Closer To Home

We want to hear from you!

CAMICB hopes you and your communities are safe and well as we all practice social distancing to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 Coronavirus. Using our social media channels, we would love to share stories — and photos — of what you and your neighbors are doing in your community to support one another during this unprecedented time. Please email us a short description (and photo if possible) that describes the ways in which you’re staying connected and engaged with your neighbors. 

Please email with the subject line: Closer To Home

How To Embed the CMCA Digital Badge into your Email Signature

Adding a hyperlinked badge image to your email signature is a great way to make sure your professional network is aware of your certifications, credentials and other badge-worthy recognition.  Watch this video for a quick tutorial on how to add your badge to an email signature, using Outlook and Gmail as examples. 

These instructions are for PC users. If you’re on a Mac, click here for instructions on adding your badge to email using Gmail.  If you’re having any trouble with adding your badge to your particular email client, contact the Acclaim Support TeamThey’ll be happy to help you troubleshoot. 

Step-by-step: Outlook

  1. ​From Acclaim, click the badge you’d like to embed in your email signature. Click the blue ‘Share’ button. 
  2. Click the ‘Download’ icon. Choose the small image – that will fit best in your email signature. 
  3. Click the ‘URL’ icon and copy it to your clipboard. 
  4. Over in Outlook, create your new email signature by opening a new message, then clicking ‘Signature.’
  5. Click ‘New’ to create a new signature. If you’d like to modify an existing signature, highlight it. 
  6. Name your new signature.
  7. Type any text you’d like in the signature, then click the ‘Image’ icon. 
  8. Locate the badge image you downloaded, then click ‘Insert.’
  9. Next, hyperlink the image  by clicking the badge, then selecting the ‘Hyperlink’ icon.
  10. Paste the URL you copied from Acclaim. 
  11. Click OK to save your new signature. 

Step-by-step instructions: Gmail

  1. From Acclaim, click the badge you’d like to embed in your email signature. Hover your mouse over the badge and right click to copy it.
  2. Within Gmail’s settings, access your email signature.
  3. Right click to paste the badge image into the signature. If the image appears too large, click the badge and select Small from the options presented.
  4. Back in Acclaim, click the blue ‘Share’ button underneath your badge.
  5. Next, click the ‘URL’ icon and copy it to your clipboard.
  6. Within your email signature, highlight the badge image and create a hyperlink with the URL you just copied. 
  7. Click OK to save your new signature.

Are You Looking For Online Education Opportunities During This Pandemic?

CAMICB recognizes that during the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person education opportunities have halted with the worldwide shift to social distancing. To assist in this transition, CAMICB offers a number of online continuing education opportunities.

We have a helpful list of On-Demand webinars available here for managers to view that are free or low-cost, and CAI Headquarters has an entire library dedicated to webinars available for continuing education credit available here. All of CAMICB’s continuing education opportunities can be found here

CAMICB also offers the option for managers to seek out online opportunities that work best for them, and unapproved online options can be e-mailed to for approval consideration.

For any questions, please reach out to CAMICB at

Pearson VUE suspends test delivery at U.S.- and Canada-based test centers until April 16

In response to the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), CAMICB’s test administration partner, Pearson VUE, will temporarily close all company-owned U.S. and Canada-based Pearson Professional Centers starting March 16, 2020. The closures will last until April 16, or whenever conditions are deemed safe to re-open.

CMCA candidates whose testing appointments have been cancelled will receive an email notification from Pearson VUE. The notice will provide instructions for scheduling new appointments on or after April 16.  

CAMICB and Pearson VUE recognize that the threat of the virus may not be contained by the date testing centers are scheduled to reopen. Pearson VUE will continue to monitor government guidance to ensure that they can safely serve all candidates as soon as local conditions allow.  

Recognizing that test center closures may interrupt testing plans for CMCA candidates, CAMICB will extend the yearlong exam deadline for candidates that are most affected by this change. All CMCA candidates whose authorization to test expires prior to August 1, 2020 will be granted a deadline extension to August 1. Candidates with an extended authorization to test will receive a confirmation email from CAMICB with further details. 

Pearson VUE will be posting all updates regarding test center closures and other containment measures on their COVID-19 Update webpage. Likewise, CAMICB will use our Coronavirus Update page to post all new information regarding changes to regular certification activities. 

Please direct all questions to CAMICB office operations have shifted to a fully remote system and staff may be unable to monitor and respond to incoming phone calls in a timely manner.

As always, CAMICB is committed to the safety and wellbeing of our CMCA candidates, certificants, and all staff involved in the certification process. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work together to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

​​CMCA April 1 Recertification and Annual Service Fee Deadlines Extended to August 1

Updated March 17, 2020 –​ CAMICB is aware of the rapidly evolving impact of efforts to control the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). We understand your focus at this difficult time is on your health and that of your family and your community. In response to the pandemic, CAMICB has extended the CMCA recertification and annual service fee deadlines for those credential holders scheduled to renew or recertify from April 1 to August 1. Please review the additional policies regarding this extension.

