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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.


Show/Hide Answer Open All 

Taking a Break

Show/Hide Answer I am thinking about surrendering my licence. How long can I be unlicensed before I have to write the exam again?

This depends on whether you are licensed as a representative or a broker.

Representatives: If you are licensed as a representative, the amount of time you may remain unlicensed is based on the length of time you were licensed (see the Education Re-qualification Date Policy chart to determine your allowable unlicensed period). If you are within the time allotted you may apply for licensing. If you are past the allowable time you will be required to rewrite the applicable licensing examination. In addition, trading licensees will be required to complete the Accelerated Residential or Commercial Trading Services Applied Practice Course.

Brokers:If you are licensed at the broker level, you are allowed to remain unlicensed for a maximum of 5 years from the date of licence surrender.

 

If you decide to surrender your licence temporarily, follow these steps:

Step 1: Surrender your licence. Advise 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 are not eligible to conduct real estate activities.

Step 2: Make a written request. During your leave, make a written request to the Council to confirm your Education Re-qualification Date. This may be done by mail or fax, or by email to education@recbc.ca.

Step 3: Receive your response. You will be notified by Council in writing of your Education Re-qualification Date.

Step 4: Apply for re-licensing. You must apply for relicensing before the Education Re-qualification Date. If you remain unlicensed for longer than the permitted period, you must receive permission from the Council to rewrite the applicable licensing exams. To obtain permission, please email education@recbc.ca. Please include your legal name (as previously licensed) and your date of birth.  Re-Qualifying Individuals Please Note: Trading services licensees will also be required to complete the Accelerated Residential or Commercial Trading Services Applied Practice Course. Applicants who wish to become re-licensed for more than one service category will be required to complete the applicable supplemental course and/or examination(s).

 

NOTICE:  Changes to these policies take effect January 1, 2017.  To find out more about how the changes may affect you, please review them here.

Show/Hide Answer I am expecting a baby. Can I put my licence on hold when the baby is born, in order to 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 and may be taken 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. The following steps outline the procedure for applying for parental leave:

 

Step 1: Surrender your licence. Advise your managing broker that you wish to surrender your licence for the purposes of taking a parental leave. The brokerage will then return the licence to the Council. Once you’ve taken this step, you are no longer licensed and you are not eligible to conduct real estate activities.

Step 2: Submit your request. Shortly after your child has been born or adopted, you should receive the child’s government-issued birth certificate. Upon receipt of the birth certificate, please submit a letter to the Council requesting a parental leave. The letter must be accompanied by a copy of your child’s birth certificate, which must include parents’ names. This may be done by mail, fax, or email to education@recbc.ca. The request for parental leave must be made within one year of the birth or adoption of the child.

Step 3: Receive your response. You will be notified by Council in writing of your Education Re-qualification Date and the dates of your parental leave. You must apply for relicensing before the deadline indicated, or you will be required to re-write and pass the applicable licensing exams, and trading services licensees will also be required to complete the Accelerated Residential or Commercial Trading Services Applied Practice Course.

Please note: If you surrender your licence for a parental leave and resume your licence within one year, the parental leave will show as a break in your licensing history, but will not affect the calculation of future Education Re-qualification Dates based on your length of continuous unbroken service.

NOTICE:  Changes to these policies take effect January 1, 2017.  To find out more about how the changes may affect you, please review them here.

Show/Hide Answer I have a medical condition that does not allow me to work. Can I put my licence on hold until I get better?

 

Yes. Licensees who surrender their licence due to medical issues may qualify for an extension to their Education Re-qualification Date.

Requests for extensions of up to one (1) year to an individual’s Education Re-qualification Date will be considered by Council staff. Extensions based on medical grounds must be supported by a medical certificate/doctor’s note.

 

Step 1: Surrender your licence. Advise the brokerage of your decision to surrender your licence and have the managing broker note on the back of your licence that it is being surrendered for health/medical reasons. The brokerage will then return the licence to the Council. Once this is done, you are no longer licensed and you are not eligible to conduct real estate activities.

Step 2: Make a written request. Make a written request to the Council to confirm your Education Re-qualification Date, indicating that you have surrendered your licence for medical/health reasons.

Step 3: Receive notification. The Council will notify you of your Education Re-qualification Date and provide information for making a request for an extension to this date based on medical grounds if necessary.

NOTICE:  Changes to these policies take effect January 1, 2017.  To find out more about how the changes may affect you, please review them here.

