Comptroller of Public Accounts
Property Tax Assistance Division
Instructor Approval Guidelines
Effective May 19, 2015
CRITERIA FOR INSTRUCTOR APPROVAL
I. Minimum Qualifications
A. Professional Credentials
In order to be eligible to serve as an instructor for courses designed for certification or continuing education credit for property tax professionals, an individual must have achieved one of the following professional designations: Registered Professional Appraiser (RPA), Registered Texas Assessor-Collector (RTA), Registered Texas Collector (RTC), Members of the Appraisal Institute (MAI), Senior Residential Appraiser (SRA), Senior Real Property Appraiser (SRPA), Assessment Administration Specialist (AAS), Certified Assessment Evaluator (CAE), Cadastral Mapping Specialist (CMS), Personal Property Specialist (PPS), Residential Evaluation specialist (RES), Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser, State Licensed Real Estate Appraiser, Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD), or an employee of a law firm who is specifically involved with instruction and education for property tax professionals and reports to a licensed attorney.
B. Applications and Experience
Applicants for instructor approval must file on forms developed by the Comptroller of Public Accounts, Property Tax Assistance Division (PTAD). Applicants are required to have one of the professional credentials listed above.
Only a person with a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree may teach a property tax law course. A person who has attained a Doctor of Jurisprudence and has 5 years of experience in property tax law and currently is involved in the practice or administration of property tax law is exempt from the trainee instructor requirements.
An applicant must submit an application and resume to the PTAD with proof that one or more of the following four qualifications is satisfied.
- A bachelor's degree or higher degree in any field and five (5) years of experience directly related to the subject matter to be taught.
- Five (5) years of property tax appraisal, assessment or collection teaching experience in courses that meet at least one of the following criteria (except that distance education cannot be used as teaching experience):
- Approved by Board of Tax Professional Examiners (BTPE) and preapproved by PTAD; approved by PTAD on or after Jan. 1, 2011; or a combination of the two for a total of five (5) years experience;
- Approved by the Appraisal Institute, The Appraisal Foundation or International Association of Assessing Officers; or
- Taught through an accredited college or university.
- Seven (7) years of property tax appraisal, assessment or collection work experience related to the subject matter to be taught. [One (1) year of property tax appraisal, assessment or collection experience is defined as a calendar year in which the individual spent a majority (more than 50 percent) of his or her professional time appraising or assessing or collecting taxes on real property, personal property or business property and derived a significant portion of his or her income from performing real property, personal property or business appraisal, assessment or collection services for a calendar year in which the individual spent more than 50 percent of his or her professional time working for an appraisal district or tax office.]
- Proof of certification as an instructor by The Appraisal Foundation, International Association of Assessing Officers or the Appraisal Institute.
II. Currently Approved Instructors
An instructor who is currently approved and applies to teach a course which has not been taught by the instructor in the prior four (4) years, or has not been taken and the examination passed in the prior five (5) years, must complete the course and pass the examination. Instructor training is only required to be taken one time and is not required for approval to instruct additional courses. Instructors are not required to complete the trainee instructor requirement to co-teach 25 percent of a course with an approved instructor, unless the instructor is applying to teach a course outside of his or her professional license or designation (e.g., a person with an RPA designation who wants to teach a tax collection course). Instructors currently approved to teach a course may continue teaching the approved course provided regular instructor status is maintained. All requirements for maintaining regular instructor status apply to currently approved instructors.
Instructors who achieved RPA, RTA, or RTC designations, but are no longer designated due to employment changes are eligible to retain approved instructor status. In order to maintain instructor status, the instructor must complete eight (8) hours of instructor professional development, a Texas property tax laws and rules update course (without examination), and two (2) hours of ethics for property tax professionals (without examination). Instructors must maintain the same level of continuing education required by TDLR for designees. Instructors will be permitted to teach courses pending completion of these requirements.
III. New Instructor Qualifications
First-time instructor applicants must be designated as trainee instructors, and must meet the minimum qualifications described above, as well as timely complete the following requirements. Regular instructors must meet the requirements shown below.
- Trainee Instructor - Trainee instructors have one (1) year from the date of application to complete the trainee requirements. If trainee requirements are not met within one (1) year, the application must be resubmitted.
- A trainee instructor must successfully complete an instructor training course. Proof must be provided to PTAD. The instructor training course requirement is waived for currently approved instructors applying to teach a course not previously taught.
