Q and A with RECO's Registrar Joseph Richer

Registrar Joseph Richer on RECO’s new real estate education program

RECO sets the education standards for real estate salespeople and brokers in Ontario for both registration education (for those entering the industry) and continuing education (for those already in the industry). In 2017, RECO selected a new provider to develop and deliver a new education program for aspiring registrants, scheduled to launch mid-2019.

Here’s a short Q&A with RECO Registrar Joseph Richer about the new program.

Why is RECO developing a new program?

Ontario’s real estate landscape is evolving. Consumers are more informed than ever, and technology is changing the way real estate professionals conduct business.

To better meet the demands of tomorrow, RECO set out to create a new program that will do more to ensure that new salespeople are ready to serve their clients’ needs on day one of the job. Through focused content development, simulations and assessments, learners will be equipped with more knowledge from the get-go. This means that they’ll have the confidence needed to trade in real estate, and provide high quality service to buyers and sellers in Ontario.

Who is administering the new program?

Last year RECO announced a partnership with Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning (Humber College) and NIIT Canada to build a best-in-class registration education program for the future of the profession. Humber College is one of Canada’s leading post-secondary institutions and they will manage the delivery of the program. NIIT Canada is the Canadian arm of a global leader in award-winning education development, and they’ll use their innovative technology infrastructure to build course material and assessments.

What will the new program look like?

Humber College and NIIT Canada are working to deliver top-notch, world-class training that will ensure new entrants to the profession can hit the ground running.

There are a number of highlights that I’m excited to share in the coming months. But for now, I’ll say that the new program will feature course content that follows the flow of a real estate transaction. The courses will take an in-depth look at specialized topics, like residential and commercial condos. There will be theory exams and two week-long simulation sessions where learners must pass assessments of their ability to apply key skills, before applying for RECO registration.

One feature I’m particularly excited about is the online database that can be accessed by both learners and existing salespeople and brokers. The database will contain on-the-job reference and support tools. This is something we’ve been hearing a lot of interest in from the industry, particularly during the RECO town halls last fall.

In a future phase, there will also be an additional certification exam that’s independent of the program. This must be passed before learners can qualify for registration with RECO.

Are industry experts contributing to the development of the program?

Yes. NIIT Canada has recruited a team of subject matter experts. These are local leaders in the industry who are drawing on their experience and understanding of the Ontario marketplace and real estate related legislation. Altogether, there are well over 40 leading real estate experts building and supporting the project. And more will be added, as needed in specialty areas, as development continues.

The program will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis, with input from industry experts. And if government makes any changes to REBBA or its associated regulations, then the necessary changes will be made to the program right away.

Will classroom learning be an option?

Yes, learners will be able to choose from completing courses through eLearning, as well as physical classroom and virtual facilitated classroom offerings. This combination will help to tailor their experience to meet their individual style, location and schedule needs.

I should note, however, that all assessments, including both the examinations and simulation sessions, must be completed in-person.

How will the new program ensure that new salespeople are practice-ready?

We’re developing the new program so that the right tools are built into it from the start. This will give learners the opportunity to receive ample practice and feedback that will ultimately help them succeed when they enter the industry.

In addition to simulation sessions, exams and in-depth focus on specialized topics, we’ll also provide information to help learners select a brokerage that best matches their individual needs. And for those who aspire to eventually lead brokerages, we’re including in our Broker program information on how to be an effective leader and create a positive and productive work environment.

We’re excited for the launch of the new program and what it means for RECO registrants, and ultimately, buyers and sellers in Ontario.


  1. hello i have been trying for months now to register for a new applicant of salesperson and all i see are questions for already members.
    navigating your site only keeps going around in circles.
    please present a straight forward path to new registrants and the application process.
    OREA has cancelled any further education enrollments and it looks like Humber is the only place to pursue this program in Ontario.
    if your the only education provider than please allow all people to apply who would like to apply and not just already members.
    thank you

  2. I am an International Student in Canada finishing up my Diploma. I have decided on a career in Real Estate but OREA doesn’t allow international student to register. I want to find out if Humber would be accepting International Students and how much would our tuition be compared to domestic student.

