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Designations PA: How They Differ From Certifications

Designations and certifications can help you stand out from a crowd of competitors

Designations and certifications can help you stand out from a crowd of competitors

Some courses conducted by Polley Associates result in certifications or designations in real estate for those who successfully complete stated requirements. What’s the difference between them?

What’s a designation?

Designation courses most often require that participants complete and successfully pass an examination at the end of their education. Passing grades on designation exams vary, but usually are no lower than 75 percent.

Most designation courses take two full days (or fifteen 50-minute hours) to complete. Depending on the state, Polley Associates usually seeks approval for 1 broker credit and all 14 hours of biennial continuing education credit for its designation courses. Polley delivers, to each student who successfully completes a designation course, an official transcript recognized by the appropriate state as fulfillment of the course’s educational components.

Most designation courses are accredited, meaning they are issued by an authoritative organization or agency with recognized expertise in the subject matter being taught.

Although accreditation standards vary by organization, most have requirements that go beyond education.

Accrediting entities may also demand that students complete a specific number of transactions in their subject matter before a designation is issued. They may demand payment of an annual fee to sustain membership in the entity. They may demand additional or continuing education in the subject matter over a specific period of time. It is important for anyone seeking a designation to know all such requirements in advance, and be willing to comply with them.

Prices of designation courses vary, and most often reflect the varied costs Polley Associates must pay to accrediting entities for course delivery.

Once course participants successfully complete both the educational components and any additional requirements set by accrediting entities, they can use the initials or title that denotes their specific designation.

What’s a certification?

Certification courses can, but usually do NOT, require participants to complete and successfully pass an examination at the end of their education.

Most certification courses take one full day (seven 50-minute hours) to complete; there are, however, a limited number of two-day certifications. Polley Associates usually seeks approval for 7 of 14 hours of biennial continuing education credit for each day of a certification course. Polley delivers, to each student who successfully completes a certification course, an official transcript recognized by the appropriate state as fulfillment of the course’s educational components.

Although many certification courses are issued by an authoritative organization or agency with recognized expertise in the subject matter being taught, their limited length usually prohibits awarding a designation.

Certification standards vary by organization; some, but not all have requirements that go beyond education. They may demand payment of a one-time, but not annual, fee for membership in the entity. They may demand additional or continuing education in the subject matter over a specific period of time, rather than require students to complete a specific number of transactions. It is important for anyone seeking a certification to know all such requirements in advance, and be willing to comply with them.

Prices of certification courses vary, and most often reflect the varied costs Polley Associates must pay to accrediting entities for course delivery.

Once course participants successfully complete both the educational components and any additional requirements set by accrediting entities, they can use the initials or title that denotes their specific certification.

So, are courses without a designation or certification not as good?

Many courses approved by the states and offered by Polley Associates do not offer either designations or certifications. That doesn’t mean they are of lesser value. Polley seeks approval for 7 hours of biennial continuing education credit for each day (seven 50-minute hours) of an applicable course. Some courses may be less expensive because they are not accompanied by additional costs charged by accrediting agencies. Some courses also may be less intense because no examination is required once they end.

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