The 3 Biggest USPAP Changes for 2020-21

by Inzamam

Every two years, the Uniform Standards for Professional Appraisal Practice, or USPAP, are updated. The latest version of USPAP applies to the 2021-2021 period. 

The major changes to USPAP in this update include changes to reports, certifications, and expectations of competency; most of these changes will have little impact on the appraisal process but are still worth taking note of in order to understand the heart of these standards. 

Here are three of the most major changes to USPAP for 2020-21:


1. Changes to Restricted Appraisal Reports


The first change to the USPAP to be aware of is perhaps the most significant. Restricted appraisal reports are appraisal reports containing fewer details than a full appraisal report and which were previously only available for use by the client. Now, they can now be used by individuals other than the client. 

These intended additional parties must be identified by name—they cannot be identified by a type, such as “bank”. This change creates new opportunities to utilize restricted appraisal reports where previously they would not have been usable.


2. Changes to Supplemental Certifications


The requirements for supplemental certifications have also been modified. Under previous versions of USPAP, if an assignment required a certification that did not contain every necessary element of an appraisal certification (such as the URAR and other forms), an additional certification featuring the signatures of the appraiser(s) was required in order to proceed.

These additional certifications are still required, but for the 2020-21 version of the USPAP, the Appraisal Standards Board clarified that the appraiser(s) signatures are not required on the supplemental certifications.


3. Changes to the Competency Rule


This alteration of the standards seems minor, and it’s true that it won’t have a particularly huge impact on the standard processes of appraisal. However, it’s still something to be aware of.

This change saw a comment from the Standards Rule 1-1 move from the development standards to the Competency Rule. The comment, which reads “Perfection is impossible to attain, and competence does not require perfection”, now applies to all aspects of the appraisal process, beyond development and reporting and on to all other pieces of appraisal practice.

Understanding the USPAP is critical to maintaining USPAP compliance. These three changes are not the only differences between this version of USPAP and previous versions, but they are the most major and important to understand for any appraiser.

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