    1. Hi Jacqueline,

      Humber will accept international learners for the Real Estate Education Programs. You will still need to apply and meet all the admission requirements, which will be available on Humber’s website (www.humber.ca/realestate) before registration opens.

      Any transcript, diploma or certificate (from a country other than Canada or the United States) submitted to meet admission requirements would have to be assessed at an Ontario Secondary School Diploma level by a recognized assessment service, such as World Education Services (WES).

      The cost of the program will be the same for domestic and international learners, as there is no provincial funding associated with it. Information about program costs will be available at registration.

      You would need to be eligible to work in Canada to be eligible to register with RECO following the successful completion of the Real Estate Salesperson Program.

  3. Just to clarify:

    If I registered with OREA for the pre-registration courses, then I need to finish all of the 5 courses, get registered, plus finishing the one elective articling course before the Nov 2020 end date otherwise my registration will no-longer be valid. Even if I finished all pre-registration courses before that date, however couldn’t finish the articling course, my registration becomes invalid?

    On the other hand, it’s okay to not finish the broker registration before that date because basically it’s considered as a different program and is considered independent. Whether you want to do it with OREA, or later with Humber/NIIT, is OKAY?

    If my understanding is correct, we really don’t have much time left if just starting the pre-registration courses with OREA. Are you sure for the articling course, there won’t be a friendlier solution?

    1. Hi Hui – Thank you for your question. You are correct that any individual who begins the Salesperson Registration Education Program with OREA prior to the end of April 2019 must complete both the Pre-registration and Articling courses with the OREA College before the end of November 2020.

      Several changes have been implemented to support students with completing all courses within the time available. These include removing mandatory classroom requirements. While classroom options are still available for students who choose that delivery method, all courses can now be completed via eLearning. It is also important to note that only one eLearning course is needed to satisfy Articling requirements. And, students may complete their Articling course prior to registering with RECO. RECO will accept Articling elective courses completed prior to registration as satisfying the education requirements for a registrant’s first renewal.

      To clarify, the Salesperson Registration Education Program currently delivered by the OREA College is a distinctly different program than the Real Estate Salesperson Program that will be delivered by Humber College. Similarly, the Broker Registration Education Program currently delivered by the OREA College is different from the Broker Registration Education Program that will be delivered by Humber College. Individuals who complete their Salesperson Registration Education Program at the OREA College may complete the Broker Registration Education Program with Humber College in the future.

  4. I’ve completed a lot of in class and online post secondary training in my time both college and University, when you are starting a new program fresh there are a lot of bugs and errors to work out in the start for all online programs and even in class it sometimes takes years to get a program correct.

    With the announcement that OREA will cease in 2020 and the normal time to complete realtor education people like myself who are thinking of taking this training as a 2nd career are really on the fence at this moment. Take OREA training and beat out the clock or wait and see if the new program is a better program.

    I for see others like me waiting to take any training with the current information available on the new program, you will see a drop in OREA enrollment and then a larger then expected enrollment with the new program. Which will definitely cause headaches and frustrations. Some may even wait even longer, you never want to by a car in its first year till the car company works out the bugs.

    I’ve seen this effect before with education and while I don’t believe we are short any realtors you will see an education / experience gap occur.

    While I hope the new training will be cutting edge and easy to use there is something said about training that has been tried and true like OREA.

    I think giving potential students a view of the new program how it will be delivered might be better sooner then just before enrollment in July 2019. Especially since you must register with OREA before April 2019 to do that program.

    You only get one chance at a first impression.

    1. Hi Craig – Thank you for your thoughtful post. You raise some excellent points and we will communicate more details about the new program to prospective learners in the months leading up to the program launch. We are working closely with a large group of subject matter experts in content development, and we will conduct a pilot of the program’s content and systems prior to launch to ensure accuracy and performance. Regarding your question about which program you should enroll in, that largely depends on your preferred timeline for entering the industry. Both programs will prepare those who are engaged in the learning experience, but if you want to get started sooner, know that the current program with OREA has produced many strong real estate salespeople and brokers who are excelling in the field. To learn more about the new program, Humber College recently launched a website that will continue to be updated with information. Please visit http://humber.ca/realestate/

  5. When will the new Broker registration program be available? If part of the course requirements are taken with OREA will they be credited towards the new program?

