ILLINOIS MANAGER LICENSING FAQ
September 15, 2009
What is the Illinois Community Association Manager Licensing and Disciplinary Act?
The Illinois Community Association Manager Licensing Act (Act) is a law passed by the Illinois
Legislature in 2009 that requires professional community association managers to obtain a
professional license to work in the state. This law is recorded as Public Act 96-0726.
The goal of this law is to provide for the regulation of community association managers to ensure
that those engaged in the profession have a minimum set of qualifications needed to manage
community associations. It also provides for the maintenance of high ethical and professional
standards within the profession and creates disciplinary procedures. This FAQ provides a first
look at the major provisions of the Act.
When will the Law become effective?
The law becomes effective July 1, 2010. At that time the State will appoint a Community
Association Manager Licensing and Disciplinary Board (Board) to develop regulations to fully
implement the requirements of the Act. Twelve months after the regulations are adopted,
individuals will be unable to provide services as association managers without a state license. At
this time, the earliest this requirement is likely to be effective will be July, 2011.
What is required of me or my company at this time?
At this time, you and your company should review the language of the Act to have a complete
understanding of its requirements. You may also check the manager licensing resource page on
CAI’s website (www.caionline.org) for updates as they become available. CAI will also work
with its Illinois Chapter and Legislative Action Committee to provide CAI members with
updates on compliance with the law.
Who will be required to hold a license under the law?
Under the Act, any person providing community association management services to any
community association in Illinois will be required to hold a license issued by the Illinois
Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (Department). There is also a provision for
a management company to obtain a license.
What will the requirements be for my company?
A community association management company may provide professional community
management services under the law if the services are provided by:
An employee or independent contractor licensed under the act
A person who is acting under the direct supervision of a licensed employee of the
A person who is legally authorized to provide services under the act.
Persons not in compliance with these requirements are subject to action by the state.
Who is not required to hold a license under the law?
The Act does not apply to any person providing services to a community association on a
volunteer basis, to anyone managing communities with 10 or fewer units, support staff
(bookkeepers, administrative personnel, etc.), attorneys, persons acting as fiduciaries pursuant to
a court order, or any person practicing a profession other than community association
management for which they are licensed.
How is Community Association Manager defined?
A community association manager is defined as an individual who is compensated to administer
the financial, administrative, maintenance or other duties for the community association,
including the following services:
Collecting, controlling or disbursing funds to the community association or having
authority to do so;
Preparing budgets or other financial documents for the community association;
Assisting in the conduct of community association meetings;
Maintaining community association records; AND
Administering association contracts, as stated in the declaration, bylaws, proprietary
lease, declaration of covenants or other governing documents of the community
What will be the licensing requirements?
To be eligible to obtain a license in Illinois, an applicant will be required to apply in writing, pay
the required fee and meet the below qualifications.
Applicants for licensure must:
Be at least 21 years of age.
Provide satisfactory evidence of having completed at least 20 classroom hours in
community association management courses approved by the soon to be created
Community Association Manager Licensing and Disciplinary Board.
Pass an examination authorized by the Department.
Have not committed an act or acts, in this or any other jurisdiction, that would be
a violation of this Act.
Be of good moral character. Good moral character is a continuing requirement of
licensure. Conviction of crimes other than felonies may be used in determining
moral character, but shall not constitute an absolute bar to licensure.
Not been declared by any court of competent jurisdiction to be incompetent by
reason of mental or physical defect or disease, unless a court has subsequently
declared him or her to be competent.
Comply with any additional qualifications for licensure as determined by rule of
What will be the educational requirements?
Applicants for licensure will be required to complete at least 20 hours of classroom instruction
on community association management through courses approved by a soon to be appointed
Community Association Manager Licensing and Disciplinary Board. To renew a license,
licensees must complete 16 hours of approved classroom instruction every four years.
Continuing educational requirements will be further defined by the Board.
Will there be an examination?
Yes, through consultation with the Community Association Manager Licensing and Disciplinary
Board, the Department will develop and/or approve an examination that provides a basis for
evaluating the knowledge of licensees. The law requires that such a test should be based on the
basic principles of professional testing standards as set forth by the National Organization for
Competency Assurances (NOCA).
One examination that meets such criteria is the Certified Manager of Community Association®
(CMCA) exam developed by the National Board of Certification for Community Association
Managers (NBC-CAM). CAI and NBC-CAM plan to work with the Department and the newly
appointed Board to offer this program as one of the approved examinations.
Will there be acknowledgement of my experience as a manager?
Yes, the Act provides that the examination requirements will not apply to licensees who provide
evidence that they have practiced community association management for at least five years or
hold a designation awarded by a recognized community association management organization in
the state. The details of this provision will be expanded upon in the regulations developed by the
Department through consultation with the Community Association Manager Licensing and
What if I am licensed in another state?
If a community association manager is licensed under the laws of another state, the Department
may issue a license if the requirements of the state, on the date of licensure, were substantially
equal to the requirements in Illinois and the person’s individual qualifications were also
substantially equivalent to the requirements found in the Act.
Does the Act require insurance or bonding?
Under the Act, a community association manager or management company must carry fidelity
insurance to insure against loss for theft of community association funds. The fidelity insurance
coverage shall not be less than all the funds under control of the manager. The fidelity policy
must cover the managers, partners and officers of the management company, as well as the
officers, directors and employees of the association. Unless otherwise agreed, the association is
responsible for securing the fidelity insurance.
What is the Community Association Manager Licensing and Disciplinary Board?
The Act creates the Community Association Manager Licensing and Disciplinary Board to guide
the Department in the administration and the enforcement of the provisions of the law.
The Board will consist of seven members, appointed by the Secretary of the Illinois Department
of Financial and Professional Regulation. Of the seven board members, five must be community
association managers licensed under the Act and two members must be homeowners that live in
a community association who have no direct affiliation with any management company. Regular
terms for members of the Board shall be five years and terms will be staggered.
How are consumers protected under this new law?
In adopting the Act, Illinois will put in place mechanisms for enforcing the requirements of
professional licensing and empower the Department to take action against licensed managers for
violations of the act and/or their duty to their clients.
The law provides that the Board may refuse to renew, may revoke, discipline and even fine a
licensed manager for violations of the act or their duty to their clients. The causes for discipline
will include more than 27 areas including the following:
Providing false information to the Department
Violating provisions of the Act
Conviction or pleas in a felony or a misdemeanor that is directly related to the practice of
Misrepresentation to obtain a license
How do I keep up to date on the implementation of the Manager Licensing and
CAI and CAI’s Illinois Chapter will provide alerts to CAI members on developments in the
implementation of the Act. Members can also access CAI’s manager licensing resource page.