  • Please Contact CAMICB by Email and Fax Only
    CAMICB staff members are working remotely for at least the next several weeks. We are operational, but staff may be unable to monitor and respond to incoming phone calls in a timely manner. If you have general questions, contact us by email at Specific questions about recertification should be directed to Virginia Pierce, Credentialing Associate, at
  • CMCAs Ready to Recertify or Pay Annual Service Fee Should Do So Immediately and Electronically
    If you are currently prepared to recertify and/or pay your annual service we encourage you to do so now.  Your recertification and payment information will be processed as usual.  There is no need to defer.
  • Future Deadlines
    The April 1, 2020, deadline to recertify or pay the annual service fee is extended to August 1, 2020.  This action is a response to the current COVID-19 pandemic.  Your future annual service fee payment or recertification date will remain April 1. 
  • Earning Continuing Education Remotely
    CAMICB maintains a helpful list of on-demand webinars that are free or low-cost. That listing is available here. CAI offers an extensive library dedicated to webinars available for continuing education credit here. Please note in the coming weeks CAI will be greatly expanding their online programming.  Please check the CAI website – – regularly for updates. 

    CAMICB also offers the option for managers to seek out self-study CE opportunities. Those options should be approved prior to registration or attending. Questions about online courses that have not yet been approved for CE credit can be e-mailed to for approval consideration. The written request should include a description of the course (including outline, syllabus, or summary) and the estimated length of time. 

Credits earned during this one-time extension may be used only once toward recertification. You may not count the same course work for this recertification cycle and the next. Online learning must be interactive. Interactive coursework is defined as requiring proof of participation. Please retain all course completion certificates and proof of attendance. Remember: all recertification activity is subject to audit.

CAMICB will update these policies as the COVID-19 emergency continues to evolve and will keep our credential holders fully informed. We are confident in the resilience of our community and know that we will weather this crisis together. For those of us who are distanced from colleagues and friends, please stay in touch with each other and offer each other support in this challenging time.

Looking For Online Learning Opportunities for CMCA Recertification?

CAMICB is continuing to monitor the development and impact of the COVID-19 outbreak as it affects our credential holders worldwide. At this time all deadline dates remain in place, and to help our credential holders renew we are encouraging managers check out our online learning opportunities. 

We have a helpful list of On-Demand webinars available here for managers to view that are free or low-cost, and CAI Headquarters has an entire library dedicated to webinars available for continuing education credit available here

CAMICB also offers the option for managers to seek out online opportunities that work best for them, and unapproved online options can be e-mailed to for approval consideration.

We will continue to keep all of our CMCA managers updated as we monitor this situation. For questions, e-mail

2020 CAI Annual Conference and Exposition: Community NOW and CAI Education Classroom Status

From The Community Associations Institute

We share your concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak and the questions this presents to our community. The health and wellbeing of all CAI members is always paramount.

As we move ahead with holding regularly scheduled Professional Management Development Program (PMDP) classes and planning for the annual conference, CAI will continue to place high importance on facilitating measures that will ensure optimal health and sanitary conditions for our attendees, staff, partners, and volunteers during each program.

We currently expect that CAI’s 2020 Annual Conference & Exposition: Community NOW, scheduled for June 10–13 in Hollywood, Fla., will proceed as planned. We’re monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak at both the global and local levels, and we’re in constant communication with the Broward County Convention and Visitors Bureau and The Diplomat Beach Resort.

Ongoing updates related to CAI’s Annual Conference & Exposition, including education and programming, will continue to be available at  

With many of CAI’s Professional Management Development Program (PMDP) education courses planned for this spring and summer, we are evaluating each program individually and, for now, all will continue as scheduled.

Decisions about future programs will be based on daily assessments, and we will communicate any updates to registered attendees and members.

For questions concerning CAI Chapter events, please contact your chapter representatives directly.

For more information about how CAI is monitoring COVID-19 and daily updates to a collection of coronavirus resources, go to

Do You Need CECs? Find the CE Credit Opportunities That Make Sense for You

By John Ganoe, CAE
Executive Director

CAMICB is a program dedicated to professional growth and competency and has designed the CMCA Recertification process to encourage certified managers to continually pursue professional development in the community association management field.  To facilitate these efforts, a Committee appointed by the CAMICB Board of Commissioners meets monthly to review and approve anywhere between 40 and 60 applications each month from various providers.

While there are more than 800 pre-approved continuing education courses, many of which are free or low-cost and can be found on the web site, we also believe in flexibility and want to make sure you take the courses that best support your professional path.  If there’s a course or event you’re interested in that’s not included on the approved list of continuing education, managers are encouraged to submit the continuing education opportunity to CAMICB for approval.

Remember, the topics must pertain specifically and primarily to community association operations or management (e.g., operations, administration, legal requirements), are relevant to your professional development (e.g., Quickbooks, Excel, effective communications, leadership, etc.) or have a direct impact on your community. For example, if you manage a primarily Spanish-speaking community, and are interested in taking a Spanish language course, CAMICB would consider approving those credits.  

