Are You Studying For The CMCA Exam? Use This Step-By Step Process To Adequately Prepare

A variety of study aids are available to CMCA exam candidates online at CAMICB.org. Because CAMICB recognizes that people have different learning styles, multiple resources are available in various formats. A quick glance at those resources can be overwhelming. Here, we offer a roadmap designed to help you select and properly use those resources towards a successful outcome.

STEP 1. CMCA Study Guide. Download this FREE guide for an overview of how the CMCA exam was developed and how it’s structured. This is important to developing a study strategy. Here, you will also find the key to your studying success: The CMCA Knowledge

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8 Knowledge Areas

Areas. You will be evaluated on these 8 knowledge areas, and understanding your strengths and weaknesses in each area, as well as how each knowledge area is weighted, will help you properly prepare a solid study plan.

STEP 2. CMCA Handbook. Download the FREE handbook for an overview of the program, paying particular attention to:

  • Section 2: Taking the CMCA Exam highlights the policies and procedures of the exam.
  • Section 3: CMCA Examination Content and Study Materials offers just that, as well as strategies for standardized test-taking.

STEP 3. If you took CAI’s M-100: The Essentials of Community Association Management, you are not fully prepared to sit for the CMCA exam. The M-100 will provide you with concrete knowledge (i.e., terms and definitions) but will not give you the knowledge to apply those terms and definitions to concepts. For example, What is a Quorum? is not a question you will see on the CMCA exam. You may, however, see a question like this, Quorum requirements conflicts are resolved by which of the following? That doesn’t mean you can skip this step. It’s still important to know the definitions in order to be able to apply them.

CMCAExamPrepSTEP 4. Quizlet is a FREE online tool that uses fun games and exercises to test your concrete knowledge. If after reviewing the M-100 course material, you find that your knowledge of terms and definitions is lacking, Quizlet is an excellent way to help you master those key terms and phrases, and prepare you for the next step in your study plan.

STEP 5. Best Practices Reports are FREE resource guides courtesy of the Foundation for Community Association Research. These Reports will help you gain applied knowledge in key areas found on the exam. Each report also contains case studies to help you understand how best practices are applied in real life situations, which is key to grasping an applied knowledge of these topics. If you’re a seasoned manager, spend a little extra time here. What you’ve learned on the job, may not be deemed best practices in the industry.

STEP 6. The CMCA Study Kit is available for purchase from the CAI Bookstore. A great tool for developing applied knowledge, you may purchase individual titles or the entire package depending on your needs.

STEP 7. CMCA Practice Exam is available online at a cost of $25 for one attempt and $40 for two. The Practice Exam includes questions that have been rotated off the exam and offers real time feedback on whether you were right or wrong on a question and why, offering real-world insight into the CMCA exam experience.

All of these materials to prepare you for the CMCA Exam can be found at CAMICB.org on the Exam Preparation web page. We encourage you to spend at least 6-8 weeks preparing for the Exam, and if you have any questions you can contact us at 866-779-CMCA or info@camicb.org.

We’d like to hear from managers who are studying for the exam. What’s working for you? What’s not? Please use the Comments section to let us know how you’re doing!

 

Preparing For The August 1 CMCA Recertification and Annual Service Fee Deadlines

In March, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, CAMICB extended the CMCA recertification and annual service fee deadlines — for those credential holders scheduled to renew or recertify — from April 1 to August 1. If you’re preparing for this upcoming August 1 deadline, please keep the following points in mind:

Please Contact CAMICB by Email and Fax Only
CAMICB staff members are continuing to work remotely over the coming weeks. We are fully 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 info@camicb.org. Specific questions about recertification should be directed to Virginia Pierce, Credentialing Associate, at vpierce@camicb.org

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 that CAI continues to expand their online programming so be sure to check the CAI website – www.caionline.org – 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 info@camicb.org 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.

Workers’ comp liabilities facing work from home employees

by Alicja Grzadkowska 14 May 2020 Insurance Business America

The coronavirus pandemic may shift working habits over the long-term. Global Workplace Analytics estimated that 56% of the US workforce already holds a job that is at least partially compatible with remote work, while Gallup data has revealed that 43% of the workforce work at home at least some of the time.

Global Workplace Analytics has also predicted that the adoption of remote work will increase the longer that employees in the US are required to work at home in the midst of government-mandated shutdowns as well as afterwards, when many businesses will likely implement risk mitigation strategies to limit the spread of the virus within workplaces.

However, alongside the benefits of allowing employees to work from home right now, there are also workers’ compensation liabilities to consider.

“It’s not uncommon for employees to suffer work-related injuries within the scope of their employment duties while working from home – injuries that may expose a company to workers’ compensation risks,” said Todd Pollock, senior vice president of workers’ compensation at Worldwide Facilities.

In light of these risks, businesses need to consider several factors when it comes to their employees working remotely. For one, at-home offices aren’t always ergonomically compliant, which can lead to injuries over time. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has determined that almost a third of dollars spent on workers’ comp costs come from claims involving ergonomic injuries.

“While it may not be easy or convenient for employers to ensure that the environment their at-home employees are working in is ergonomically compliant, it’s important to do what they can to minimize the risks,” said Pollock. “This can include supplying remote workers with the proper equipment for outfitting their home office, such as an ergonomic keyboard to prevent carpal tunnel injuries and an ergonomic office chair to reduce back issues.”

Businesses also need to keep in mind that employees working remotely often work longer and with fewer breaks than they would in a regular office setting.

“Employees working from home may not be adhering to typical office hours,” explained Pollock. “For example, instead of an eight-hour day with two 10-minute breaks and a lunch hour, employees may decide to power through their workday with no break at all, causing physical fatigue and injuries associated with carpal tunnel, neck and back pain, and forward head posture problems from sitting at a computer and rounding the shoulders to lean the head forward.”

In turn, work-related musculoskeletal disorders can arise, which in the US typically exceed $50 billion annually in workers’ compensation claims, according to OSHA.

Finally, companies with employees working remotely should be aware that accidents can happen at the home office, and that business owners bear responsibility for providing their staff with a safe working environment. Furthermore, home-based workers have the same workers’ compensation benefits as office employees do.

“This is why it’s not unusual for the courts to rule in favor of an employee in a workers’ compensation claim due to an at-home injury while working remotely,” said Pollock. “When it comes to workers’ compensation, the law doesn’t differentiate between an accident occurring at a home office and an accident occurring at an office building downtown.”

One example of this type of claim was the case of Sandberg v. JC Penney, which focused on a claimant that was denied compensation for an injury she incurred while walking from her home to her garage to perform a work task. As a result, companies should introduce risk mitigation measures for their work from home employees, such as establishing a safety policy for employees working remotely.

“Because employers have little or no control over the environment in which their work from home employees are conducting company business, they need to understand the increased potential for workers’ compensation risks under their state’s workers’ compensation laws,” said Pollock. “Staying informed on workers’ compensation issues and trends can help insurers, employers and stakeholders better manage emerging risks.”

The Status Of Global Test Delivery Is Changing Rapidly: Stay On Top Of It As Pearson VUE Administers Exams on a Limited Basis

After temporarily closing all testing centers due to the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus), CAMICB’s test administration partner, Pearson VUE, has begun to administer exams at some testing centers on a limited basis. Some centers are reopening with increased health and safety measures, while others remain closed in accordance with guidance from local governments and health authorities. 

Based on recommendations from the CDC and World Health Organization, Pearson VUE centers that have reopened are implementing a number of health and safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All exam candidates are required to wear face masks while testing, while the use of disposable gloves is optional. Candidates are required to maintain a six-foot distance from others in accordance with social distancing guidelines. Pearson VUE has also implemented a strict cleaning regimen at all test centers that includes sanitizing check-in equipment and individual workstations after each use. 

CMCA candidates whose appointments have been cancelled or rescheduled due to test center closures will receive an email notification from Pearson VUE. The notification will provide instructions for scheduling a new appointment. Candidates may reserve an appointment or reschedule an existing appointment by logging in to Pearson VUE’s Online Scheduling Portal. ​

Recognizing that test center closures may interrupt testing plans for CMCA candidates, CAMICB has extended 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 have been granted a deadline extension to August 1. Candidates with an extended authorization to test have been sent 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 info@camicb.org. 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.

What You Do Is Important. What You Do Matters.

By Drew Mulhare, CMCA, AMS, LSM, PCAM Chair, CAMICB Board of Commissioners

I want to begin by expressing my sincere hope – a hope shared by my colleagues on the CAMICB Board of Commissioners – that this blog post finds you, your family and your professional colleagues safe and well. We all find ourselves, both personally and professionally, in an environment we could not have conceived of just a few months ago. As the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has impacted our businesses, our communities, our educational institutions, our families – every aspect of our lives – each of us has been faced with the challenge of defining new ways to work, interact with our colleagues, protect and serve our client communities, and keep our families safe and connected. I believe we are all realizing that our futures will, in many ways, be shaped by meeting the challenges of the present. And the stories of perseverance, courage, commitment, and compassion that are emerging all around us are powerful and heartening.

