In order to ensure all board members of homeowners associations (HOAs), condo associations, mobile home associations and co-op associations are up to speed on applicable regulations, board members are required to obtain a certification.
Question: How much time do board members have to complete the certification course and pass the test?
Answer: Board directors must successfully complete the certification course within 90 days of being appointed or elected into their positions.
Q: Do all directors take the same course or examination to obtain their certifications?
A: Yes. The condo board of directors certification in Florida is the same as the homeowners and mobile home associations.
Q: What alternatives are there to certification?
A: Florida Statute Chapter 720 states that HOA directors must prove that they are prepared to serve on the board of their association. In practical terms, this means that association directors may take one of the two actions below within 90 days of their election or appointment:
Submit a letter to the secretary of their association confirming that they have thoroughly read through and understand the association’s governing documents. They must also agree that, to the best of their ability, they will abide by, uphold and enforce the documents.
Submit proof of successful completion of a State of Florida-approved association certification course.
Q: Where does a new association member go to register for the association course?
A: Newly elected or appointed association members can earn board member certification by completing a course either online or in a physical classroom. Self-study options can be completed at home, usually in less than four hours.
In-person classes and online courses, as well as the latest regulations related to certification, can be browsed by visiting the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR)
Courses range in price but typically cost less than $100.
“Newly elected or appointed association members can earn board member certification by completing a course either online or in a physical classroom.”
Q: What content is included in the association course?
A: Approved course providers use the Florida Board Member Certification Course manual as their textbook. The content outlines the fiduciary duties of association members and gives an overview of the operational procedures of the typical association and state and federal laws that govern associations. The courses provide new association members with the knowledge required to run association meetings, prepare budgets and finances and manage governing documents. Risk management (how to procure insurance) and asset management are also covered in most courses.
While course content varies, below are some of the topics most commonly seen in association course curricula
- Community governance
- Florida statutes related to each type of community
- How the Florida legislature develops and passes new community regulations via statute
- Interpreting financial statements
- Problem solving
- Procedural etiquette and protocols for meetings and voting
- The fiduciary duties of board members
- The various roles held by association board members
- The various types of communities including single-family homes, townhouses, condos and others
- Working effectively with other board members,
Q: Is there an exam? If so, what is the passing score?
A: Once the self-study or in-person course is completed, association members need to pass the final exam with a score of 75% in order to obtain certification.
Q: How long does certification last?
A: Once a board member is certified, the certification remains valid as long as they stay a member of the board of their association. Should a board member leave the board and later be reappointed (or reelected) to the association board, then they would be required to take the association course again. In such a case, they will have 90 days to successfully complete the course.
Q: What happens to uncertified directors?
A: Associations may suspend a director who has not filed their certificate within 90 days of their appointment or election. If suspended, then the board member remains suspended until they provide proof of their certification.
South Florida Law
Becoming certified is an important early step in the career of any member of an association’s board. Once certified, board members are likely to face a number of legal challenges and matters. It’s best not to face these challenges by “going it alone”. Having an attorney with experience in and knowledge of Florida HOA and association law makes all the difference. South Florida Law is a leader in Florida HOA and association law. We serve association and co-op boards throughout the State of Florida in all matters from document drafting and review to representation in disputes. If you are a member of an association board, reach out to us today to discuss your needs. Contact us via our online contact form or by phone at (954) 900-8885