More and more state agencies, investors and supervisors are requiring people who work on or with Tax Credit Properties to become certified in compliance. Its been the norm for many year now in the Housing Credit industry and, quite frankly, it makes sense. You are running an important aspect of this affordable housing program and the industry is stating… no demanding… you be certified in what you do.
But what does it mean when you are told to get “certified in compliance”?
Many people immediately jump to the conclusion it means you must earn a full-blown designation. BUT this may NOT be what is meant. Often what your state agency, investor or supervisor are really looking for is proof of education or continuing education. Other times, they are indeed mandating an actual industry designation be earned.
Do yourself a favor and determine exactly what is needed… education only or an actual designation.
If education is required…
Whether initial training to get started or a refresher course to keep current, the easiest, fastest, and most convenient way to do this is by taking a course online! Today incredible Tax Credit compliance and management courses are available right from the convenience of your own computer… 24 hours a day… 7 days a week… which means no traveling and minimal, if any, time out of the office!! Visit the Housing Credit Training Center and view the Course Catalog to select the course or courses that fit your needs best!
You can take individual classes or take advantage of our course bundle known as the Site Course Package Plan. Make this decision based on the number of credits or course hours needed to meet your goals and to satisfy your State Agency, investor and/or employer.
Plus if you obtain your education through us, we will reward you for your dedication with your Compliance Diploma! The Compliance Diploma is a nationally recognized education-credential and shows the industry that you are dedicated to your compliance education!! We feel it is important to reward you even if you aren’t earning a compliance designation as education is key to yours and your property’s success! Certifications are nice, even necessary, BUT education is the crux.
To earn your Compliance Diploma, you must accrue 22 credits via any of our public workshops, private seminars or online courses. Courses taken through other vendors are not eligible. Once you have earned enough credits, you can order your official diploma with the Diploma & Certificate Order Form detailing the courses taken and credits accrued. After reviewing
your information and approving your request, your official Compliance Diploma suitable for framing will be mailed AT NO CHARGE. (Expedited shipping charges may apply if choose rush delivery. There is also a nominal charge for replacements or duplicates.)
If a compliance certification is required…
Be aware there are multiple designation opportunities available today and you can be certified at different levels specifically the site level and supervisor level. The certification level chosen should be based on your current position and career goals but understand, quite honestly, this is one place where MORE IS BETTER!
Truth be told… you can’t be too educated or too certified!
Site level certifications are for professionals on the front-lines that work day in and day out with applicants & residents; make decisions at the property level including those regarding unit transfers, increases to income, and vacancies; work with the residents that live at these properties; process verifications and calculate income eligibility; and deal with their eligibility at move-in as well as at recertification. This level certification is important for site managers, leasing agents, compliance specialists, supervisors of site & compliance staff PLUS anyone responsible for approving or auditing compliance paperwork. At Elizabeth Moreland Consulting, Inc., our site level certification is called the Site Compliance Specialist or SCS.
Supervisor level certifications focus on the overall Tax Credit picture including development, allocation, financing, syndication, and property management and are for those that supervise site and compliance staff; communicate with investors, State Monitoring Agencies, and owners; provide assistance and expertise to the development team; coordinate rent-up on new properties or rehabs; oversee the implementation of compliance software; and answer the difficult compliance & management questions and/or troubleshoot or problem solve difficult scenarios. This level certification is important for those desiring “expert” status including managers, supervisors, compliance directors, asset managers PLUS anyone looking to move into one of the above positions. At Elizabeth Moreland Consulting, Inc., our supervisor level designation is called the National Compliance Professional or NCP.
The 2 designations mentioned above are administered by Elizabeth Moreland Consulting, Inc., but there are other designations in the industry administered by other organizations. For example, the National Affordable Housing Manager’s Association (NAHMA) also has a site level certification known as SHCM and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has a supervisor level certification known as the HCCP. A complete list of all the industry’s compliance designations and the requirements for obtaining each can be found in this Compliance Certification Article.
Below you will find the details for earning our site level designation —
the Site Compliance Specialist (SCS) —
and our supervisory level designation —
the National Compliance Professional (NCP).
