Thirty-four realtors from the Toronto area have been sanctioned by Humber College for "deliberate and organized misconduct" pertaining to their licensing exams. This means that the realtors have lost the provincial registration that allows them to sell real estate in the province.
Earlier this month, the college announced that the Humber Real Estate Education Program became aware of learning misconduct around the completion of exams.
Andrew Leopold, Director of Communications for Humber College, told STOREYS that to date, more than 8,700 learners have completed the Real Estate Salesperson program at Humber College. However, it has since been made aware of a small group of learners who have participated in deliberate and organized misconduct regarding the completion of program examinations.
"Learners who have been found responsible for misconduct to date have been notified and have been sanctioned or suspended accordingly, including those who have had their Humber completion status rescinded as they no longer satisfy the program requirements," said Leopold.
Leopold said the real estate education program has robust measures in place to monitor exams along with policies to dissuade academic misconduct. Such measures are representative of those used in other programs at the college and other educational institutions.
"The Real Estate Education Program, delivered by Humber College, takes matters of academic misconduct seriously. Academic integrity is critical to our institution and all our programs. The real estate profession rests on a foundation of honesty and integrity. Our program seeks to uphold these values and provide learners with the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge they need to enter the industry," said Leopold.
The college has also notified the industry regulator, the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), of the registered salespeople who were guilty of the misconduct. RECO will also apply disciplinary action to these individuals as required.
RECO said that it's been notified of the learner misconduct and has since voided the registrations of the learners whose program completion status was rescinded by Humber.
"We take matters of academic misconduct very seriously and will continue to work with Humber to maintain the integrity of the program and exams. Anyone with evidence of cheating should contact Humber," said RECO.
Currently, RECO’s website shows it terminated the registration of 34 salespeople on October 29. In each case, the council cited “failure to complete the designated educational courses required to be eligible to practice under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA).”
While it remains unclear what kind of misconduct occurred, Humber’s Learner Misconduct Policy includes plagiarism, copying others’ work, buying or selling exam questions, papers, or assignments, using prohibited materials in an assignment, falsification of materials, and working with others on assignments meant to be completed alone.
In order to become a realtor in Ontario, one must complete Humber College’s Real Estate Education Program. In order to apply, an applicant must have graduated high school or have a designated equivalency. The Pre-Registration Phase of the program costs $3,590 while the post-registration course adds another $570, bringing the total program cost to $4,160, according to the college website.
The Pre-Registration Phase of the program comprises five courses, four exams, and two simulation sessions that must be completed sequentially; learners have a maximum of 24 months to complete pre-registration.
Humber says it will continue to monitor current and future exams and will also review previous exams to see if additional suspicious or misconduct behaviour can be identified.