Real estate licensees are required to take 14 hours of continuing education in each renewal cycle. But for the 2016-2018 cycle that began in June, licensees are now required to take at least three of those hours in topics related to the real estate commission rules and regulations. The State Real Estate Commission voted on this change at its meeting in Harrisburg on July 12.
At a prior meeting, the commission had passed a motion that would have required seven of the hours be completed in a combination of four different topics. After consulting with our local Realtor®-owned schools about some of the implementation difficulties, PAR President Todd Polinchock and PAR Director of Law and Policy Hank Lerner made presentations at the commission meeting that outlined those concerns and asked for changes to the policy.
As a result of PAR’s presentation and discussions with the commissioners, the commission voted to rescind their initial motion and implement a new policy requiring that all licensees take at least three hours of continuing education during the 2016-2018 renewal in topics related to commission rules and regulations. This change significantly reduces the burden of the mandatory education requirement during this cycle, and will make it easier for members to comply. All licensees should receive an email from the commission notifying them of this change in the near future.
“PAR voiced our concerns and those of the Realtor®-owned schools to the commission and the commissioners heard our apprehensions about the implementation of the previously recommended changes,” said Polinchock. “We’re glad to have had a great discussion with comments and questions from several commissioners including Commissioners Annie Hanna Cestra, chair of the commission’s Education/Examination Committee and Commissioner Joseph Tarantino, and that Chair Joseph McGettigan and the other commissioners were quick to act on this.”
Lerner said: “PAR will continue to work with the Realtor®-owned schools to provide the required education to our members. Real estate agents need to understand that this requirement affects all licensees, but those in their first continuing education renewal cycle are still required to complete the mandatory new agent courses, which already include this required content.”
Realtors® should be cautious completing their 14 hours of continuing education requirements for the 2016-2018 renewal cycle to ensure that they are meeting this new requirement. Schools should be identifying courses that comply with the new rule, but it will take some time to coordinate with the commission’s course approval process and update curriculum. If you have any questions about whether a particular course would count towards these mandatory hours, please check with the school in advance.
Real estate licensees currently are able to complete continuing education credits through livestream learning methods under waivers first issued by the Department of State during the pandemic and extended by the General Assembly in June. This latest waiver extension is set to expire on Sept. 30.