About the Professional Standards Manual

Published on 13 January, 2020

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This Professional Standards Manual is designed to ensure that licensees have the information they need to carry out their duties under the Real Estate Services Act (RESA). RECBC has developed the material in this manual with the participation of real estate licensees and it has been thoroughly reviewed and approved prior to publication.

As a licensee, you can use the information in the Professional Standards Manual to:

  • Better understand your professional obligations
  • Manage challenges or answer questions that arise in your professional practice
  • Support your ongoing development of knowledge, skills, and professional competence.

Licensees are expected to be knowledgeable about the Professional Standards, and are responsible for keeping up to date with additions and revisions to this information. The laws, regulations and policy rulings affecting real estate matters are subject to constant and continuing change, and information in the Professional Standards Manual is revised to keep pace with these changes.

Licensees have a duty to keep themselves up-to-date by reading the Report from Council newsletter, which includes reports on any major regulatory changes and revisions or additions to information in the Professional Standards Manual. If in doubt about any information in the Professional Standards Manual, licensees should contact their managing broker or RECBC for guidance.RECBC values any comments and suggestions from licensees about the content in this manual. If you would like to provide feedback on anything you read in this manual, you can email RECBC at [email protected]  — will open in a new tab.


The Real Estate Services Act (RESA) came into force on January 1, 2005. RESA replaced Part 1 of the Real Estate Act. The Real Estate Development Marketing Act  — will open in a new tab replaced Part 2 of the Real Estate Act. In addition to RESA, RegulationsBylaws, and Rules were also enacted.

RESA sets out general requirements, such as when a licence is required, the levels and categories of licence, the role of the Real Estate Council of British Columbia (RECBC), and the role of the Superintendent of Real Estate. RESA also contains general provisions relating to the holding of trust money and discipline, as well as provisions relating to the creation or continuation of other related bodies such as the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, Real Estate Errors and Omissions Insurance Corporation, and the Real Estate Compensation Fund Corporation.

Regulations are approved by Order in Council and contain exemptions from licensing and other technical provisions relating to the operation of RESA.

The Rules, which are drafted by the Superintendent of Real Estate, establish standards in relation to requirements placed on licensees.

Bylaws are drafted by RECBC. The Bylaws relate to the operation of RECBC and address matters such as the forms required to apply for or renew a licence or to file an accountant’s report. The procedures that RECBC and the Superintendent of Real Estate must follow in order to amend the Bylaws and Rules are outlined in the Regulation.

Licensee conduct is addressed in RESA, the Real Estate Services Regulation and the Rules. Licensees should therefore be familiar with the provisions of not only RESA, but also the Real Estate Services Regulation and Rules.

The purpose of RESA is to protect the public by ensuring that real estate licensees are competent and that they perform their work to certain standards.

RESA requires that, unless a person is exempted, a licence is obtained before a person provides real estate services to or on behalf of another for remuneration. RESA defines ‘‘real estate services’’ to include rental property management, and strata management services, as well as ‘‘trading services’’. Trading services includes a number of services, associated with the listing, selling, and leasing of real estate, such as advising on the appropriate price for real estate, finding real estate for a party to acquire, finding a party to acquire real estate, showing real estate, presenting offers, and receiving deposits. As a result of including strata management within the definition of ‘‘real estate services’’, anyone conducting strata management must be licensed.

RECBC is the body responsible for the education, licensing, and discipline of licensees.

The Superintendent of Real Estate is responsible for taking action in relation to unlicensed activity, for oversight of RECBC, and for addressing any matters where RECBC has failed to act. The Superintendent of Real Estate is able to amend and create new Rules in order to respond to changes in the real estate environment.