Standards, Ethics & Conduct

One of ASA's primary objectives is to ensure best practices, ethical conduct and professionalism on the part of its members and the greater ASA community. The Society is diligent in its efforts to strengthen and uphold its Principles of Appraisal Practice, Code of Ethics (the code of conduct to which all members must subscribe) and Conduct and Harassment Policy.


American Society of Appraisers
This release of the approved ASA Business Valuation Standards of the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) contains all standards approved through November 2009, and is to be used in conjunction with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) of the Appraisal Foundation and the Principles of Appraisal Practice and Code of Ethics of ASA. 

Appraisal Foundation (USPAP)

The American Society of Appraisers is one of eight major appraisal societies that founded The Appraisal Foundation (The Foundation) in 1987. The Foundation is a national, nonprofit organization created to establish uniform criteria for professional appraisers and was recognized by the U.S. Congress in 1989 as the source for the development and promulgation of appraisal standards and qualifications. The Foundation authors the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) which is the recognized standard governing professional appraisals.

As a sponsor of the Appraisal Foundation, all members of the American Society of Appraisers must take and pass a 15-hour USPAP course and exam taught by an Appraisal Qualifications Board- (AQB) approved instructor. All ASA Members are held to these standards and must take USPAP refresher courses on a regular basis in order to maintain their designation with ASA.

International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC)
ASA has been represented on the International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC) since 1994. The IVSC is an independent, not-for-profit, private sector organization. Its objectives are to strengthen the worldwide valuation profession by: developing high quality international standards and supporting their adoption and use; facilitating collaboration and cooperation among its member organizations; collaborating and cooperating with other international organizations; and serving as the international voice for the valuation profession. In pursuit of these objectives the IVSC places paramount importance on protecting the public interest.

ASA members who practice solely outside of North America have the option to follow IVSC standards, USPAP or CUSPAP (if the member resides in Canada). View or download a complimentary copy of the International Valuation Standards here.

Object ID
Object ID is an international standard for describing cultural objects. The Object ID project was initiated by the J. Paul Getty Trust in 1993 to combat the illegal appropriation of art objects by facilitating documentation of cultural property and by bringing together organizations around the world that can encourage its implementation. It was officially launched in 1997 and today is overseen by the International Council of Museums (ICOM). ASA participated in the development of Object ID and continues to support its use and promotion, along with other art appraisal organizations, the art trade, museums, cultural heritage organizations, insurance companies and major law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, Scotland Yard and Interpol. View Object ID Record Sheet sample.

Regional and Specialty Standards


American Society of Appraisers (ASA)
ASA is diligent in its efforts to ensure ethical practices and procedures on the part of its members. The Society has developed a mechanism for the enforcement of the Code of Ethics whereby clients may file an official, written complaint if they feel an appraisal rendered by an ASA member violates sound professional practice.

The ASA Principles of Appraisal Practice and Code of Ethics

Notices of Censure (Members Only)
Notices of Suspension and Expulsion

If you wish to file a complaint, e-mail or mail your signed, written complaint to:

American Society of Appraisers
Attention: Chief Executive Officer
11107 Sunset Hills Rd, Suite 310
Reston, VA 20190

International Ethics Standards Coalition (IESC)

ASA and more than 100 property professional bodies worldwide make up the International Ethics Standards Coalition (IESC), who believe that creating a universally applicable set of ethics values will help assert the role of ethics and help ensure greater professionalism. The group has published the first set of ethics principle for professionals working in land, property, construction, infrastructure and related professions. View the International Ethics Standards here.

Conduct and Harassment Policy

The American Society of Appraisers (“ASA”) values its reputation for integrity.  ASA’s policy on conduct requires that its staff, members, volunteers, vendors, and others participating in ASA events and activities shall act in a professional, cordial, honest and ethical manner in all circumstances.  ASA policy requires that no one participating in ASA operated, sponsored and/or affiliated events neither shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, veteran status, gender identity, genetic information, pregnancy, age, marital status, disability or other legally protected class of persons, nor shall be subject to any other harassment or discriminatory behavior of any kind. Any act of discrimination or harassment is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

Sexual Harassment

No member, volunteer, attendee, vendor or ASA staffer should ever be subject to sexual harassment or unsolicited and unwelcome sexual overtures, nor should any member, volunteer, attendee, vendor or ASA staffer be led to believe that any benefit or favorable outcome will in any way depend upon “cooperation” of a sexual nature.

Sexual harassment is defined generally as including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature whenever: (1) submission to the conduct is either an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment; (2) an individual's reaction to the conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting that individual; (3) the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual's work performance; or (4) the conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

Sexual harassment is not limited to demands for sexual favors. It also may include such actions as: (1) sex-oriented verbal “kidding,” “teasing,” or jokes; (2) repeated offensive sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions; (3) continued or repeated verbal abuse of a sexual nature; (4) graphic or degrading comments about an individual or his or her appearance; (5) the display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; (6) subtle pressure for sexual activity; and (7) inappropriate physical contact.

Sexual harassment does not refer to occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature or consensual personal and social relationships without a discriminatory employment effect. It refers to behavior that is not welcome and that is personally unwelcome, intimidating, hostile, or offensive.

Other Unlawful Harassment, Discrimination or Conduct

No member, volunteer, attendee, vendor or ASA staffer should ever be subject to discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, veteran status, gender identity, genetic information, pregnancy, age, marital status or disability or any other legally protected classes of persons in any of its activities or operations.  These activities and operations include, but are not limited to, the hiring and firing staff, the selection of volunteers and the selection of attendees and vendors.

Harassment and discrimination on other grounds, including race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status, or disability is also prohibited. Harassment may include such actions as: (1) jokes or verbal “kidding,” or “teasing;” (2) verbal abuse and epithets; (3) degrading comments; (4) the display of offensive objects and pictures; (5) conduct or comments of a lewd or lascivious nature; and (6) other conduct that the individual might reasonably find to be intimidating, hostile, offensive, coercive, threatening, or unprofessional.

Scope of Policy

This policy prohibiting harassment or discrimination, whether sexual or of another nature, is not limited to relationships between and among volunteers, but also extends to interaction with ASA staffers, attendees and vendors. No ASA international officer, governor, volunteer, member, attendee, vendor or ASA staffer shall subject any other member, volunteer, attendee, vendor or ASA staffer to sexual or other harassment or discrimination of any nature, including that conduct described above. Any forms of harassment or discrimination as described in this policy are reportable immediately to the ASA’s CEO. Any forms of harassment as described in this policy involving the ASA CEO are reportable immediately to ASA’s International President.

ASA will fully investigate all credible complaints and will maintain confidentiality to the extent possible. Anyone who is found to have engaged in harassment or discrimination will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action which may include the following: (1) a written reprimand or censure; (2) a request for resignation; (3) removal of such person from the individual’s volunteer position within ASA;  (4) suspension or termination of membership in ASA; (5) termination of the individual’s  employment, or engagement by ASA; and/or (6) being banned from participation in current and/or future ASA operated, sponsored and/or affiliated events. Discipline will be enforced by the CEO, International President, or Board of Governors as appropriate to the circumstances.

No individual will be retaliated against for making a complaint of harassment or assisting with the investigation of a complaint of harassment.