Licensing of Condominium Managers- Licensing Timeframes and Requirements (Blog No. 2 in a Series)
According to the draft regulations, what are the new licensing timeframes and requirements?
Step 1: The Management Services Act must first be proclaimed in force
This is expected to occur sometime between March and June of 2017.
Step 2: Applying for a Licence
Once the legislation is proclaimed in force, managers and management providers will then have 150 days (roughly five months) to apply for their licences. The Licensing Authority Registrar (“the Registrar”) will have the discretion to extend this 150-day period for reasons of undue hardship.
Within the 150-day “application period”, managers will need to apply for one of the following:
(a) A limited licence (for applicants with up to 2 years of condominium management experience). [There will be restrictions on limited licensees, including a requirement that they be supervised. (More on this in an upcoming Blog.)]
(b) A transitional general licence (for applicants with more than 2 years of condominium management experience, who have not yet satisfied the higher education requirements for a general licence).
(c) A general licence (for applicants with more than 2 years of condominium management experience who have satisfied the higher education requirements for a general licence).
The Basic Application Requirements for Managers
As I read the draft regulations, all applicants for management licences will have to satisfy certain basic requirements, including the following:
- They will need to provide a police record check (dated no more than six months prior to the application);
- They will need to satisfy minimum education and testing to be specified by the Minister (and subsequently by the Licensing Authority).
- They will need to pay an application fee.
[For renewals, there will be a required fee and also required compliance with ongoing continuing education requirements; but the basis requirements won’t apply to renewals.]
So in summary, it appears to me that minimum education and testing will apply even to applicants for limited licences and for transitional general licences. However, there is also the possibility for grandfathering – see below.
The Basic Application Requirements for Condominium Management Providers
Applicants for condominium management provider licences will need to pay an application fee, and will also need to designate a principal condominium manager (PCM). The PCM will have to hold a general licence and will also have to successfully complete additional education required of PCMs (to be specified by the Minister or the Registrar). During the three-year transition period noted below, a condominium management provider will be able to designate a transitional general licensee, a general licensee or an applicant of either, as their PCM.
Step 3: For Managers who obtain a Limited Licence
A limited licensee will have 5 years to obtain the necessary management experience and additional education; and to apply for a general licence.*
Step 3: For Managers who obtain a Transitional General Licence
A transitional general licensee will have 3 years to obtain the necessary additional education; and to apply for a general licence.*
[*These 3 and 5-year “maximum permitted renewal periods” (for limited licences and transitional general licences) run from the date of first issuance of the licence. It’s not absolutely clear to me what happens upon expiry of these periods; but it appears to me that the licence would simply become “non-renewable”. The manager could then make a new application for a limited licence (but in doing so would have to again satisfy all of the basic requirements). Note: According to the draft regulations, it would not be possible to re-apply for a transitional general licence. As I read the draft regulations, transitional general licences will only exist during the above-noted three-year “period of transition”.]
Step 3: For Managers who obtain a General Licence
Managers who obtain a general licence would of course be able to continually renew the licence provided they satisfy all ongoing requirements for continuing education and testing (see below).
Step 4: Meeting the Education Requirements
As noted above, all applicants will need to satisfy minimum education and testing requirements (unless they are grandfathered).
Applicants for a general licence will of course need to show that they’ve met the higher education and testing requirements to be specified by the Minister (again, unless they are grandfathered).
[Note that the Licensing Authority will take control of the education requirements (and may change the requirements) three years after the Management Services Act comes into force.]
According to the draft regulations, the higher education requirements for a general licence (at least initially) will be the following four courses and exams developed by ACMO (the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario):
I. Condominium Law
II. Physical Building Management
III. Financial Planning for Condominium Managers
IV. Condominium Administration and Human Relations
Note as well that ACMO members in good standing holding the RCM (Registered Condominium Manager) designation will be treated as having met these requirements. In other words, an RCM will be deemed to have the education required for a general condominium management licence.
The draft regulations say that the Registrar has the authority to recognize any of the following as equivalent (ie. sufficient) to meet the basic or higher education requirements:
(a) The prior successful completion by the applicant of programs of study, training programs, internship programs, apprenticeship programs, courses, seminars, lectures or tutorials.
(b) The prior successful completion by the application of examinations or tests.
(c) The prior work experience of the applicant.
In summary, although it’s not exactly clear what will be sufficient to satisfy the Registrar, the Registrar will have the authority to “grandfather” applicants (as far as concerns ANY of the education and testing requirements) based upon PAST experience, education or testing.
Step 5: Continuing Education Requirements
According to the draft regulations, the Minister (and eventually the Registrar) may, and presumably will, specify requirements for ongoing continuing education (and testing) which will have to be met by the different licensees. In the event of non-compliance, licence renewal will be denied.
A further note about the Management Experience requirement
As noted above, one of the requirements for a general licence (transitional or final) is that the applicant have two years of management experience. As part of this requirement, the draft regulations say that the applicant must have:
(a) planned and participated in meetings of the board of directors of a client;
(b) planned and participated in meetings of owners, including at least one annual general meeting within the meaning of the Condominium Act, 1998;
(c) participated in preparing a budget for a condominium corporation that the applicant has presented to the board of directors of a client;
(d) interpreted financial statements for a client under section 66 of the Condominium Act, 1998 and presented them to the board of directors of the client;
(e) prepared and presented reports to the board of directors of a client; and
(f) overseen the maintenance or repair of units, common elements within the meaning of the Condominium Act, 1998 or client assets, if any.
Stay tuned to Condo Law News for more blogs about the draft regulations under the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015.