LREC education audit time can be a stressful experience as simply being accused of not completing your continuing education as prescribed by law can be very worrisome. Although sometimes it does happen, we hope this short guide will help you understand what to do in case you do find yourself with an LREC audit letter.
What is an LREC Education Audit Letter?
Each year by December 31 in Louisiana, all licensees must renew their real estate license and also comply with the license renewal requirements. One of the most important of the license renewal requirements in Louisiana is proper completion of the required continuing education. Even though you are supposed to complete the required 12 hours of continuing education before renewing your real estate license, it is possible to actually renew your license without having the proper continuing education completed. The LREC education audit is designed to catch any gaps in a licensee’s education record to ensure they are in full compliance.
The reason for this is that under the LREC’s online renewal system, there is no requirement that you provide actual proof of continuing education completion before renewing your license through the online system. During the process, however, there is a certification which must be checked that the renewing licensee is current on all of their continuing education. Either due to a mistake, misunderstanding, or other reasons some licensees may check this box certifying that their continuing education has been completed although that actually is not the case. This process is one of the main reason’s the LREC education audit process exists.
Therefore, each year after the license renewal cycle has completed on March 31 the LREC then must match the reported education hours with the licensee’s individual record to see if anything might be missing. If the LREC’s systems and records do not show that the proper 12 hours of continuing education has been recorded for a licensee, an education audit letter will be mailed and the licensee will be required to respond within a certain period of time.
What Are the Continuing Education Requirements?
In Louisiana, if you have an active real estate license you are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education each renewal cycle. Of that 12 hours, 4 hours must be completed in what is known as the “mandatory topic.” For instance, in 2015 the mandatory topic was “Property Measurement and Pricing” and therefore your 12 hours of continuing education needed to include this particular 4 hour course from an approved education vendor. For this year’s renewal cycle, an example of the mandatory course is “The CFPB & You – 2016 Mandatory” which would need to be included along with the other 8 hours of approved continuing education for licensees renewing in this year’s cycle.
One common issue we see is that a licensee may have completed more than 12 hours of continuing education, but somehow left off the important mandatory topic from their list of courses. Although you would have enough hours in this case, lack of a mandatory topic would cause your education record to show that it is not current. Another common issue we sometimes see is that more than 12 hours of continuing education were registered for, or partially completed, but for some reason the entire 12 hours was never actually completed and a certificate received. Unfortunately, simply registering for a continuing education course does not guarantee completion!
What To Do if You Receive an Audit Letter from the LREC:
- Check your personal records and see if your education records match that of the LREC. For instance, look through your files and see if you have certificates available for the courses the LREC may state in the letter that were not completed. If your personal records do not match that of the LREC, you might have a case that you can simply clear up with the office.
- Contact the education vendor where you believe you completed your continuing education and have the vendor check their records. If the vendor shows proof that you completed your continuing education, they should be able to provide you with a copy of that proof that you may send to the LREC.
- If you cannot find a completion record, and the education vendor does not show that you completed a course, then it may be possible that you simply failed to finish all 12 hours of continuing education. In this case, it is usually best to be honest with the LREC and offer to complete the remaining continuing education hours as soon as possible. Follow the directions indicated on the audit letter and respond as indicated to the office of the LREC.
- The only party that can make changes directly to your education record is the Louisiana Real Estate Commission itself. If you have questions for the LREC you may contact them directly by calling 1-800-821-4529 or visiting their website at www.lrec.state.la.us.
Donaldson is Here to Help
Especially if you are a past continuing education student with Donaldson, our staff of highly trained administrators is here to assist you in any way we can. While we cannot always guarantee that we will have the answers you want, we will work diligently to assist you throughout the LREC education audit process and help you get current on your continuing education if that is something you need. We understand the concerns an education audit can bring, let us walk you through the process and make things a little easier for you. Here is how to contact our friendly team of experts:
- Phone: 1-800-257-2741
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- In person: 2601 N. Hullen St., Metairie, LA 70002