Associations regularly sponsor, hire or partner with instructors to offer training for its members on a host of real estate topics. One important facet of association management is to ensure that the educational training courses -- and instructors -- an association chooses to sponsor or partner with are appropriate and that the course content will qualify for any credit to be given by the association towards a training requirement. Questions arise though about the selection of courses, who may serve as instructors and whether NAR regulates or approves courses or instructors. This Good Sense Governance guide addresses those questions and provides links to further reading and resources.
At the outset, it is important to note that NAR does not evaluate educators or training providers for the Code of Ethics or Fair Housing training courses. Given this, NAR has not promulgated qualification criteria for instructors, nor do we require that instructors be “certified” by any association or entity. Conversely, we advise that instructor and course provider selection is left to the discretion of local associations who are in the best position to evaluate local instructors and providers.
Local associations may, if they elect to do so, require that course trainers be only those that they’ve approved or “certified” or have designated as a “partner”. More on partnering below. If an association chooses to “certify” its educators, the criteria would be determined locally as NAR has no guidelines for doing so.
Having provided the foregoing, NAR does make available a directory of professional standards trainers and mediators, that is searchable by state. This database is self-populated with information that the educators have voluntarily input. Do you offer these services? You can add a course, an instructor, or a mediator to the database.
Similarly, NAR does not review course material for courses sponsored by a local or state association to make determinations for local associations or third-party educators as to whether they are appropriate or meet any course benchmarks or criteria. As for how a proposed course gets approved, individuals interested in providing the training will want to inquire with local associations whose members they intend to teach. Local associations are not required to agree to partner with third-party providers.
Partnering with Third Party Course Providers
That said, local associations may, but are not required to, “partner” with a third-party educator to approve their Code of Ethics or Fair Housing training courses. The effect of partnering is that the local association's staff and/or leadership has determined that the course satisfies certain course requirements and that individuals taking that provider’s course will be afforded credit for completing that course.
Said another way, partnering with a provider means a local or state association of REALTORS® has already vetted a provider (i.e. real estate school, Code of Ethics educators, etc.), and confirmed that their course meets NAR's mandatory minimum criteria and learning objectives for either the Code of Ethics or Fair Housing training requirements.
Download this Good Sense Governance Guide (PDF: 112 KB)