Areas of the Manual Requiring Board/Association Action
Associations interested in adopting a citation policy and citation schedule of potential violations and specific fines that apply to these violations should view the National Association's Model Citation Policy.
Associations interested in adopting an optional "fast track" process for receipt, consideration, and resolution of ethics complaints may view an online supplement to the Code of Ethics and Arbitration manual here.
The following provisions of the Manual are referenced to assist Boards and Associations in adapting the Manual to conform to local policy and comply with state law. Throughout the Manual, the following symbol appears to assist Boards and Associations in quickly identifying those provisions:
Fill in the name of the Board or Association in:
Section 1(b) and 26(b), Definitions
Section 13(b), Power to Take Disciplinary Action
Section 46, Duty to Arbitrate Before the State Association
Section 56, Enforcement
Fill in the name of the Board or Association and decide if the Hearing Panel chair or the Professional Standards Committee chair will rule on postponement requests in:
Part Five and Part Twelve
Conduct of an Ethics Hearing with related procedures and outlines
Conduct of an Arbitration Hearing with related procedures and outlines
Part Six and Part Thirteen
State Association Professional Standards Committee, Ethics and Arbitration Proceedings
Duty to Arbitrate Before State Association
Statements of Professional Standards Policy
#3. Circumstances under which arbitration is contingent upon the REALTOR®’s voluntary participation. Establish whether voluntary arbitration will or will not be provided as a service. Also, see Section 44, Duty and Privilege to Arbitrate, specifying whether voluntary arbitration will be provided in (4), (5), and (6).
#25. Expenses related to conduct of hearings by multi-board or regional grievance committee or professional standards committee. Specify how expenses of hearings shall be shared by the signatory Boards.
NOTE: The new and continuous member education criteria referenced in Professional Standards Policy Statements #47 and and the criteria for staff administration training referenced in Professional Standards Policy Statement #49, can be found on REALTOR.org. Educational materials to conduct the new member and continuous member training can also be found on REALTOR.org.
Also, Forms #E-19 and #A-19, Sample Format of Agreement Between _______________________________________ and_____________________________________ Boards of REALTORS® . . .
Part Fourteen, State Association Professional Standards Committee, Expenses of Hearings Conducted by State Association
Part Eleven, Interboard Arbitration Procedures, Costs of Arbitration.
#33. Use of panels in place of board of directors. Specify what matters, if any, will be considered by panels of Directors and the composition of such panels. Also, see Section 13(b), Power to Take Disciplinary Action; Section 19(c), Appeals from the Decision of the Grievance Committee Related to an Ethics Complaint; Section 42(c), Appeals from the Decision of Grievance Committee Related to a Request for Arbitration; Section 20(c) and (d), Initiating an Ethics Hearing; Section 23, Action of the Board of Directors; Sections 24 and 49, Initial Action by Directors; Sections 25 and 50, Preliminary Judicial Determination Prior to Imposition of Discipline; Section 45, Board’s Right to Decline Arbitration; Section 47(c), Manner of Invoking Arbitration; Section 55, Request for Procedural Review by Directors; Part Fourteen, State Association Professional Standards Committee, Composition of Hearing Panels and Appellate or Review Panels.
Part One and Part Seven: General Provisions
Sections 6 and 31, Conduct of Hearing. Clarify whether the parties may or may not record the proceeding if your association does not use a court reporter. If your association does use a court reporter, the association must allow parties to record the proceeding.
Part Two and Part Eight: Membership Duties and Their Enforcement
Sections 15 and 38, Grievance Committee, and Sections 16 and 39, Professional Standards Committee. Specify the number of members on each committee and how the chairpersons will be selected.
#45. Publishing the names of Code of Ethics violators. Determine whether the board will or will not publish violators' names.
Information about alternative enforcement procedures (e.g., use of hearing officers, ombudsmen, and mediation of ethics complaints) which may be adopted locally can be found on REALTOR.org.
Part Three and Part Nine: The Grievance Committee
Sections 17 and 40, Authority. Specify how many members will serve on the committee and how the chairperson will be selected.
Part Four: The Ethics Hearing
Section 14, last paragraph, Discipline. Board of Directors to determine in advance the Board’s policy concerning if, and under what circumstances, an administrative processing fee will be imposed. Also determine amount.
Section 20(a), Initiating an Ethics Hearing. Clarify if a response will or will not be solicited at the Grievance Committee.
Section 20(f–q), Initiating an Ethics Hearing. Determine if the optional provisions in subsections f-q will be adopted.
Section 21(e), Ethics Hearing, and Section 51(b), Arbitration Hearing. Specify when the respective Hearing Panels will be provided with ethics complaints and arbitration requests.
Section 22(a), Decision of Hearing Panel. Determine if ethics decisions presented to the Directors for ratification will or will not include the names of the parties.
Section 23(b) and (m), Action of the Board of Directors. Decide if panels will act on behalf of your Board of Directors.
