By August 20, 2012 7 Comments Read More →

Which Facility Management Association and Designation is right for you?

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building and facility associationsBelonging to a professional association and even having a designation is a great way to develop more credibility, find solutions, expand your professional contacts, make yourself more marketable and generally advance the Facilities Profession.

There are a large number of national associations around the world, as listed in my Facility Management book , and provided further below for your convenience, plus many other regional or facility specific associations. Some have their own training/designations and others don’t. I've also listed designations.

While most are focussed on facilities, there are a few, particularly in North America, that are more related to commercial property management, some related to condominiums or residential and others for retail, recreation, schools, universities, colleges, hospitals and even churches

In some other countries, the lines are less clear, and this is probably a good thing. However, no matter where you live, you should check out related associations in other countries to see if they have material or information that can help you.

In any case, even if you belong to a specialized facility type association, you should also belong to one of the broader industry associations. They are not mutually exclusive. No matter what your specialty, you can learn from others who have mostly the same fundamental responsibilities and issues that you do, regardless of facility type. Don’t limit yourself to networking and learning from others who are the same as you – you truly expand your knowledge and expertise when you learn from those who are different.

Two particular associations, IFMA (International Facility Management Association) and BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) are often confused. I recently talked to a facility manager who was considering the RPA (Real Property Administrator) designation from BOMA yet the IFMA designation is probably more appropriate, if you have to choose just one.

BOMA (and the BOMI organization that runs the designations) is primarily geared to commercial property management, meaning people who lease space to others, even though they have an accreditation with Facilities in the title.

IFMA is primarily geared to organizations who lease space (from the folks above) or own and occupy their own space for their own business purposes.

The scope of these roles is slightly different, with a range of overlap and some things that are very different. Managing office space/accommodations is mostly an IFMA thing, much less so with BOMA, for instance. My FM Pie (link) outlines the overall responsibilities, but I don't break it out by these two associations, due to the overlap and variations.

Both organizations and designations are good quality and well-recognized in their respective markets.


As mentioned, there are many other designations (mostly North American based). Here is a listing.

If I’m missing anything, particularly from other countries, please add a comment with the relevant info.

Designations are one way to promote your skills and capabilities with your employer or in the marketplace. They usually require you to demonstrate industry experience and take specific training. Most also require you to maintain your designation through additional continuing education. These designations are either general FM or industry / facility type specific.

BOMI – Building Owners Managers International

RPA (Real Property Administrator)

FMA (Facilities Management Administrator)

SMT (Systems Maintenance Technician)

SMA (Systems Maintenance Administrator)

CoreNet Global

MCR (Master of Corporate Real Estate)

SLCR (Senior Leader of Corporate Real Estate)

IFMA – International Facility Managers Association

CFM (Certified Facility Manager)

FMP (Facility Management Professional)


CPM (certified property manager)

ARM (Accredited Resident Manager

AMO (Accredited Management Organization)

ACoM (Accredited Commercial Manager


RAM (Registered In Apartment Management)

NAA - The National Apartment Association

CAM (Certified Apartment Manager)

CAPS (Certified Apartment Supervisor)

NARPM - The National Association of Residential Property Managers

RPM (Residential Management Professional)

MPM (Master Property Manager)

CRMC (Certified Residential Management Company)

CSS (Certified Support Specialist)

PRSM - Professional Retail Store Maintenance

RFMP (Retail Facility Maintenance Professional)

RFMA – Restaurant Facility Management Association

CRFP (Certified Restaurant Facility Professional).



This is a list of national and international associations.

If I’m missing anything, particularly from other countries, please add a comment further below with the relevant info.

Note that there are many more local and regional associations as well as associations that focus on specific elements of facilities or are dedicated to particular supplier services (i.e. janitorial, landscaping, HVAC, etc.)

