For the vast majority of Realtors®, satisfying the Virginia Real Estate Board’s (VREB) continuing education (CE) requirements is something you do to improve yourself and your professionalism. To stay current on what’s happening in the industry, you seek out high-quality education like (shameless plug) the REal Show, courses from your local association, or from other approved real estate schools. For many Realtors®, finishing your CE requirements is just no big deal: You might supplement your hours with online education, and maybe even finish CE cycles with a surplus of hours.
But unfortunately, some real estate agents hunt for the quickest and easiest way to scrape together enough hours when the time comes to submit their CE paperwork to VREB. For them, that often means taking courses in a time crunch from online CE providers that allow students to complete CE units in far less time than the VREB rules intend. We’ve even heard complaints that some online CE providers allow students to finish what should be a 50 minute course in less than 10 minutes.
VREB is aware of this problem and has taken action. They recently voted that in order to qualify for CE, all distance learning courses must be certified by the Association for Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) as a condition of VREB approval. ARELLO’s distance learning certification process includes an application, quality assurance measures based on the Distance Education Standards Manual, and fees. The VREB also voted to require a course timer for all online education, to help ensure that learners are actually investing the time that the CE course provider intends. These rules will go into effect on on January 1, 2011 provided that they meet the approval of the Attorney General’s office.
Fortunately for Virginia Realtors®, two of VAR’s online CE partners are already certified by ARELLO.
VAR applauds the VREB for adopting these rules; they will go a long way towards ensuring that real estate agents get the kind of quality CE they need to adequately serve their clients and protect the public.