AQB Proposed Background Checks Focus on ‘Public Trust’
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The Appraiser Qualifications Board of The Appraisal Foundation on Dec. 2 released a new exposure draft of proposed revisions to the 2015 Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria. Among the revisions is a requirement that all applicants for real property appraiser credentials have a background that does not call into question public trust.
To meet that requirement, applicants must provide state appraiser regulatory agencies with all information and documentation necessary for a jurisdiction to determine an applicant’s fitness for licensure. An applicant will not be eligible for an appraiser credential if they have been convicted of or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to a crime that would call into question the applicant’s fitness for licensure.
As currently proposed, states would have flexibility to use whatever means they deem appropriate to ascertain that an applicant does not have a background that would call into question public trust. Previous versions of this proposal would have required states to conduct fingerprint-based background checks through the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Due to the original effective date of the background check requirements (Jan. 1, 2015, but now delayed until Jan. 1, 2017), some states already have implemented new laws, some of which contain provisions that go far beyond what is required as minimum criteria by the AQB.
The Appraisal Institute continues to work through its chapter network to lobby states for laws that are not onerous on existing credential holders and on new applicants for an appraiser credential. AI is attempting to limit any formal background check requirements to new applicants only. Additionally, AI is lobbying for laws that allow existing credential holders to attest at each renewal period that there has been no change in their background, with reasonable allowances for state appraiser regulatory agencies to “spot check” existing credential holders. Lastly, AI strongly opposes any efforts to require background checks for reciprocal licenses or temporary practice permits.
Other than the new provision on backgrounds that do not call into question public trust, this fourth exposure draft does not include any other significant changes from previous exposure drafts.