Desire a credential?  Which one is right for you?

IFMA Professional Credentials

IFMA has structured their credentialing program so there is a credential alternative available for you as a facility management professional, no matter how long you have been involved in the field. Having a professional designation is a personal achievement and will set you apart from your peers. It could even provide you with greater opportunity for growth and advancement.

Let’s take a look at the three credentials offered by IFMA today – all information taken from the IFMA website.  Click here or any logo to learn more.

Facility Management Professional

The FMP is a knowledge-based or assessment-based study, and is usually done as a self- study through online help, tutorials and testing. There are no prerequisites and no ongoing maintenance requirements. The coursework is online and interactive and covers four primary topics:  Operations and Maintenance, Finance and Business, Project Management, and Leadership and Strategy.

The IFMA FMP Credential Program is a comprehensive training program that includes print and ebooks, interactive online study tools, and online FMP final assessments. Earn it by (1) successfully completing the coursework and (2) passing the four final tests included in the training materials, and (3) submitting an application with fee to IFMA.

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Sustainability Facility Professional

The SFP is a knowledge-based or assessment-based credential with no prerequisites. Intended to help you impact your organization’s economic, environmental and social bottom lines. The SFP credential covers sustainability across the broad scope of FM:  Strategy and Alignment for Sustainable Facility Management; Managing Sustainable Facilities; Operating Sustainable Facilities.

The  SFP Credential Program includes print and e-version materials, interactive online study tools, online final assessments, and can be done as instructor-led or self-study. Earn it by successfully completing the coursework and passing the three final tests included in the training materials, and submitting an application with fee to IFMA.

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Certified Facility Manager

The CFM has long been recognized as the most respected global credential in facility management. It is competency-based for experienced FM professionals who meet education and experience requirements. It includes the 11 core competencies of Communication; Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity; Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability; Finance and Business; Human Factors; Leadership and Strategy; Operations and Maintenance; Project Management; Quality; Real Estate and Property Management; and Technology. There are prerequisites for education and experience, and there are ongoing maintenance requirements to retain the credential once earned.

There are a variety of preparation resources available, including the FM Learning System and the CFM Exam Prep Workshop. The credential is earned by submitting an application to be accepted to take the exam, and by passing the comprehensive exam taken at a testing center near you.

Learn more at

New CFM Shares Experience

This week, I passed the CFM certification (unless Houston checks it and finds otherwise!) 

Now I have worked in the area of Facilities and Real Estate for 16 years but came from the design side of it rather than building operations. I wasn't sure I had enough in-depth experience to pass all parts of the exam. I made high-level decisions about budget, direction, and real estate strategy, but I could not stand before you and explain exactly how a chiller works and how to fix it if it's not.

So, with the advice of Teena Shouse, I took the preliminary test on the website.  While my results were less than fantastic, it made me feel that with a little prep, I might be able to pass.  Then I took Teena's "most excellent adventure" CFM study session.  It helped me feel much more comfortable by identifying strategies, providing some specific information that I had not been exposed to, and giving us a chance to talk to each other about situations that might be presented on the test.  It helped me realize I needed to focus on what the questions were really asking of me. I also had to forget some things from the world I came from.  For instance, where a correct answer on the exam might be "send an e-mail to all employees to inform them of an upcoming event", that would have been unacceptable protocol at my previous employer.

As I was going through additional prep questions and the actual test, I found it helped me to think of what category/competency the question was about (are they talking about communication or life safety?)--it framed it for me and often helped me eliminate one or more of the answers because they weren't the best answer for what the question's category was.  The study session's strategies were right on--focus on the big picture, eliminate the "most wrong" answers, think of what is best for the business not just what you're are being asked to do, and think of what your boss would be looking for or how s/he would address it.

And just do it!

Anna Graether, CFM