Keeping Us in Check

You're probably wondering what USPAP stands for, it is the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. USPAP (commonly pronounced "YOOS-pap") is published and maintained by the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) of the Appraisal Foundation, a non-governmental entity charged by Congress with promulgating appraisal standards.

USPAP is revised periodically, usually every year. It begins with a list of definitions, and a preamble defining their mission. It then declares a set of general rules governing all disciplines of appraisal practice, such as:

  • The Ethics Rule
  • The Competency Rule
  • The Scope of Work Rule
  • The Jurisdictional Exception Rule
  • Supplemental Standards Rule.

It then sets forth 10 appraisal standards, each containing a number of standards and rules. Each Standard covers in detail the different tasks an appraiser might perform in the course of developing and reporting an appraisal:

  • Real Property Appraisal Development
  • Real Property Appraisal Reporting
  • Business Appraisal
  • Development, etc.

It includes a number of statements on those 10 appraisal standards. Some previous standards have been retired, but are still used to clarify or supplement the updated and revised standards. It also includes advisory opinions dealing with the application of the USPAP in various scenarios, such as the use of USPAP in valuation services, and clarification of the client in a federally related transaction. These situations describe real-life problems and how the rules and standards of USPAP can be used to resolve them.

Every appraiser is monitored with knowing and following USPAP, usually by operation of state law. They must complete continuing education periodically to relearn the basics, and become familiar with new advisory opinions and annual changes to USPAP. This ethical standard is considered a major foundation of appraisal practice.