The Site Compliance Specialist certification is our site level compliance certification so it is meant for professionals that work on and with site compliance including certifying applicants and re-certifying residents; processing verifications and calculating income eligibility, applying the special rules such as the full-time student rule and unit transfers, and handling increases to income and vacancies.
- To earn your Site Compliance Specialist, you must pass the Site Compliance Exam.
- This Exam is composed of 50 questions divided into 5 Testable Areas.
- To pass this Exam you must answer 40 of the 50 questions correctly.
- The Exam is graded as Pass or Fail
- When you pass, you immediately earn your Site Compliance Specialist (SCS) certification plus all of the respect and accolades that come with it.
- To prepare for the Exam…
- If you are new or inexperienced: Enroll in the Site Course Package Plan at the Housing Credit Training Center as it will walk you through all of the site compliance requirements you must master to pass the Exam and become an SCS.
- If you have some experience but want a good overall refresher: Enroll in Housing Credits 245: Site Compliance Specialist at the Housing Credit Training Center as it will focus on the 5 Testable Areas that make up the Exam and fully prepare you to take it.
- If you are unsure where your knowledge level is at: Enroll in the Compliance Assessment at the Housing Credit Training Center as it is an impartial assessment of your current knowledge and will let you know if you are ready to take the Exam now or if you need to bolster your education a bit. If the latter, the Assessment will indicate which courses you should take before taking the Exam.
- To take the Exam…
- The Site Compliance Exam is taken conveniently online so no need to travel or sit in an uncomfortable environment!
- The cost to take the Exam is $199 and retakes are $49.
- You may register and pay online or offline.
- Once you are registered for the Exam, you will have access to it for 14 days.
- Once you start the Exam, you will have 2.5 hours to complete it.
- After you complete the Exam…
- You will receive your results IMMEDIATELY!
- When you pass the Exam, you will be able to print out your SCS designation certificate and can order an official suitable-for-framing certificate and SCS lapel pin by completing the Official Diploma & Certificate Order Form. Official certificates and pins are FREE however there is a charge for rush deliveries, duplicates and/or replacements.
- If you fail the Exam, you may retake it at anytime. Retakes are $49 and must be ordered offline. Just complete the Exam Order Form and submit our office. Allow 2-3 weeks for processing. You will be notified via email when your Exam Retake is ready for you.
The National Compliance Professional certification is our supervisor level compliance certification. It is meant for professionals that are troubleshooters, developers, asset managers, compliance directors, property manager supervisors or anyone striving to be in one of these positions. NCPs are well versed in both the allocation/development AND compliance/management sides of this program. To become a National Compliance Professional, you must complete 3 steps… (1) Meet an Education Requirement… we give you 2 different ways; (2) Meet an Experience Requirement… its simple; and (3) Complete a 1 page certification application… includes membership into the NCP Membership Group.
- Step #1: Meet the Education Requirement in 1 of 2 ways.
- Earn your Compliance Diploma OR
- Pass one of the following supervisory level compliance exams:
- our National Compliance Exam
- the Home Builder’s HCCP test or
- Spectrum’s C3P test
- Earn your Compliance Diploma OR
WANT AN EVEN HIGHER HONOR?
If you meet BOTH educational options,
meaning you pass one of the supervisory-level exams and earn your Compliance Diploma,
you are eligible to become a National Compliance Professional-Executive (NCP-E)
once you also meet the experience requirement.
BUT… WHY WAIT?
If you haven’t yet met one or both of the membership requirements,
you may apply as an NCP-Candidate and upgrade at no additional charge once they are met.
- Step #2: Meet the Experience Requirement.
- The Experience Requirement is met when you have 6 months or more experience working in the Tax Credit field.
- Doesn’t matter the position just that you have worked with Tax Credits specifically.
- Step #3: Complete NCP Membership Application.
- Complete a simple 1 page application.
- Pay the annual fee* which includes your designation renewal and membership into the NCP Membership Group at the Regular, Silver or Gold level.
- Regular memberships are $199.
- Silver and Gold membership levels change every year and include special tools bundled with the chosen level.
*Please Note: You must renew your NCP certification each year which includes earning continuing education credits.
If you are an NCP-Candidate or NCP, you must earn 4 CEUs annually and if you are an NCP-Executive, you must earn 6 CEUs annually.