- A trainee instructor must have taught the course in the prior four (4) years or taken a course on the subject matter to be taught, as well as pass the examination for that course, within the prior five (5) years. Proof must be provided to PTAD. Taking the course and passing the examination must be completed before the 25 percent co-teaching requirement.
- The trainee must teach his or her first course with an approved instructor and teach approximately 25 percent of the course, excluding the last 25 percent of the course. The trainee must attend the entire course. PTAD will not reimburse expenses for travel or course registration associated with meeting this requirement.
- The instructor will evaluate the trainee on his or her performance during the training assignment, provide feedback for the trainee on PTAD's Trainee Instructor Feedback Form, and submit the form to PTAD.
- Regular Instructor
- A regular instructor must complete the requirements for a trainee instructor.
- A regular instructor must receive satisfactory feedback from the approved regular instructor for the trainee teaching requirement.
IV. Maintaining Regular Instructor Status
During teaching assignments and related activities, instructors must conduct themselves with integrity. They should maintain an appropriate professional relationship with students, both in and outside of the classroom. Harassment or other discriminatory behavior directed toward any person is expressly prohibited. Instructors are obligated to refrain from such behavior and are required to discourage others from such behavior occurring in the classroom.
Instructors must maintain their professional licenses or designations and attain the continuing education required by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). Eight (8) hours of instructor professional development must be completed every four (4) years. If an instructor fails to maintain his or her professional license or designation, instructor approval expires at the time that the license or designation expires.
Instructors who no longer have a professional designation due to employment changes are eligible to reapply at their four-year expiration date. However, they must take eight (8) hours of instructor professional development, a Texas property tax laws and rules update course and two (2) hours of ethics. Instructors must maintain the same level of continuing education required by TDLR for designees.
Instructors seeking approval to teach a course not taught in the prior four (4) years must also complete the requirements for a trainee instructor for that course. Acceptance of equivalent courses to meet instructor requirements is at the discretion of the Director of PTAD.
New instructor training is a course or program designed to teach someone how to provide instruction. Instructor professional development is instructor continuing education falling within one of four categories: (1) presentations and public speaking; (2) instruction technology; (3) development of courses, curricula, and teaching styles; and (4) how to teach people with different learning styles. No more than two (2) hours in each category annually will apply to the four (4) year requirement of eight (8) hours of instructor professional development. Additional hours earned in any category may not be carried over to the next year.
Instructors must comply with any and all property tax-related statutes, laws, opinions and administrative rules. Specifically, instructors must comply with the Tax Code, Administrative Code, Occupations Code, Local Government Code, Government Code, Penal Code, Comptroller rules and TDLR rules (specifically Texas Administrative Code Section 94.100, Code of Ethics) or other applicable professional ethics policies or standards for licensure or designation.
Regular instructors are required to assist in training and evaluating trainee instructors. This includes allowing a trainee instructor to teach 25 percent of a course the regular instructor is teaching, to provide feedback for the trainee instructor on PTAD's Trainee Instructor Feedback Form and to submit the form to PTAD.
Regular instructor approval automatically expires for instructors not teaching within a four (4) year period. Instructors may reapply for approval.
Every four (4) years, regular instructors are required to file for reapplication indicating courses which they desire to continue to teach, dates taught within the last four (4) years and proof of taking the required continuing education and professional development programs to remain an instructor. PTAD will verify courses taught using evaluations received for instructors during the expiring approval period. Regular instructors seeking reapplication must also submit proof of watching PTAD's video, Educational Course Instructor Responsibilities, within the three month period preceding the date of reapplication.
Continuing education credit determinations for instructing courses must be made by TDLR.
V. Evaluations and Feedback
All instructors are evaluated by students through surveys at the end of each course taught. A compilation of the feedback is sent to the instructor. Educational course sponsors are responsible for returning the completed Instructor Observation and Evaluation Forms to PTAD. In the absence of a sponsor, the instructor is responsible for returning the forms. PTAD will use information from student evaluations to determine instructor approval during the reapproval process. Instructors must receive a 70 percent positive student response.
Any negative survey comments or complaints will be separately evaluated and addressed with the instructor if determined to have any merit. Complaint evaluations may include requests for written or oral responses to complainants, telephone interviews with complainant and/or other course participants, class audits and instructor responses. PTAD may seek industry comment toward final resolutions.
PTAD will randomly select instructors and/or classes to audit instructor performance at its discretion.