Mixing on-the-job knowledge with professional development
“Third-party expertise in high-value personal property is in demand from estate lawyers, insurance companies, cultural institutions and government agencies,” states Kelly Juhasz, president of the Canadian Chapter of the International Society of Appraisers…The Society has just introduced a new student membership so that emerging professionals can access some of the group’s ongoing workshops, as well as connections to qualified appraisers in the field.”
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Being a qualified appraiser requires industry experience, higher education and specialized knowledge in a specialty field of personal property. This includes but is not limited to: fine art, antiques, ceramics, furniture, coins, archives, watches, wine, textiles, business equipment and more.
In each speciality area, for example, in fine art, many appraisers are further specialized in one or more areas of fine art including Canadian, European, American, Chinese, Inuit, First Nations, public art, and/or photography. They must all holding unique knowledge and market experience in these specializations.
To become a qualified appraiser, one must meet a number of requirements including having a post-secondary education from a recognized college or university and have between 1 to 2.5 years of full-time and specific experience in market-related activities dealing with personal property. Then one must have taken specific courses in personal property standards, valuation methodology and appraisal specializations, and be a member of a recognized personal property appraisal association such as the International Society of Appraisers (ISA).
ISA’s Core Course in Appraisal Studies is widely regarded as the most comprehensive in the industry, distinguishing ISA as the leader in methodology, theory, principles, practices and ethics. ISA offers coursework and continuing education in specific areas of product knowledge and connoisseurship both online and in-person. All qualified appraisers must be compliant and up to date with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), a course offered regularly by ISA. All courses and memberships are managed out of ISA’s head office located in Chicago and upon joining ISA, appraisers located in Canada can join the Canadian Chapter.
ISA has five levels of membership, designations and affiliations:
- Candidate Member (entry level but not yet a qualified appraiser)
- Member (new and qualified appraiser)
- Accredited Member (senior and qualified appraiser with noted specialties)
- Certified Member (senior and most qualified appraiser within the ISA)
- Student Affiliate (new membership affiliation added in 2018; not a qualified appraiser but geared for individuals with an interest in a career as a personal property appraiser who are currently enrolled and in good standing in an accredited college or university, acceptable to ISA). Student Affiliates qualify for member discounts on ISA education, may access the online Member Forum, view member-only areas of the website, connect with an ISA Ambassador, and attend specialized tours and conferences. Fees are $100 USA/year. It is an excellent way to test a career path and decide whether or not to invest in becoming a qualified appraiser. Students may join the Canadian Chapter for a special student price upon joining the ISA.