Tuesday, February 11, 2014

ISA Continuing Education

As the New Year has rolled in, I’ve mulled over what resolutions I want to make. I love continuing to learn, especially about things I’m passionate about.  I’m that way about my hobbies as well as my profession.  One of my resolutions is to set aside more time for catching up on the pile of articles and books I’ve collected to read and learn more about things that interest me.

I wish I could say at this “ripe age” I’ve learned so much I know it all, but the truth is the more I learn, the more I discover there is to still learn. This is particularly true in my appraisal specialty field of art, where there are hundreds of years of different art movements from both Eastern and Western cultures and thousands of artists and their oeuvres.

As an appraiser, I visit galleries, auction houses, museums, attend lectures and seminars, subscribe to art publications and constantly add to my library to continue my art education. I have even devoted a fair amount of my time as a volunteer docent at a museum, whose collection is in my specialty area in order to continue my education through training sessions with curators and directors both at the museum I volunteer through and visiting professionals in conjunction with their exhibitions.

Despite all I try to do to keep current, there are still occasionally works of art or artists that are unfamiliar to me.  Occasions such as these make me grateful to being an ISA Personal Property appraiser.  I feel ISA places a high commitment on education.  ISA appraisers are set apart from other professional personal property appraisers in the industry in that we have such strong training in appraisal methodology and writing standards.  While I would not try to attempt appraising antique airplanes (I have no knowledge in that area at all) nor would I ever bill a client for hours spent researching “to get up to speed on an artist and their works”,  I do firmly believe that our training in appraisal methodology helps us to correctly find values rather than relying solely on connoisseurship or prices stated in one or two galleries. Our methodology training truly sets us apart from the rest of the appraisers out there that we compete against.

ISA members are lucky to have an organization that backs its members with an educational arsenal that should give its members the confidence they need to be successful in their business.  In its commitment to members and improving member’s professionalism, ISA is launching the Learning Management System (LMS) an interactive online learning system that members can access to further their accreditation needs. The Core Course is the first of our courses to be launched on this system.  More classes are planned to launch on this system as budgets and time allows, giving ISA the ability to provide more and more specialized and advanced courses for members in the future without their need to travel. It’s a very exciting new program which will be officially introduced at Assets 2014 in Kansas City. There are many exciting future applications for our members with this new system.

Continuing education isn’t just for our members. Our new President, Cindy Charleston Rosenberg has listened and heard members when they have stated they need help in getting “gate keepers” to understand what we do and why we do it”.  To that end, she has asked our past president Todd Sigety to add to his already brilliant marketing and branding program launched last year with a  power-point presentation “What Should a Professional Appraisal Look Like”. This presentation can be used by gate keepers at major companies who use appraisal services to train their staff and clients to expect the kind of professional appraisals ISA members provide and accept nothing less. Through her newly launched membership category Affiliated Business Partner, these same companies which include major insurance companies, banks, law offices and other companies with high-net worth clients using appraisal services, can educate our appraisers as to what they need from us, thus creating a win-win situation for all involved and creating more business for all around.

I have high hopes for 2014. I think the year holds many opportunities for learning and becoming even better appraisers. The opportunities are there. As with every year though, we do have to get off the couch and make our resolutions stick. There are some things we have to do for ourselves once given the tools. If you haven’t explored the ISA website lately, please do. There are so many new initiatives out there to help our members learn how to increase and improve their businesses.  For one thing, Find An Appraiser is greatly improved.  Our upcoming annual conference, Assets 2014, has an amazing program planned along with lots of learning and networking opportunities.  If you haven’t attended a conference in a while, do yourself a favor and attend. You will be amazed at how much you will learn and how much you will discover that ISA is doing for its members to help them be successful!

So have a great 2014. Help me keep my resolution and continue to learn with me. We will have to get off the couch and work hard on our own, but the tools are there for us. As they say in NIKE World….Just Do it!

By: Christine Guernsey, ISA CAPP

No comments:

Post a Comment