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AQB Proposal Streamlines Appraiser Advancement

AQBs proposal in the March 15, 2017 Third Exposure Draft of Proposed Changes to the Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria clears the way for licensed appraisers to achieve certified residential status without a bachelor’s degree.

For the last two years, the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) has been examining potential areas of change to the Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria.

One of the issues deals with licensed residential appraisers with years of experience who could not upgrade their license status to certified residential appraiser because they lacked a bachelor’s degree. This issue was not affecting just a handful of appraisers, it was affecting thousands. Recognizing how the current qualification standards were leaving behind the most qualified of applicants, the AQB has proposed criteria to address these issues.

For those appraisers that maintain a Licensed Residential credential and are seeking a Certified Residential credential, the AQB has developed 3 options to demonstrate specific college-level achievement.

The first option is to pass College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) [1] exams equivalent to a minimum of 21 semester credit hours in specified subject matter areas. CLEP is a well-recognized testing program accepted by 2,900 colleges and universities [2]. The specific subject areas AQB considers necessary to protect the public trust include:

  • College Algebra
  • College Composition
  •  College Composition Modular
  • College Mathematics
  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Introductory Business Law

These specific CLEP exams are available at many testing centers across the country and will serve to demonstrate that an individual possesses the academic skills required to preserve and maintain public trust in the appraisal profession.

The second alternative to a Bachelor’s degree is to allow Licensed Residential appraisers seeking the Certified Residential credential to document successful completion of 21 semester hours of specific collegiate courses from an accredited college, junior college, community college, or university. The specific subject matters are:

  • English Composition (6 semester hours)
  • Economics or Finance (6 semester hours)
  • Algebra, Geometry, Statistics, or higher mathematics (6 semester hours)
  • Business Law or Real Estate Law (3 semester hours)

A third proposed alternative to the Bachelor’s degree requirement, includes any combination of CLEP tests and college semester hours as indicated above, provided all required topics are covered.

CLEP exams are relatively inexpensive. For instance, on the website collegeboard.org, CLEP exams for college algebra required by AQB are just $80. The study guide for the course is available from the same website for just $10. If you think you need additional study material for a given course, there are websites for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) like Coursera that offer college-level courses for free. College credits are typically not obtained from these free courses, but they are effectively the same course students pay for.

If the AQB proposals described above are promulgated they will pave the way for highly qualified Residential Appraisers to advance to Certified Residential status. If you have thoughts regarding this proposal please share them with AQB. AQBComments@appraisalfoundation.org

Stay tuned: The AQB has proposed other exciting changes to the experience requirements that I will share with you in the future.

Good luck and do good work.


[1] CLEP exams involve “scaled scoring” without a pass/fail result. Applicants would be required to achieve exam scores that meet the minimums required to grant college credit at duly accredited colleges and universities.

[2] www.collegeboard.org