Read my article about getting the most from your association

ABRAFAC - Associacao Brasiliera De Facilities (Brazil)

AFE - Association for Facilities Engineering (US)

AIFMI - Alliance of Infrastructure and Facility Managers of India

APFM - Association of Property and Facility Managers (Singapore)

APPA - Association of Higher Education Facilities (North American)

ARSEG - Association des Responsable Services Généraux. (France)

BGFMA - Bulgarian Facility Management Association

BIFM - British Institute of Facilities Management

BOMA - Building Owners & Managers Association (International)

CCFM - Conference for Catholic Facility Management (US)

CHES - Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society

CREW Network - Commercial Real Estate Women (North America)

CRFC - Canadian Recreation Facilities Council (Canadian)

CoreNet Global

EuroFM - European Facility Management Network

FMA - Facilities Management Austria

FMA - Facilities Management Association (UK)

FMA - Facility Management Association of Australia

FMN - Facility Management Nederland

FM-ARENA (Switzerland)

GEFMA - German Facility Management Association

Global FM

HEFMA - Health Estates & Facilities (UK)

HEFMA - Higher Education Facility Management Association of Southern Africa

HKIFM - Hong Kong Institute of Facility Management

HFMS - Hungarian Facility Management Society

IAAM - International Association of Assembly Managers (US)

IAAPA - International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (US)

IHEEM - Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management (UK)

IFMA - International Facilities Management Association

IPFMA - Irish Property & Facility Management Association

IREM - Institute of Real Estate Management (US)

JFMA - Japan Facility Management Promotion Association

MEFMA - Middle East Facility Management Association

MFS - Maintenance and Facility Management Society of Switzerland

NAIOP - National Association of Industrial & Office Properties (US)

NARPM - National Association of Residential Property Managers (US)

NPMA - National Property Management Association (US)

PMI - Project Management Institute (US)

PRSM - Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (US)

RICS - Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (UK)

ROFMA - Romanian Facility Management Association

RFMA - Restaurant Facility Management Professionals (US)

SAFMA - South African Facilities Management Association

TEFMA - Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association (Australasian)


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7 Comments on "Which Facility Management Association and Designation is right for you?"

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  1. Rachel says:

    I am doing some research on Facility Management and trying to find the right course for me and my organization.

    I work in Long Term Care and we are in the initial steps of merging with another Long Term Care facility. Once we have merged there will be a position for a Facility & IT Manager under them would be external facility related contracts including an I.T contract, as well as the Facility Supervisor of both sites. The facility supervisors have under them Laundry, Housekeeping, and Maintenance.

    What type of designation, from what organization would you recommend?

    Thank you for your time.

    • Michel says:

      For sure, I recommend IFMA, which covers all types of facilities and even has a council for healthcare FM’s.

      You don’t indicate where you are, but if you are in the USA, check out the American Society for Healthcare Engineering at

      But don’t just become a member of a healthcare association. You will limit yourself and miss out on lots of good info and networking for FM’s. Hospitals and LTC facilities have unique needs, but the fundamentals of good FM are the same.


  2. Tyon Mason says:

    I would look at IFMA, they are a top tier association with industry leading credentials. It sounds like you should check them out.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I work for a real estate development company that owns and operates their buildings. Most of the buildings they own are commercial spaces but they have recently began purchasing residential as well.

    I am currently a property administrator but I would like to eventually become a property manager. What designation and organization would you recommend to help further my career?

  4. Anthony Okonicha says:

    I work in an Oil and Gas onshore construction company. We have built so many gas plant facilities in Nigeria. I want to join the management of these facilities as Facilities Engineer. Which certification in Facilities Engineering would you advice me to write and Association should I belong.?

    • Michel says:

      If you want to manage services and maintenance at the facilities, you should look at IFMA and their FMP designation, it is likely the most relevant. If you expect to be only on the technical side, there may be others that I am not aware of. You can also look to the USA or UK for online diplomas and degrees in the Facility Management field.

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