Over the course of the past week CAMICB has begun to showcase a short video saluting the professional community association managers who make up the 20,000-strong community of CMCAs, rising to the challenge of managing the communities who depend on them in an anxious and uncertain time. The message of the video is simple: what you do is important. What you do matters. If you haven’t yet seen the video, go to: https://www.camicb.org/covid19 I encourage you to share the video with your colleagues and on your own personal and professional social media networks. You are a valued part of a profession of which you can be proud.

CAMICB marks its 25th Anniversary year in 2020. The year began on a high note with an outstanding cover feature on the organization, the CMCA credential, and the anniversary year in the CAI flagship publication, Common Ground. The anniversary observance continued with regular features on social media and content celebrating the credential, shared across all CAMICB communication platforms, as we geared up for a very visible and celebratory presence at the CAI annual conference in June. We have all been overtaken by events. The CAI annual conference has been cancelled; a celebration of any sort at this time no longer feels appropriate. We have stepped back from activities intended to celebrate the 25th Anniversary year. We will continue to use our 25th Anniversary branding. And, that branding will carry forward into 2021 with a goal of celebrating our 25th Anniversary in our 26th year: in better times, we hope, leading into a truly celebratory event in conjunction with the CAI May 2021 annual conference in Las Vegas.

Our Board and, certainly, our staff remain committed to serving our credential holders and our candidates and to continuing to support and grow the CMCA credentialing program. While our staff is working remotely they continue to focus on helping managers prepare for the CMCA examination, assisting our credential holders with renewal and recertification, and maintaining the profile and the visibility of The Essential Credential in our field. On behalf of my colleagues on the CAMICB Board of Commissioners I want to recognize the efforts of our Falls Church, VA- based staff to communicate with all CAMICB stakeholders effectively, consistently, and transparently. In the coming weeks we will be launching an exciting new resource for CMCA examination candidates: follow CAMICB on Facebook and LinkedIn for the first announcement. And, we are optimistic that during May and June, carefully and in full compliance with state and local guidelines, our testing center network will begin to reopen and our candidates will be able to resume active testing.

I have always been proud of the CMCA credentialing program and proud to serve the program in a leadership role. And, in recent months, I have been extraordinarily proud of our profession and the work individual managers do each day. What you do is important. What you do matters.

Creating a sense of safety in your remote conversations

Though virtual conversations will never be as powerful as being with someone live, your success depends on how fast you create an environment where people feel comfortable enough to say what is on their minds. You can create conditions necessary for growth and change by generating a sense of safety in your online conversations.

Online psychological safety

The brain is always evaluating how safe it is to offer thoughts and ideas, ask questions and mention mistakes. People must feel they will not be judged for what they share. Also, they must trust your intention is to be helpful, not to make them act in ways you or others would approve.

The psychologically safe environment you must create is more difficult in times of crisis and uncertainty, when people are experiencing high levels of fear and doubt. Social distancing is causing anxiety, depression and stress.The quality of your presence is more crucial to the effectiveness of your online conversations now more than ever.

Space psychology affects safety

In addition to your personal presence, the visible environment on your screen can increase or decrease warmth and safety. New School of Architecture and Design professor Dave Alan Kopec says lighting, colors, objects, and proportion have a direct impact on emotions and perceptions.What people see on their computer screen impacts their level of comfort.

Preparing your inner and outer space

Follow these five tips for managing your inner and outer space to establish a safe and trusting connection in your remote conversations:

1. Set the stage

Get dressed like it’s a regular workday. If people can see your room, make sure it is free of clutter. Zoom’s virtual backgrounds don’t always work, but if you use them, choose a professional image. Position yourself to have light in front of you so the image is smooth. Make sure you have enough power and bandwidth for undisrupted communications, or use the phone for your voice so you can display your video image. Look into the camera when you talk and listen. Have your head fill most of the screen so people feel you are with them, leaving a little breathing room between you and the top of the screen so you aren’t overwhelming. Turn off notifications on your phone and computer. Make sure there are no pets demanding attention.

2. Regulate your emotions

Release your stress before the call; you can’t hide it. Even virtually, they will feel your tension and judge you as lacking in warmth and engagement.

To release tenseness in your body, breathe in the emotions you want to feel, such as “curious and care.” If the conversation becomes emotionally challenging, maintain visual contact. It is better to state what you are feeling and why than trying to mask your emotions. Even fleeting changes in your expressions impact the conversation.

3. Be curious about their personal state before diving in

Inquire how they are feeling right now. Ask if anything that happened that day is still lingering in their thoughts and what they need to do to be present to the conversation. Even if they say they are ready to talk, give them space and time to shift their focus to what you think is most important.

