Governments are moving away from the direct regulation of firms and relying on associations to promote service standards and engage in self-management. Programs such as ISO have recognized service industries as being capable of developing measurable processes which result in predictable levels of service quality. There is also recognition that quality customer service ensures long-term business success. These forces have converged to create the ACMO 2000 Quality of Service certification program.
The mission of the ACMO 2000 Certification Program is to equip condominium management firms to provide quality service by:
- developing a series of core operational standards and procedures;
- certifying those firms who meet the standards; and
- providing a structure for ongoing measurement of the firm’s performance.
- Firms can choose to be ACMO corporate members and to embark on the certification process.
- The threshold for seeking certification is not biased towards large or established firms. This meets a government concern over non-discriminatory access.
Fair and credible
- The program is based upon measurement (audit) to a common standard by an independent party. This ensures the program has fairness and credibility.
- Firms develop systems based upon the standards set out in the ACMO 2000 Manual
- The systems cover the four key operational areas of a condominium management firm:
- internal management;
- board relations;
- supplier relations; and
- field operations.
- The firm is audited by an independent third party to ensure that all systems described in the Manual have been developed.
- The Condominium Management Standards Council (CMSC) reviews the audit report and decides on the certification of the firm.
- The firm is subject to ongoing reviews by the auditor to ensure that compliance with the Manual is maintained.
- A CMSC complaints procedure is available to any party who cannot resolve a dispute with the certified firm.
- The CMSC has a series of penalties available to them to impose against non-compliant certified firms.
Why ACMO 2000? Certification benefits many stakeholders in the condominium community.
Since ACMO 2000 Certified Companies adhere to a series of core operational principles, condominium corporations expect to receive a higher level of service consistently provided to their communities. ACMO 2000 companies undergo regular audits to ensure the systems they developed to receive certification are still in place. On the rare occasion that a condominium corporation feels it is unable to resolve a dispute with their management company, it can rest assured knowing there is a complaints procedure to follow to pursue resolution.
In order to receive and maintain certification, management companies put systems into place which make their operations more efficient and robust. The auditor predicts that efficiency gains alone result in a positive return on investment in the ACMO 2000 program.
By working for an ACMO 2000 Certified company, condominium property managers receive additional and enhanced business tools to serve their condominium clients. The certified firm is also under an obligation to provide continuing education for its managers.
Professional service providers to condominiums benefit from standard and transparent procurement systems which enhance the long-term value of the supplier relationships.