for the exam. If you are weak in one or two competency areas, you can take courses or find facility management books that may help expand your knowledge in these areas. IFMA offers courses in each of the competency areas, available in online and instructor-led formats. Remember that no course can give you a lifetime of experience and the exam does test experience and competency.

Download the Complete List of Competencies [pdf].