Residential Property Manager Industry Council Update
| May 24, 2022
Summary of activities since February 2022 from Don Newell, Chair
First, I want to remind all condominium manager licensees to make sure that you start your required licensing education as soon as possible. The deadline to complete the courses to qualify for a full licence is November 30, 2022. If you leave completion of your courses and your exam(s) too closely to the last minute, you risk not being licensed on December 1, 2022 and will therefore be unable to perform your duties to your clients. If you haven’t already done so, please go to your myRECA account to check which courses are required in your circumstances.
For those of you who have already begun, or even finished the education and successfully challenged or passed the exams, congratulations and thank you for being proactive!
There are currently three providers for the Fundamentals of Condominium Management, two providers for the Practice of Condominium Management, and one provider for the Condominium Management Broker Program. You can see the number of candidates, the program success rate, and the average exam score for each of those courses from each provider on reca.ca. There are also comments and ratings from those who have taken the courses. We start to report these numbers and add comments once at least five learners have completed the exam after taking the course.
You may have heard reports from people who have failed the exams, or who believe the courses available may not properly prepare licensees for the exams. There have also been certain issues with a small number of exam questions that have been identified and rectified.
We have heard your concerns on the Industry Council, and we have been communicating with course providers to ensure their courses cover the required competencies to allow for the best chance of success on the exams. Defensible, comprehensive professional examinations are a complicated undertaking, requiring constant analysis and updating. Accordingly, if you identify any issues in courses or the exams, please bring them forward to your course provider and/or to RECA.
Stakeholder Engagement Activities
It has been a busy year so far with the Residential Property Manager Industry Council, and I would like to thank all the stakeholders who have engaged with us over the past few months.
Stakeholder engagement is something that the Industry Council and RECA takes very seriously. We have heard you, and we continue to want to hear more from you as we undertake the important work in regulating the vibrant and growing property and condominium management industries in Alberta.
This May we took part in the broker forum for property and condominium management in Edmonton, and we will have a similar forum in Calgary this week, along with our 2nd Annual Spring Stakeholder Engagement Session, open to all stakeholders, on May 27.
These are great opportunities for licensees to hear what the Industry Council is working on and are also times for the Industry Council to hear directly from stakeholders.
We heard a lot about the education process and the exams for condominium managers at the broker forum, and I expect we will hear more at our other engagement opportunities. I want to ensure all licensees that we have heard your concerns, and we are revising exams and working with course providers to ensure course material reflects what will be on the exams. On behalf of the Industry Council, I would like to offer a sincere thank you to everyone who provided their feedback.
On April 21, 2022, the RECA Board opened consultation on proposed strategic priorities. These priorities were the result of earlier strategic planning consultations conducted by the Board in late 2021. The Board also sought the comprehensive feedback of our Industry Council, as well as the other Industry Councils, before setting these priorities. I urge all property management and condominium management stakeholders to take a moment to complete the short survey on the priorities. Your feedback will be critical for the Board in making sure they’ve got things right.
One of the actions RECA will take as part of its strategic priorities is a comprehensive review of the Real Estate Act Rules. We often hear from stakeholders that certain Rules may no longer make sense given changes in technology and how the industry operates. The Industry Council will want to hear from stakeholders as to where you think these Rules can or should be changed, where consumer protection can be improved, or where a Rule is viewed as “red tape.” The Rules review will be an extensive two-year project, with consultation at every stage along the way. Please be on the lookout for when the first phase of consultation is released, currently planned for this summer.
As you all know, RECA has set June 1, 2022 as the divestment date for licensing education. For our Industry Council, this means that third-party providers will start providing licensing education for residential property management. Our Industry Council has received interest from several different providers, including associations, colleges and universities. To offer licensing education, these providers must first be recognized by our Industry Council. When this occurs, we will let all stakeholders know. Brokers who have potential licensees waiting to take courses after divestment occurs should be on the lookout for any announcements. All recognized providers will be disclosed on reca.ca.
Part of the Industry Council’s responsibilities include enforcing the standards of practice property and condominium managers must follow. Recently, the Industry Council approved the application for Lifetime Withdrawal from the Industry of David Bauer. The Registrar had previously suspended Bauer’s Brokerage, David Bauer Real Estate Group Ltd. o/a MaxWell Direct Realty, for failure to immediately fund a trust shortage, and RECA had frozen his brokerage’s trust accounts shortly before that.
RECA’s mandate is to protect consumers, and the Industry Council takes that seriously. A lifetime withdrawal is a serious result. A person who has their application accepted by the Industry Council can no longer hold any licence with RECA for life, and their withdrawal, along with the related allegations will be publicly posted on reca.ca in perpetuity. Other jurisdictions will also be made aware of the lifetime withdrawal should an applicant try to become licensed in another province.
We are truly hitting the home stretch of full condominium manager licensing. Thank you to my fellow Industry Council members, the Board, RECA staff, the Condominium Manager Implementation Advisory Committee, the industry associations, and to the individual condominium management firms and licensees who passionately provided their feedback, allowing the Industry Council to make the best decisions it can in the public interest.