Professional Development Program: Frequently Asked Questions

Jul 29, 2021

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Mackenzie Smith
Communications Assistant

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Being a REALTOR® means committing to a standard of professionalism that goes beyond regulatory requirements. BCREA and the province's ten real estate boards facilitate Realtor professional development by providing learning opportunities to enhance skills, confidence, and knowledge within the profession. Below are frequently asked questions about the Professional Development Program.

Legal

Is Legal Update still required?

Yes. While regulatory education does not count toward your PDP hours, the British Columbia Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) still requires the Legal Update course to renew your licence every two years.

*Note that as of August 1, 2021 the Real Estate Council of British Columbia amalgamated with the BCFSA, which is now the sole regulator of real estate licensees in BC.

Does Legal Update still count toward my PDP hours?

No. When you take a course to maintain your licence, it doesn't count toward your PDP hours.

If I choose to take Legal Update annually, will the second time I take it within the same licensing cycle count toward my PDP hours?

Yes. If you choose to take Legal Update a second time within your licensing cycle--meaning you're not taking it as a requirement to maintain your licence--it would count toward your accredited PDP hours.

General

What's accredited versus self-directed professional development?

Accredited professional development is learning that has been accredited by BCREA or boards and that contributes to REALTORS®' fundamental skills, experience and knowledge.  Self-directed professional development is learning that has not been accredited by BCREA or boards but enhances your professional practice.

Why are self-directed and accredited learning opportunities a minimum of one hour long?

Learning opportunities must meet a minimum standard of one hour to ensure a beneficial learning experience.  

What's the difference between BCFSA's "regulatory education" and the Professional Development Program?

The BCFSA provides mandatory education, referred to as "regulatory education," that you must complete every two years to renew your real estate licence. Learning and education under the Professional Development Program is required for you to maintain your status as a Realtor and your membership with your real estate board.

I've developed a learning opportunity for Realtors. How can I get it accredited?

Accredited learning opportunities must be hosted and carried out in collaboration with the boards or BCREA. As part of the accreditation process, external vendors will have to gain sponsorship and support for their learning opportunity from a board or BCREA. For more information email [email protected]

Reporting and auditing

How do I report and track my PDP hours?

For accredited or self-directed learning carried out at your real estate board, your PDP hours will be recorded by your board. For accredited or self-directed learning taken from another provider or outside of your real estate board, you'll report your completed professional development hours to your real estate board.

Will my managing broker be responsible for reporting my PDP hours?

No. You will be responsible for reporting your own PDP hours to your board.

Does my managing broker need to authorize or approve my self-directed learning?

No. While your managing broker may be able to help you identify areas for learning, this is an opportunity for you to determine your own individual professional development needs.

Who'll audit our reported PDP hours?

Your board will be responsible for verifying and auditing your PDP hours.

What happens if my PDP hours are audited?

Guidelines for auditing PDP hours are being developed. There'll be a standard for auditing across the province, however, each board will develop their own auditing system.

PDP hours

How many PDP hours do I need to complete?

You need to complete 18 hours of professional development in each PDP cycle, of which at least 12 hours are accredited learning. You can choose whether the rest of your professional development is accredited or self-directed.

Can I fulfill all 18 required PDP hours with accredited learning opportunities?

Yes. You may fulfill all 18 PDP hours through accredited learning opportunities if you choose.

If I take extra PDP hours within a licensing cycle, can they be carried into my next licensing cycle?

No. Extra PDP hours won't be carried over into your next licensing cycle.

If I take a PDP course twice during my licensing cycle, do I receive PDP hours each time?

No. A learning opportunity only counts towards your PDP hours the first time you take it in your licensing cycle.

Self-directed

How do I know if a learning opportunity will count toward my self-directed PDP hours?

For a learning opportunity to count toward your self-directed PDP hours, it must be verifiable and auditable, enhance your professional practice and last at least one hour. If you're not sure if a learning opportunity would count, check with your local board.

Can I take all self-directed PDP hours in one format (e.g., conferences)?

Yes. You can take self-directed PDP hours in the format of your choosing, provided it's auditable, verifiable and enhances your professional practice.

If self-directed learning is tracked in hours, does that mean they have to be an hour long?

Yes. All professional development opportunities, including self-directed, must be a minimum of one hour long. When you submit PDP hours to your board, they must be in complete one-hour increments, rounded down to the nearest hour.

Will in-brokerage training count toward self-directed PDP hours?

Yes. In-brokerage training can count toward self-directed PDP hours provided it's verifiable, enhances professional practice and lasts at least one hour. For in-brokerage training to count toward self-directed PDP hours, brokers will need to provide Realtors with documentation verifying completion.

Can in-brokerage training be accredited?

Most in-brokerage training will likely fall under self-directed learning. The accreditation process is rigorous and includes making the training available to all Realtors in BC.

Is there any guidance on what learning opportunities count toward self-directed PDP hours?

Yes. BCREA and your board can provide examples of learning formats and topics to help you determine what counts towards your self-directed PDP hours.

If you have any questions about the Professional Development Program, please email [email protected]

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