If you want to earn a living as a community association manager in these eight states – Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, and Virginia – you must have a state-issued license. In 1987, Florida created the first state licensure program for community association managers and other states followed sporadically over the past few decades with the most recent state requiring a license being Colorado in 2013. In May of this year, the Colorado Legislature shocked the community association management profession and industry when it chose to “sunset” the licensing program – terminating the program within 12 months. This is the first time a community association manager licensing program is set to sunset.
Many states require their legislature to review occupational licensing programs every five years (or another predetermined timeframe) and determine if the program will continue or “sunset.”
Over the years, there have been threats to licensure programs in Florida and Illinois and nearly every year, at least a handful of states take a close look at some or all their occupational licensing programs to see if they should be eliminated. This is not a phenomenon specific to community association management. States eliminate occupational licensing requirements and programs regularly.
A recent article published by the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL), License Overload: Lawmakers are questioning whether we’ve gone too far with occupational and professional licensing, provides excellent insight into the current and bipartisan perspective of legislatures on the issue of occupational licensing programs. The article affirms the trend of states’ intentions to consider the benefits of licensing programs for many occupations carefully. In addition, the article points out the variance in qualifications and costs that exist from state to state and from profession to profession.
According to a Brookings Institute report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported nearly a quarter of all employed U.S. workers reported having an occupational license in 2015. As the prevalence of licensing has grown from around 5 percent (in the 1950s) to about a quarter of employees today, licensing has become a central labor market institution that shapes employment opportunities for many workers. A growing body of research suggests that licensing has pervasive impacts on workers’ wages and employment as well as prices faced by consumers (Ryan Nunn April 2016).
CAI continues to believe the community association management profession should be self-regulated. Professional managers should take comprehensive coursework to become experts in their profession, and they should earn and maintain their professional credentials that recognize competence in the profession. Homeowners shall seek to hire ONLY qualified credentialed community managers. Self-regulation is the best solution for protecting the public interests and continuing to raise the bar in the profession.
Dawn Bauman, CAE
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