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Frequently Asked Questions About Education and Licensing Requirements

 

To help you to get the information you need about education and licensing, we’ve collected some of the most commonly-asked questions about the Council’s real estate education and licensing requirements. You’ll find brief answers, along with step-by-step instructions for procedures such as applying for licence renewals, upgrades or extensions, course exemptions or adding services.

Look for information on these topics:

To view an answer, simply click on the  Show/Hide Answer arrow beside each question.

Further information on these and many more topics is available in the Education and Licensing Guidelines, or contact Education and Licensing directly at education@recbc.ca.


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Taking a Break

Show/Hide Answer I am thinking about surrendering my licence. If I want to get licensed again in the future, will I have to re-write the licensing exam?

After you surrender your licence or let it expire there is a limited amount of time during which you can apply for relicensing without having to repeat the required licensing education. This is known as an Education Re-qualification Waiver Period, because the Council will waive the re-qualification requirements during this period.

The length of your Education Re-qualification Waiver Period depends on:

  • whether you are licensed as a representative or a broker, and
  • if you are licensed as a representative, the length of time you have been licensed.

 

Under the Council’s Education Re-Qualification Waiver Policy, the waiver periods are as follows:

 The Council may waive the requirement to requalify for  licensing education requirements in the following cases.  Waiver Period
 If you are a representative who has…  
 …passed a licensing examination  1 year
 …been continuously licensed for less than 1 year  equivalent to your unbroken licensed period
 …been continuously licensed for 1 to 5 years  1 year
 …been continuously licensed for 5 years or more  2 years
 If you are an associate or managing broker…  5 years

 

To determine the end date of your waiver period, please contact the Council’s Education Department at education@recbc.ca

Once your waiver period has expired, if you want to become licensed again, you’ll need to re-qualify. That means you must successfully complete the applicable licensing examination, and the required components of the Applied Practice Course (if applicable).

If you decide to surrender your licence temporarily, follow these steps to find out how long you can remain unlicensed before you will need to re-qualify :

Step 1: Surrender your licence.

Tell your managing broker that you wish to surrender your licence. The brokerage will return the licence to the Council. Once you’ve taken this step, you are no longer licensed and you cannot provide real estate services.

Step 2: Make a written request.

As soon as you are no longer licensed, write to the Council to request a confirmation of your Education Re-qualification Waiver Period. Send an email to education@recbc.ca and be sure to include your full legal name and the name of your former brokerage.

Step 3: Receive your response.

We will notify you in writing of the end date of your Education Re-qualification Waiver Period.

Step 4: Apply for re-licensing.

If you apply for relicensing before your Education Re-qualification Waiver Period expires, you won’t be required to requalify.

If you are unlicensed for longer than the permitted period, you will have to requalify, and you’ll need permission from the Council to rewrite the applicable licensing exams.

To obtain permission, please email education@recbc.ca. Include your full legal name (as previously licensed) and your date of birth. If you want to be relicensed for trading services, you will also need to complete the Accelerated Residential or Commercial Trading Services Applied Practice Course.

To become re-licensed for more than one service category you must complete the applicable supplemental course and/or examination(s).

Show/Hide Answer I am expecting a baby. Can I put my licence on hold when the baby is born, while I take parental leave?

Yes. A parental leave of up to one (1) year is available for real estate licensees. Parental leave is available to either parent. Your parental leave can start at any time up to one (1) year following the birth or adoption of a child.
If you wish to take parental leave, you must apply to the Council in writing, enclosing a copy of the child’s birth certificate or proof of adoption. Follow these steps to apply for parental leave:

Step 1: Surrender your licence.

Tell your managing broker that you wish to surrender your licence. Ask your managing broker to note on the back of your licence that it is being surrendered for parental leave. The brokerage will return your licence to the Council. Once you’ve taken this step, you are no longer licensed and you cannot provide real estate services.

Step 2: Submit your request.

Shortly after your child’s birth or adoption, you should receive the child’s government-issued birth certificate. When you’ve received it, email the Council at education@recbc.ca requesting a parental leave and include a copy of the birth certificate showing the parents’ names. We must receive your request for parental leave within one year of the birth or adoption of your child.

Step 3: Receive your response.

The Council will notify you in writing of the start and end dates of your parental leave. You must apply for relicensing on or before the end date of the leave.

Parental Leave and Requalification Policies
If you surrender your licence for a parental leave and resume your licence on or before the end date of the leave, the parental leave will show as a break in your licensing history, but will not affect the calculation of the length of your continuous unbroken service under the Representative’s Education Re-qualification Waiver Policy.

If you decide to take an additional leave after the parental leave, you may do so in accordance with the Representative’s Education Re-qualification Waiver Policy. Your Education Re-qualification Waiver Period will be calculated from the end date of the parental leave. For confirmation of your Education Re-qualification Waiver Period, please submit a written request to education@recbc.ca.

Show/Hide Answer I have a medical condition and I can’t work. Can I put my licence on hold until I get better?

 

Yes. A medical leave of up to one (1) year is available to licensees. You must submit a written request for medical leave to the Council. Your request will be reviewed and considered by Council staff.

Follow these steps to apply for medical leave:

Step 1: Surrender your licence.

Tell your managing broker that you wish to surrender your licence. Ask your managing broker to note on the back of your licence that it is being surrendered for health/medical reasons. The brokerage will return the licence to the Council. Once you’ve taken this step, you are no longer licensed and you cannot provide real estate services.

Step 2: Make a written request.

Write to the Council asking for medical leave, indicating that you have surrendered your licence for medical/health reasons. Your written request for leave must include a full description of the reason why you are/were unable to work. Your request must also be supported by documentation that verifies your condition, such as:

  • letters from treating medical providers stating that include the following details:
    • the severity of your condition/diagnosis which leaves you unable to work
    • the dates you have been under the medical provider’s care, and
    • the approximate date you will be able to return to work, and
    • records of disability payments or other similar documents (if applicable).

You may be asked to provide originals in some cases.

Step 3: Receive notification.

If your medical leave is approved, the Council will notify you in writing of the start and end dates of the leave. You must apply for relicensing on or before the end date of the leave.

Medical Leave and Requalification Policies
If you surrender your licence for a medical leave and resume your licence on or before the end of the leave, the medical leave will show as a break in your licensing history, but will not affect the calculation of the length of your continuous unbroken service under the Representative’s Education Re-qualification Waiver Policy.

If your medical condition persists, you may take additional leave following a medical leave in accordance with the Representative’s Education Re-qualification Waiver Policy. Your Education Re-qualification Waiver Period will be calculated from the end date of the medical leave. For confirmation of your Education Re-qualification Waiver Period, please submit a written request to education@recbc.ca.

Show/Hide Answer I have to care for a family member who is gravely ill.  Can I put my licence on hold until he/she is better?

Yes. Compassionate care leave of up to twenty-eight weeks is available to allow real estate licensees to care for family members. Submit a written request for compassionate care leave, enclosing a copy of a medical certificate. Your request will be reviewed and considered by Council staff.

Follow these steps to apply for compassionate care leave:

Step 1: Surrender your licence.

Tell your managing broker that you wish to surrender your licence. Ask the managing broker to note on the back of your licence that it is being surrendered for compassionate care leave. The brokerage will return the licence to the Council. Once you’ve taken this step, you are no longer licensed and you cannot provide real estate services.

Step 2: Make a written request.

Email the Council at education@recbc.ca to ask for compassionate care leave, indicating that you have surrendered your licence to care for a family member. Attach a copy of medical certificate from a medical practitioner to support your request. You may be asked to send an original by mail.

Step 3: Receive notification.

The Council will notify you in writing of the start and end dates of the compassionate care leave. You must apply for relicensing on or before the end date of the leave.

Compassionate Care Leave and Requalification Policies
If you surrender your licence for compassionate care leave and resume your licence within 28 weeks, the leave will show as a break in your licensing history, but will not affect the calculation of the length of your continuous unbroken service under the Representative’s Education Re-qualification Waiver Policy.

