NAR’s Ethics Course Requirement due December 31, 2018

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Ethics course requirement, that all REALTORS® complete at least 2.5 hours of ethics training every two years, is due Dec. 31, 2018. This requirement has been in place since 2001. However, it has been changed from a four-year to a two-year cycle. So, it may not coincide with a real estate agent’s state of Ohio ethics course requirement.

In addition, the ethics course you take to satisfy NAR’s Ethics requirement must contain the NAR Code of Ethics training. The course may satisfy both the NAR Code of Ethics requirement and the state of Ohio Canon of Ethics requirement. For the state of Ohio, the requirement is a three-hour course.

If during the last two years (2017 & 2018), you have taken either Columbus REALTORS®’ New Member Orientation ethics course and/or a Columbus REALTORS®’ sponsored ethics course that satisfies the Ohio continuing education requirement, then you do not need to do anything more to comply.  Columbus REALTORS® has record of your attendance. 

If you have taken an ethics course at another school or course-sponsoring entity in the last two years, then you should email a copy of your certificate (as proof of completion) to LBuzzee@columbusrealtors.com, and we’ll report your compliance to NAR.

Here are your options:

  • Take a ‘classroom’ ethics course with at least 2.5 hours of instruction. Course content must include the NAR Code of Ethics.
  • Take a ‘classroom’ ethics course that contains both the NAR Code of Ethics and the State of Ohio Canon of Ethics with 3.0 hours of instruction, which will satisfy both the NAR and Ohio ethics requirements.
  • Take an online ethics course with at least 2.5 hours of instruction and again, course content must include the NAR Code of Ethics.
  • NAR offers this online course for all members, as well as a separate course for new members, at no charge and no continuing education credit. Visit realtors.org for more information and to register. Once the course is completed, it will automatically be added to your NRDS record that you have complied.
  • NAR also offers a continuing education (CE) option for $29; go to realtors.org for more information and to register
  • Take an online ethics course. Just make sure it satisfies both the state of Ohio and NAR’s ethics requirements:
  • There are ethics courses online at columbusrealtors.com sponsored by The CE Shop and Hondros College. Both offer discounts if you go through the Columbus REALTORS®’ portal.
  • An ethics course taken through the Ohio Association (online and classroom) complies with NAR’s requirement, visit ohiorealtors.org.
  • For commercial REALTORS®, SIOR and CCIM have ethics courses that meet the NAR requirement. If you are a member of either of those societies and have taken an ethics training course since Jan. 1, 2017, NAR has a record of compliance.

What happens if you don't meet training requirements on time? 

From NAR: Failure to meet the requirement is a violation of a membership requirement and results in suspension of membership until the requirement is met or until membership is automatically terminated. 

What are the consequences of membership suspension?
From NAR: If you are suspended for not meeting the REALTORS® ethics training requirement, all the rights, privileges, and services you are entitled to receive as a REALTOR® are suspended until you satisfy the training requirement. While suspended, your obligation to abide by the Code of Ethics and pay dues continues.

What are the consequences of membership suspension on MLS?
From NAR: Suspension of your membership will, in most instances, have no effect on MLS participatory or user/subscriber privileges. Licensees affiliated with MLS participants have subscriber/user rights irrespective of whether they hold REALTOR® membership personally or whether their REALTOR® membership is in good standing or suspended. The only exception to this general rule is where it is the REALTOR® (principal) MLS participant who is suspended for not meeting the ethics training requirement. Under such circumstances, continued MLS access is not available to licensees affiliated with a suspended principal participant unless participatory privileges are transferred to another principal in the firm. MLS participatory rights cannot be suspended for REALTOR®(principals) in states where MLSs are required by law to provide MLS participatory rights to nonmembers or where an Association has voluntarily opened its MLS to nonmember participation.

How long can a member be suspended for not completing their Realtors ethics training?
Failure to meet the requirement for any two-year cycle will result in suspension of membership for the first two months (January and February) of the year following the end of any two (2) year cycle or until the requirement is met, whichever occurs sooner. On March 1 of that year, if your membership is still suspended as of that date, you will be automatically terminated.

Upcoming course offerings
Columbus REALTORS® next Ethics for Real Estate classes are scheduled for April 12 (9a-12:15p) and May 2 (9a- 12:15p). Register online at columbusrealtors.com.