The state’s Appraiser Certification Program has told at least one aspiring appraisers that applicants don’t have to take the national appraiser-trainee exam to qualify for the State-Registered Appraiser credential. In telling applicants they can skip that exam, the state’s Appraiser Certification Program appears to be violating existing rules.
On October 21, Professional Appraisers Association of South Dakota President Sandra Gresh wrote to newly appointed Appraiser Certification Program director Scott Amundson to express PAASD’s opposition to three rule changes that ACP has proposed in apparent support of Governor Kristi Noem’s push to “streamline” appraiser certification. One of those rule changes proposes eliminating the requirement that appraiser-trainees pass a national appraiser-trainee examination before obtaining the State-Registered Appraiser credential and beginning to log experience hours. According to Gresh’s letter, a public hearing was scheduled for October 7 on those changes; PAASD is asking the Legislature’s Interim Rules Review Committee to block those changes at its November 15 meeting.
But according to Gresh, the Department of Labor and Regulation under which Amundson and the ACP operate appear to have implemented the exam rule change on its own as early as August:
PAASD is also concerned about the provisions of this proposed rule change which have apparently been implemented by the ACP before legislative authority and approval has been received. For example, the email on page 9 of this document clearly shows that the ACP has chosen to disregard the existing administrative rule requiring the administration of a national trainee exam before issuing the State-Registered Appraiser credential. Our organization would be interested in the rationale for this action and the number of trainees that have been issued a State-Registered Appraiser credential without taking the national trainee exam—despite the requirement to do so [Sandra Gresh, letter to Scott Amundson, 2021.10.21, p. 7].
Here’s the email to which Gresh refers, and August 26 message to Melissa L. Hill concerning her State-Registered Appraiser credential, which DLP senior secretary Anna Bennett says was issued with no exam required on August 25:
The Department of Labor and Regulation cannot waive an exam required by its own rules until the Legislature says it can. The Legislature has not issued any such permission. We can thus understand PAASD’s concern that the Department may be illegally registering appraiser-trainees who have not fulfilled every legal requirement to receive that privilege.