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“CHAM provides a means for identifying the industry's most comprehensively qualified hotel asset management professionals. The CHAM designation provides hotel owners and employers with access to an elite group of highly qualified asset management individuals.”

- Chad Crandell, CHAM

“There is no better way to establish your credentials as a senior practitioner in the hospitality asset management profession than attaining CHAM certification.”

- Rich Musgrove, CHAM

“The roles and responsibilities placed on hotel asset managers today are more demanding and encompassing than ever before. A CHAM certification highlights qualifications, confirms experience and establishes an industry-wide standard for excellence.”

- Michelle Russo, CHAM

“The CHAM designation provides evidence of a person’s commitment, specific knowledge, experience and confidence to practice their profession with the highest level of competency. Unlike other types of real estate investment, in our profession, an asset manager has to understand both the real estate aspects as well as the operating business components in order to maximize investment value.”

- David Johnstone, CHAM

“I am honored to join this elite group of hospitality professionals and consider achieving my CHAM designation a career milestone.”

- Ruby Huang, CHAM

“Many other professional associations (accounting, financial advisory) have professional certifications that designate people as experts in their field. CHAM does that for the hotel asset management.”

- Kim Gauthier, CHAM

“I decided to get CHAM certified so I would stand out from the crowd to clients and earn the respect and admiration of peers. A potential CHAM candidate should consider getting certified for job security and the prestige and respect that comes with the designation.”

- Melissa Silvers, CHAM


Certified Hotel Asset Manager


The Certified Hotel Asset Manager (CHAM) designation is the world’s only advanced certification available to accomplished hotel asset management professionals. CHAM designees represent an elite group of senior hospitality professionals whose advanced knowledge in all facets of hotel ownership and operations was developed over a significant number of years serving in the role of “lead” asset manager. Their knowledge base is further validated by achieving a passing score on the comprehensive CHAM exam in addition to satisfying other designation requirements.

The certification was launched in 2012 under the guidance of the Hospitality Asset Managers Association (HAMA) in order to establish industry-wide “standards of excellence” within the hotel asset management profession as a means for further solidifying the institutional/fiduciary role and expectations of a senior asset manager within the international hotel real estate community. A CHAM Advisory Panel, comprised of leading hotel asset management professionals and distinguished members of academia, is responsible for reviewing and approving all candidate applications and ensuring the exam content and questions are updated as needed to reflect the on-going evolution of the hotel asset management profession and hospitality industry. Advisory Panel members are CHAM designees appointed by the HAMA Board of Directors.

Across the globe, hotel owners of all types, such as individual property owners, shareholders, lenders, pension funds, and sovereign wealth funds place many millions, if not billions, of dollars of equity and debt investments in the hands of hotel asset managers. These owners and stakeholders need certainty that the individuals directly responsible for the preservation and enhancement of asset values adequately possess the set of skills and knowledge domains required to successfully implement a comprehensive hotel investment strategy from start-to-finish. Achieving the CHAM certification announces that you have a place among the best in your profession and are capable of adequately fulfilling the role and expectations demanded of you by hotel owners and stakeholders.

Once certified, designees are automatically enrolled in the CHAM Recertification Program, which recognizes and rewards continuing efforts toward hospitality career growth. A portfolio to help track professional-development activities is provided. The Advisory Panel will recertify those who qualify based on their accomplishments over the preceding five (5) year period. The CHAM designation and logo may be used on letterhead, business cards, and other writings. A list of CHAM designees can be found on the HAMA website.

CHAM Prerequisites

The CHAM designation relies first and foremost on an experience factor in determining a candidate’s level of expertise in the area of hotel asset management. Documented evidence of sufficient lead hotel asset management experience is required along with letters of recommendation and payment of an exam fee in order for a candidate’s application to be processed and reviewed by the CHAM Advisory Panel. Once the Advisory Panel approves the application, the candidate may take the

  • Seven (7) years of lead hotel asset management experience.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation, preferably including one (1) from a current or prior employer/supervisor and one (1) from an “end-user” of the hotel asset management profession (i.e. capital partner, client, lender, etc.).
  • Payment of fee: $750 HAMA members. $950 non-members. Up to 50% of this fee may be refunded to you in the event your application is not approved. Checks may be made out to HAMA.
How to Apply

Start Online Application Download Application (PDF)

Download and complete the Application for Candidacy. Either mail through USA Postal Service the application to:

HAMA/CHAM Application
PO Box 381
North Scituate, Ma. 02060

Send to the attention of Ms. Stephanie Roy or PDF the completed application and forward to certification@hamagroup.org. Be sure to indicate your preference of exam medium.

Reminder that you must sign and date the Application.

For payment of application fee, the applicant can either e-mail the application with the check mailed to the above address or mail the application and payment to the address above.

Allow 21 days for follow-up from the certification administrator.

