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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Moving On Up With Education

By Libby Holloway, ISA CAPP and ARC Instructor

September is ISA’s back to school time. All three of our week long foundation courses, Core Course, Appraisal of Antiques and Residential Contents (ARC) and Appraisal of Fine Art (FA) are offered in the next few months. Shorter courses to include the 15 Hour and 7 Hour USPAP, Requalification and Oriental Rugs are also offered before this year’s end. The Foundation for Appraisal Education (FAE) even gets in the game with their upcoming Symposium in Philadelphia. There are lots of opportunities to make sure you are up-to-date with your qualifications and educational goals between now and mid-December. 

All members know that the Core Course and 15 Hour USPAP are required courses. After these are under your belt, you get a little freedom to choose your educational path and how you get your Professional Development Credits. (Don’t forget, Members need 50, AMs need 75, CAPPs need 100 and Lifetime members need 50 credits to renew.) It is also worthwhile to take a look at the ISA Credentialing Pathway, which provides an overview of the steps you can take to further your education.

It has been traditional to take the course that fits with your specialty area, which is certainly a good plan. Don’t forget, though, that most appraisers see many types of property onsite and need to know the basics of identification and description, whether they plan to complete the valuation or seek help from another member or specialist. Appraisers are also held accountable to appraise only that property they are competent to appraise (see USPAP).

The Appraisal of Antiques and Residential Contents (ARC) and Appraisal of Fine Art (FA) courses are great steps toward becoming an Accredited or Certified Member. Both are survey courses which offer a broad spectrum of knowledge to help appraisers understand at least a little about a lot of types of property. Survey courses don’t make you an expert on any subject but do give you a view of “good, better and best” for many types of property.

Both also teach you the language to use in writing descriptions, to identify and research the best comparable property, give tips on how to write USPAP compliant reports and prepare you to take other, more specialized courses. Since these are onsite courses, you have a chance to study with other members, learning from each other as well as the instructors. I have received help from both members I took ARC with sixteen years ago and from my students who took the course last fall. I admit to being a particular fan of the ARC class, which features lessons on lighting, oriental carpets, and everything in-between. (Maybe I’m a little biased.)  

I have been a CAPP member for several years now and have recently become an ARC instructor. I think I have a pretty good understanding of most decorative antiques and household property. This year, I have finally gathered up enough courage to take the Fine Art course in October. Though I have been comfortable including lower-value art in my reports, I have found that my lack of knowledge has potentially motivated me to turn down jobs with more complicated pieces included. I know that, with my background, I will not be competent to value all art.

That said, it will certainly allow me to be more confident when seeking help from more experienced fine art appraisers or specialists. I would even encourage those members with higher education who are pursuing the Specialty Studies path to consider taking one or both of the survey courses.

We often boast that ISA trains many of the most well-rounded and competent appraisers in the profession. The ARC and FA courses certainly play a part in making this true. I hope that you choose to join Michael Logan and myself in the ARC class this October. See you there!


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