What is Construction Management?

Construction Management is a professional service that applies effective management techniques to the planning, design, and construction of a project from inception to completion for the purpose of controlling time, cost and quality.

Construction Management is a discipline and management system specifically created to promote the successful execution of capital projects for owners. These projects can be highly complex. Few owners maintain the staff resources necessary to pay close, continuing attention to every detail--yet these details can "make or break" a project.

What is Agency CM?

"Agency" CM is a fee-based service in which the construction manager is responsible exclusively to the owner and acts in the owner's interests at every stage of the project. The construction manager offers advice, uncolored by any conflicting interest, on such crucial matters as:

- Optimum use of available funds

- Control of the scope of the work

- Project scheduling

- Optimum use of design and construction firms' skills and talents

- Avoidance of delays, changes and disputes

- Enhancing project design and construction quality

- Optimum flexibility in contracting and procurement

Comprehensive management of every stage of the project, beginning with the original concept and project definition, yields the greatest possible benefit to owners from Construction Management.

What is At-Risk CM?

"At-risk" CM is a delivery method which entails a commitment by the construction manager to deliver the project within a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP). The construction manager acts as consultant to the owner in the development and design phases, but as the equivalent of a general contractor during the construction phase. When a construction manager is bound to a GMP, the most fundamental character of the relationship is changed. In addition to acting in the owner's interest, the construction manager also protects him/herself.

What is Program Management?

Program Management is the practice of professional construction management applied to a capital improvement program of one or more projects from inception to completion. Comprehensive construction management services are used to integrate the different facets of the construction process - planning, design, procurement, construction and activation - for the purpose of providing standardized technical and management expertise on each project.

How do I select a CM?

CMAA recommends a systematic approach to selecting a construction manager, based on an objective evaluation of the qualifications of competing firms, coupled with a clear expression of the owner's expectations and desires. An effective selection process should include the following steps.
1. Create a clear statement of the project, including size, purposes, goals, and other parameters.

2. State your expectations regarding schedule and budget.

3. Define your own internal procedures.

4. Form a selection committee.

5. Statement of Qualifications. Publish a Request for a Statement of Qualifications (RFQ).

6. Compile a "short list."

7. Proposals.

8. Evaluate bidders.

9. Finalize scope of services and cost.

See Find a CM/PM section of this website for more elaboration on these guidelines.

What is CMAA's Mission and Vision?

The Mission of CMAA is to promote the profession of Construction Management and the use of qualified Construction Managers on capital projects and programs.

The Vision of CMAA is that all owners will realize capital project and program success by using professionally qualified Construction Managers.


How do I retrieve my password/log in?

To reset your password, click here.

After entering your email address, you will receive a password reset email from Support@cmaanet.org. The link in this email will allow you to input your new password and log in to your CMAA account.

Passwords should be at least 8 characters and contain both letters and numbers.Your username will be your work email.

Where do I purchase membership?

After logging into your CMAA account, select "Store" in the top navigation bar.

- On the left side of the page, you can search for the membership category that you wish to apply for.

- Once you’ve selected your membership category, select "Add to Cart" and proceed to checkout.

- After submitting payment, you will be presented with a sales receipt and will receive your welcome email

Where do I purchase publications?

After logging into your CMAA account, select "Store" in the top navigation bar.

On the left side of the page, you can search for specific publications or jump to the appropriate category.

- Add the item to your cart and proceed to checkout.

- Once you’ve selected your membership category, select "Add to Cart" and proceed to checkout.

- After submitting payment, you will receive a sales receipt.

How do I sign up for Conferences?

After logging into your CMAA account, select the "Events" tab in the top navigation bar. You may also visit the National Conference landing page directly.

- All CMAA National events are listed, by date, on the "Events" page.

- After linking to or choosing the CMAA National Conference and Trade Show from the Events page, follow the instruction to choose your registration category and any additional tickets you may wish to purchase.

- After submitting payment, you will receive a sales receipt.

How do I register for other events?

After logging in to your CMAA Account, please select the "Events" in the navigation bar at the top of the page. All CMAA events are listed by date on the general Events page.