You may take additional leave following a compassionate care leave in accordance with the Representative’s Education Re-qualification Waiver Policy. Your Education Re-qualification Waiver Period will be calculated from the end date of the compassionate care leave. For confirmation of your Education Re-qualification Waiver Period, please submit a written request to education@recbc.ca.

 

Adding Another Service Category to Your Licence

Show/Hide Answer I am licensed to sell real estate. How can I start providing rental property management or strata management?

 

To add another real estate service to your licence you must complete the applicable supplemental course and examination. To register for a course, visit the Real Estate Division’s online registration webpage. You will need a UBC student ID number in order to register. Contact the Real Estate Division directly for that information.

The supplemental courses are shortened versions of the licensing course: you must complete 12 assignments, and pass a 2 hour exam with 60 questions. The supplemental course fee is $775.

Before starting a supplemental course, make sure that your brokerage is licensed to provide the service you want to add. If your brokerage isn’t licensed for that service category, you would need to change brokerages to conduct the activity. Representatives can only be licensed to one brokerage at a time, and you can only provide the services your brokerage is licensed to provide.

Show/Hide Answer How much will my licence cost if I become licensed to provide more than one service?

 

The licence fee is $1660 for a first time licence and $1330 for a renewal, regardless of how many services you are licensed to provide. There is a fee of $230 for adding a service category to your licence during the two year licence period . If you do not wish to conduct the service immediately, you can wait and add the new service category to your licence at the time of renewal, at no additional cost.

 

Show/Hide Answer I’ve completed a supplemental course, but my brokerage is not licensed for the service. Is there a time limit for adding that service category to my licence?

 

Once you have completed a supplemental course, you may add the new service category to your licence at any time while you remain licensed. If you cease to be licensed and your Education Re-qualification Waiver Period expires, you will have to re-qualify for any services you wish to resume providing.

 

Show/Hide Answer I am currently licensed for Rental Property Management Services. If I want to be licensed for Strata Management Services do I need to take another course?

 

Yes. You must successfully complete the Strata Management Supplemental course and examination in order to qualify for licensing to provide strata management services.
The supplemental course is a shortened version of the licensing course: you must complete 12 assignments, and pass a 2 hour exam with 60 questions. The supplemental course fee is $775.
To register for a supplemental course visit the UBC Real Estate Division online registration page.

 

Show/Hide Answer Does my real estate licence qualify me for a mortgage licence?

 

No. If you have completed the Real Estate Trading Services Licensing Course, please contact the Financial Institutions Commission (FICOM) for more information about how to become registered as a mortgage broker.

You can be licensed under the Real Estate Services Act and the Mortgage Brokers Act at the same time.

 

 

Transferring Your Licence

Show/Hide Answer How do I transfer my licence from/to another province in Canada?

 

For information on how to transfer your real estate licence to BC from another jurisdiction in Canada please see ‘Licensed Outside of BC‘.

 

For information on how to transfer your BC licence to another province or territory, please contact the appropriate regulator below:

 

Show/Hide Answer How do I transfer my licence to another brokerage?

 

You may transfer your licence to another brokerage at any time. The cost of transferring your licence during the two-year licence period is $230. If you may change brokerages at the time of licence renewal, there is no additional cost.

Individuals who are currently licensed and who wish to change employing brokerages or who have been unlicensed for less than 90 days within a licence period should follow these steps:

Step 1: Complete an Application for Application for Representative, Associate Broker or Managing Broker Licence form and submit it to the Council. In Part A of the application form check off the box entitled “Reinstatement applicant (TRANSFER) (currently licensed or inoperative for less than 90 days).”

Step 2: Submit the appropriate fee ($230). The payment may be made by cheque or credit card using the credit card authorization form.

Step 3: If you are currently licensed, arrange for the return of the existing licence certificate signed off by the previous brokerage with which you were engaged, stating the date of termination and the reason for leaving.

