Good Sense Governance: Approval of Courses for Code of Ethics Training Credit
Approval of Courses for Code of Ethics Training Credit
In a Nutshell…
- Local associations are charged with the responsibility of evaluating the Code of Ethics training courses offered to their members to ensure that they meet NAR’s minimum learning objectives and course criteria. The National Association cannot, and does not, review course outlines to make those determinations for local associations or third-party educators. Third-party educators will need to submit their course outline to the pertinent local association staff for their consideration and review.
- Beginning January 1, 2022—the start of the 7th cycle—only those courses and equivalencies provided by a local, state, or the National REALTOR® association can satisfy the Code of Ethics training requirement.
- Despite the aforementioned change for the 7th cycle, local associations may continue to grant credit to REALTORS® taking courses offered by third-party providers if the local association partners with the provider and local staff has confirmed that the material conforms to the NAR requirements.
Nuts & Bolts
The Requirement Itself
Per Policy Statement #48, REALTORS® are required to complete ethics training of not less than 2 hours and 30 minutes of instructional time once every three years. Associations of REALTORS® are required to provide access to such programs to members either on their own, in conjunction with other Associations, or through some other method (such as home study, correspondence, or internet-based online courses). Any course offered by an association, regardless of format, must meet the learning objectives and minimum criteria for such courses.
What Changes for Cycle 7
Following the recommendations of a 2019 presidential advisory group, the NAR Leadership Team made several changes to the existing REALTOR® Code of Ethics training requirement to ensure greater member value and more efficient administration of the requirement by associations. Some of those changes are highlighted below.
Beginning January 1, 2022 – the start of the 7th cycle:
- Courses must include content on professional conduct, courtesies, business etiquette, and real-life scenarios.
- Only those courses and equivalencies provided by a local, state, or national REALTOR® association can satisfy the Code of Ethics training requirement. Local associations may, however, partner with a third-party training provider to create an “equivalency” course that satisfies the requirement.
- The Commitment to Excellence (C2EX) endorsement will be an equivalency option.
Which Courses Are Approved?
Code of Ethics training courses created and offered by local associations, state associations, and the National Association of REALTORS® automatically count towards the triennial REALTORS® Code of Ethics training requirement.
NAR offers three online training courses. One satisfies the new member orientation requirement, and two others meet the existing REALTORS® Code of Ethics Training requirement. Aside from the one that offers CE credit, these courses are available to all REALTORS® at no cost.
In addition to the above, note that NAR offers a directory-type resource that can be used to find Code of Ethics instructors, mediators, and individuals who can offer professional standards education in your area. The entries, found in NAR’s Professional Standards Training & Mediation Resource Database, have been self-populated by instructors desiring to make public their services. If you offer these services, feel free to add them to the database via the above link. As is explained more fully in the next two sections below, please note that NAR has not evaluated any instructor whose name appears in this directory, nor has NAR evaluated any course. Said another way, NAR is not endorsing those instructors or their training programs. Instead, the directory serves as starting point for local association staff to find trainers.
Can NAR Evaluate My Course for Approval?
Policy Statement 48 does not require NAR review or approval of training programs developed by local or state associations or third-party providers. Further, NAR cannot, and does not, review course material to make those determinations for local associations or third-party educators. The learning objectives and minimum criteria in the policy were created for the express purpose of giving local and state associations clear guidance and assistance in determining exactly what must be addressed in any training course or program.
For the aforementioned reasons, third-party educators who have officially partnered with a local association will need to submit their course outline to the pertinent local association staff for their evaluation and determination.
How Does a Course Or Educator Get Approved?
Individuals interested in partnering to provide training will want to inquire with the local association whose members they intend to teach to ascertain whether the local association is amenable to partnering with a third-party trainer. Note that local associations are not required to agree to partner with third-party providers.
Similarly, NAR does not evaluate nor “approve” educators or training providers.
How to Create a Code of Ethics Training Course
Sample training materials, including facilitator guides, student workbooks, PowerPoint presentations, and other tools that can be used by local and state associations are available at no cost via the links below.
- New Member Orientation Training Materials
- Existing REALTOR® Code of Ethics Course Training Materials
As a reminder, third-party educators will need to reach out to local associations to ascertain whether they are willing to partner with a third party to provide this training.
Find answers to commonly asked questions on implementing and administering the requirements.