Accreditation


What is it?

RCW 36.21.015 was amended and became effective July 1, 1992. The revised statute requires any person having the responsibility of valuing real property for purposes of taxation including persons acting as assistants or deputies to a county assessor under RCW 36.21.011 shall have first:

  • Had at least one year of experience in transactions involving real property, in appraisal of real property, or in assessment of real property, or at least one year of experience in a combination of the three;
  • Become knowledgeable in repair and remodeling of buildings and improvement of land, and in the significance of locality and area to the value of real property;
  • Become knowledgeable in the standards for appraising property set forth by the Department of Revenue;
  • Met other minimum requirements specified by Department of Revenue rule.

Once an appraiser has received accreditation, they must renew, by application, their accreditation every two years. The renewal must include 15 hours of continuing education. Courses that are attended by the appraisers must first be approved by the department in order for the hours to be considered eligible for continuing education. The courses must be related to real property appraising. Three of the fifteen continuing education hours attended may include courses that would be considered “of interest” to the assessor’s office.

Who administers it?

In the statute, the Department of Revenue (the Department) is directed to:

  • Prepare and administer an examination on subjects related to the valuation of real property. (No person shall assess real property for purposes of taxation without having passed said examination or having received an examination waiver from the department upon showing education or experience determined by the department to be equivalent to passing the examination. A person passing said examination or receiving an examination waiver shall be accredited accordingly by the Department of Revenue.)
  • The Department may by rule establish continuing education requirements for persons assessing real property for purposes of taxation.
  • The Department shall provide accreditation of completion of requirements. (No person shall assess real property for purposes of taxation without complying with requirements imposed.)
  • To the extent practical, the Department of Revenue shall coordinate accreditation requirements with the requirements for certified real estate appraisers under chapter 18.140 RCW.
  • Approve continuing education courses used for appraiser accreditation

What role does the Property Tax Division play to provide training for the county assessor's office?

The Property Tax Education Specialist works closely with the county assessor’s education committee to provide an annual training calendar that offers appraisal courses and other training in specific program administration.

What responsibility does the Property Tax Division play in regard to monitoring the educational levels within the assessor’s office?

The Property Tax Division is authorized by statute to administer the accreditation program which involve both initial and renewal compliance requirements by the assessor’s appraisal staff. The Department does not have the authority to monitor or oversee the individual appraisal classifications for levels of education or experience.

How does the Property Tax Division manage the Accreditation Program?

In 2003, as one of the Property Tax Strategic Business Plan goals, a new accreditation software program was developed by the Department's Information Services Division to streamline the administration of the program. Since January 2005, we have been using the new software program exclusively. Some of the features are:

  • Maintains initial/renewal application data
  • Merge capabilities to print certificates/letters/envelopes
  • Tracks educational course/history information
  • Maintains course approval program
  • Merges course information to produce course announcements, sign-in sheets, evaluations, course invoices, receipts
  • Produces appraiser reports by county/renewal dates/pending applications/revoked accreditations/unpaid invoices