NATIONAL PROGRAM FOR USPAP EDUCATION

(NPUE)




The National Program for USPAP Education (NPUE) is a coordinated effort sponsored by Lee & Grant Company and the Association of Professional Appraisers (APA) that is designed to foster thorough understanding of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) among appraisal professionals, users of appraisals, and regulators of the real estate appraisal profession. Its overall goal is to ensure that through education and communication those associated with the real estate appraisal profession understand these important standards, what they intend to convey, and how they are appropriately and properly applied.


Recent concern has focused on the level of USPAP education offered in courses and seminars around the country, both in quality of course materials and in the competence of the schools/instructors providing such education, alleging serious problems with current USPAP courses. It is unclear what evidence supports the conclusion that USPAP education around the country is defective and how that evidence was gathered. Indeed, some question whether those making such allegations are pursuing their own agendas. Please see the position of the Georgia Real Estate Appraisers Board on this issue, click here.


Whether or not USPAP education is responsible, however, it is difficult to deny that the Uniform Standards are simply not very well understood by many involved in the real estate appraisal profession. Therefore, NPUE has adopted a comprehensive policy program that is aimed at enhancing USPAP understanding through solid education, improved access to the Standards themselves, and better consistency in USPAP administration. For this policy to be successful, professionals across the industry - appraisers, lenders, regulators, appraisal schools, other interested parties - will have to cooperate in ways that may jeopardize narrow partisan interests but have the potential of making USPAP more understandable than it is now. While some sacrifice is called for, it is spread among many and mitigated by the worthiness of its objective.


NPUE consists of two parts: courses of action its sponsors can take unilaterally and recommendations respectfully submitted for action by others.










NPUE COURSES OF ACTION




1. Lee & Grant Company waives its rights under copyright of its USPAP course materials and allows others to copy them for instructional/informational use.


These course materials can be downloaded from the Lee & Grant/APA website at leeandgrant.com. Any user agrees to include on the materials acknowledgement that Lee & Grant Company has granted permission for their use.



2. Appraisers and other interested parties may audit at no charge any Lee & Grant Company USPAP course offered anywhere in the country.



Lee & Grant holds USPAP classes on a regular basis in major cities.




3. Lee & Grant and APA will conduct seminars for instructors and prospective instructors of USPAP on how to teach USPAP.



The fee to attend one of these seminars would be limited to the actual costs of holding it, pro-rated among those attending. Ten people would be required as minimum attendance. Passing an end-of-course exam would be required.




4. Diligently lobby for changes in how the Uniform Standards are administered.



The U.S. Congress and various government agencies/boards/committees need to be advised of the current difficulties associated with the Uniform Standards and what measures can be taken to correct these problems.




5. Continue to publicize issues involving the Uniform Standards.



APA publishes a quarterly newsletter that goes out to appraisers, regulators, and others associated with the appraisal industry.




6. Encourage a national dialogue on the issues central to USPAP education.










RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION



TO THE APPRAISAL FOUNDATION:


1. Simplify USPAP.



By far, the most serious impediment to USPAP understanding is its opaqueness. It needs to be more readable, shorter, and comprehensible. The Appraisal Standards Board made a gallant effort in 1997-8 to shorten Standards but was brutally rebuffed by the industry. Try again, ASB. You were on the right track.




2. Drop The Appraisal Foundation copyright on Uniform Standards.



The second greatest impediment to USPAP understanding is the copyright which prevents the widespread dissemination of USPAP that is clearly desirable and needed. This code of conduct for the appraisal profession should be able to be copied in part or in whole at any time in any place to make it widely known.




3. Stop issuing a new USPAP book every year.



Update USPAP when it is needed. An annual edition is not required and obviously is published yearly to provide a recurring source of revenues for The Appraisal Foundation. A constant procession of annual USPAP books works against understanding of USPAP.




4. Publish USPAP in a three-ring binder.



When updates/changes are required, the pages that no longer apply can be pulled from the binder and replaced by the new pages. The practitioner can focus in on the changes while not having to get used to a whole new book each time.




