Continuing Education In The Fall

The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling, and the children are back in school. The market for housing may show some signs of slowing as sellers await to celebrate Thanksgiving and the holidays in their property one last time. It’s a wonderful time to think about continuing education.

Minnesota has an unusual calendar for licensees. The Minnesota calendar runs from July 1st to June 30th. Continuing education requirements are for at least 15 hours of approved courses are completed by June of each year. Part of the courses taken must be an identified required module. This July to June requirement for this year is Risk Management.

Wisconsin uses calendar years (January to December) for the continuing education and renewal calendars. All licensees in Wisconsin are required to complete 18 hours of classes. There are 4 required classes and licensees must choose two other classes as electives. These credits are due at the end of even numbered years.

As I was teaching some Wisconsin continuing education courses, the licensees were expressing confusion over the dates and the credits. Hopefully, the dates are now more clearly understood.

When I was asked about the credits and if this state recognized that states credits, I sensed a great deal of confusion. My concern to address is “how does a licensee know if the training class they are in will provide credits for continuing education?” The answer is surprisingly simple.

If there are handouts, there would be a statement in the handout which specifies the state the course is approved for credits and the number of hours the class will provide. If there are no handouts, the instructor will start the class with a statement of the above: States the course is approved the hours as well approved. In the advertising of the courses, there will be a statement identifying the credits (sort of like a movie rating, the statement must be present if there are credits being offered)

The maintenance of the information is handled by the sales licensee. In Minnesota, there is a website called Pulse Portal which is the collective of all courses taken regardless of the course education provider. Course education providers (like MN Realty School) must report the hours of the class completion within 10 calendar days of course completion to the site. Associates may review their information under their “transcript” to identify the number of hours completed and hours required.

In Wisconsin, at the end of course, students will receive a course completion certificate identifying the class taken and the number of hours they have been given credit. Licensees are supposed to keep their course completion certificates for a total of 5 years after completion. Education providers will make their course completion certificates available in the event the licensee needs them and may charge a nominal fee for the issuance of a replacement certificate.

When renewing your license in Minnesota, the broker will log into the Pulse Portal site and check to see if the system has recorded the appropriate number of hours and classes taken. If the licensee has met the education requirement, the license may be renewed by paying the renewal fee.

When renewing your license in Wisconsin, a licensee would complete a Form 2920 listing the courses taken and the form would be signed. An online renewal exists on the Department of Safety and Professional Services website.

Word of caution: If there was a change of address or name or a criminal conviction, that information must be updated at the time of renewal in either state. (Both states have requirements for the reporting of a criminal conviction within days of the conviction: 48 hours in Wisconsin and 10 calendar days in Minnesota). Failure to update changed information or supply the conviction information may result in loss of license.

While it may be a slow season, it is a great time to get caught up on all your renewal requirements!

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