The Real Estate Council of Alberta is the independent governing authority that sets, regulates, and enforces standards for residential real estate, commercial real estate, property management, condominium management, and mortgage brokerage licensees in Alberta.
RECA’s Board of Directors is composed of three members of the public appointed by the Minister of Service Alberta, and four licensees, one appointed from each of the four Industry Councils from among their members. The purposes of the Board are to set the strategic direction and ensure the effective operation of Council, to protect against, investigate, detect and suppress fraud as it relates to the business of licensees and to protect consumers, to provide, or support the provision of, services and other things that facilitate the business of licensees, as provided for in the Real Estate Act Regulations, and to administer the Real Estate Act, the Regulations, the Bylaws, and the Rules. An administrative staff, led by the chief executive officer, assists council in fulfilling its duties.
There are four Industry Councils, one for each of the specific sectors within the industry. These are:
Each Industry Council is comprised of two members of the public appointed by the Minister of Service Alberta, and three licensees from that particular sector, elected by other licensees from that sector. The purpose of each Industry Council is to set and enforce standards of conduct for licensees and the business of licensees in order to protect consumers and promote the integrity of the industry, and to administer the Real Estate Act, the Regulations, the Bylaws, and the Rules. Each Industry Council may establish rules setting out the conditions for a person to become and remain a licensee of their particular industry sector, including the minimum standards for conduct and education requirements.
The Office of the Registrar has primary responsibility for RECA’s regulatory functions. This includes licensing and discipline, as well as trust assurance and practice review. The Registrar is responsible for the Office of the Registrar.
RECA’s Credentialing Support Services:
RECA remains committed to facilitating a greater choice in education while ensuring all licensees are competent and can protect the public.
Licensing Services administers all licence applications, including new licences, licence renewals, and licence information reviews.
One of the fundamental responsibilities of any regulatory body is to conduct investigations and take disciplinary action when necessary. RECA investigates unauthorized activity and the conduct of licensees.
RECA’s Investigations unit includes staff with both investigative and industry experience who review all complaints, conducts investigations, and reports their findings to the Registrar.
Professional Conduct Proceedings staff present cases to hearing panels based on a referral from the Registrar to determine whether there is sufficient evidence of conduct deserving of sanction to recommend that the Registrar refer the matter to a Hearing Panel.
Each year, Conduct Proceedings lawyers close 80 to 100 disciplinary files. When this is not possible, the matter proceeds to a contested hearing. Appeals and other court action may follow.
RECA’s Practice Review Program provides positive, constructive assistance to licensees with respect to accounting and legislative requirements by:
RECA’s Practice Review Program also helps:
Practice Review also develop practice guides and interpretation guidelines.
RECA’s Operations division supports the Office of the Registrar, the RECA Executive, and General Counsel, both behind the scenes and on the frontline, to ensure that systems and infrastructure are in place for RECA to fulfil its mandate and has the capacity to achieve its vision of excellence in self-regulation.
The Chief Operating Officer oversees this varied group of professionals.
Behind the scenes, operations employees are responsible for:
Finance and administration—preparing RECA’s operating budget, financial reporting, investment of the assurance and operating funds, payroll and benefits administration, risk management, and office administration, including the management of RECA’s office building and the leased spaces.
Human resources—recruiting and supporting employees to contribute to RECA’s overall effectiveness.
Information technology—managing RECA’s IT infrastructure, including the development and maintenance of the myRECA licensing system.
Projects, planning, and policy—ensuring organizational and industry resilience by researching, planning, and other strategic initiatives.
Operations staff on the frontline focus on building and strengthening stakeholder relationships and partnerships:
Communications—ensuring internal and external stakeholders have access to, and understand, information important to the industry through online resources, email communications, social media, and other channels.
Information services—acting as the primary source of information for licensees and consumers who contact RECA, providing initial analysis of consumer complaints and offering guidance for resolving issues.
Reception—assisting visitors and callers as the first point of contact with RECA, , and ensuring information is passed to and from the appropriate departments and contacts.
Regulatory compliance advice—responding to broker and broker delegate questions with practical, timely information, guidance and advisory services that support them in their regulatory responsibilities and duties.
The General Counsel and Corporate Secretary oversees RECA’s General Counsel team, which provides legal support to the corporation. The areas of corporate responsibility include: corporate legal issues (e.g. advice on human resource legal issues), management of corporate litigation, legislative and regulatory policy, management of provincial and federal regulatory issues (e.g. OIPC files), Real Estate Assurance Fund claims, and serves as RECA’s Privacy Officer.
General Counsel is also responsible for RECA Hearings & Appeals Policies and Procedures, training hearing and appeal panel members, and RECA’s hearings and appeals support services.
RECA’s mandate is to protect consumers, administer the Real Estate Act of Alberta, and to provide services to facilitate the business of licensees.