5. Rework your USPAP materials.



The last thing that is needed is to make learning USPAP more complicated. You are pushing another textbook, in addition to the USPAP book for the student to have in class, augmented by 200 plus slides, ensuring student zombiefication. See Recommendation #1. Simplify. Write the good points of your new text into USPAP and make it one book. Promote this as the official USPAP manual. Deep six (throw overboard) the slides.




TO STATE APPRAISER REGULATORY BOARDS:


6. Require students be given a current copy of USPAP in every appraiser continuing education class they attend.



Once The Appraisal Foundation drops its copyright, the educational provider at every continuing education class should copy at its own cost and give a USPAP book to every student, regardless of whether that class covers Standards. USPAP should be made commonplace in the classroom and the office. It isn’t now.




7. Require that every USPAP class have an end-of-course exam.



This is what Lee & Grant Company does in all of its 15-hour USPAP classes, for both qualifying and continuing education credit. It focuses the student and enhances the learning process. If students feel all they have to do in a USPAP course is "put the time in," with no measurement of understanding at the end of the course, many will remember the Departure Rule only as a time that their USPAP class ended. Indeed, end-of-course exams should be required for all continuing education classes. The same logic applies.




8. Consider holding appraiser instructor seminars.



Florida has an excellent program on this. So does Georgia for instructors in their first year of instructor status. At your seminar, tell the instructor what State policies are, including the importance you attach to USPAP training. Require instructors to pass a written exam on USPAP at the end of the seminar.




9. Visit appraisal classes, including those where USPAP is being given.



The students appreciate your interest. The schools appreciate it. And you can get a feel for whether the school is doing its job. Some States currently send out the appraiser board administrator, someone on his/her staff, or an appraiser member of the board. Announced or unannounced. It is good for everyone.




10. Resist efforts from any appraisal course provider to force its course on your State to the exclusion of others.



USPAP or any other appraisal subject. Excellence comes from competition, not monopoly. Those who insist on monopoly have no faith in their own product.




11. Require for license renewal some course hours in an update/review of USPAP.



Every renewal, maybe every other renewal. But something. Not all States do.




TO THE ASSOCIATION OF APPRAISER REGULATORY OFFICIALS (AARO):


12. Appoint a committee of members to monitor USPAP violations.



Correlate your findings among the various States. Establishing patterns may determine responsibility tied to lapses of USPAP education. Those lapses, once identified, can then be worked on in updated USPAP courses. Or, it may find education does not deter criminals. Please see the Georgia Real Estate Appraisers Board letter, paragraph numbered 4. (click here) In any event, there is no one better positioned to research this issue than the State regulator on the front line.




13. Consider taking a more active part in formulating changes to USPAP.



The point just made above applies again: you are in the best spot to see if USPAP is working in the field. And you would not be subject to suspicion you are manipulating USPAP for monetary gain. Please see the Georgia Real Estate Appraisers Board letter, paragraph numbered 7. (click here)





TO USERS OF APPRAISALS:


14. Ensure your company does not coerce the appraiser to "make the value."



The appraiser violates USPAP if he/she agrees to a predetermined value and risks losing his/her license in doing so. Root out this bane to a proper appraiser/client relationship.




15. Become familiar with USPAP.




It is the appraiser’s code of conduct. It is worth taking the time to understand what the appraiser may/may not do for you in carrying out your assignment.







NPUE CONTACT INFORMATION



We solicit your views on the issues we have discussed in this position paper. No one has a corner on good ideas out there that may improve understanding of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. One thing we can probably all agree on, however, is that cooperation among the parties interested in making USPAP just as effective as it can be is essential in achieving this goal. Let’s work this out together. We are ready to incorporate new ideas in this program and shed any old ones that prove impractical. Address your comments/concerns/questions to:





NATIONAL PROGRAM FOR USPAP EDUCATION

4333 DUNWOODY PARK, SUITE 1412,

ATLANTA, GEORGIA 30338






NPUE

 Your Source of Professional Education

Lee & Grant Company Copyrights 1999-2013

2029 Verdugo Boulevard #210 Montrose, Ca 91020

1-800-LEE-GRANT