By Joseph Autilio, Executive Director, Massachusetts of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons
Q. Does the Board have concerns involving education requirements for license renewal?
A. As you know, there is a statutory 12-hour continuing education requirement that licensed agents must satisfy every two years for their license term. The requirement is designed to keep agents current with the relevant licensing law and practice issues.
The Board obtains attestations from agents on their license renewal application asserting completion of the required continuing education, and it requires approved providers to keep records for each licensed agent.
To ensure compliance with the statute, the Board conducts randomly selected audits of agents. It found that roughly 10% to 15% of those audited did not complete continuing education, notwithstanding their attestation to the contrary. Non-compliance ranges from doing fewer than the required hours to a failure to do any and, in some cases, to do the hours
after submitting the license renewal application.
Agents must keep in mind that the Board has a responsibility to ensure
compliance with the statute. The requirement is designed to keep agents informed with numerous approved providers in the Commonwealth available, including online providers, and yet not become burdensome at
12 hours every two years.
The Board has imposed disciplinary action against licensed agents who have been untruthful concerning completion of continuing education and has expanded its randomly selected pool of agents for continuing education audits. Therefore, the Board urges all agents to complete the continuing education requirement with the timely submission of their license renewal application and attest to as much.
Q. What are the penalties for failing to comply with continuing education?
A. All licensees are entitled to a hearing on allegations of untruthful attestations concerning the completion of the continuing education equirement. The Board, to expedite such matters, offers licensees the opportunity to resolve them by a consent agreement whereby they admit
violation, verify subsequent completion of the requirement, and accept a minimum five-day license suspension for such violation. The penalty is subject to increase depending upon the severity of the particular situation. The Board prefers not to follow this course, and part of the purpose of the
audit and articles such as this one is to encourage the timely completion of the continuing education requirement.
The Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers & Salespersons office in
Boston can be reached at 617-727-2373.