Confused About Your USPAP Status?
USPAP for Standards 7 and 8 Users (PP, GJ and MTS)
There has been quite a bit of confusion regarding the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) education requirements for ASA appraisers who have their designations in Personal Property, Gems & Jewelry and Machinery & Technical Specialties. The questions and answers below should help clear up some of the confusion. The responses will also help ASA appraisers to understand their options and differentiate between the 15-Hour Courses and the 7-Hour Update Courses (as well as the “National”1 and USPAP for PP Courses).
1The “national” course refers to the USPAP course that is taught for certification of real property appraisers.
Frequently Asked Questions about USPAP
- Q. Why did the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) change the requirements for USPAP education for PP, GJ and MTS appraisers?
The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) is now published every two years. Appraisers who state in their appraisals that they are compliant with USPAP need to be aware of what is necessary to be compliant. This means that appraisers need be aware of what is in USPAP. This change in the minimum qualifications requires personal property appraisers to take a course to stay current with each new version of USPAP.
Real property appraisers have been required for several years to take USPAP every two years to stay current with standards and rules. The Appraisal Qualification Board wants all users of appraisal services to be assured that the appraisers they hire are current with their knowledge of and compliant with USPAP.
- Q. Who is included in this changed educational requirement?
Members of organizations that are “sponsors” of The Appraisal Foundation (TAF) are required to comply with this new requirement. The American Society of Appraisers (ASA) has been a sponsor of TAF since it was established more than 25 years ago.
The new changes apply to “Personal Property” appraisers. In USPAP, the term “Personal Property” applies to all users of Standards 7 and 8: appraisers in the Personal Property (PP) discipline, the Gems and Jewelry (GJ) discipline and the Machinery and Technical Specialties (MTS) discipline. Under the new minimum qualifications, candidates as well as designated members must take an update course every two years.
- Q. What courses can I take to fulfill my requirement?
To update their credentials, appraisers can take either the 7-Hour Update Course or the 15-Hour Course. If an appraiser chooses the 15-Hour Course, appraisers must take and pass the examination that is part of the course to get credit. There is no examination for the 7-Hour Update Course.
To fulfill their USPAP requirement, an appraiser can take any course that has been developed by or approved by The Appraisal Foundation when taught by an AQB-certified instructor. (Taking a course that has not been developed or approved by The Appraisal Foundation will not fulfill the ASA USPAP education requirement.)
- Q. What is the difference between the “National” and the “Personal Property” courses? Can I take either?
Yes, appraisers can take either the “National” or “Personal Property” courses to fill their USPAP education requirement. For appraisers in the PP, GJ and MTS disciplines, the courses designated as “Personal Property” are generally more pertinent to their appraisal practices and geared to these disciplines. The “national” courses instead, have a strong focus on real property and real estate appraisal issues such as federal regulations.
In addition to the updated USPAP information, the 7-Hour Update Course focuses on problems and situations in PP, GJ and/or MTS appraisal practice. The 15-Hour Course for Personal Property appraisers is taught in terms of Standards 7 and 8, the Standards used for appraisal development and reporting by PP, GJ and MTS appraisers. The “National” course instead focuses on Standards 1 and 2, the Standards used by real property appraisers and the examples used in the course are primarily geared to real property appraising.
- Q. What are the differences between the 7- and 15-Hour courses? Is the content generally the same?
The obvious difference is the length of the courses and in most cases, the fees (which are lower for the shorter course). The 7-Hour Update Course also has no examination. The 15-Hour Course has an examination and to get credit for the course, an appraiser must take and pass the examination—whether this is the first time the appraiser has taken a USPAP course or not.
The course contents also vary. The 15-Hour Course include a full review of all of USPAP, all the Standards and Rules. The 7-Hour Update Course instead, focus on the changes only that have been made in the most recent version of USPAP; the course does not review the entire document. The last section of the 7-Hour Update Course focuses on current issues and problems in appraisal practice and points out USPAP solutions.
- Q. I have never taken a USPAP course. What do I need to do to fulfill my USPAP requirement?
The first time an appraiser takes USPAP, he or she must take the 15-Hour Course. This provides the appraiser with information about the entire document. To get credit for completing the course, the appraiser must take and pass the examination.
- Q. If I take the 15-Hour Course, will ASA still allow me to fulfill my USPAP requirement for five years?
