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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

Guidance for members in England and Wales

The IRPM has commissioned CIH to design and manage the Member examination to enable IRPM Associates to progress to the Member grade of the Institute, subject to prerequisite three years' experience. This examination is based on the national occupational standards for Residential Property Management developed through Asset Skills, the Sector Skills Council.

This guide provides information on the structure and regulations for the examination.

Download the IRPM member examination syllabusDownload registration formVisit the IRPM website

Why is CIH involved in the examination?

CIH is a nationally recognised awarding organisation for housing qualifications. In addition, CIH approves qualifications delivered by universities and colleges across the UK and overseas. This provides CIH with considerable experience and expertise in the design and delivery of qualifications to national quality assured standards.

What will I have to do to pass the Member examination?

The Member examination has been designed as an unseen examination paper and is divided into two parts; Part 1 and Part 2. The time allowed for the examination is two and a half hours. The pass mark is set at 60%

Part 1 consists of a single compulsory question that carries a potential 40 marks. It will present a detailed problem or 'crisis' and candidates will be asked to respond to this problem from the perspective of their specialist area of expertise as well as being expected to understand the wider implications of block management.

Part 2 requires candidates to answer three questions from a total of eight. The questions will be taken from a range of four specialist areas: service charge accounting, general property management, technical/building surveying and affordable housing. This section carries 60 marks.

Candidates will also be reqired to demonstrate that they have fulfilled and filed up to date CPD requirements before being granted Member status.

What level is the examination set at ?

The qualification has been designed to be assessed at level 1 of an undergraduate programme. This would be at least the same level as an HNC year one or a NVQ level 4 qualification.

When will the examination take place?

The unseen examination will take place at a number of centres twice a year. Candidates will be informed of their results within 10 weeks of taking the examination.

Where will it take place?

The examination will be available at a number of locations across the country. This will depend on the location of candidates and we will endeavour to provide a centre within reasonable travelling distance for all candidates.

What if I need special arrangements for the examination?

Should you require special facilities or support you must make CIH aware of your needs when you apply for registration. CIH and IRPM are committed to providing access to all and will endeavour to meet all requests for support and/or provide special facilities to enable open and comprehensive access to the examination.  Applicants will need to provide evidence of independent assessment of needs where appropriate.

How can I prepare for the examination?

Please visit the IRPM website for further details on the member examination and links to resources and training courses to aid your preparation. The series of one and two day training courses run by the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) - some in conjunction with Southampton Solent University - help to prepare candidates for the Member examination.

ARMA has compiled the first comprehensive reference source for everyone involved in the management of long leasehold residential property and members of the IRPM are entitled to a free copy. 

What are the regulations for the examination?

The examination will be conducted according to the CIH/IRPM regulations.  It is important that you read these regulations to ensure that you fully understand your rights and responsibilities relating to the conduct of the examination.  Should you wish to appeal against the decision of the examination board you should contact CIH and request a copy of the appeals procedure.  You must submit any appeal within fourteen days of the receipt of the decision of the examination board. 

How will the examination be assessed?

Candidates will need to pass both Part 1 and 2 of the examination. The answer scripts from the examination will be marked by academic assessors. The scripts will then be sample marked by an external examiner appointed by CIH. The final decision will be taken by the CIH/IRPM examination board. This will comprise of the assessors, the external examiner, representatives from IRPM and CIH.

The results of the examination board will be sent by CIH to candidates following the examination board meeting.

What can I do if I fail?

Candidates who fail the examination will be allowed to retake the examination at the next sitting. Candidates will be required to retake the whole examination. There will be an administration fee of £100 for a first retake of the examination. Should the candidate fail the second attempt a full resit fee will be charged.

Candidates who fail the examination can request feedback on their strengths and weaknesses to enable them to prepare for the second attempt.  Details on how to obtain this will be in your results letter.

What does it cost?

The cost for both parts of the examination is £360. This must be paid in full before the candidate sits the unseen examination. Should the candidate decide not to proceed with the examination a refund of the fee can be made subject to an administration charge. Fees cannot be refunded to any candidate who withdraws from the programme less than three weeks before the examination date. However, the candidate may be transferred to the next available examination session. No fees can be refunded once the unseen examination has been taken.

How do I apply?


Download an application form and return it to:

By post:
CIH education, Chartered Institute of Housing, Octavia House, Westwood Way, Coventry, CV4 8JP
By email:

Download full IRPM member examination guide


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