OREA calls for complete overhaul of real estate professionals’ education program

by Ephraim Vecina25 Sep 2017
In a white paper released last week, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) presented its proposal for a sweeping revamp of the Real Estate Council of Ontario’s mandatory continuing education (CE) program.

OREA stated that in its current form, the program is failing real estate professionals and consumers alike.

“Continuing education is an important part of maintaining high professional standards in the real estate industry,” OREA president Ettore Cardarelli said. “It’s time for a new vision.”

The association argued that the quality of continuing education in the province has been deteriorating ever since RECO took over the program in 2013 and moved it completely online.

“Content is infrequently updated and puts too much emphasis on convenience over important industry information,” OREA said. “There is also no pass or fail requirement for the CE program, meaning a registrant could answer every question incorrectly and still make it through the course.”

The OREA paper suggested major reforms to the current CE program, including:

• Enhancing the program by putting CE in the classroom
• Making the CE program pass/fail
• Requiring CE exams that are taken in person at an approved testing centre
• Allowing colleges, universities, and third party provider universities to offer RECO-approved courses

“There is a strong commitment from OREA and the REBBA Review Task Force to raise the bar on continuing education,” Task Force chair John Meehan said. “There is an equally strong commitment to the belief that a comprehensive and effective CE program is an investment in professionalism and consumer protection.”

OREA is slated to release four white papers this fall to encourage member discussion and input on REBBA, “which will inform the final recommendations that OREA presents to the government.”

Members can submit feedback via this link.

COMMENTS

  • by Ian Hocking, Broker 9/25/2017 11:03:50 AM

    I do find it odd that after being in charge of the entire education program including the CE program for years that as soon as OREA loses their mandate to provide education for Realtors all of a sudden they are focused on attacking the new version. However, that aside, the existing RECO CE program is a bit of a joke and so open to abuse it's not even funny. I have taken the 'new' RECO CE update program twice (Once every two years as required) and pretty much the same online courses were available. Really! I thought an update was as much about an update of new regulations and new case law affecting practical, everyday situations as it is about reminding agents of the basic regulations that most of us adhere to every day. There isn't a pass/fail either, you just have to log on and sit in front of a computer for several hours pressing a button or two. I don't see that as helpful, or educational and certainly easily open to abuse from those who won't follow the rules anyway. So I agree, the existing CE course needs to be tightened up and made more useful in many ways, just a pity it wasn't thought out several years ago when RECO took back the CE credit system from OREA.

  • by J.Peter Naisbitt 9/25/2017 12:01:27 PM

    Better later than never...long overdue.

  • by Joe Gagliardi, MBA 9/26/2017 12:14:10 PM

    I tend to agree. Having managed the Real Estate Education program when it was still offered through the community colleges in the 80's I was surprised to see that more than 30 years later not much had changed other than requiring registrants to complete a couple more courses. I would have thought that there would be a move to make it more like a comprehensive real estate/business program with some exemptions for people who already have business related degrees.

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