The National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling provide a baseline for what constitutes quality homeownership education and counseling. Organizations and homeownership professionals can use the National Industry Standards to ensure that quality homeownership education and housing counseling services are delivered to clients. These standards create a level of consistency in the industry and add to the continued professional delivery of specialized services by counselors and educators nationwide.
The National Industry Standards consist of the following documents:
The National Industry Standards guide conduct and decision-making in the homeownership education and counseling field and encourage an elevated level of professionalism that inspires consumer confidence. Organizations that adopt the Standards demonstrate that all clients will receive consistent, high quality and ethical service.
The National Industry Standards for homeownership education and counseling were developed by a broad-based National Advisory Council (see list of National Advisory Council members below). The standards were developed with:
The documents provide recommended benchmarks for homeownership education and counseling in the following areas:
Organizations providing homeownership education and counseling are encouraged to adopt the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling on an organizational level and direct their educators and/or counselors to sign and adhere to the Code of Ethics and Conduct outlined in the Standards. To fully abide by the Standards, organizations will ensure that their educators and counselors implement the recommended benchmarks in their everyday business operations. Organizations and individual educators and counselors are encouraged to strive to exceed the benchmarks.
By adopting the National Industry Standards, organizations and counselors/educators will:
Adoption demonstrates an organization's commitment to implement the National Industry Standards in everyday business operations. Organizations are encouraged to strive to exceed the benchmarks.
Endorsement demonstrates an organization's support for the National Industry Standards, thus making a visible dedication to heightened professionalism in the field of homeownership education and counseling. Endorsers may incorporate the Standards into their business requirements.
A representative from your organization who has authority to adopt standards of practices (e.g., the executive director, board chair, homeownership center director) can adopt the National Industry Standards for the organization by visiting the National Industry Standards website.
To begin the process of adopting the Standards, go to the Sign-Up page. Documents can be obtained and viewed here.
After entering information about your organization and each counselor and/or educator on staff, National Industry Standards staff will review and confirm the information. You will be notified of any further information needed, and will be notified when adoption is confirmed.
Full National Industry Standards adoption occurs when the recommended benchmarks for homeownership education and counseling are implemented into the organization's business operations. The executive director, board and staff should commit to implementing the National Industry Standards into everyday business operations.
If a counselor/educator leaves an organization, he/she should encourage the new employer organization to adopt the National Industry Standards. The Code of Ethics and Conduct is transferable.
At present, there is no expiration date for the National Industry Standards and Code of Ethics and Conduct. The National Industry Standards adoption is non-transferable and becomes invalid only when employment ceases with an organization that adopts the National Industry Standards. The Code of Ethics is transferable and you do not have to reapply upon starting new employment.
The Standards were created by the Advisory Council for the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling. Members of this group include the following:
The Advisory Council for the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling was convened by the NeighborWorks® Center for Homeownership Education and Counseling (NCHEC).
Mike Haley, Minnesota Housing, Chairman
Cora Fulmore, Mortgage & Credit Center, Vice-Chair
Jayna Bower, NCHEC, Director
Homeownership Done Right™
The National Industry Standards are the product of the National Advisory Council.
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