As licensees are allowed to remain unlicensed for a period of time based on length of licensing (consult the chart to see how long you qualify to remain unlicensed), it is generally recommended that requests for extensions based on medical grounds be made near the end of that period. It may be that your medical condition can be resolved within this time period, without requiring a request for a medical extension.

However, if your medical condition persists, request an extension to your Education Re-qualification Date by submitting a written request by email to education@recbc.ca. To support the request you must provide an original medical note from your doctor detailing the nature and severity of your condition, the dates you have been under the doctor’s care, and the approximate date that you will be able to return to work. These may be submitted by regular mail and, upon request, mailed back to you.

 

 

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 Rental Property or Strata Management Services to your licence you will be required to complete the Rental Property Management or Strata Management Supplemental Course and Examination through the Real Estate Division at UBC. To register, visit the Real Estate Division’s online registration webpage.  You will need your student ID number in order to register. Contact the Real Estate Division directly for that information.

The supplemental course is an abridged version of the licensing course, covering only part of the full course content.  You will not be required to complete all of the 20 course assignments, and the exam is 2 hours rather than 3 hours, with only 60 questions, rather than 100 for the licensing course. The supplemental course fee is $725 instead of $1075 for the licensing course.

It is important to note that you can only be licensed to provide real estate services with one brokerage at a time — so before embarking on the course, you should ensure that your brokerage is licensed for and provides both services. If you wish to provide the service and your brokerage does not, you will need to make a change in brokerages so that you may conduct the activity.

 

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

 

The licence fee is $1360 for a first time licence and $1330 for a renewal, regardless of how many services you are licensed to provide. A fee of $130 will be charged to add 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 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 for any reason you cease to be licensed and your Education Re-qualification Date passes, you may have to re-qualify for this service in order to relicense.

You could also consider transferring to a brokerage that is licensed for, and provides, the additional service.

 

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 an abridged version of the licensing course: you are only required to complete 12 out of the 20 assignments, and the exam is 2 hours rather than 3 hours and consists of 60 questions rather than 100 for the licensing course. The supplemental course fee is $725 instead of $1075 for a licensing course.

You may register for the course through the UBC Real Estate Division.

 

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. FICOM may be reached at 604-660-3450.

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 licence to BC from another jurisdiction in Canada please see Licensed Outside of BC .

 

For information on how to transfer your licence to another province 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 $130.  Alternatively you may change brokerages at the time of licence renewal at 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 must:

Step 1: Submit an Application for Representative, Associate Broker or Managing Broker Licence form. 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 of $130. 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 are required to complete one applicable Legal Update course during each 24-month licence period. You will be notifed of your Relicensing Education Program course requirement when you receive your renewal notice.

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 anywhere conditional or absolute discharges were granted. 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 (or my business has) made a proposal or been subject to an assignment in 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 I should be aware of?

 

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?

 

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?

 

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.

BCIT graduates may contact the Real Estate 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.

NOTICE:  Changes to these policies take effect January 1, 2017.  To find out more about how the changes may affect you, please review them here.

 

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

 

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 examinations. In order to receive the exemption, you must provide proof that you have completed the following courses:

  • 307 – Urban Land Economics (now 307 – Real Estate Investment);
  • 309 – Real Estate Finance (now 306 – Urban Land Economics);
  • 434 – Land Law;
  • 407 – Real Estate Valuation (now 405 – Real Estate Finance);

plus any one of the following three courses:

  • 406 – Urban Land Policy (now 407 – Urban Public Economics);
  • 408 – Real Estate Investment Analysis (now 408–Real Estate Development);
  • 409 – Urban Growth and Structure (now 409 – City Growth and Structure),

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. When your exemption has been confirmed, you may apply for licensing at any time. 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.

If you have completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree from UBC but have not completed all of the above noted courses, you may be eligible for exemptions from the licensing courses provided you have the following courses:

  • 307 – Urban Land Economics (now 307 – Real Estate Investment);
  • 309 – Real Estate Finance (now 306 – Urban Land Economics);
  • 434 – Land Law.

For further information about exemptions for B.Comm Real Estate graduates, please contact education@recbc.ca

NOTICE:  Changes to these policies take effect January 1, 2017.  To find out more about how the changes may affect you, please review them here.

 

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

 

Individuals who have earned the 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.

NOTICE:  Changes to these policies take effect January 1, 2017.  To find out more about how the changes may affect you, please review them here.

 

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 you may be eligible for an education waiver if you are a:

For further information on education exemptions for graduates of these programs, please use the links 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 the 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.

NOTICE:  Changes to these policies take effect January 1, 2017.  To find out more about how the changes may affect you, please review them here.