How RECA Operates

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 executive director, assists council in fulfilling its duties.

There are four Industry Councils, one for each of the specific sectors within the industry. These are:

  • Residential Real Estate Broker Industry Council
  • Commercial Real Estate Broker and Commercial Property Manager Industry Council (includes rural/agri-business)
  • Residential Property Manager Industry Council (includes condominium management)
  • Mortgage Broker Industry Council

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 corporate services department includes human resources, information technology (IT),  finance and administration management, as well as the policy, project and planning team. The Director of Corporate Services oversees the entire department.

Corporate services is responsible for the preparation of 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, including the leased space.

They also coordinate the management of the IT infrastructure, which includes the IT network and the development and maintenance of the myRECA system and the MOODLE education platform.

Corporate Services ensures RECA has the capacity to achieve its vision of excellence in self-regulation, specifically, by providing the necessary information, resources, and technology.


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.

Credentialing Support Services

With the coming into force of the Real Estate Amendment Act 2020 on December 1, 2020, RECA has been directed to divest itself of the delivery of pre-licensing and re-licensing education by November 30, 2022. RECA will cease to enrol individuals in RECA pre-licensing courses as of June 1, 2022.

RECA’s Credentialing Support Services:

  • ensures learners meet the eligibility criteria to begin pre-licensing education
  • manages licensing examinations, which RECA continues to administer
  • oversees RECA’s Code of Conduct for Learners

RECA remains committed to facilitating a greater choice in education while ensuring all licensees are competent and can protect the public.

Licensing Services

Licensing Services administers all licence applications, including new licences, licence renewals, and licence information reviews.

This includes:

  • carrying out transparent, consistent, and fair licensing reviews to ensure RECA issues licences in the public interest
  • administering licensing reciprocity applications from industry professionals in other jurisdictions who want an Alberta licence
  • administering the myRECA licensing database, and providing licensing and disciplinary histories
  • providing support for RECA’s Conduct Review and Conduct Proceedings units when RECA suspends, cancels, or adds conditions to a licence

Investigations

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

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.

Practice Review

RECA’s Practice Review Program provides positive, constructive assistance to licensees with respect to accounting and legislative requirements by:

  • providing assistance related to trust accounts and record keeping
  • recommending effective record keeping and administrative procedures
  • identifying and resolving potential problems

RECA’s Practice Review Program also helps:

  • reduce the occurrence of activities that violate the Real Estate Act or the Rules;
  • reduce the number of claims against the Assurance Fund

Practice Review also develop practice guides and interpretation guidelines.


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.


Stakeholder Engagement and Communications is responsible for

  • building and strengthening stakeholder relationships and partnerships
    liaising with government, Industry Councils, committees, and external groups
    implementing stakeholder engagement programs, projects, and strategic initiatives critical to fulfilling RECA’s regulatory and public interest mandate

This work includes internal and external communications, reception services, the real estate, mortgage, and condominium management regulatory compliance advisors, as well as consumer and licensee information services.

The Director of Stakeholder Engagement and Communications oversees the entire department.

RECA Communications maintains reca.ca as well as RECA’s social media platforms, publishes RECA’s regular communications to the industry and public, including: RECA News blog posts and emails, The Regulator newsletters, and RECA News Releases, as well as consumer information articles, RECA’s Annual Report, and industry information bulletins. RECA Communications staff also provide relevant strategic advice to other departments and units on the internal and external impact of their projects.

Information Officers serve as the primary source of information for licensees and consumers who contact RECA. Information Officers also review consumer complaints, including initial analysis of complaints and providing guidance to consumers for possible resolutions.

The Regulatory Compliance Advisors respond to broker and delegate questions with practical, timely information, guidance and advisory services that support them in their regulatory responsibilities and duties. The regulatory compliance advisors are also available to conduct presentations to brokerages and industry organizations on brokerage regulatory issues, while assisting in the development of RECA publications and resource materials.


Purpose
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.

Scope
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:

  • build trust and are trustworthy
  • act with empathy and sincerity
  • provide fair, accurate, and transparent information
  • share knowledge and information, as appropriate
  • communicate in a timely and appropriate fashion

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:

  • comply with Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA)
  • keep all personal information strictly confidential, unless otherwise required by law
  • respect the privacy and confidentiality of others, unless otherwise required by law
  • protect RECA property, proprietary information, and intellectual property
  • keep accurate company records whether in paper or electronic form

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:

  • perform our work in good faith, with impartiality, and in RECA’s best interests
  • comply with RECA policies, procedures, and guides, and the laws of Alberta and Canada
  • consider how our actions may impact our reputation and that of RECA before acting
  • show professional courtesy in all of our relationships
  • promote excellence, innovation, and continuous improvement
  • recognize and address real, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest

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:

  • treat all people with respect, dignity, and fairness
  • not engage in discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying, or violence
  • embrace the strengths of individual differences, experiences, and perspectives
  • support collaboration
  • resolve conflict in a positive way
  • comply with health and safety laws

Principle 5: Be responsible and accountable for our actions
We are accountable and responsible for our conduct and decisions. In doing so we:

  • exercise due care and informed judgment in our daily activities
  • fulfill the commitments we undertake—do what we say we are going to do
  • take ownership for the outcomes of our choices, behaviours, and actions
  • learn from one another and from our mistakes
  • recognize our limitations and seek guidance when needed

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:

  • Could my conduct damage my reputation, RECA’s reputation, or the integrity of the profession?
  • Does my conduct break the law?
  • Does my conduct create a potential conflict of interest?
  • How would my colleagues, friends, and family feel if they know about my conduct?
  • What if my conduct was reported in the media?

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.

Related Information
This Code is supplemented by the RECA Employee Guide and any other Council policy on openness and transparency.

 


Statement of Commitment

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

  • We are RECA ambassadors. We share pride in being a member of RECA’s community.
  • RECA’s values guide our attitudes and behaviours.
  • We demonstrate a high level of competency in our work, and a willingness to share this knowledge.
  • We value each other and our individual contributions.
  • We continuously inform and educate ourselves in our work.
  • We communicate and conduct ourselves in a professional, respectful manner, and protect personal and organizational privacy.

PRINCIPLE TWO: We Are Reliable and Courteous

  • We are approachable, polite, and welcome the opportunity to provide assistance.
  • We follow through to make sure we satisfactorily address the needs of others.
  • We ensure consistent, effective, and efficient day-to-day operations of our departments.

PRINCIPLE THREE: We Are Responsive

  • We listen attentively to people before we respond, and seek confirmation that we have understood them correctly.
  • We inform our community of the options available to them.
  • We appreciate the time of others.
  • We provide timely, accurate, and quality information.
  • We anticipate and innovate to fulfil the needs of RECA’s community.
  • We take responsibility in the interactions we have, and solve problems at the first opportunity.

PRINCIPLE FOUR: We Care

  • We are committed to fostering an environment of professional and personal successes in an inclusive, equitable, and meaningful way.
  • We take pride in our work and our surroundings.
  • We take an interest in our community and other’s work.
  • We collaborate, as appropriate.
  • We actively solicit feedback from our community, and tailor our services to their needs, as appropriate.
  • We participate in Service Excellence initiatives.

PRINCIPLE FIVE: We Treat Everyone as an Individual

  • We approach each interaction as a new opportunity.
  • We respect the diversity of the community that we serve.
  • We recognize the importance of providing our services in an equitable, inclusive and customized manner.
  • We take the time to put people at ease and to make them feel valued.

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.

Assessment Criteria

Executive Summary

Regulatory Performance Review Report

Progress Report (February 2019)