By Madeline Hay, CAMICB Director of Exam Administration
This summer we asked our vast community to participate in an important global survey of community association managers (CAMs) – and you did. More than 2,100 managers responded to CAMICB’s 2022 Job Analysis Survey that was sent to over 25,000 managers worldwide and ran from mid-June through the end of August. Thank you for taking the time to respond and share your experiences and insights.
Collection of this survey data is the cornerstone of a larger research project, known as a Job Analysis Study, which CAMICB conducts approximately every five years. The purpose of the Job Analysis (JA) is to identify the roles and responsibilities expected of early career CAMs as well as the knowledge and skills they need to perform those tasks successfully. The findings of the study are used to update the CMCA exam structure and content as necessary to ensure relevance to the community association management field of practice.
An overview of the team and methodological approach
To ensure broad representation from the profession, our Job Analysis Project Team included 55 Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), 20 of whom are from countries outside the United States, including the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Canada, South Africa and Spain. In addition, the project team consisted of entry-level and experienced CAMs familiar with the tasks and knowledge expected of early career managers as well as current professional issues.
It’s important to note that there were more than a dozen significant steps and qualitative research tasks conducted before developing and administering the Job Analysis Survey. The JA Team started by analyzing over 100 primary sources (training manuals, job descriptions, legal documents, research articles, etc.) to establish a preliminary framework of the job requirements that may be expected of a CAM. From there, they spent 10 months analyzing the types of job tasks and knowledge that early career managers need and classifying them into seven performance areas that describe the major operational aspects of the job.
Using the JA Survey responses collected from thousands of managers around the world, the project team identified which of these tasks are performed most often by early career managers and which are most important to success on the job. The tasks that survey respondents identified as the most common and critical were selected as the tasks that will be tested on the updated CMCA exam.
After finalizing the task list, the JA Team connected each task statement with the knowledge required to perform them competently. The resulting product is a comprehensive examination framework that details the tasks and corresponding knowledge that are expected of a Certified Manager of Community Associations.
As the final step of the study, the JA Team convened for a two-day working session to determine what percentage of the exam should be allocated to each performance area. These percentages will be stated in the forthcoming exam blueprint that will provide the structure and layout for the CMCA exam over the next five years.
Next steps – bringing a new exam form to fruition
To recap, the job analysis study is a research project used to identify the critical work functions carried out by CAMs and the knowledge and skills they need to work effectively. The final product of the study is the CMCA exam blueprint, a document that identifies which knowledge and skills will be measured by the exam and the proportion of the exam allocated to each performance area. After more than 16 months of work, the Job Analysis Study concluded in early December when the CAMICB Board of Commissioners approved the updated CMCA exam blueprint. The team will now carry out the practical steps to update the CMCA exam content to match the new blueprint. The following are some of the steps that will take place throughout 2023 and into 2024:
Item Development: Using approved source materials, the Project Team will draft new exam questions to assess the content areas on the exam blueprint. SME panels will conduct multiple reviews to evaluate the technical quality, fairness, and content validity of the items. The items that pass reviews will then be pilot tested to collect response data and those items that meet all statistical performance standards will be eligible for use on future forms of the exam.
Passing Score Study: CAMICB will conduct a passing score study to update the performance standard established for the CMCA certification program and, subsequently, update the minimum score required to pass the exam (i.e., the “cut score”).
Exam Publishing: CAMICB will publish the new exam blueprint well in advance of updating the exam forms, so that candidates have time to familiarize themselves with the changes they can expect to see in the exam content.
This extremely comprehensive process speaks to the importance the CAMICB Board of Commissioners places on conducting the CMCA program in full accordance with best practices in professional credentialing. We take this responsibility to the profession seriously and are extremely proud of the work we do to continue to establish the credential as a baseline for building the profession worldwide, placing the CMCA credential in an elite cohort of professional certification programs.