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Alberta has extensive educational programs for real estate associates, brokers, appraisers, as well as mortgage brokers, and people aspiring to become part of the real estate industry. These programs are developed and offered by the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA) based on standards established by the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA).

RECA is a non-government agency that has regulated the real estate, real estate appraisal, and mortgage broker industries since 1996. Some of RECA’s core values include the importance of providing a flexible learning environment through the provision of online and self-directed courses, and the use of appropriate educational materials with multimedia functionality.

The Alberta Real Estate Association follows RECA guidelines in offering their several real estate education programs, designed by licensed REALTORS®. Programs and courses offered by AREA are continually refined and revised to fit with the changing times. AREA’s current educational programs include the Real Estate Associates Program (REAP) (previously the Real Estate Agents Program), the Real Estate Brokers’ Program (REBP) and various professional development courses. Most of these courses are available in colleges across the province, and also outside of the classroom, for example online or through self-directed learning.

In order to become a licensed REALTOR®, you must successfully complete the REAP program before applying for a license. The first component of this program is a course called “Introduction to a Career in Real Estate.” The purpose of this course is to get the student acquainted with the industry and the roles of industry professionals, to ensure that the learner understands the industry and is a good candidate to become a licensed REALTOR®. After passing this first phase, the student must pass two more phases of the REAP program, “Fundamentals of Real Estate,” and Real Estate Areas of Practice,” which introduces specialty areas of real estate practice such as residential, commercial and rural real estate.

Once the learner has obtained a real estate associate license and has two years of experience as an associate, the REALTOR® may take the Real Estate Brokers’ Program (REBP), which allows them to run their own brokerage. Courses in the REBP program deal with real estate brokerages, real estate law, mortgage financing, office administration, real estate appraisal, property management and real estate specialties.

REALTORS® also have the option of taking continuing education courses, offered through AREA, dealing with subjects such as real estate ethics, environmental issues, law, marketing, client relations, and fraud awareness. Previous to August of 2008, the Real Estate Council of Alberta mandated professional development courses be taken by real estate professionals every two years. Although RECA continues to encourage continuing education, it is no longer mandatory. The Professional Development program has now been redeveloped as the Re-Licensing Education Program.

Real estate education is also offered through the Real Estate Institute of Canada (REIC), an organization developed in 1955 to educate and certify real estate specialists. Through REIC, REALTORS® can receive the prestigious Fellow of the Real Estate Institute (FRI) designation by having at least five years of experience and by taking numerous courses on real estate law, appraisal, investment, consumer behaviour, negotiation, the leasing process, and ethical business practices. The process of receiving this designation can take from one to a maximum of five years. Other designations currently offered by REIC include Certified Property Manager (CPM), Certified in Real Estate Finance (CRF), Certified Leasing Officer (CLO), Certified Residential Underwriter (CRU), Certified Reserve Planner (CRP), Associate Reserve Planner (ARP), Accredited Residential Manager (ARM), and Accredited Commercial Manager (ACoM).

For more information on becoming a REALTOR®, visit the Alberta Real Estate Association’s Education Centre.


Alberta Real Estate Association. “Education.” Retrieved February 11, 2009 from http://www.abrea.ab.ca/education/index.htm

Real Estate Council of Alberta. “Education.” Retrieved February 11, 2009 from https://www.reca.ca/online/aspx/education/index.htm

The Real Estate Institute of Canada. “Designations.” Retrieved February 11, 2009 from http://www.reic.ca/en/designations.cfm

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