4. Use reflective statements so they feel heard

The use of reflective statements help people sort through their thoughts and feel seen, heard and valued when they hear you replay their words. Use summarizing and paraphrasing to reflect what you hear. Ask about shifts in emotions you see them express. Start your sentences with, “So you are saying …,” “What seems to be most important to you is … ” or “What you were thinking when you got quiet and looked away?”

Your reflections create a deeper connection.

5. Be compassionately curious

Listen to their stories before pushing for solutions. Ask about the meaning of the words they choose to make sure you understand what they need right now. Determine if there is anything they are afraid they might lose. Help them examine the usefulness of their beliefs about the present situation and assumptions about the future. This will help them make decisions and plans.

Marcia Reynolds, Psy.D., is a world-renowned expert on inspiring change through conversations. She has delivered programs in 41 countries and reached many more people online. She has four award-winning books: “The Discomfort Zone,” “Wander Woman,” “Outsmart Your Brain” and her latest, “Coach the Person, Not the Problem.” Learn more at her website.

Daughters of working moms may get this major career benefit

Though being a working mom is extremely hard and often guilt-inducing this gem of a study will bring you some good news and just in time for Mother’s Day, especially if you have a daughter.
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According to the  study, which looked at family and career data on more than 100,000 men and women and was published in the journal Work, Employment and Society, adult daughters who grew up with working moms, are more likely to be employed and if they are employed, they have bigger roles, work longer hours and make more money then their peers who had stay at home moms.

Typical gender roles are challenged

The author of the study, Kathleen McGinn, found that just simply having a mother who is not home, but out participating in the labor force changes the perception of typical gender roles for children starting at a young age. She wrote, “Beyond shaping their sons’ and daughters’ gender attitudes, mothers provide behavioral models of skills their children can emulate (Beller, 2009).

Parents engaged in activities not traditionally associated with their genders, such as employed mothers or stay-at-home fathers, demonstrate opportunities for enacting non-traditional roles (Gupta, 2006; Olivetti et al., 2016).

Social learning theory suggests that exposure to parents’ behaviors builds capacities children draw upon later in life (Bandura, 1977), and this exposure wields more influence than examples provided by friends, teachers and other relevant adults.”

Sons benefit too

Interestingly, the sons of working mothers did not reap the same benefits in terms of their careers but they tend to be “more engaged in family care.” McGinn wrote, “These beneficial outcomes are due at least in part to employed mothers’ conveyance of egalitarian gender attitudes and life skills for managing employment and domestic responsibilities simultaneously.”

With over 25 million working moms in the U.S. currently, this makes for a pretty promising future generation of workers and parents.

By Meredith Lepore for www.theladders.com.

Brene Brown, Satya Nadella, and Tim Cook Believe in This Essential Leadership Trait

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All agree empathy is a leadership trait.

At the beginning of the year I read an article from Melinda Gates explaining how instead of setting a New Year’s resolution, she chooses a word of the year. Like Melinda, I was drawn to the simplicity of focusing on one word for 12 months.

I’ve always believed entrepreneurs have a strong sense of empathy because it’s at the core of what they do–understanding customer pain points to develop thoughtful solutions that meet customers’ needs. But empathy isn’t just good for business, it’s good for humanity. That’s why this year I’ve committed to focusing more on empathy in the workplace–to practice empathy as a leader and encourage others to do so.

Over the last five months, I’ve had some successes, and naturally, some failures. Here’s what I’ve learned.

Empathy can be learned.

Many amazing leaders openly discuss the importance of empathy–Brene Brown on how it’s good for relationships, Satya Nadella on how it’s good for innovation, and Tim Cook on how it’s good for inclusiveness.

One thing they all have in common is the notion that empathy can be learned–and they’re right. Research validates that those who believe empathy can be developed are more likely to engage in behaviors to help them develop it.

Empathy is contagious.

The best way to have your team adopt a more empathic mindset is to start with yourself. You’ll find its effect to be contagious which, in return, shapes work culture.

Take, for example, an employee who misspeaks in a meeting. If the manager responds with an outburst, the employee feels inadequate and as a result, the culture becomes timid over time. Alternatively, if the manager responds empathetically, they have the ability to shape an empathic culture that yields trust and inclusiveness.

Empathy requires connection.

Empathy is more than just responding–it’s connecting. In other words, digging deep within yourself to identify a feeling that is similar and then verbalizing how you feel with an individual.

I’ve found the best way to connect is to build trust, and the best way to build trust is to be transparent about your vulnerabilities. By doing so, it signals that it’s okay to not be okay. We can all, at some point, relate to not being okay.

