Two new accreditation schemes for property managing agents from next year

   Managing agents who wish to be accredited can choose from one of two accreditation schemes introduced in an effort by the industry to raise its skill and service standards.
Managing agents who wish to be accredited can choose from one of two accreditation schemes introduced in an effort by the industry to raise its skill and service standards.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Condominiums and other strata property will be able to tap property managers who have been accredited from 2021.

Managing agents who wish to do so can choose from one of two accreditation schemes introduced in an effort by the industry to raise its skill and service standards.

Both schemes will be recognised by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

They will require managing agents to attend training courses and pass the required examinations conducted by either the Association of Property and Facility Managers (APFM) or the Association of Strata Managers (ASM), as well as by the BCA Academy.

Under the ASM training course, trainers from the Real Estate and Construction Academy (Reca) will cover strata management practice, administration and building maintenance. Meanwhile, the BCA Academy will cover legislation in strata management.

APFM's training course will be conducted by the BCA Academy, the association together with the Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers, and Ngee Ann Polytechnic. It said it will provide more details in the coming weeks.

To quality for accreditation under the two schemes, managing agents will need to have at least two years of relevant full-time working experience in strata or property management and attend a minimum of eight hours of continuing professional development training a year.

They must also adhere to the code of conduct and ethics developed by the respective associations.

Firms that have at least 30 per cent of its managing agents accredited under either of the two schemes from February next year will also receive accreditation, said BCA on Wednesday (Feb 12).

From February 2022, these firms must have at least 50 per cent of its managing agents accredited to receive accreditation. From February 2023, this will increase to 70 per cent of managing agents at a firm.

Other requirements for a firm to be accredited include having at least one key management staff member with a relevant degree or diploma, and with at least five years of working experience in strata or property management.

At least one key management staff member and one other staff member from the firm will also be required to pass interviews conducted by either one of the two associations' Accreditation Panel. The interviews will test their knowledge in strata management and their professional integrity and objectivity, said BCA.

BCA added that it will issue a certificate of recognition for the two accreditation schemes next year.

In the meantime, it said, firms should send their eligible staff for training by either of the two associations, so they will meet the accreditation requirements when the schemes are launched.

BCA Commissioner of Buildings, Mr Chin Chi Leong, said the authority is encouraged that the industry is taking the initiative to raise standards and professionalism through a structured programme and accreditation.

Mr Chin added that the skill sets taught in the training courses will help and improve the running of an estate.

"We encourage MCSTs to help create the demand by engaging the services of accredited firms and individual managing agents going forward," he said.

An MCST, or management corporation strata title, is a managing body of a condominium or strata property which appoints a managing agent to help run the estate.

"As a good practice, MCSTs should also spell out the key performance indicators clearly in the service agreement and review the performance of managing agent firms and individual managing agents on a regular basis."