No. Allowing the 15-Hour Course to fulfill the USPAP education requirement for five years was the old rule. That now has been superseded by the recently AQB-approved minimum qualifications. While the new requirements go into effect in 2018, to prepare ASA members and candidates for implementation, the five year time frame will no longer be acceptable for classes beginning in the 2016-17 cycle. Instead, appraisers are permitted to take either the 7- or 15-Hour Course but the course only fulfills the USPAP education requirement for two years.
The goal of the change in the minimum qualifications is to require USPAP education each time a new version is released so that all appraisers remain “current” with USPAP knowledge and their appraisals remain in compliance with USPAP standards and rules.
- Q. I took a 15-Hour Course last year (based on the 2014-15 USPAP). Will I need to update my USPAP credential before the five years have lapsed?
There is no requirement currently in effect requiring appraisers to take the 2016-17 USPAP 7-Hour Course if they took the 15-Hour Course during the 2014-15 USPAP cycle. However, as the new rules go into effect on January 1, 2018, appraisers will need to take a USPAP course as soon as they are available for the 2018-19 version.
It is highly recommended that appraisers take the 7-Hour Update Course for the 2016-17 USPAP. Because the update for the 2018-19 version of USPAP covers only changes for that version, the appraiser that jumps from 2014-15 to 2018-19 never has the benefit of a course on the 2016-17 changes.
- Q. I took a 15-Hour USPAP class in 2012 (based on the 2012-13 version of USPAP). Will I need to update my USPAP before the five years have lapsed?
No. However, it is highly recommended that appraisers who took USPAP in 2012-13, take the 7-Hour Update Course for the 2016-17 USPAP or a 15-Hour Course for instruction on changes that occurred in the 2014-15 and 2016-17 USPAPs. Because the update for the 2018-19 version of USPAP covers only changes for that version, the appraiser that jumps from 2012-13 to 2018-19 never has the benefit of a courses on the 2014-15 and 2016-17 changes. These appraisers may want to take the 15-Hour Course to “catch up” with current standards and rules in USPAP
- Q. Can I take USPAP courses as “distance education”?
TAF has specific rules regarding distance education for USPAP education. TAF requires that all the courses specifically for PP, GJ and MTS appraisers be taught live. ASA will make classroom opportunities available to members for the 2016-17 version of USPAP as soon as the courses are available. In addition, ASA will also offer distance education classes. Students must download their class manuals after they register for the class. An instructor will present a (live) lecture and students will follow the power point presentation on their computers in their own homes or offices. Students will be able to participate in discussions and ask questions through their required telephone connections.
There are several venues that offer the “national” courses on demand that have been approved by TAF.
- Q. Is there a time frame by which a USPAP class must be taken within the two year cycle?
There is no requirement at this time for PP, GJ or MTS appraisers. (There is a requirement for real property appraisers to take a USPAP update within the early part of the USPAP cycle.) It is highly recommended that appraisers take the update classes as early as possible in the “cycle” to get the most benefit from the course. Appraisers are held responsible for compliance with the version of USPAP current as of the date of the appraisal report (regardless of the last USPAP course they completed).
- Q. How often and when does USPAP change?
USPAP is improved, changed and updated every two years by the Appraisal Standards Board. New versions go into effect on January 1 of even numbered years and are good for two years. The new version is released on October 1 of the odd numbered years.
The 2016-17 USPAP will become effective on January 1, 2016. It will be available for purchase on October 1, 2015.
Q. Do I have to purchase a new USPAP book every time I take the course?
Because appraisers state their compliance with USPAP in the “Certification” included in every appraisal report, they need to know what is in the version of USPAP in effect on the date of the report. Professional appraisers should purchase USPAP every time a new version is released to stay aware of all changes that affect them and their assignments.
Each USPAP student must have the current version of USPAP with them as they take any USPAP course. USPAP is available in electronic and paper versions. (It can be purchased from ASA at http://www.appraisers.org/marketplace
- Q. Can I take a USPAP course though another organization?
Yes. As long as the course is developed by or approved by TAF, the ASA will accept completion of the course to fulfill USPAP education requirements. The course must be taught by an AQB-certified USPAP instructor. If there is an examination, that also must have been developed by or approved by TAF.
- Q. Are records kept regarding each appraiser’s USPAP education?
TAF is sent a list of students who complete USPAP classes by instructors or sponsoring organizations. In addition, ASA maintains records for all members, candidates, and students who attend ASA or ASA-chapter sponsored courses.
If an appraiser takes a USPAP course from an organization or individual other than ASA, the appraiser must provide verification to the Membership Office of ASA regarding their attendance and evidence of successful completion of the course.