 

 

Renewing Your Licence: Education Requirements

Show/Hide Answer What courses do I need to take to renew my licence?

 

Licensees must complete one applicable Legal Update course during each 2-year licence period. If you are licensed to provide more than one service (e.g. trading services and strata management services), you are still only required to complete one Legal Update course.

Please note that the Council’s Relicensing Education Program requirement is separate and distinct from any educational requirements mandated by the various real estate boards throughout the province.

 

Reputation and Suitability Information

Show/Hide Answer I have a criminal record. Can I become licensed to sell real estate?

 

The Real Estate Services Act requires applicants for a licence to be “of good reputation.”

When applying for a licence, all applicants must provide a criminal record check with their application. You must disclose any criminal convictions and charges, including any conditional or absolute discharges. The Council also reviews applicants’ general business and personal reputations. Depending upon the circumstances and on your recent record, a criminal record may not necessarily be a bar to licensing. 

If you have concerns about your eligibility for licensing, review the Council’s Good Reputation Guidelines and complete an Application for Pre-screening form before registering for a licensing course.

 

Show/Hide Answer Am I eligible for licensing if I have declared bankruptcy?

 

The Real Estate Services Act requires that all applicants be “of good reputation.”  

On your licence application form, you must disclose any proposal or assignment in bankruptcy – either personal or business – and attach all relevant documents (see the next question for a list of required documents). The Council will review the details and history of any proposals or bankruptcy proceedings when considering your application for licensing.

If you or your business have made a proposal, or have been or are currently the subject of an assignment in bankruptcy or other insolvency proceedings, this doesn’t necessarily mean you are ineligible for licensing. 

 

Show/Hide Answer What documents does the Council need to see regarding a proposal or bankruptcy, insolvency or receivership proceeding that I or my business have made or been subject to?

The Council’s application and renewal forms require applicants to indicate if they have ever been, or are currently the subject of a proposal or assignment in bankruptcy, insolvency, or receivership proceeding, either personally or as the director, owner, officer or partner of a business.

If your answer to question #2 or question #3 in the section of these forms respecting reputation and suitability is “Yes,” you must include full particulars with your application. The required documents are:

table

Show/Hide Answer Why does the Council require information about proposals and bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings?

 

The Real Estate Services Act requires that all applicants be “of good reputation.” When considering your application for licensing the Council will need to review the details and history of any proposals, assignments or bankruptcy proceedings you have been involved in, or which are currently ongoing.

The Council will carefully review the documents provided to ensure no misconduct or questionable activities have occurred, about which the Council might wish to make inquiries.

 

Show/Hide Answer What are the differences between the types of proposals or bankruptcies listed on the Council’s renewal and application form?

 

There are two types of proposals for individual debtors: Consumer Proposals and Division I Proposals:

  • Consumer Proposals are for debtors with less than $250,000 of non-mortgage debt.
  • Division I Proposals are for debtors with more than $250,000 of non-mortgage debt.

If the proposal is not accepted, bankruptcy proceedings may be initiated, either voluntarily or involuntarily:

  • A voluntary bankruptcy is called an Assignment in Bankruptcy.
  • An involuntary bankruptcy involves an Application for a Bankruptcy Order which is filed by a creditor with the Court. The Court may then issue a Bankruptcy Order, declaring the individual or business bankrupt. Once a Bankruptcy Order has been made, the bankruptcy process becomes identical to that in a voluntary bankruptcy. Involuntary bankruptcies of individuals are rare.

To ensure complete disclosure, the Council requires that licence applicants disclose any current or past Consumer Proposals and Division 1 Proposals.

 

 

Show/Hide Answer I want to be a Managing Broker. Are there special suitability requirements?

 

If you are applying for licensing as a managing broker, the Council will perform a credit check with the appropriate credit bureau to ascertain that you are in “sound financial circumstances.” This is necessary as section 7-4 [other trust account requirements] of the Rules requires at least one related managing broker to be a signing authority on each trust account maintained by a brokerage.