    1. Hi Barb – The new broker registration program will begin in 2019, and additional details about the program launch date and requirements will become available at a later time. Regarding your second question, all course requirements for OREA’s Broker Registration Education Program must be completed at OREA, not the new program, on or before November 28, 2020. This includes any and all examinations and examination rewrites.

  6. If you take the courses from OREA now. and get register in RECO do you still need to re-take any courses with Humber to keep your registration?

    1. Hi Monica – If you completed the Pre-Registration program with OREA and are now registered with RECO, then you must complete articling with OREA as well. Following articling, you must complete RECO’s Mandatory Continuing Education (MCE) program every two years. To learn more about MCE, visit the Quick Links section on our blog.

  7. Sounds like there will be more mandatory examinations?
    How drastically will the fees/tuition change? I’m assuming there will be an increase.
    Also, will the total duration of (pre)registration/articling change?
    For people thinking of applying now (through OREA), would you suggest they wait until Humber/NITT takeover?

    1. Hi Brittany – The goal of the new Registration Education Program, that will be delivered through Humber starting July 2019, is to have graduates be practice-ready. This will be accomplished through both mandatory exams as well as in-class simulation sessions where students will be able to demonstrate the skills they will need to be successful when actively trading. The fees to complete the new program have not yet been set, but will not be substantively different than the current program. While eLearning courses will be self-directed, there are also mandatory and optional in-person activities, thus the length of time to complete the program will depend on the individual student. The decision on where to complete the Registration Education Program would be an individual decision after considering many factors, and is not something on which RECO could provide direction. More details about the new program, including information about timeframes, fees, courses and examinations, will be announced in the coming months, closer to launch, so do stay tuned.

  8. Question: For those of us that have been in the industry more than 3 years who would wish to apply for a Broker status and do not complete it prior to Humber Collage taking over the education. How will this be facilitated?

    Also for new salespeople who are just getting licensed with Reco and will not have the minimum 24 months prior to applying to be a Broker. How will this be facilitated?

    1. Hi Sandra — Registrants who wish to pursue Broker registration can either complete the current Broker Registration Education Program through the OREA College while they are delivering the program, or complete the new Real Estate Broker Program through Humber College once it is launched there. Completion of either program will satisfy the education requirements for Broker registration. (Please note that all other requirements would still apply.)

      Regarding your second question, under REBBA, registrants applying for registration as a Broker must be registered as a salesperson for a minimum of 24 of the preceding 36 months. This is a legislative requirement, not a requirement of the education programs. Registrants would have to chart out their registration timeline and complete the Broker education at the appropriate time. Completion of either the current Broker Registration Education Program delivered by the OREA College, or the new Real Estate Broker Program once delivered by Humber College, will satisfy the education requirements for Broker registration. (As above, all other requirements would still apply.)

  9. Questions:
    1. Are practicing registrants going to be teaching the in-class assimilation two week sessions?
    2. Will the classroom sessions be provided in the smaller communities up north or in communities where Humber does not have physical facilities?

    1. Hi Gino – Thank you for your questions. For your first, Humber College will recruit facilitators to run the in-class simulation sessions, and you can rest assured that the facilitators will have the appropriate contextual knowledge to effectively run the sessions.

      For your second question, Humber College will work with colleges across Ontario to offer classroom sessions in locations where they do not have an established physical presence. This will ensure that there is reasonable coverage across Ontario. More detailed information about locations will become available closer to the program’s launch in mid-2019.

  10. It looks as though the new program and delivery tools will be positive additions to the development of all registrants and will continue to improve the industry as a whole. Thank you.

    1. Thank you, Lisa. We are looking forward to sharing more about the new program over the next several months.

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