As an innovative and agile organization, one of our core strengths is our people. We value the different views, ideas, and perspectives each of us bring to RECA. Our diverse backgrounds foster innovative thinking, and provide the organizational agility we need to respond to the dynamic nature of Alberta’s real estate industry.
At RECA, we create and maintain a positive and productive workplace through a culture of excellence and professionalism. Our ability to do so rests on our actions and ethical behaviour. In addition, practising and promoting ethical conduct supports our commitment to RECA’s mandate.
RECA’s Employee Code of Conduct (the Code) outlines our shared standards of professional conduct that guide our decisions and behaviour in our day-to-day activities. It supports our mandate, reduces confusion, and promotes equality and respect within the workplace. The Code also helps protect our personal integrity and reputation and enhance the model for self-regulation.
The Code applies to all RECA employees when performing work-related activities whether in or out of RECA’s office. RECA also expects employees to comply with the Code when interacting with Board or Industry Council members, licensees, Boards, Associations, consumers, suppliers, vendors, and the public. Employees should also be aware that their conduct outside the workplace may affect RECA’s reputation and ability to carry out its mandate and responsibilities.
Our Guiding Principles
RECA is committed to the public interest. We focus on activities that protect consumers and promote the integrity of the industry. These activities help foster an environment where employees work cooperatively and proactively to make things better, for the industry, for consumers, and for each other.
This Code incorporates five principles that set the framework for the level of professional conduct to which we, as RECA employees, must hold ourselves. These principles are outlined as follows:
Principle 1: Be open and honest
At RECA, we hold ourselves to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Being open and honest means we:
Principle 2: Respect privacy and confidentiality
We are responsible for maintaining and protecting all personal and business information that is either in our custody or under our control. To support this Principle, we:
Principle 3: Act ethically and professionally
RECA builds consumer trust and confidence in the industry. Employees can further enhance that trust by ethical and professional conduct. This means we:
Principle 4: Contribute to a safe, healthy, and respectful workplace
RECA is dedicated to providing a safe, healthy, and respectful workplace that fosters equality and inclusion, and respect for diversity. Maintaining such a workplace is an individual and collective responsibility which requires us to:
Principle 5: Be responsible and accountable for our actions
We are accountable and responsible for our conduct and decisions. In doing so we:
Application of the Code
We share a responsibility to understand the Principles of the Code and apply them in our roles as RECA employees; however, the Code is not intended to address every situation. If in doubt about whether your conduct is the right and ethical thing to do, consider answering the following questions:
In circumstances where you need advice or clarification to determine an appropriate course of action, RECA encourages you to discuss your concern(s) with your supervisor.
Compliance with the Code
The importance of the Code cannot be overemphasized. Accepting and adhering to the Code is a condition of employment with RECA. We are required to know, understand, and follow the Code. Additionally, each employee must annually review and acknowledge compliance with the Code.
In circumstances where an employee suspects their own or another employee’s conduct contravenes the Code, the employee has an obligation to report the conduct to their supervisor. Employees can report the possible non-compliance using the same procedure outlined in the Harassment Policy of the RECA Employee Guide.
Failure to comply with the Code may result in disciplinary and/or dismissal action. This is in accordance with RECA’s Progressive Discipline process as explained in the RECA Employee Guide.
RECA may change the Code at any time. RECA will notify staff of changes; however, employees are encouraged to periodically review the Code to ensure they are familiar with the most current version.
This Code is supplemented by the RECA Employee Guide and any other Council policy on openness and transparency.
The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) recognizes that achieving its mandate is dependent on outstanding administration and business practices. With a view to nurturing organizational excellence, these Service Excellence Principles will help guide the RECA community. Our community is comprised of the RECA Board and Industry Councils, staff, consumers and dedicated licensees. We are committed to serving our community with enthusiasm and professionalism. Service Excellence helps to define RECA.
The goal of Service Excellence Principles is to set a frame of reference for an everyday, distinctive, consistent, quality “service for success” mind-set. These three words mean we can all make significant contributions to RECA, one another, consumers, and to the industry as a whole.
Embedded in the Service Excellence Principles are transparency, information sharing, and work collaboration values. Together, these values reflect and support organizational openness.
RECA encourages each employee to commit to these Service Excellence Principles, to be an ambassador for service excellence, and to seek ways to further service excellence at RECA.
PRINCIPLE ONE: We Are Professionals
PRINCIPLE TWO: We Are Reliable and Courteous
PRINCIPLE THREE: We Are Responsive
PRINCIPLE FOUR: We Care
PRINCIPLE FIVE: We Treat Everyone as an Individual
In November 2015, RECA engaged Field Law to conduct a third-party review of its regulatory performance as part of its commitment to ongoing performance improvement, and to help ensure continued fulfillment of its consumer protection mandate. A third-party review is a rigorous, in-depth assessment by an outside body, and Field Law is a leader in professional regulation and administrative law. Below are the results from Field Law’s review.
Regulatory Performance Review Report