taxesProperty Tax Assistance

Continuing Education Program Approval Guidelines

Effective Jan. 15, 2015

Occupations Code Section 1151.1015 requires the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts to approve continuing education (CE) programs for property tax professionals registered with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR).

Tax Code Section 5.05 provides that 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, the International Association of Assessing Officers or other professionally recognized organizations, for use in the administration of property taxes. Accordingly, the CE programs offered by or through The Appraisal Foundation, the International Association of Assessing Officers and the Appraisal Institute are approved by the Comptroller's office for CE credit for the number of CE hours assigned by those organizations. These CE programs are not subject to submission for approval until further notice.

CE programs that have not been approved by the Comptroller's office must be submitted for approval as below.

CE program defined

A CE program is a workshop, forum, seminar or other presentation that lasts no more than two days; taken for CE credit; and not taken for TDLR certification credit. Conference programs are considered CE programs even if more than two days in days in duration.

Allowed CE program topics

Programs must fall within one of the following eight topics to qualify for CE credit.

  1. Appraisal standards and methodology - CE programs in the appraisal standards and methodology category might include programs related to property appraisal, IAAO standards, the Comptroller's Property Value Study, the Comptroller's Methods and Assistance Program, ratio studies, protest and appeals or arbitration.
  2. Tax assessment and collection - CE programs in the tax assessment and collection category might include programs related to truth-in-taxation, assessment office functions, tax bills or tax collection functions.
  3. Ethics-general - General ethics programs include any programs related to ethics generally, including, but not limited to those pertaining to TDLR rules.
  4. Ethics-chief appraiser - Chief appraiser ethics programs are specific to programs that include the importance of maintaining the independence of an appraisal office from political pressure.
  5. Laws and rules - Laws and rules CE programs may deal with any statutory laws, administrative agency rules or general legislative updates.
  6. Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice - USPAP programs include programs specifically covering USPAP and its applicability to property tax appraisal.
  7. Customer service - Customer service programs are defined as programs designed to enhance services to and improve relationships with the public. This typically does not include professional development or internal communication among staff members, but would include communication development with customers.
  8. State-required laws and rules update - The state-required laws and rules update is based on legislation passed every two years; is a specific requirement for TDLR certification renewal; and has specific CE approval requirements. It does not include general legislative updates, which qualify under the laws and rules category. The requirements for the state-required laws and rules update program are determined biennially by the Comptroller's office and TDLR at the end of each Texas legislative session.

The Comptroller's office may ask for additional information to help categorize programs for approval.

The following types of programs are generally not allowed for CE credit:

  • programs that do not fall within one of the allowed CE program topics;
  • programs designed or intended to market a product or service;
  • programs intended to solely teach non-property tax skills such as training in the use of hardware, office equipment, non-appraisal, non-assessment or non-collection software, professional development or general communication skills such as public speaking, individual money management or investing, career building, rainmaking and marketing skills or supervisory or general office management skills;
  • programs directed to the general public and not targeted to property tax professionals; or
  • certain program sessions such as opening or closing remarks and question and answer sessions.
CE program approval submission

TDLR continuing education course providers may submit a request for approval of a CE program by submitting the Comptroller's Form 50-769, Continuing Education Program - Approval Request (PDF) and supporting materials a minimum of 30 calendar days prior to the date of the program.

Supporting materials include a timed agenda and a description of each topic for which CE credit is requested. Conferences or other programs with concurrent sessions scheduled throughout may submit one approval request form for the event, but each session will be awarded CE credit as a separate program. Programs should be submitted in quarter hour increments.

CE credit awarded

The Comptroller's office approves CE credit on an hour-for-hour basis for programs that submit timed agendas including breaks and lunches and rounds down to the closest quarter hour for CE credit. Programs with timed agendas that do not include breaks and/or lunches will be approved as 50 minutes of CE credit for every 60 minutes of actual class time and rounded up to the closest quarter hour for CE credit.

The Comptroller's office will approve, deny or ask for more information to make a determination concerning the number of CE credit hours which will be given to TDLR. The Comptroller's office will notify the provider of an approved program by returning the executed approval form indicating the number of allowed CE credit hours. This notification is copied to TDLR for awarding of CE credit hours in TDLR's system.

CE program approval is good for one year from the approval date. CE programs are not automatically renewed and the Comptroller's office is not responsible for notifying providers of program expirations.

CE program renewals

The same process is followed for CE program renewals as for first-time CE program approval submissions. The Comptroller's Form 50-769, Continuing Education Program - Approval Request (PDF) should be submitted together with supporting documentation a minimum of 30 days prior to the expiration of the CE program.