Effective May 19, 2015
The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (Comptroller's office) is required to approve continuing education programs and educational courses for property tax appraisers and tax assessor-collectors (Occupations Code, Section 1151.1015). The Comptroller’s office may approve publications relating to the appraisal of property and the administration of taxes, including materials published by The Appraisal Foundation (TAF), the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO), or other professionally recognized organizations, for use in the administration of property taxes (Tax Code, Section 5.05).
Accordingly, programs and courses offered by or through TAF, IAAO and the Appraisal Institute (AI) are approved by the Comptroller’s office. These programs and courses are not subject to submission for approval until further notice.
Continuing education programs and educational courses that have not been approved by the Comptroller’s office must be submitted for approval as outlined in this policy.
To receive approval of and continuing education credit for an educational course, the course must be submitted to the Comptroller's Property Tax Assistance Division (PTAD) for approval at least 90 calendar days prior to the date of the course offering. Educational courses include courses required for initial classification and/or certification in accordance with TDLR's classification system for property tax professional registrants and courses of greater than two days in duration for which continuing education credit may be obtained.
Educational courses may only deal with five issues: (1) appraisal standards and methodology; (2) tax assessment and collection; (3) ethics; (4) laws and rules; or (5) Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP). PTAD will review requests and will approve, deny or ask for more information to make a determination concerning the number of hours for which credit will be given by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). Continuing education programs must also deal with these issues and will be conducted in a period of two days or less.
A list of approved educational courses can be found on the PTAD website. Any educational courses not already approved by PTAD or offered by or through TAF, IAAO and AI are subject to the 90-day submission and educational course approval process. If you have questions regarding approval of TAF, IAAO or AI courses as they relate to TDLR classification, please contact PTAD at (800) 252-9121.
Continuing education programs - refers to short-term workshops, seminars, forums and other presentations that do not last more than two days and are taken for continuing education credit.
Educational courses - refers to courses required for initial classification and/or certification in accordance with TDLR's classification system for property tax professional registrants and courses of greater than two days in duration for which continuing education credit may be obtained.
Educational course approval period - educational courses are approved for four years from the date of approval by PTAD.
Educational course owner - refers to any school, organization, person or other entity that owns the proprietary rights to a course. Educational course owners may have developed their own materials or may have purchased the proprietary rights to course materials. Educational course owners are responsible for the actions of any secondary providers which use PTAD approved educational material.
Continuing education credit - refers to hours awarded to educational courses that are creditable toward renewal of TDLR certification.
Joint educational course owner - refers to any combination of schools, organizations, individuals or other entities that own the proprietary rights to the educational course materials. Each of the joint educational course owners is responsible for the actions of all secondary providers that use PTAD approved educational material.
Material revision - when material has been corrected to account for errors, such as mathematical errors, grammar or formatting.
Material update - when material has been changed or modernized to reflect more current procedures or value estimates. Materials containing new activities, examples, work problems or other substantial changes are considered rewrites.
Material rewrite - when material has been substantially changed due to changes in law, standards or methodology and when materials have been substantially revised by changing the layout or curriculum or by adding activities, examples and work problems.
Presentation ready - final educational course version that is free of substantive errors.
Sponsor - a school, organization, person or other entity that purchases the rights to (but not proprietary rights) or otherwise lawfully acquires PTAD-approved material from an educational course owner. The sponsor may independently conduct a course using such acquired educational course materials subject to these policies and procedures.
Substantive errors - may include, but are not limited to: incorrect definitions, poorly worded explanations, references, techniques and/or application of techniques or any error which impacts the learning objectives of the educational course. An educational course may be considered to have substantive errors if it contains a series of errors which might not be considered significant individually, but in the aggregate affects the overall quality of the educational course material. Substantive errors result in an educational course not being presentation ready.
If an applicant believes that any portion of a course or associated materials is confidential, then the applicant must so specify. The applicant must stamp in bold red letters the term "CONFIDENTIAL" on that specific part or page of the submitted materials which the applicant believes to be confidential. The applicant must submit in writing specific detailed reasons, including any relevant legal authority, stating why the respondent believes the material to be confidential. Vague and general claims as to confidentiality will not be accepted. The Comptroller's office will be the sole judge as to whether a claim is general and/or vague in nature. All courses and associated materials and/or parts of them which are not marked as confidential will be automatically considered public information after the approval is determined. Successful applications may be considered public information even though parts are marked confidential.
In the event the Comptroller's office receives a request for portions of a course or associated materials marked as "confidential" as specified above, the Comptroller's office shall forward such request to the Texas Attorney General's office for an opinion on whether such information may be withheld from disclosure under the Texas Public Information Act. The Comptroller's office will notify the applicant whose course and/or associated materials are the subject of the request when the information is forwarded to the Attorney General's office. Applicants are advised that the Comptroller's office is obligated to comply with the decision of the Attorney General, including any such decision calling for the release of information marked "confidential" by a respondent.
Copyrighted materials are not released, but are made accessible for viewing pursuant to the Public Information Act.
For your assistance, a Checklist for Submission of Educational Course for Approval Review is attached as Appendix B.
PTAD retains the right to withdraw approval of any educational course upon a finding that certain conditions or circumstances exist regarding the course. They include, but may not be limited to, one or more of the following conditions or circumstances.
In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 855, which requires state agencies to publish a list of the three most commonly used Web browsers on their websites. The Texas Comptroller’s most commonly used Web browsers are Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple Safari.