Section 23(c), Action of the Board of Directors. Establish the amount of appeal deposit, if any.
Section 23(n), Action of the Board of Directors. Determine if names will be published if respondent violates the Code of Ethics twice within three years.
Part Ten: Arbitration of Disputes
Section 47(a–c), Manner of Invoking Arbitration, and Section 48(a) and (b), Submission to Arbitration. Specify the amount of deposit; the number of days the Grievance Committee has to review a request; if a response will be asked for at the Grievance Committee and, if so, the number of days for providing written response; and select one of the three options regarding signed agreements and deposits.
Section 53(c-f), The Award. Determine if the optional procedures in subsections c-f will be adopted.
Section 54, Cost of Arbitration. Determine if the arbitration filing fee of the prevailing party is to be returned and, if there is a split award, if the parties may receive a portion of their deposits back as determined by the arbitrators.
Also determine whether the association will refund all or part of parties arbitration filing deposits if the dispute is resolved through mediation.
Section 55(a), Request for Procedural Review by Directors. Determine whether the Board will require a deposit to file a procedural review request and, if so, what the amount of the deposit will be.
Section 55(c), Request for Procedural Review by Directors. Determine if the procedural review will be heard by the full Board of Directors or a subset thereof.
Appendix VI to Part Ten, Mediation as a Service of Member Boards.
Determine whether the Board will require REALTORS® (principals) to mediate otherwise arbitratable disputes pursuant to Article 17. Requiring REALTORS® to mediate otherwise arbitratable disputes requires establishment of an affirmative obligation in the Board’s governing documents. Enabling model bylaw provisions can be found at REALTOR.org (see Model Bylaws).
Also decide if the Board will offer disputing parties an opportunity to mediate prior to an arbitration request being filed.
Part Eleven: Interboard Arbitration Procedures
Establish a filing fee for interboard arbitration. Establish the number of days after the Hearing Panel is formed that the Secretary must send a copy of the arbitration request to the respondent. Clarify whether a party may or may not tape record the proceeding.
Part Five and Part Twelve: Conduct of an Ethics or Arbitration Hearing
Decide if the Hearing Panel Chair or the Professional Standards Committee Chair rules on postponement requests.
Clarify whether a party may or may not record the proceeding.
Part Six and Part Thirteen: Specimen Forms
Form #E-4, Grievance Committee Request for Information (Ethics Complaint). Specify the number of days a respondent has to submit a response and the number of copies required (should be consistent with Section 21(a), Ethics Hearing).
Form #A-1, Request and Agreement to Arbitrate, and Form #A-2, Request and Agreement to Arbitrate (Nonmember). Specify the amount of the arbitration deposit (should be consistent with Section 47(a), Manner of Invoking Arbitration, and Section 48(a), Submission to Arbitration).
Form #A-5, Grievance Committee Request for Information (Arbitration Request). Specify the number of days the respondent has to submit a response.
Form #E-2, Notice to Respondent (Ethics) and Form #A-3, Notice to Respondent (Arbitration). Specify the number of copies that must be submitted.
Form #E-3, Reply (Ethics); Form #E-5, Response to Grievance Committee Request for Information; and Form #E-8, Official Notice of Hearing (Ethics). Board of Directors to determine in advance the Board’s policy concerning if, and under what circumstances, an administrative processing fee will be imposed. Also determine amount. Should be consistent with Section 14, last paragraph, Discipline.
Form #A-4, Response and Agreement to Arbitrate. Specify the amount of the filing fee (should be consistent with Section 47(a), Manner of Invoking Arbitration, and Section 48(a), Submission to Arbitration).
Form #E-9, Outline of Procedure for Ethics Hearing and Form #A-10, Outline of Procedure for Arbitration Hearing. Clarify whether the parties may or may not tape record the proceeding.
Form #E-13, Request for Appeal (Ethics). Specify the amount of the filing fee, if any (should be consistent with Section 23(c), Action of the Board of Directors).
Form #A-13, Request for Procedural Review (Arbitration). Specify the amount of the filing fee, if any (should be consistent with Section 55, Request for Procedural Review by Directors).
Form #E-14, Official Notice of Appeal Hearing (Ethics) and Form #A-14, Official Notice of Procedural Review (Arbitration). Specify the number of days’ notice required if counsel is to be present (should be consistent with Sections 4 and 29, Right of Counsel to Appear) and the number of days required to challenge the qualifications of an appeal panel (should be consistent with Sections 2(f) and 27(f), Qualification for Tribunal).
Form #E-19 and Form #A-19, Sample Format to Establish Multi-Board (or Regional) Professional Standards Enforcement Procedures. Clarify on refusals to arbitrate what tribunal will hear allegation. Also, clarify on appeals of the Grievance Committee’s dismissal of an ethics complaint or arbitration request (or challenges to the classification of arbitration requests) what tribunal will hear matter. Also clarify which Board(s) will be responsible for administering the process.