Law & Policy

Mandatory Continuing Education

December 31, 2000

Changes have occurred in the real estate industry over the past number of years that impact the quality of services that practitioners provide to the public, such as: the trend to independent contractor status for salespersons and the virtual discontinuing of broker-sponsored training programs; the information technology revolution; skills analysis, learning objectives and outcomes under a National Code of Education developed by the Canadian Real Estate Association; and, the Internal Trade Agreement signed in 1995 by the Federal and Provincial Governments to reduce barriers to inter-provincial trade.

Today's real estate consumers have access to more information than ever before, and are increasingly more demanding in the level of service they expect from practitioners. The knowledge required by real estate practitioners to serve their clients also continues to change, expand and evolve; thus, the process for obtaining that information must be ongoing.

The Manitoba Real Estate Association (the "MREA") and staff of The Manitoba Securities Commission have been monitoring these changes and have considered how best to keep practitioners abreast of changes in the practices, rules and laws governing the real estate industry and better equip them to serve the public.

The MREA recently submitted a proposal to the Commission that would require all registrants to take 6 hours of Mandatory Continuing Education ("MCE") every year as a condition of registration, beginning April 1, 2001. The proposal reflects similar education trends in the U.S. and Canada. Most States and Provinces have implemented or are in the process of implementing MCE for real estate practitioners. MCE is an integral part of the National Code of Education and will facilitate license recognition among Provinces consistent with the labour mobility objectives of the Internal Trade Agreement.

As proposed, MCE courses and seminars would be developed by the MREA and Commission staff and approved by the Commission. Possible areas of study could include: agency practice in Manitoba; issues arising with The Real Estate Brokers Act; property management and residential tenancy matters; The Condominium Act, title searching for practitioners; new concepts in mortgage financing; agricultural sales; practices and policies affecting the industry.

MCE for restricted registrants (e.g., property management or new home sales) will not be implemented until April 1, 2002, to allow the MREA and Commission staff sufficient time to develop appropriate courses. It is likely that the number of MCE hours for restricted registrants would be in the range of 3 hours annually.

MCE seminars would be offered in Brandon, Dauphin, Portage la Prairie, the Morden/Winkler and Thompson/The Pas areas, and in Winnipeg. Home study material would be available for practitioners in remote areas who cannot attend a seminar. The cost of a six-hour course or seminar would be in the $100 range including all written material.

The MCE program will not require passing an exam, but attendance will be mandatory, and in the case of home study there will be assignments to complete.

The Commission supports this industry-driven initiative to keep practitioners up-to-date and raise the bar for practitioners. The Commission is informing registrants that as of April 1, 2001 registrations issued to individual practitioners will be conditional on completing 6 hours of MCE within the next year.

  • The MCE Year for salespersons will begin as of the date the individual's registration is renewed after April 1, 2001. They will have to complete 6 hours of MCE to be eligible for renewal the following year.
  • The MCE Year for authorized officials will begin as of the date the employing broker's registration is renewed after April 1, 2001. They will have to complete 6 hours of MCE to be eligible for registration when the broker's registration is renewed the following year.
  • A salesperson or authorized official whose registration is suspended (or cancelled in the case of an authorized official) during an MCE Year, and is reinstated in the same MCE Year, would have to complete 6 hours of MCE to be eligible for renewal.
  • A salesperson or authorized official who leaves the industry during an MCE Year and does not apply for reinstatement in that MCE Year, but applies for registration the following year, that person will begin a new MCE Year as of the date of the new registration and would have to complete 6 hours of MCE in the new MCE Year.
  • If a salesperson or authorized official leaves the industry and must re-qualify to be eligible for registration, the qualifying exam will be recognized in lieu of MCE; the MCE requirement will apply the following year.

(Expiration of an individual's registration resulting from failure to file a renewal application with the Registrar on time will not extend the individual's MCE Year.)

The above rules will cover the more common situations; unusual or extenuating cases will be considered by Commission staff and the MREA on a case by case basis.

The Commission is asking all brokers to ensure that all registered employee are given a copy of this notice and are aware of these changes and prepare themselves accordingly.

Questions or comments are welcome. Commission staff may be contacted by telephone or at the address below.

Yours truly,

J. W. Storsley
The Real Estate Brokers Act