To increase the professionalism of the exchange industry and foster public confidence when selecting an exchange accommodator, the FEA administers a Certification and Continuing Education Program. The Program bestows the designation of Certified Exchange Specialist® (CES) upon those professional individuals who meet specific work-experience criteria and pass an exam on exchange laws and procedures.
The test covers an array of exchange-related topics designed to challenge the candidate's knowledge of exchange rules and competency in performing the critical activities of an exchange facilitator company. The test also focuses on those ethical issues that emerge when any third party controls the funds of another.
A Certified Exchange Specialist® (CES) designation demonstrates to a property owner considering an exchange that the professional they have chosen possesses a certain level of experience and knowledge. Just as when one selects an accountant or REALTORŪ, it's important to review the credentials of any professional advisor prior to beginning a business relationship.
FEA retains professional consultants to provide assistance with the development of the examination. The consultants specialize in the conceptualization, development, and implementation of the examination.
How Was the Certification Program Developed?
The eligibility requirements and examination materials for the FEA certification program were developed based on the judgments of a representative, national panel of experts who defined the body of knowledge for 1031 exchange accommodation and determined the content areas appropriate for the examination.
The FEA certification examination has been designed to meet testing industry standards for validity and reliability. All questions are written by exchange specialists and reviewed by a panel of experts prior to being selected for the examination.
What Is the Purpose of the Certification Program?
The purposes of the FEA certification program are to:
- establish nationally recognized standards of knowledge for exchange specialists;
- assess the level of knowledge demonstrated by exchange specialists in a valid and reliable manner;
- encourage professional development in the exchange accommodation field;
- formally recognize individuals who meet the requirements set by FEA; and
- serve the public by encouraging quality Section 1031 exchange services.
The FEA Certification Council, with the assistance and advice of professionals in relevant fields, has developed a credential that will recognize accepted levels of expertise in the profession with the goal of improving professional standards in Section 1031 exchange services. However, no certification program can guarantee professional competence. FEA welcomes constructive comments and suggestions from the public and the profession.