The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has recognised new accreditation schemes for managing agents introduced by the Association of Property and Facility Managers (APFM) and the Association of Strata Managers (ASM). This is to support the industry in raising the standards of managing agents (MAs) who provide services to management corporations (MCSTs). APFM and ASM will each be issued with a Certificate of Recognition from BCA, which requires renewal every three years. The recognition of the two accreditation schemes is part of BCA’s efforts to support the industry bodies in raising professionalism and improving competencies of MAs at both the individual and firm levels.
2 MAs can obtain accreditation at the individual level by going through a structured training programme, comprising a component that is conducted by either of the two associations and another conducted by the BCA Academy. The training programme covers areas such as the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act (BMSMA) framework, application of the BMSMA, building services, communication and office administration. The training will equip MAs with the capabilities to carry out duties professionally and provide sound advice to MCSTs.
3 Since the commencement of the training programme in June last year, more than 300 MAs have completed training and meet the criteria to be accredited.
4 MA firms can be accredited if they have sufficient staff accredited at the individual level and fulfil other accreditation criteria. To date, 16 MA firms have trained the minimum number of staff required for accreditation (refer to Annex A for list of firms).
Benefits for getting accreditation
5 Mr Chin Chi Leong, Commissioner of Buildings, BCA, said, “At present, there are more than 3,500 MCSTs in Singapore, with almost 75% engaging MAs to help in the day-to-day running of their estates. BCA recognises the need for competent MAs and has worked with both APFM and ASM to develop and recognise a more structured framework to train and upskill MAs in the industry. We would like to encourage MA firms to send their staff for training and accreditation so they have a pool of competent MAs to provide quality services to their clients.”
6 Dr Lim Lan Yuan, President of APFM said, “The recognition by BCA of APFM’s Accredited Managing Agent or AMA Scheme is a significant milestone in the training and certification of individuals and firms providing MA and property management services. We have been running the AMA scheme since 2003 and have now enhanced it in tandem with BCA’s competency framework, with the objective to further professionalise the provision of property and facility management services. We are confident that our enhanced accreditation scheme will not only encourage our APFM members to set and maintain high standards in their service delivery, but also fulfil the transformation of the property management industry in line with our nation’s Industry Transformation Map for the real estate value chain. MCSTs and strata unit owners will certainly stand to benefit if their MAs are accredited, as our accredited MAs will have to meet certain predetermined standards and professionalism. Accredited MAs will stand in good stead to value add to the management and operation of all Management Corporations, residents and their guests.”
7 Mr Teo Poh Siang, President of ASM added, “For many people, owning a strata property has been the single largest investment. It is natural that property owners expect strata management firms and their strata managers to possess relevant skill sets and are competent and professional in managing the strata developments that they own or occupy. ASM was formed with the intention of upgrading and developing the professionalism of Managing Agents with continuous training and engagement with various stakeholders of the industry. The training syllabus of the accreditation scheme covers the practical aspects of maintenance management in strata developments and provides the industry practitioners among others, with the requisite skills and knowledge to keep abreast of the latest changes in policies and procedures relating to strata management. Together with our plans for Continuing Professional Development courses (CPD), we aim to raise the competency levels of our members to better meet the needs and expectations of our clients.”