Tricks Of The Trade: The Designation Debate

Tricks Of The Trade: The Designation Debate | Facility Executive - Creating Intelligent Buildings
TFM Columnist Jim Elledge explains the differences in FM designations.

Tricks Of The Trade: The Designation Debate


Tricks Of The Trade: The Designation Debate

By James C. Elledge, IFMA Fellow, CFM, FMA, RPA, RIAQM
Published in the September 2006 issue of Today’s Facility Manager

Q Is there a difference between the certifications offered by BOMI (FMA) and IFMA (FMP)? Is one more widely recognized than the other?

Sacha Sigleman-Schwartz
Vestal, NY

A Based upon the length of time each program has been around, the BOMI  FMA is better known than the FMP from IFMA. The FMA may also be easier to achieve, based on the criteria for completion. And because BOMI widely promotes its FMA program through magazine advertisements, trade shows, and journals (while the IFMA program tends to be promoted within the association), the FMA is more widely recognized.

There are some other differences in the two programs, primarily due to course requirements and testing. Here is an overview of both.

The FMA designation program requires the successful completion of the program’s seven courses:

  1. Fundamentals of Facilities Management;
  2. Technologies for Facilities Management;
  3. Facilities Planning and Project Management;
  4. Environmental Health and Safety Issues;
  5. The Design, Operation, and Maintenance of Building Systems, Part I;
  6. The Design, Operation, and Maintenance of Building Systems, Part II; and
  7. Real Estate Investment and Finance.

The one day Ethics Is Good Business® ShortCourse™ is also required. Once the courses are completed and the exams are passed, the designation is awarded.

The IFMA FMP designation requires the candidate to complete six credit hours in five areas:

  1. FM Fundamentals;
  2. Managing the Facility;
  3. Supporting the Business;
  4. Leading the Organization; and
  5. FM Business Workshop.

The FM Business Workshop is the only course that must be taught by IFMA instructors; approved providers can teach the others.

Complete details, registration forms, and costs for both programs are available from the organizations’ respective Web sites.

Elledge,facility/office services manager for Dallas, TX-based Summit AllianceCompanies, is the recipient of the Distinguished Author Award from theInternational Facility Management Association (IFMA), is an IFMA Fellow, and isa member of TFM’sEditorial Advisory Board. All questions have been submitted via the “Ask TheExpert” portion of the magazine’s Web site. To pose a question, visit this link.

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