Earn distinction, demonstrate your expertise and increase your earning potential. The Certified Facility Manager® (CFM®) credential sets the industry standard for ensuring the knowledge and competence of practising facility managers. It is an ideal opportunity for experienced FM professionals to distinguish themselves with the most respected global credential in facility management.


CFM candidates have a variety of optional preparation resources available to them. CFM candidates are not required to attend preparation courses, however exam preparation is recommended for best results."

11 Competency Outline and Self-Evaluation

Within the 11 broad competency areas are groups of competencies which are further broken down into the specific performances which comprise the category. The exam questions were written to identify whether or not examinees are competent in each performance.

To evaluate your readiness to take the exam, please download the Complete List of Competencies [pdf]. This document gives detailed information about the scope of knowledge and experience covered on the CFM Exam. In reviewing this document, make an honest assessment of your competence and experience in each of the performances.

How to use this document as a self-evaluation to prepare for the CFM exam

You can use this information as a type of self-evaluation simply by reading each performance and asking yourself these questions:

  • Have I performed this function?
  • Have I managed this function?
  • How many people were involved with this project?
  • How many of these people reported to me?
  • What was the budgeted amount for this project?
  • Did I prepare the budget?
  • Did I maintain the budget?
  • How many employees were affected?
  • How many square feet were involved?
  • Have I done this for more than one company or in more than one environment?


Not all questions can or will relate to each performance. However, it’s vital to thoroughly analyze your background in each performance. The majority of people who pass the exam have both breadth and depth of experience in at least seven of the eleven competency areas. Most also have some exposure to the other four areas.

If you are weak in three or more competency areas, you should wait until you have more experience before sitting for the exam. If you are weak in one or two competency areas, you can take courses or find facility management books that may help expand your knowledge in these areas. IFMA offers courses in each of the competency areas, available in online and instructor-led formats. Remember that no course can give you a lifetime of experience and the exam does test experience and competency.

Download the Complete List of Competencies [pdf].

CFM Exam Preparation Resources

Preparing for IFMA's Certified Facility Manager Examination can be as challenging as taking it. Developing a realistic time frame for a study strategy, along with objectives and completed goals, is imperative. Test anxiety is often a major obstacle standing in the way of effective test performance. Strategies to deal with anxiety can be learned and used to successfully prepare for and take the examination. A confident approach to the certification examination is the candidate's greatest asset.

CFM candidates have a variety of preparation resources available to them: