After almost two years of effort on the part of the Inspector Committee to restructure and streamline the education and substitute experience requirements for inspector licensure, the Commission adopted rules at its August meeting to implement the proposals recommended by the Committee. This long-overdue revamp of these requirements remove redundancies in the current rules and simplify the process to become an inspector in Texas. These rules address both a long-standing desire on the part of the Committee to make education meaningful, while at the same time addressing and complying with issues raised in the Sunset Commission Report. While these rules do not go into effect until March of next year, the biggest changes going forward reduce the hours required to obtain a professional inspector license and restructure qualifying education courses into modules designed to address specific areas and topics of the national and state exam. This last item is likely to have the most positive impact on qualifying education because it will provide a consistent approach to inspector education, regardless of what provider is offering it. The new rules also provide an easy path to licensure in Texas for an applicant who is already an inspector in another state. That applicant will have to take some Texas-specific modules and pass the Texas portion of the exam. Finally, the rules provide a two month transition period for any applicant working towards a license under the current requirement to complete that work.
In addition to all of the hard work done on the qualifying education matters, the Committee is also tackling other important matters. The SOP Subcommittee has to review the SOPs to determine what, if any, revisions should be made. The SOP subcommittee is hoping to have the review of the SOPs completed by the end of the year. The next SOP Subcommittee meeting is scheduled for September 14. In addition, a subject matter working group has been established to develop a mandatory SOP 4-hour CE course to replace the current SOP CE Course outline. Once developed and approved by the Commissions, the course content will be the same regardless of the provider, similarly to how the 4-hour Inspector Legal Ethics CE course is provided today. This plan is that this course would be required for all inspector license holders renewing after September 1 of next year.
Finally, the Inspector Committee is seeking applicants for two inspectors and one public member position. Applications must be received no later than September 21, 2020, by 5:00 pm. If you are interested in serving as an inspector member, or if you know someone who would be a good public member, please send an application, resume, and cover letter to Vanessa Burgess, TREC General Counsel, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Texas Real Estate Commission, Attn. Vanessa Burgess, PO Box 12188 Austin, TX 78711-2188.
The next meeting of the full Inspector Committee will be on October 12th at 10 am. This meeting will be held by teleconference and the information on how to attend the meeting will be posted along with the agenda and materials as the meeting gets closer. As always, your input is vital to the work of the Committee and I want to encourage your participation in the upcoming meeting.