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:
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 accounting services, human resources, information technology (IT), General Counsel, and building services. 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, and office administration, including the management of RECA’s office building, including the leased space.
Corporate services also coordinates 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 resources and technology.
Corporate Services also includes 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 serving 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.
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’s Education Programs department provides innovative, leading-edge career preparation and training programs for professionals in the industries RECA governs. The Director of Education Programs oversees the entire department.
RECA’s education programs provide learners with the information, knowledge, critical thinking skills, and tools necessary to be competent and professional industry members.
Education Programs includes a team of curriculum development and subject matter experts to ensure RECA’s courses are accurate, relevant, and understandable.
The department also includes a team of Learner Support Services staff, who are responsible for managing the education eligibility process, overseeing RECA’s Code of Conduct for Learners, and, most importantly, supporting learners within RECA’s pre- and re-licensing education programs.
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.
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’s Professional Conduct Review unit investigates unauthorized activity and the conduct of licensees.
The Professional Conduct Review unit reviews all complaints, conducts investigations, and reports their findings to the Registrar.
RECA’s Professional Conduct Review unit includes a team of staff with both investigative and industry experience.
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 Trust Assurance and Practice Review Program provides positive, constructive assistance to licensees with respect to accounting and legislative requirements by:
RECA’s Trust Assurance and Practice Review Program also helps:
Trust Assurance and Practice Review also develop practice guides and interpretation guidelines.
Strategic Initiatives and External Relations (SIER) is responsible for supporting the development, coordination, implementation, monitoring, reporting, and project management of a broad range of strategic initiatives critical to the fulfillment of RECA’s regulatory and public interest mandate. This includes internal and external communications, reception services, the real estate and mortgage regulatory compliance advisors, consumer and licensee information services, and coordination of policy research, development, and recommendations, including administration, development, and oversight of RECA’s risk management plan.
The Director of Strategic Initiatives and External Relations oversees the entire department.
RECA Communications staff within SIER are responsible for the majority of RECA’s external communications, including the RECA website, responding to information calls and emails from consumers and licensees, RECA reception, and publications.
Communications also provides relevant strategic advice to other departments and units on the internal and external impact of their projects. Regular communications to the industry and public include RECA News emails, Regulator newsletters, social media, and an Annual Report, among other things. Communications also publishes consumer information articles and industry information bulletins.
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.
The Project Management & Policy Development Manager oversees RECA’s strategic projects and policy development.
The Condominium Manager Project Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the consultation for the condominium manager regulations, and for leading the development of condominium manager rules and education.
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.