After selecting your desired event, you will automatically be provided with additional instructions to complete and submit payment for your registration

After submitting payment, you will receive a sales receipt.

How do I register for the CMIT program?

After logging into your CMAA Account, select "Store" in the top navigation bar.

Enter "CMIT" into the search bar on the left side fo the page.

Select "CMIT Application" and then select "Add to Cart".

After adding to your cart, you will be required to upload your current transcript or resume, acknowledge the Code of Ethics, and indicate your eligibility.

Proceed to checkout and enter your payment information. You will then receive a sales receipt and confirmation email. Once your application is approved, the CMIT department will contact you with more information about the next steps

How do I update my employer in my profile?

To update your employer, please contact CMAA's Membership Department.

How do I renew my membership?

After logging into your CMAA account, select "Subscriptions" on the left side of the page. Your current membership status and expiration date will be displayed here.

Hover your cursor over the box that says "Status" and select "Renew" from the drop down menu.

In the pop-up window, select "View Shopping Cart" to procced to checkout.

Is my CCM designation tied to my membership?

No. CCM information is maintained by CMCI, and is not available through the membership portal. For information about your certification, please contact CMCI.

I made a purchase, but did not receive a sales receipt. How do I get my receipt?

For event receipts, contact nborman@cmaanet.org.

For membership receipts, contact CMAA's membership@cmaanet.org.

For publication/bookstore receipts, contact tlong@cmaanet.org.

Who should I contact if I have trouble with my account?

For questions regarding your membership account, please contact support@cmaanet.org.

For all other inquiries, please contact the corresponding department



Professional Development


CM Certification

What is certification?

Certification is a voluntary designation given to someone who has met the prescribed criteria of a program. Licensing is mandatory and required by law in order to practice a particular profession.

What is a CCM?

The Certified Construction Manager (CCM) is someone who has voluntarily met the prescribed criteria of the CCM program with regard to formal education, field experience and demonstrated capability and understanding of the CM body of knowledge.

Why should I become certified?

There are many reasons. Here are three:

1. CM certification tells owners, employers and peers that you are a professional.

2. Certification indicates that as a CM practitioner, you have demonstrated the knowledge, experience and judgement necessary for sound, professional construction management.

3. Certification helps owners and construction consumers in selecting CMs for their programs and projects.

What is CMCI?

CMCI is the Construction Manager Certification Institute. It is sponsored by CMAA and is the organization which oversees the certification program.

What is the Board of Governors?

It is the independent governing body of the Construction Manager Certification Institute (CMCI). CMCI is sponsored by the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA). It is comprised of 15 members: CCMs and executive-level CMs. They are charged with overseeing the certification program; they also review candidate applications and decide whether or not to advance to candidacy.

What is the reference letter?

A minimum of two references letters are required; they can be from any two projects that you are using as part of your 48 month requirement. Even if one project covers the 48 months, you will still need 2 reference letters. Acceptable references required MUST come from a CLIENT or OWNER (the person you were accountable to on the project). If, for some reason, you are unable to acquire an Owner reference, an explanation is required. In these approved cases (not common), the letter of reference may come from:

1. A valid CCM credential holder

2. Company Executive (the person you were accountable to on the project).

3. Other person at top level of the project that can verify your experience.

The purpose of the reference letter is to verify your experience on the project. Make sure that your references submit enough information for the Board to be able to make this determination.

How are the reference letters to be submitted?

Each reference and applicant submits is contacted by CMCI through email and requested to fill out an electronic form.

Can the projects overlap?

Yes, but you cannot double count the months.

What is the Qualifications Matrix?

It represents the minimum qualifying experience to submit an application to become certified. CMAA has defined 6 functions/roles of a CM during 5 project phases (reference Standard CM Services and Practice). Of the 30 possible experience areas, 15 are required as shown by the boxes. These 15 required areas are spread throughout the matrix and represent the minimum qualifying experience for the 48-month CM experience. In order to enroll in the program, the applicant must have experience in these 15 areas.

Do I have to have 48 months experience in each area of the matrix?

No. The 48 months experience is cumulative for all areas. In other words, during the 48 month's worth of projects that you are submitting, you must have had experience in the minimum qualifying areas.

