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Training Tomorrow's Managers
Changes Are Coming to Condominium Manager Education
By Tsehaie Makkonen | Other articles by Tsehaie Makkonen
The educational path to professional condominium management in this province is about to evolve in several important ways. These changes will help shape the new generation of condominium managers who will be well-prepared to support the massive growth in Ontario's condominium industry. It is estimated there are currently over 1.6 million people living in more than 880,000 condo units, and continued development is on the horizon. Condo boards rely heavily on managers, as do condo owners, whose sizable investments must be protected.
Designated pursuant to the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015, the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) is the regulatory body that protects consumers by setting standards and enforcing mandatory licensing of condominium manag¬ers and management provider businesses. Since the CMRAO began operations in November 2017, the organization has seen rapid expansion in the condominium sector. The CMRAO now licenses nearly 4 ,000 condominium managers and provider businesses who must comply with a Code of Ethics, and meet certain licensing and education requirements to be licensed. Role of the Condominium Manager Based on the number and nature of complaints that the CMRAO receives, the role of the condominium manager is sometimes misunderstood. Condominium managers are busy people – imagine a typically large condominium building with multiple common elements, and staff who need to be managed. There are also contractors, annual general meetings, and plenty of email and phone inquiries that must be handled. Condominium managers work on behalf of condo boards to support condo operations, ensure that condo corporations adhere to all the relevant legislation, as well as create and maintain livable and vibrant communities for residents.
Condominium managers are professionals who need a licence to provide their services. They also need training to handle the full range of their responsibilities, and understand their legal and ethical obligations. As a transitional measure, the Government of Ontario designated the courses and challenge exams developed by the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario as the education and examination requirements necessary for applicants to qualify for a General Licence. However, as outlined in regulation, the responsibility for setting education and examination requirements will transfer from the Minister of Government and Consumer Services to the Registrar of the CMRAO on November 1, 2021.
How Condominium Manager Training Is Evolving
To prepare for this transition, the CMRAO worked with subject matter experts and the CMRAO's Advisory Committee to develop Ontario's first condominium management competency profile, which identifies 79 competencies. After consultation with the sector, a new course curriculum was developed that incorporates the identified competencies within the educational requirements for a General Licence.
Managers currently start their careers in condominium management with a Limited Licence that involves several conditions, including working under the employment of a licensed condominium management provider business, and working under the supervision of someone who holds a General or Transitional General Licence. Currently, Limited Licensees who meet the mandatory licensing requirements can begin working with little knowledge of the sector. This will change on November 1, 2021, when all applicants who want to enter the condominium management profession must complete Excellence in Condo Management, an introductory course that sets clear expectations of the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of a condominium manager. Candidates must successfully pass this course to qualify for a Limited Licence.
Education Requirements for a General Licence
With a General Licence, managers can provide condominium management services without any of the supervisory requirements specified under regulation. Limited Licensees who receive their licence on or after November 1, 2021, and who want to obtain their General Licence, in addition to other requirements, must complete the CMRAO's new education program. The new courses cover the technical and practical information required to effectively understand condominium law, build relationships and communicate effectively with condo boards and owners/residents, maintain physical assets, and effectively manage the financial affairs of the condo corporation: essentially combining in-class learning with on-the-job experience to ensure managers clearly understand their role and responsibilities.
All managers, regardless of when they obtained their licences, will have to meet continuing education requirements that will be prescribed by the CMRAO on an annual basis.
Humber College Selected as the Education Provider for Condominium Managers in Ontario
The CMRAO has partnered with Humber College on the development and coordinated delivery of the CMRAO's new education program, as well as the delivery of the regulatory examinations. Courses will be available across the province through the Ontario Learn online platform. As educational institutions emerge from the pandemic, in-class courses may also be available.
The CMRAO's new education program is another exciting step that further reinforces the professionalization of Ontario's rapidly expanding condominium management sector.
Additional information about the CMRAO's new education program is available at www.cmrao.ca/education.