AQB Explores Alternate Path to Certification for Licensed Appraisers

The Appraisal Qualifications Board (AQB) of the Appraisal Foundation held a public meeting in St. Louise on November 18th where they explored the development of an alternate path for licensed appraisers to upgrade their licenses to the status of certified. Referred to as an “on-ramp,” the program could be key in addressing the gap between licensed and certified for many experienced and highly trained appraisers.

As David Bunton, Director of the Appraisal Foundation wrote on Appraisal Buzz, the migration from licensed residential to certified residential classification happened largely as a result of the 2008 move by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) to no longer use licensed residential appraisers. And while the discussion over what influences move the industry’s current challenges in certain markets throughout the country remains multifaceted, one thing Bunton makes clear is that the Foundation is concerned over the number of appraisers three to five years from now.

Which explains the urgency of the Foundation’s plans to develop an alternative track for qualified appraisers to meet certain qualifications criteria.

Currently, all FHA appraisers must be certified, and eligibility for certification requires a four-year college degree. For some appraisers who have decades of specialized experience in the field, but who do not meet the higher education requirements, the regulations have become a barrier.

“We’ve got some really good appraisers out there who have the training and skill set to do FHAs, and by every right they should be allowed to,” said Bill Temple, an appraisal review analyst with TSI Appraisal.

Temple attended the AQB meeting and was a presenter on the subject of developing an alternate path to certification.

title-source_bill-temple2A 35-year veteran of the valuations industry who has worked in four different states, and someone who has made the transition from licensed to certified, Temple is passionate about the subject.

“Many of these licensees have invested decades in the profession including attending FHA/HUD mandated training and exams,” Temple said. “Elevating these licensed appraisers to certified would increase the number of qualified appraisers so desperately needed in some markets.”

Temple points to Oregon, a state where lenders struggle with a backlog of appraisals, to make his case that the industry is currently missing out on a potential pool of highly-skilled appraisers that could help fill a void. He points to data from the Appraisal Subcommittee, Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council that shows there are 163 active licensed appraisers in Oregon. That’s an untapped population equal to roughly 30 percent of the 540 certified appraisers in the state.

“If those licensed people could become certified,” Temple said, “that might help alleviate the problem.”

While the AQB is still in the development stage of a plan, all indications are that they and the Appraisal Foundation are committed to devising a solution.

“The important thing about this meeting was that the Appraisal Foundation is serious about providing some kind of alternate path,” Temple said. “They recognize that they’re out there, that they’ve invested a goodly portion of their career to being an appraiser and that they should be given an opportunity to make that change.”

For more information on past and future Board meetings, visit there site here.

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