State appraisal board outlines new guidelines for appraisal trainees

By Kim Shindle | Feb. 9, 2010 | 3 min. read

Editorial Note: The previous version of this story stated applicants are required to complete 90 hours of coursework. This has been corrected to 75 hours.

Seventy-five hours of education will be required later this year prior to becoming an appraisal trainee under new regulations proposed by the State Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers, according to Daniel Bradley, board chair.

Bradley said the changes will require applicants to complete 75 hours of coursework in specific topics, including the 15-hour Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) course, 30-hour Basic Appraisal Principles course and 30-hour Basic Appraisal Procedures course before applying to the board to become a licensed trainee.

Those currently working as appraisal assistants will have a window of time to submit their application to receive a trainee license. After the board sets the final date, anyone working to assist in the preparation of an appraisal must be a licensed trainee.

“At this time, anyone can be an appraisal assistant; there are no qualifications,” Bradley explained. “The new regulations will define an ‘appraisal trainee’ and the requirements to qualify for the new trainee license. The trainee will then be required to obtain a minimum of two years experience working with a certified appraiser before he can qualify to become a certified appraiser.”

The educational requirements follow the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) recommendations to create consistency within the industry in Pennsylvania.

By requiring the application process up front, the board sees this as beneficial to applicants who may not meet the requirements to become certified appraisers. “An applicant may have a criminal record or some other barrier which would preclude him from being certified,” Bradley said. “We would prefer that he knows this before going through two years of training and then discovers that he doesn’t qualify.”

The appraisal board is considering limiting the number of times a person can renew a trainee license but it is making some allowance for a person who may be experiencing circumstances beyond his control, such as overseas military service or health issues.

The proposed regulation changes have had a first round of public comment during which PA Association of REALTORS® submitted comments in favor of the changes. The Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) has reviewed the regulation package and is going through final rulemaking. The proposed regulations will be sent back for public comment, as well as comments from the  House and Senate Professional Licensure committees, the Governor’s Policy Office and the IRRC.

Bradley said the appraisal board tentatively expects to finalize the regulations by April 1 and hopes to implement them by July 1.

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