Empathy can be challenging.

Being empathetic comes more naturally when you’ve been in a similar situation–it allows you to tap into the feelings you felt, and in return, you empathize with the individual. Where empathy is challenging is when it doesn’t come reflexively.

Alternatively, when we’re vulnerable and are challenging ourselves to be empathetic, we look for positive reinforcement in return. When empathy isn’t reciprocated, don’t give up.

By Marc LoreSerial entrepreneur, CEO of Walmart eCommerce U.S.@marcericlore, Published on: Jul 1, 2019 for Inc.com.

Your Communities and Cases of COVID-19

By Drew R. Mulhare, CMCA, LSM, PCAM, Broker (VA)

Association members are understandably concerned about the issue of whether HOAs have a duty to inform residents about the number of COVID-19 cases within their communities as well as the street addresses of COVID-19 patients. This is a new challenge for all of us. At the Ford’s Colony Homeowner’s Association in Williamsburg, VA, where I serve as the General Manager, we heard from a few residents who felt a need for this information as a means of avoiding potential infection.

We know from epidemiologists and the data evolving each day that we are all at risk of being exposed to the coronavirus and therefore we must act accordingly with social distancing, hand washing, proper sanitization, and wearing masks when in common areas and outside in the community.  After much research and consulting with the Medical Director at Sentara Williamsburg Emergency Room, our Board of Directors determined that it is not appropriate to reveal the names and street addresses of those infected with the coronavirus. A specific set of social distancing guidelines and sanitation protocol may be applicable to condominium communities with shared common areas, such as hallways and elevators. For residents of Ford’s Colony, “Stay At Home” guidance asks that residents remain on their own private property as Ford’s Colony is a community of single family homes and townhomes. Our common area facilities, such as the clubhouse and exterior courts, are currently closed to all users. 

As a business we must equally respect the privacy and safety of our residents. COVID-19 testing is not yet as widely available as we wish and it is possible for asymptomatic individuals to carry and spread the virus. Reporting an individual’s identity may be considered an invasion of privacy for the victim, as well as create a false sense of security for others. Moreover, medical authorities and government agencies are not reporting confirmed COVID-19 cases within our community association to our business. We don’t have a reliable sense of the number of people infected with the virus. If we know of a case, it is often third-hand information. When and if we learn of confirmed cases in our community it’s our role to try to support the victim and family – to ask if that resident will self-quarantine and for how long, and to determine what assistance they need from management or the board while quarantining (mail, package deliveries, garbage removal, etc.). For everyone, regardless of the neighbor’s health, we need to heed the advice to be protective of ourselves and each other by practicing good hygiene and social distancing. So for our community, we separated the inherent want to know from the need and practicality of knowing.

The Community Associations Institute (CAI) offers excellent COVID-19 Resources for Community Associations including Federal, State and Local Government Action Summaries; Essential Worker Templates; Downloadable Printed Forms and Graphics; and a series of Frequently Asked Questions where experts address issues relating to closing common areas, assessments, cleaning procedures, meetings and elections. To access these resources go to: https://advocacy.caionline.org/covid-19-resources-community-associations/

We are fighting COVID-19 as a nation, a state, and a community. Now is a time to take care of each other and to assume the shared responsibility of limiting the spread of COVID-19.

Drew Mulhare is Chair of the CAMICB Board of Commissioners and is the General Manager of the Ford’s Colony Homeowners Association.         

CMCAs Maintain High Ethical Standards

CMCAs’ Commitment to Following Strict Standards of Professional Conduct

An important – yet often overlooked – component of CAMICB’s Credentialing Program
requires a Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) to adhere to a high standard of ethical conduct. This means Certificants must comply with the 10 CMCA Standards of Professional Conduct, which govern their professional activities.

StandardsFlowChart

Standards Flow Chart

These Standards of Professional Conduct, detailed at http://www.camicb.org/standards, range from understanding laws applicable to community association management, to being knowledgeable on association policies and procedures, to carrying out fiduciary responsibilities, and participating in continuing education coursework. A violation of any of these Standards of Professional Conduct may be grounds for administrative action and possible revocation of the CMCA certification by CAMICB. Abiding by these Standards of Professional Conduct help protect consumers and associations that hire or contract with community association managers.

“When a community association manager earns the CMCA, they’re pledging to uphold a strict code of professional conduct which is critical to the profession,” said Ron Perl, Esq., a Partner at Hill Wallack LLP, who leads the firm’s community association practice group. “This is more than understanding the many facets of community association management and troubleshooting challenging situations, it brings about accountability, responsibility and trust to the individuals the profession serves.” Read more …