You will not be licensed as a managing broker/sole proprietor if the credit report indicates that you:

  • are an undischarged bankrupt; 
  • have outstanding judgments against you; or
  • are in arrears on trade accounts.

If you are currently licensed as managing broker and are facing financial difficulties, please contact the Council’s office immediately to discuss your continued licensing as a managing broker.

 

 

Educational Exemptions

Show/Hide Answer I took the Real Estate Course years ago but never got licensed. Do I have to retake the course?

 

If it is more than one year since you passed the exam and more than two years since you completed the course assignments, you will need to re-take the course.

Students who complete a real estate licensing course have two years to successfully complete the applicable licensing exam, and may make no more than two attempts at the exam during that time.

Students who do not successfully complete the licensing exam in either their first or second attempts in the two-year period following the completion of the Real Estate Licensing course must re-enroll in the course.

Show/Hide Answer I graduated from the BCIT Professional Real Estate diploma program. What do I need to do to get my real estate licence?

 

Provided that your education was completed within the last ten (10) years, graduates of the BCIT Professional Real Estate diploma program are exempted from the Real Estate Trading Services Licensing course, the Rental Property Management Licensing course and the Broker’s Business Planning and Financial Management Licensing course. If you graduated from the program after September 1, 2008, you are also exempted from the Strata Management Licensing course.

In order to qualify for licensing, you must still complete the applicable licensing exam. In addition, trading services licensees will be required to complete the Residential or Commercial Trading Services Applied Practice Course.

If you have graduated from the BCIT Professional Real Estate Diploma program in the last ten (10) years, contact the Council’s Education department at education@recbc.ca to request a course exemption. Upon confirmation of your graduation from the Professional Real Estate diploma program, information about examination registration and study materials will be provided.

 

Show/Hide AnswerI have a Bachelor of Commerce in Real Estate from UBC. What do I need to do to become licensed?

 

Provided that your education has been completed within the last ten (10) years, UBC Bachelor of Commerce graduates may be exempted from the Real Estate Trading Services, Rental Property Management and Broker’s Business Planning and Financial Management Licensing courses and/or examinations.

If you have been awarded a Masters of Science (M.Sc.) Real Estate or a Bachelor of Commerce Real Estate (B.Comm.) from UBC in the last ten (10) years, you are eligible to request a waiver from the applicable trading services and/or rental property management licensing course and examination if:

  • You hold an M.Sc. with Urban Land or Real Estate major.
  • You hold a B.Comm. Real Estate and your transcript indicates you have completed COMM: 434 – Land Law (or BUSI 111).

If you have been awarded an M.Sc. Real Estate or a B.Comm. Real Estate from the University of British Columbia in the last ten (10) years, you are eligible to request a waiver from the managing broker course and examination.

Note: to become licensed at the broker level individuals must have been licensed as a representative in BC for at least two (2) of the past five (5) years (sec 2-10 of the Rules).

If you have been a student in an M.Sc. Real Estate or a B.Comm. program at UBC within the last ten (10) years, you are eligible to request a waiver from the trading services and/or rental property management licensing courses if:

  • You are a B.Comm. Real Estate student and your transcript indicates you have completed the following courses: COMM 307, 306, and 434 (or BUSI 111).

If you have been a student in an M.Sc. Real Estate or a B.Comm. program at the University of British Columbia within the last ten (10) years, you are eligible to request a waiver from the managing broker course if:

  • Your transcript indicates you have completed the following courses: COMM 203, 205, 280, 290, 292, 293, 294, 295 (or equivalent).

Note: to become licensed at the broker level individuals must have been licensed as a representative in BC for at least two (2) of the past five (5) years (sec 2-10 of the Rules).

To receive the exemption, you must prove that you have completed the required courses by emailing a copy of your unofficial transcript to education@recbc.ca.  If you are exempted from the course and examination,  you may apply for licensing on or before the date provided to you by the Council.  If you are exempted from the course only, the Council will provide you with information about how to proceed with writing the examination.  You must provide an original, sealed transcript with your licence application.

