REALTOR® Ethics Course Requirement due December 31, 2018

The National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics course required for all NAR members is due 12/31/18. The 2.5 hours on the NAR Code of Ethics is now due every two years. Although the requirement has been in place since 2001, the initial 4-year cycle was changed to a 2-year cycle. Therefore, it may not coincide with a real estate agent’s state of Ohio ethics requirement.

An ethics course may satisfy both the NAR Code of Ethics requirement and the state of Ohio Canons of Ethics requirement (3-hours). But it may not! You'll need to read the description carefully or contact the course provider.

If you've taken the Columbus REALTORS® New Member Orientation or one of our Ethics courses in 2017 or 2018, we have a record of your attendance and you need do nothing else.

However, if you have taken an ethics course at another school or course provider in the last two years, you need to email a copy of that CE certificate to Lucy Buzzee. Or notify Columbus REALTORS® with proof that you have taken a qualifying ethics course in the last two years. 

Columbus REALTORS® will report to NAR that you have complied with the requirement.

So, you can either:

  • take a class (in person or online) that covers both the NAR Code of Ethics and the State of Ohio Canons of Ethics (3 hours of instruction). This option usually includes continuing education.
  • or take a class (in person or online) which just covers the NAR REALTOR® Code of Ethics (minimum 2.5 hours of instruction).

Options for courses:

  • Columbus REALTORS® - classroom Ethics courses which cover both the Ohio Canons and NAR Code of Ethics. Our Ethics courses are free and offer three (3) hours of continuing education. Check our schedule.
  • NAR - offers online REALTOR® Code of Ethics courses.
  • CE shop - offers an online course that meets both the Ohio Canons of Ethics and the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.
  • Hondros offers courses that covers either the Ohio Canons of Ethics or the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.
  • Ohio Association of REALTORS® - online course that satisfies both the Ohio Canons of Ethics and the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.

If you take an online course somewhere else, just make sure it satisfies both the state of Ohio and NAR ethics requirements.

Note to Commercial members: 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 January 1, 2017, NAR has a record of compliance.

What happens if a REALTOR® doesn’t meet the training requirement 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: A REALTOR® who is suspended for not meeting the REALTORS® ethics training requirement – all the rights, privileges, and services he or she is entitled to receive because he or she is a REALTOR® are suspended until he or she satisfies the training requirement. While suspended, his or her obligation to abide by the Code of Ethics continues, as the obligation to pay dues. 

What are the consequences of membership suspension on MLS?

From NAR: Suspension of REALTOR® 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 is suspended.

The only exception to this general rule is when a REALTOR® (principal) MLS Participant is suspended for not meeting the ethics training requirement. Under such circumstances, continued MLS access is not available to licensees affiliated with a suspended Participant unless participatory privileges are transferred to another principal in the firm. MLS participatory rights cannot be suspended for REALTORS® (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, the membership of a member who is still suspended as of that date will be automatically terminated.