Montgomery County CCOC Launches Online Board Member Training Program

Date: January 19, 2016

Montgomery County law now requires common ownership community board members to receive training in basic community association management.  The Montgomery County Commission on Common Ownership Communities (CCOC) has launched a new online training program that allows board members to comply with the County’s requirements.  The new law, which took effect January 1, 2016, requires all members of community association boards of directors (except those within the city of Gaithersburg) who are elected or re-elected after January 1, 2016, to take a CCOC-approved training class within 3 months of their election or re-election.  The law does not apply to those who were elected before 2016, unless they are re-elected or appointed to a new term after January 1, 2016.

The new law is designed to promote more knowledgeable and responsible management of common ownership communities, which include residential condominiums, cooperatives and homeowners’ association.  The new training program addresses ethics, roles and responsibilities of board members and homeowners, community governing documents, financial management, meeting rules, and general administration. The training is required for community association board members, but is also available to members of the public interested in learning about operating common ownership communities.

At the end of each year, common ownership communities are required to report to the CCOC who their directors are, when the directors were elected or re-elected, and which directors have taken the training.  It is important to note that a director’s failure to take the training will not cause their removal from the board, nor does it invalidate that director’s vote or invalidate the board’s decisions.  However, the law permits a CCOC hearing panel to consider a board member’s failure to complete the training, if relevant, in deciding a dispute that involves the member’s association.  The law also permits the CCOC to ensure the board member’s compliance with the education requirements by legal action.  

The CCOC allows the required training to be completed online and the course material can be found here The training, which will be approximately 2 – 2½ hours long, will be based on both Montgomery County and Maryland laws and it will include “best practices” for association management.  The text of the online class will be available to be downloaded and printed for those who would like to be able to refer back to the content.

The CCOC recognizes that many board members will prefer to have live instruction to achieve greater benefit from the training.  The new law allows the CCOC to approve training classes offered by other organizations, including law firms and the Washington Chapter of the Community Association Institute, (WMCCAI).  Whiteford, Taylor & Preston will be providing training classes for its association board members.  Please contact our firm to coordinate a convenient date and time for the required CCOC training.