With competition stiffer, particularly on federal and other public-sector projects, the Construction Management Association of America is banking on more firms opting to use construction management certification as a competitive edge. CMAA reports an 18% gain since mid-2009 in the number of managers who have become certified and claims more owners are specifying it in procurements and having their own staffers achieve the credential.

Much of the certification gain has come this year, says John McKeon, a CMAA spokesman. He says that, by the end of March, the association�s Construction Manager Certification Institute �was already more than halfway to its full-year goal for new applications.� According to McKeon, the number of new visitors to the certification page of CMAA�s website rose 47% in April and May.

The association�s quarterly online �webinar,� which typically attracted �a dozen or so� participants, posted more than 220 this past quarter, says McKeon. He anticipates that a new CMAA alliance with the Construction Industry Institute, an Austin, Texas-based research group with industrial owner and contractor members, �is going to push this trend even more.� According to CMAA, companies such as Procter & Gamble, Target and Southern Cos. �have been expressing a lot of interest in certification.�

Federal agencies such as the General Services Administration and the Army Corps of Engineers are zeroing in on certification�s �responsible-in-charge experience,� says CMAA President Bruce D�Agostino. In a June 7 announcement, the association says the U.S. State Dept.�s Office of Building Operations (OBO) and the Virginia Dept. of Transportation are among new members that will send employees to be certified. OBO manager Daniel Hogan says the office aims to have all its professional construction managers do so.