Trading licensing applicants are required to register for either the Residential Trading Services Applied Practice Course or the Commercial Trading Services Applied Practice Course prior to submitting their application.

Show/Hide Answer I have a Diploma in Urban Land Economics (DULE).  What do I need to become licensed?

Provided that your education has been completed within the last ten (10) years, Diploma in Urban Land Economics (DULE) program graduates may be exempted from the Real Estate Trading Services, Rental Property Management and Broker’s Business Planning and Financial Management Licensing courses and/or examinations as follows:

If you have been awarded a Diploma in Urban Land Economics from UBC within the last ten (10) years, you are eligible to request a waiver from the following:

  • Real Estate Trading Services Licensing course and examination.

If you have been awarded a Diploma in Urban Land Economics with Real Estate Management Option from UBC within the last ten (10) years, you are eligible to request a waiver from the following:

  • Rental Property Management Licensing course and examination.

If you have been a student in the Diploma in Urban Land Economics program at UBC within the last ten (10) years, you are eligible to request a waiver from the applicable licensing course if:

  • Your transcript indicates you have completed the following courses: BUSI 111, 121, 221, 330 (applies to trading services).
  • Your transcript indicates you have completed the following courses: BUSI 111, 330, 331 and 441 (applies to rental property management services).

If you have been awarded a Diploma in Urban Land Economics program at UBC in the last ten (10) years, you are eligible to request a waiver from the managing broker course and examination if:

  • Your transcript indicates you have completed the following courses: BUSI 111, 433.

If you have been a student in the Diploma in Urban Land Economics program at UBC within the last ten (10) years, you are eligible to request a waiver from the applicable licensing course if:

  • Your transcript indicates you have completed the following courses: BUSI 111, 433.

Note: to become licensed at the broker level individuals must have been licensed as a representative in BC for at least two (2) of the past five (5) years (sec 2-10 of the Rules).

To receive the exemption, you must prove that you have completed the required courses by emailing a copy of your unofficial transcript to education@recbc.ca. If you are exempted from the course and examination, you may apply for licensing on or before the date provided to you by the Council. If you are exempted from the course only, the Council will provide you with information about how to proceed with writing the examination.  You must provide an original, sealed transcript with your licence application.

Trading licensing applicants are required to register for either the Residential Trading Services Applied Practice Course or the Commercial Trading Services Applied Practice Course prior to submitting their application.

 

Show/Hide Answer I have an RPA. Can I apply for a rental licence?

 

Individuals who have earned and hold a current Real Property Administrator (RPA) designation are eligible for exemption from the Rental Property Management Licensing course. To receive permission to challenge the licensing examination you must provide proof of your RPA designation to the Council’s Education Department. Submit your request for exemption with supporting documentation to education@recbc.ca.

When your exemption has been confirmed the Council will provide you with permission to challenge the examination along with information on how to obtain study materials and register for the examination.

 

Show/Hide Answer Does my RI designation entitle me to a real estate licence?

 

No, the RI designation from the Real Estate Institute of British Columbia does not entitle an individual to a real estate licence. However, the Council recognizes the education required to obtain an RI designation. You may be eligible for an education waiver if you have graduated within the last ten (10) years from one of the following:

  • UBC Bachelor of Commerce, Urban Land Economics
  • BCIT Professional Real Estate diploma program
  • Diploma in Urban Land Economics program at UBC (DULE)
  • Holder of a current Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) designation

For further information on education exemptions for graduates of these programs, please refer to the questions above.

Show/Hide Answer I hold the RICS designation, what do I need to do to get my licence?

 

Chartered members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors who hold a current MRICS or FRICS designation are eligible for exemption from the Real Estate Trading Services Licensing course. To receive permission to challenge the licensing examination you must provide proof of your RICS designation to the Council’s Education Department. Submit your request for exemption with supporting documentation to education@recbc.ca.

When your exemption has been confirmed the Council will provide you with permission to challenge the examination along with information on how to obtain study materials and register for the examination.