What is the 48-month CM experience?

This is the minimum acceptable time as a practicing CM to be eligible for the program. It must be in the various phases of the project and entail the functions/roles of the CM. All applicants must have this experience as a responsible-in-charge CM.

What if I don't have the minimum qualifying experience?

You will not be eligible for the certification. Wait until you have gained the experience.

What if I have everything but the one of the required areas?

Make sure that you have understood the requirements of that experience. Look over the section in your application materials that discusses the Standard CM Services and Practice. Also understand that the 48 months experience is cumulative for all areas; it is not required for each area.

What is Responsible-in-Charge experience?

The Board of Governors has defined responsible-in-charge as follows: The candidate's experience must be realized during project execution as part of a project delivery team. The candidate must have had sufficient accountability to assure direct responsibility for the supervision of the construction management staff, for project decision making, the delivery of construction management services and communication with and coordination of the other project participants, specifically owners, design professionals, consultants, suppliers, vendors and contractors.

What qualifies as a CM-related degree?

Degrees in Construction Management, Construction Science, Architecture or Engineering. 4-year (BA/BS) or graduate degrees (MA/MS) substitute for the 8 years general construction/design experience. Undergrad 2-year degrees (AA) substitute for 4 year general construction/design experience.

The educational degrees must be accredited through either ACCE (American Council for Construction Education), ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) or NAAB (National Architecture Accrediting Board).

What if I don't have a CM-related degree?

Since the degree is a substitute for the 8 years of general construction/design experience, it must be in construction management, construction science, architecture or engineering. If you don't have one of these degrees, you will need to have the 8 years general construction/design experience. This requirement is in addition to the 48-month responsible in charge CM experience.

Are there any requirements after I become certified?

Yes. There is a $200 recertification fee and there are renewal requirements. Certification is an on-going commitment that actually begins with becoming certified. CCM's are required to renew their certification every 3 years. You may wish to refer to the renewal section on the website for additional detail.

How much does it cost to become certified?

The fees are as follows: Application is $325 for CMAA members, the Exam is $425, Exam re-takes are $125, and there is a $200 recertification fee every three years, once you become a CCM. All fees are non-refundable.

What is Capstone?

The Capstone is designed to add essential elements to the CM Body of Knowledge that may not have been obtained from formal training or required experience.

How often is the CCM exam given?

The exam is offered daily at authorized testing center.

How can I prepare for the CCM exam? What should I study?

There is no required avenue for preparing for the exam and no one source will guarantee that you will pass the exam. CMCI recommends the Standards of Practice Study Kit offered by CMAA in addition to those listed in the CM Core Competencies. The core competencies list resources that are available to assist you in your studies.

How many questions are on the CCM exam?

The exam has 200 multiple choice questions. You will have 5 hours to complete the exam and the exam is given at authorized testing centers daily.

Is there a practice exam?

Not at this time. CMAA is working on developing a practice exam, however, there is no estimated date for release.

What if I don't pass the CCM exam?

You may take the exam up to three times, but must wait a minimum of 45 days in between each exam attempt. The exam is based on an overall passing score. If you do not pass the exam, you must retake the entire CCM exam again. You have one year from the date your application is approved for examination to use all three attempts at the exam.

What does the exam test?

The exam tests general knowledge of construction management. Material is based on the Construction Manager Body of Knowledge and is taken from the following sources: CMAA's Standard CM Services and Practice and the CII's Best Practicis Guide.

What are the requirements for continued CM certification?

Certification is an on-going, lifelong commitment that actually begins with becoming certified. CCMs must obtain re-certification points to maintain the CCM designation. CCMs are required to re-certify every three years by submitting points in three key areas: involvement/commitment to the profession, contribution to the profession, and professional development.

CMAA Foundation

Do you offer any scholarships to students pursuing CM as a degree?

Scholarships may be awarded by the CMAA Foundation to full-time college and university students enrolled in four-year degree programs in construction management or related disciplines. Candidates must have completed a minimum of one full academic year, and have a minimum of one full year remaining in their course of study. Scholarships awarded are for the duration of one year.  More information is available here.



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