Preparation Materials and Exam

The CHAM Exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that must be answered within a four (4) hour time period. All test questions are designed to test the candidate’s mastery of various competencies derived from six (6) key areas of knowledge in combination with the minimum years of lead hotel asset management experience. To successfully pass the exam, candidates must achieve an overall minimum score of 70% (140 of 200 questions correct) with a minimum passing score of 50% on all sections. Candidates who fail to achieve a passing score on the first attempt may choose to retake the exam in its entirety, or alternatively to retake only selective sections in which the candidates wish to improve their scores. Candidates who do not successfully pass the exam on the second attempt will need to reapply for candidacy, subject to waiver for extenuating circumstances at the sole discretion of the CHAM Advisory Panel.

Candidates for the Certified Hotel Asset Manager (CHAM) designation will receive a personalized electronic Content Guide to assist in preparing for the examination. The Content Guide will review the core competencies associated with each knowledge domain included in the exam. These knowledge domains are as follows:

  • The Asset Management Process
  • Hotel Operations
  • Real Estate and the Physical Asset
  • Contracts and Legal Aspects
  • Financial Analysis and Benchmarking
  • The Investment Decision

ONLY confirmed candidates for the CHAM designation are eligible to receive a Content Guide and attend an examination.

Online Exam

HAMA has partnered with AH&LA’s Educational Institute to offer an on-line exam option for interested candidates. All online exams require that examinations be administered under the supervision of a CHAM designee serving as proctor.

CHAM Online Assessment Tool

Approved candidates for CHAM can test their readiness for the CHAM exam with the online CHAM Assessment Tool available through AH&LA’s Educational Institute. The CHAM Assessment Tool is available only to CHAM applicants who have been approved to take the CHAM exam.

The CHAM Assessment is an online diagnostic tool to help assess areas of hotel asset management knowledge and prepare candidates prior to taking the CHAM exam. This tool will help you gauge your expertise in the knowledge and skills needed by today’s hotel asset managers.

The CHAM Assessment Tool consists of one 30-question quiz that correlate to the six (6) sections of the exam knowledge domains listed above. The assessment can be completed within a limited time period and targets all six knowledge domains with questions similar in format and content to those contained on the CHAM exam. After completion of the test, candidates receive an evaluation report indicating their score and skill level against the required benchmarks.

For additional information, please e-mail certification@hamagroup.org.

On-Line Instructions

  • Complete the Application for Candidacy.
  • Be sure to indicate your preference of exam medium.
  • Complete the Asset Management Employment History (or attach a professional resume) and complete the Certification of Lead Asset Management Experience.
  • Attach two (2) letters of recommendation to the application. The letters are to address that you are a qualified candidate to sit for the CHAM exam. Letters are to be written by current or former supervisors and current or former clients/partners.
  • Agree to the terms and conditions and date the Application.
  • Upon submission of your application, the CHAM Administrator will e-mail wiring instructions for payment. Wiring payment will be subject to any additional bank fees applied at the time of payment and will be advised by the CHAM Administrator. On-line applications may be alternatively paid through mailing of check or money order (will not delay processing if check or money order is received within 7 days of application) to the address provided in the CHAM Application Checklist. Funds must be drawn from U.S. Banks. Unfortunately, we are not able to accept payment by credit card or debit cards at this time.

All paperwork, including the Application for Candidacy, experience certificates, recommendation letters and payment information must be received by the Application Committee no later than 60 days prior to your desired exam date. The appropriate application fee must be paid at the time of application. Upon receipt of all the above information, the certification administrator will advise you in no less than four weeks whether your candidacy has been approved and that you are eligible to sit for the exam.

If you have questions, you may contact the certification administrator at (781) 544-7330, or by e-mail at certification@hamagroup.org

CHAM Designee

Designee Image

Chad L. Crandell
Managing Director/CEO, CHMWarnick

Chad Crandell is Managing Director & CEO of CHMWarnick, the leading provider of hotel asset management and owner advisory services. He is responsible for overseeing the CHMWarnick team, comprised of 43 hospitality professionals operating across six offices nationwide. As a group, they are responsible for asset managing a client portfolio of more than 70 hotels and 29,000 guestrooms, collectively valued at over $15 billion. Chad has 30 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, the majority of which has been dedicated to asset management, developing strategies for enhancing hotel value and protecting the rights of hotel owners and investors. He has extensive experience in structuring fair and equitable hotel ownership agreements, and plays an active role in all client contract negotiations. Chad also advises on key operational challenges, including revenue management, risk mitigation, capital planning and expenditures, and investor-funded capital projects. He is a past President and current member of the HAMA (Hospitality Asset Managers Association), was part of the CHAM (Certified Hotel Asset Managers) designation development team, and served on the AH&LA finance committee that instituted changes in the Eleventh Edition of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry. Chad is a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) and is a Certified Hotel Asset Manager (CHAM). He received his B.S. in Hotel Administration from Cornell University.