As crowds of revelers gathered in cities throughout Pennsylvania to count down the last minutes of 2011 and welcome the arrival of 2012, they probably were not aware that they were ringing in a very important date for prospective appraisers in the Commonwealth. When the lighted ball was dropped to signify the end of 2011, the segmented approach to criteria implementation was also retired, as per regulations that were promulgated by the Board back in July of 2010. As of Jan. 1, 2012, the segmented approach is no longer in effect in Pennsylvania. What does this mean?
When the Appraiser Qualifications Board created new requirements for appraisal certification effective Jan. 1, 2008, states were given an option as to how to implement the requirements. Pennsylvania opted for the "segmented" approach, which meant that individuals who had completed all of their education requirements before January 2008 could still qualify and be grandfathered in for certification under the those requirements (120 hours of education for residential applicants, 200 hours for general applicants, and no requirement for college coursework). This was done so that individuals who were on track to obtaining their certification at that time would not be penalized if they were unable to fully complete their experience hours and/or pass the examination by Jan. 1, 2008.
This was never intended to be a permanent exemption from the qualification requirements for certification; instead, it was a temporary accommodation for individuals who were reasonably close to obtaining their certification. In July 2010, the Board promulgated a regulation which proposed to retire the segmented approach as of Jan. 1, 2012. The result of this regulation was that any prospective applicant for certification who has not submitted an application and received approval from the Board office by this date must meet all the 2008 education requirements for certification.
With the passing of this deadline, all new applicants for appraisal certification in Pennsylvania are required to meet the 2008 AQB certification criteria. Specifically, residential applicants are required to obtain 200 hours of classroom instruction in specific appraisal topics and hold an associate degree (or degree alternative). General applicants are required to obtain 300 hours of classroom instruction in specific appraisal topics and hold a bachelor’s degree (or degree alternative).
The education, experience, and examination requirements for certification as a real property appraiser are established by the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) of The Appraisal Foundation, which is a non-profit educational foundation headquartered in Washington, D.C. States are required by federal mandate to adopt the AQB's qualifications, as a minimum. States may adopt more stringent requirements than those promulgated by the AQB, but they may not adopt lesser requirements.
For a printable list of the specific appraisal topics (also known as the Required Core Curriculum) needed to qualify for certification, visit the Appraiser Qualification Board's website at http://www.appraisalfoundation.org/s_appraisal/sec.asp?CID=59&DID=88 and click on "Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria".