What You Need to Know About the HOA Board Member Certification in Florida for 2021
Updated: Mar 3
Just as a real estate sales associate must obtain a license in Florida, so must a homeowner association (HOA) Board Member obtain a certification. HOA board member certification in Florida varies by the level of involvement. It is only required for directors of the HOA board, but association members and homeowners can also take the course.
What certification does a condo or HOA board member need?
The condo board of directors certification in Florida is the same as the homeowners and mobile home associations. In 2013, the Florida legislature amended Florida Statute Chapter 720. Since July 1 of that year, HOA directors must prove their preparation to serve on the HOA. Two options exist.
Within 90 days of their appointment or election, the HOA director must submit a letter to the association’s secretary that they have completely read the HOA’s governing documents and agree to uphold them to the best of their ability.
Within 90 days of their appointment or election, the HOA director must submit proof of completion of an approved HOA certification course.
Since it is important for a director and the association members to understand both the state laws and the HOA constitution, many association attorneys recommend HOA members meet the requirement by attending the course. The certification course covers all needed topics and tests on them which ensures the director, trustees and members understand all requirements.
Registering for the Course
Most schools offering this course have online registration. Examples of these include Prolicense Florida and Florida CAM SChools. You can also find law offices that hold the board member certification course throughout Florida.
Taking the Course
The in-person classroom course provides education based upon the Florida Board Member Certification Course manual. The course explains the fiduciary duties of an HOA and typical association operational procedures. The course costs less than $100 per person.
It covers applicable state and federal laws, essential community association operations, how to run a meeting, preparing budgets and finances, governing documents, asset protection and insurance.
You may also take this course at home. After completing the self study course and completing the final exam with a passing score of 75 or greater, you will receive certification.
Custom Course Creation
Some educational institutions also develop custom training courses and career development courses for HOAs. These schools assess your association’s needs and goals and design course the owner’s associations of condominiums, cooperatives and homes. These courses provide education for both the HOA trustees/boards of directors and the HOA’s community volunteers.
While these courses cover some of the same material as the Director’s course, some of the topics apply only to the specific association for which the school created it. Various potential topics include:
board member fiduciary duties,
working well with other board members,
community association governance,
various types of communities,
Florida statutes regulating each community type,
learn how new rules and regulations get developed and implemented,
understanding financial statements,
work through live scenarios to problem solve potential problems,
how to chair a public meeting,
board member orientation,
voting and abstaining on issues in board decisions,
Duration of Validation
Once certified, the board member’s training remains valid throughout their uninterrupted tenure. If they leave their board position and later return to the HOA board of directors, they need to repeat the HOA certification course. The same time period will apply to re-certification – 90 days after their election date or one year before election to provide certification of successful completion of the HOA certification course.
The HOA has the right to suspend a director who fails to file the certificate within the appropriate time period. The suspension stands until the director becomes certified and provides the documentation to the board.
You can easily earn board member certification in Florida by completing an appropriate course in-person or online. This quick course requires only about two hours of class time. The self-study option can be completed at home in a matter of hours. You can also fulfill the requirements of the Florida Statute Chapter 720 by reading and studying the governing documents of your HOA, such as its articles of incorporation and bylaws, then submitting a letter confirming your understanding of and willingness to uphold its regulations.
You can find a local class or online course by visiting the Florida DBPR. This website also provides links to updated Florida regulations.