Code of Ethics Training Requirement Now Every Three Years

At its Nov. 11, 2019 meeting, NAR’s Board of Directors approved a change to NAR’s Code of Ethics training requirement.

Since 2001, REALTORS® have been required to take Code of Ethics training to retain their membership. Originally, the training was required every four years, but in 2017, NAR changed the requirement to every two years. A presidential advisory group (PAG), appointed in 2019, made several recommendations to the NAR Leadership Team. One of its recommendations was to extend the requirement to every three years in order to give members more time to fit it into their continuing education schedule and to give local associations adequate time between cycles to administer the program.

  • The current Cycle 6 deadline is extended from Dec. 31, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2021.
  • The next cycle (Cycle 7) will begin Jan. 1, 2022, and end Dec. 31, 2024.

The Leadership Team sought feedback from several committees before bringing the proposal before the board of directors.

Separately, the Leadership Team approved several recommendations of the PAG that didn’t require a board vote:

  1. That the learning objectives for the existing member Code of Ethics training be revised to include content on professional conduct, courtesies, business etiquette, and real-life scenarios.
  2. That NAR establish Code of Ethics training equivalency options that members can take to satisfy the Code of Ethics training requirement and that the Commitment to Excellence (C2EX) endorsement be an equivalency option.
  3. That only courses and equivalencies provided by a local, state, or national REALTOR® association can satisfy the Code of Ethics training requirement.
  4. That an implementation team be appointed to develop a microsite that compiles all available options for fulfilling the Code of Ethics training requirement, including C2EX ethics modules, NAR-approved online courses, and links to association-approved courses.

View a comprehensive implementation chart for these changes (PDF: 482 KB)

FAQs

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When does the current cycle (Cycle 6) end and the next cycle (Cycle 7) begin?

Cycle 6 ends on December 31, 2021 and Cycle 7 will begin on January 1, 2022. Starting with Cycle 7, Code of Ethics training will be required every three (3) years.

When do the new policies take effect?

Effective immediately, individuals who maintain their Commitment to Excellence endorsement will satisfy the Code of Ethics training requirement. All other policies will take effect at the start of the next cycle (Cycle 7) on January 1, 2022.

What are the revised learning objectives for Code of Ethics courses?

The revised learning objectives for Code of Ethics courses focus on professional conduct, courtesies, business etiquette, and real-life scenarios.

Do the revised learning objectives need to be taught during this cycle (cycle 6) for members to fulfill the Code of Ethics training requirement?

No. While Associations are encouraged to begin incorporating the revised learning objectives into their courses, they do not need to be included until the next training cycle.

What are “equivalency options”?

Equivalency options are training alternatives for members to supplement a 2.5 hour course on the Code of Ethics. Right now, the only equivalency options approved by NAR are maintaining a Commitment to Excellence endorsement and/or completing a course provided by one of NAR’s affiliate institutes, societies and councils.

Does maintaining the Commitment to Excellence endorsement qualify as an equivalency for the current cycle (cycle 6)?

Yes.

What options are available to members for satisfying the Code of Ethics training requirement?

Members can complete a training offered by a state or local association of REALTORS®, or an online course through the National Association of REALTORS®. This policy does not require the REALTOR® association to actually provide the training, as they can partner with a provider to offer the training on their behalf.

Members can also satisfy the Code of Ethics training requirement by completing one of the identified equivalency options. Equivalency options will be identified and communicated via NAR channels on an ongoing basis.

What does “partnering with a provider” entail?

Partnering with a provider means a local or state association of REALTORS® has vetted a provider (i.e. real estate school, Code of Ethics educators, etc.), and confirmed that their courses meet NAR’s mandatory learning requirements before the member takes the course.

Can a member satisfy the training requirement by taking a course from an approved provider at an association that is not their primary board?

Yes. Consistent with current NAR policy, members who take a course at a different association of REALTORS®, or through one of their partnered providers, will satisfy the Code of Ethics training requirement.

Can a state association of REALTORS® approve a CE course as an approved provider?

Yes, so long as the state’s CE courses incorporate all of the mandatory learning objectives.

Do members still have to take a New Member Code of Ethics Education course?

Yes.

What is the microsite and when will it be developed?

The microsite will be a one-stop-shop for members to determine how they can best satisfy the Code of Ethics training requirement. The site will be developed by the start of the next training cycle.

Will local associations need to adjust and re-certify their bylaws?

Yes. Associations will be required to re-certify their bylaws to reflect the mandatory Code of Ethics training changes in 2020.

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