Designations, Certifications and Accreditation. What does it all mean for the home staging and redesign industry?
Do you want your industry to be taken seriously? Perfect! So does the Real Estate Staging Association® (RESA®), the trade association for professional home stagers.
Every industry starts someplace. Let’s compare the staging industry to the real estate industry. At one point, there were no licensed real estate agents. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® was founded as the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges on May 12, 1908 at the YMCA Auditorium in Chicago, IL. With 120 founding members, 19 Boards, and one State Association, the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges' objective was "to unite the real estate men of America for the purpose of effectively exerting a combined influence upon matters affecting real estate interests."
They continued on, over the years to add in a code of ethics, more boards, adopted the tagline of “The Voice for Real Estate”, launched a public awareness program and encourages its members to display the REALTOR® logo as a sign of their membership and support to their industry.
This was all started with a group of people that had the common sense to stand up, unite and make a difference.
Sound familiar? This is exactly what RESA® is doing. We are self-regulating. We are people with common interests coming together to advance professionalism, excellence and legitimacy in the home staging and redesign industry.
Are designations and certifications real in our industry?
Of course they are! Certifications and designations mean you attended a course, successfully completed the course and passed their testing. An industry does not have to be government regulated in order for the certifications and designations to be legitimate within your industry.
Did you know the Real Estate Staging Association® (RESA®) accredits home staging and redesign training schools?
Why do we need accreditation if our industry is not government regulated?
I think we all agree in our industry we don’t want, or need, government legislation. We don’t need “laws” that will make what we do a criminal offense if you don’t hold a license issued by a state or province.
RESA® Accredited Training Providers go through a strict application process and have agreed to be held accountable with a formal student complaint process. Student may file a grievance with RESA® and the grievance is fully investigated. We work with the student and training provider to resolve the complaint. RESA® has the right to revoke the accreditation status for any home staging training and or redesign training company that doesn’t meet RESA® standards or doesn’t work to resolve any student complaints.
Students can be rest assured the training providers accredited by RESA® have undergone extensive scrutiny in order to receive accreditation.
What is the purpose of accreditation and the accreditation process?
Accreditation is a means of assisting private career providers and colleges to become stronger and better institutions by setting standards of educational quality. Accreditation supports the efforts of institutions to achieve maximum educational effectiveness for students, employers and the public. It also provides an assurance of quality and establishes eligibility for participation in federally funded providers. RESA’s accreditation process is a comprehensive review of all academic and ancillary activities and resources that support an institution’s educational objectives and the courses they offer.
Is the accreditation process just a “paid for” recognition status?
Absolutely not! Our process follows the guidelines set forth by the US Department of Education’s approved accrediting agencies. Our process is serious. We make sure that training providers are teaching specific subject matter that is pertinent for home stagers to have in order to start their businesses. In addition, we look at their policies and procedures and fiscal soundness. RESA accredited providers must meet our requirements of over 60 subjects that must be included in core home staging training as well as redesign training.
In addition, accredited training providers agree to follow a code of ethics and agree to a formal complaint process for their students to file grievances against them, should the need arise.
We do charge a non-refundable application fee. Fees cover the administrative process and are a standard operating procedure in any accreditation process. Not all courses submitted are able to be approved for the accreditation. If they don’t meet the criteria, they are not approved. Providers not meeting the standards will receive a report indicating what areas need improvement to meet the RESA® standards. Providers will be allowed to correct these areas and re-submit.
Are the training providers that apply for accreditation status part of the RESA® accreditation committee?
No. Training providers are not part of the review process. In fact, when an application is processed, the reviewers’ sign a confidentiality agreement along with a non-compete agreement.
Are there any affiliate training providers or RESA® accredited training providers on the RESA® National Board, Executive Committee, or hold any State Presidents or Local chapter leadership positions?
Absolutely and with good reason! RESA® values strong industry leaders. We feel it is imperative to have them part of our board. Their input is crucial to the success of our association and industry. They provide valuable information on the needs and wants of our members. We encourage all home staging/redesign training providers to join RESA® and contribute to the growth of their industry.
Why are some home staging/redesign training providers not RESA® accredited?
- They may not be aware of the program.
- They may not meet the criteria.
- They may not be supportive of RESA’s mission to be open to all home stagers and redesigners.
- They may not want to invest in the accreditation.
What is the difference between a RESA Affiliate Training Provider and a RESA® Accredited Training Provider™?
RESA affiliate training
providers file an application with RESA® to become an affiliate provider. Affiliate providers have not gone through the accreditation process. We check their references, they agree to follow a provider code of ethics and agree that students may file a grievance against them, with RESA® should the need arise.
If a training provider is not listed on RESA® does this mean their program is bad or not legit?
NO! There are many excellent training providers that are not part of the program. Participation is voluntary. We recommend that you review each program, compare them carefully and talk to past students. If a home staging training and/or redesign company is unwilling to provide the names and contact info for past a student, that’s a red flag that should not be ignored.
What training provider own RESA®?
NONE! In fact, RESA® is not owned by anyone. We are a California, Non-shareholder Corporation. We are MEMBER OWNED. We are a 501 C 6 tax exempt business league. This means we have submitted a extensive application with the Internal Revenue Service in order to get our status approved. They have reviewed our bylaws, policies and procedures and have approved us.
From the IRS website: A 501 C 6 business league is an association of persons having some common business interest, the purpose of which is to promote such common interest and not to engage in a regular business of a kind ordinarily carried on for profit. Trade associations and professional associations are business leagues. To be exempt, a business league's activities must be devoted to improving business conditions of one or more lines of business as distinguished from performing particular services for individual persons. No part of a business league's net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual and it may not be organized for profit to engage in an activity ordinarily carried on for profit (even if the business is operated on a cooperative basis or produces only enough income to be self-sustaining). The term line of business generally refers either to an entire industry or to all components of an industry within a geographic area. It does not include a group composed of businesses that market a particular brand within an industry.Chambers of commerce and boards of trade are organizations of the same general type as business leagues. They direct their efforts at promoting the common economic interests of all commercial enterprises in a trade or community, however.
© 2012 Real Estate Staging Association, INC. For more information on the Accreditation Process Clck here For more information on RESA® please visit www.RealEstateStagingAssociation.com