Education Requirements CE & Ethics
There is a lot of confusion regarding required education hours that typically surfaces this time of year. As the license renewal deadline approaches on December 31, many members find themselves scrambling for CE credit and we are also at the end of a Quadrennial Cycle for Code of Ethics. Many education vendors and local boards are still offering live classes and there are a variety of online CE providers with license renewal packages. Misinformation gets circulated all too easily and it is hard for REALTORS® to decipher what credits are needed and who tracks what and where so we’ve compiled this information for you.
Let’s first talk about CE. Annual continuing education is a requirement to keep and renew your real estate license. The Louisiana Real Estate Commission (LREC) is the regulatory body that approves classes for CE credit and will be the authority that enforces penalties should you not complete your education hours.
Q: How many CE hours are required for license renewal?
A: 12 hrs are required annually for your real estate license renewal. 4hrs of the 12hrs are to be completed with the 2016 Mandatory Topic. 8 hrs can then be completed with any combination of LREC approved CE classes.
Q: What is the 2016 Mandatory Topic?
A: There were 3 topic options in 2016 to satisfy the Mandatory Topic and will vary with each education vendor.
1) 4 hrs on Agency 2) 4 hrs on CFPB or 3) 2 hrs on Agency & 2 hrs on CFPB.
It is important to check that the class you take to fulfill the mandatory hours contains “2016 Mandatory Topic” in the class title. The topic is determined by LREC and changes from year to year. Failure to complete the Mandatory Topic can result in a fine. Alternative credit for mandatory topic will be indicated in the title of the class. For example: “2016 Mandatory Commercial Alternative-Land Use and Zoning,” which was provided to commercial practitioners.
Q: Where can I check my hours?
A: The best place to check your hours is from your own records. Always be sure to sign in and sign out when you attend a class. Then try to note the date, instructor, and location on your calendar or planner. Lastly, it is important that you keep a copy of your certificate. The other place to check your education record is www.lrec.state.la.us/licensee-search/. You should complete your 12 hrs prior to renewing your license.
Q: What do I do if a class I attended is not on my education record?
A: If you check your education record and see a class has not been reported, contact the education vendor. Note that vendors have up to 30 days following a CE class to report credit to LREC. You should contact the education vendor first if you lost your certificate and need a duplicate copy produced. It is possible that some vendors will charge for that. The certificate is to be kept for your records and will only need to be produced if you get audited. You do not need to send copies of the certificate to LREC unless you are audited.
Q: What happens if I don’t complete the 12 hrs?
A: Renewing your license before completing the CE hours is subject to a fine. Not completing 12 hrs of CE is also subject to a fine. If you cannot find a live class and still need hrs, it is best to purchase a 12 hr CE package through an online CE provider and complete as soon as possible.
Q: Do CE credits transfer from year to year?
A: No they do not. It is perfectly OK to take “extra.”
***If you were licensed in 2016, the education requirement is the 45 hours Post License class AND the 4 hr Mandatory Topic. If your 180 days deadline to complete the 45PL is after December 31, then you will need to complete all 12 hrs of CE with 4 hrs being the Mandatory Topic. This can be confusing so if you have a specific question, contact the LREC Education Department at 225-925-1923.
Now, let’s talk Code of Ethics/Quadrennial Cycle/Professional Standards.
(Yes, it is referenced by all of those names but it is not necessarily all the same thing)
Q: What is the Code of Ethics Training Requirement?
A: As a condition of REALTOR® membership, REALTORS® are required to complete ethics training of not less than 2 hours, 30 minutes of instructional time within four-year cycles. The training must meet specific learning objectives and criteria established by the National Association of REALTORS®. The current cycle for the Code of Ethics training requirement is January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2016.
Q: Where is Code of Ethics Training available?
A: Training may be completed through local or state REALTOR® associations or through another method, such as home study, correspondence, classroom courses, or online courses. Check with your local board of REALTORS® whether a class you have taken will count toward the training requirement. If you are in need of training, click here.
Q: Can REALTORS® get CE credit for Code of Ethics classes?
A: Yes and No. Many providers of the Code of Ethics classes have also applied for LREC credit for these classes. Credit hours for this topic can range between 2 hrs to 4 hrs. While the class can count toward regular CE, this requirement is a condition of REALTOR® membership NOT a requirement of your license renewal. You will need to check with your local board NOT LREC to insure the class you take or took will suffice for credit. If you have taken a course that you feel should satisfy this requirement, you will need to talk to your local board.
If you took a CE class or believe you should have received credit from Louisiana REALTORS, please call us at 1-800-266-8538 so someone can assist you.