Approval can be granted in one of two ways: by either asking the course provider to complete and submit the CE Course Provider Application or by submitting the program outline or agenda, including dates, times, and speaker bios, to CAMICB yourself.  Similarly, college courses may be submitted for approval if the classwork meets the criteria described in the CMCA Handbook

A Snapshot of Available Resources & Tips for Finding CE Credits

Be sure to review Section 4 of the CMCA Handbook for a primer on earning continuing education credits, as well as the Continuing Education Page at for an overview of credit and coursework specifications.

Next, consider the many already approved options available to complete your continuing education coursework from the List of Approved Continuing Education, including pre-approved courses offered by the Community Associations Institute (CAI).

Take advantage of your local CAI chapter by monitoring any upcoming events or classes that have been approved for continuing education credit. To find your local chapter, go to the Find a Chapter page on the CAI website.

And don’t forget to explore free or low-cost webinars that are offered by the following providers:


Coronavirus and the CMCA

Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB) is actively monitoring developments surrounding the spread and impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus.  The situation is extremely fluid and fast-moving.  

CAMICB’s testing partner Pearson Vue continues to deliver the CMCA examination on a regular schedule at testing centers inside the United States and all areas outside of mainland China. Pearson VUE has suspended mainland China exam deliveries.  CAMICB will monitor Pearson Vue’s exam delivery status and will update our candidates as  additional information becomes available. 

CMCA candidates wishing to reschedule an examination appointment should do so directly with Pearson VUE in compliance with the standard 24-hour cancellation deadline.  At this time all deadlines for CMCA testing, CMCA credential renewal and CMCA recertification remain in effect.

Community Associations Institute (CAI) has launched COVID-19 Resource Center, a dedicated webpage for information about how COVID-19 may impact community associations and how boards and managers may prevent, prepare and respond to an outbreak.  Additional information regarding the impact the virus may have on the CMCA examination program will be included in the CAI COVID-19 Resource Center.   We also encourage you to follow the latest guidance and updates issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Questions regarding the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the CMCA credentialing program may be forwarded to using the subject line “Coronavirus.”

Reserve Studies & Your Community’s Long-Term Goals

By:  Jessica Vail, The Falcon Group

It is widely known that having an updated Capital Reserve Study imageis vital for the success of any community association; as it is a guide to help set aside funds and is the road map for all future capital improvement projects and expenditures.

How to understand your reserve study

The Reserve Study includes the identification, quantification and financial analysis of only the replacement or major repair of the association’s common elements.  It offers recommendations as to the amount of money an association should fund on a yearly basis.  The analyses and recommendations are important in that they help avoid possible future special assessments of the individual unit owners.  The analyses also takes into account the site-specific existing conditions, their useful life and the realistic replacement and maintenance costs based upon actual material costs and site-specific individual item’s method of construction.

It is also important to include a preventative maintenance plan because it meets legal, fiduciary and professional requirements.  It provides for the planned maintenance of major components and minimizes the need for special assessments.  Homeowners, especially those on fixed income, may have limited resources and might be unable to afford the large special assessments necessary for major replacements.

While it is recommended that a community’s Reserve Study is updated every three years (5 for new communities), it is important to look at the reserve study as a living document.  There are many instances that require an update even within a three-year window.  For example, if the community has had a major renovation or replacement project, it is imperative that the Reserve Study reflect this change to retain its accuracy and make sure funds are being properly allocated.  If there is any uncertainty, it is always recommended to consult your engineer or Reserve Specialist.

Planning for the future

Far too often, associations are finding themselves in an underfunded position at the beginning of a replacement project. Whether it is reconstructing roadways, sidewalks, roofs or other aspects of the community, the association will rely on funding that has been recommended and established over the useful life of the item.

Standard useful lives are, often times, based solely upon standards used in the engineering industry taken from information listed in life cycle analysis publications and/or manufacturer’s specifications.  This can result in underfunding.  Site specific useful lives must be used.  Actual conditions must be physically inspected and changes must be made to the projected useful lives as conditions change.  Aesthetics may also affect the replacement of an item sooner than scheduled.

Another key factor is:  quantities.  Quantities should be verified by the as-built conditions.  This must be done for any initial reserve analysis and should always be field-checked on subsequent studies.  Failure to provide an association with correct quantities may result in a significant underfunded condition in the future.

The unit costs provided in the funding table for the replacement of the Capital Reserve items should be based upon a number of sources, including published documentation on replacement costs.  They should also be based upon the Reserve Specialist’s experience in site and building construction.  The individual reconstruction or replacement of each item should be analyzed and the resulting unit costs should be adjusted accordingly.  Individual (site-specific) characteristics affecting the unit’s costs are different on every site and the replacement costs must be adjusted accordingly.  Existing site conditions, the size and scope of the future replacement project, the job access locations; the site restoration costs and presence existing components are all variables that affect the item’s replacement costs.  Many times the unit replacement costs shown in these studies barely cover the materials costs for the item.

There are quite a few moving parts involved with an accurate Capital Reserve Study. It is imperative to work closely with your engineer or Reserve Specialist to ensure its accuracy and that the study is being updated on a regular basis to fit the needs of your community.