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Designation Courses



 

The IMA Education Program was designed to meet the needs of busy assessment professionals. The program gives you the opportunity to complete designation-required courses at your own pace, from anywhere. Our program structure allows you to take charge and better manage your own learning experience. 


Courses are accessible through the IMA Learning Centre, which utilizes the Moodle platform.  You will be emailed course access information within 2-3 business days of registration.  

Benefits of the IMA Education Program:

  • Convenient: Complete your course from anywhere with an internet connection
  • Flexible: All courses are self-paced, empowering you to move at speed compatible with your schedule
  • Engaging: Courses employ a variety of teaching styles and testing methods
  • Supportive: Each course has a designated teacher, available to support you throughout the course
  • Affordable: Most competitive designation-required course fees in the industry

Click any of the courses below for course descriptions and outcomes. Get started today!




A.I.M.A. Required Courses



 

Course Description

The assessment of real property is not only the foundation for municipal taxation and spending decisions, but many of those decisions – and the intergovernmental influences that shape them – also affect the assessment base. The objective of this course is to give students an understanding of the framework and linkages between assessment, taxation, and the complex intergovernmental world within which the assessment function is carried out. Topics are highlighted below and some of the linkages are illustrated in the chart that follows.


Course Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Identify the relationship between property assessment and property taxation
  • Understand the non-tax revenue options available to municipalities to supplement the property tax
  • Relate to the provincial legislative framework within which municipalities make the expenditure and revenue raising decisions that comprise their annual budgets
  • Understand provincial policies affecting land use and development, including smart growth initiatives and the impact on municipal planning and the local assessment base
  • Appreciate the way international trade agreements restrict or influence municipal decisions about growth and development within local government.

Course Content

Lesson 1  Previewing the World of the Assessor
Lesson 2  Overview of Local Government
Lesson 3  Local Functions and Finances
Lesson 4  Assessment and Taxation
Lesson 5  Land Use Planning and Policies
Lesson 6  Capital Planning and Policies
Lesson 7  The Intergovernmental and International Context
Lesson 8  Reviewing the World of the Assessor

 

Course must be completed within: 22 weeks

CPD Credits: 6.0 Learning

Cost: $400




 

Course Description

Introduction to Real Property Assessment is an overview of the many concepts that make up property assessment. Participants should be able to distinguish property value impact of externalities through forces of supply and demand in both residential and non-residential markets. There is a strong focus on the Three Approaches to Value, along with their strengths and limitations. This course also describes the key differences between valuation and appraisal, as well as value to owner and market value- key concepts in property assessment. Highest and Best Use, land value assessment and properties rights are described for both residential and non-residential markets. Introduction to Real Property Assessment provides a solid foundation of assessment knowledge and is pre-requisite for other courses offered by the Institute of Municipal Assessors.


Course Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the broad economic, fiscal, and monetary framework within which supply and demand forces interact in the real estate market.
  • Distinguish positive and negative externalities and their impact on property values.
  • Describe the factors affecting the supply of, and demand for, residential real property.
  • Describe the factors affecting the supply of, and demand for, non-residential real property.
  • Explain the difference between property valuation and property appraisal.
  • Explain why value to the owner may differ from market value.
  • Describe the various property rights that may apply to a parcel of land.
  • Describe the highest and best use of a property.
  • Explain the strengths and limitations of the cost approach to valuation.
  • Explain the strengths and limitations of the income approach to valuation.
  • Explain the strengths and limitations of four methods of land value assessment.

Course Content

Lesson 1  Understanding the Market for Real Property
Lesson 2  Introduction to Real Property Assessment
Lesson 3  Approaches to Assessing Property Value
Lesson 4  The Sales Comparison Approach
Lesson 5  The Cost Approach
Lesson 6  The Income Approach
Lesson 7  Land Value Assessment

 

Course must be completed within: 20 weeks

CPD Credits: 5.0 Learning

Cost: $400



 


 

Course Description

This course is intended to provide the participants with a general understanding of the steps involved in the appraisal process. Participants will gain a working knowledge of the theory and practical applications of computer assisted mass appraisal (CAMA) models. The material differentiates between the types of data necessary for an appraisal, and explains methods for collecting, maintaining and analysing the data. The participants should be able to distinguish the impact to property values of externalities through forces of demand and supply in both residential and non-residential markets. Finally, the participants should be able to explain strengths and limitations of the three approaches to value (Direct Comparison, Cost, Income).


Course Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Differentiate between single property and multiple property appraisals.
  • Describe the basic steps of the mass appraisal process.
  • Identify and describe basic categories of appraisal data and their sources.
  • Explain locational segmentation into market areas and neighbourhoods.
  • Describe the importance of the highest and best use analysis.
  • Identify and characterize the three approaches to value in mass appraisal.
  • Describe basic characteristics of multiple regression analysis.
  • Explain the basic elements of the computer assisted mass appraisal (CAMA) model building and its calibration.
  • Describe model testing, quality control, and reconciliation of values.
  • Identify performance measurement tools of CAMA.

Course Content

Lesson 1  Introduction to Mass Appraisal
Lesson 2  Problem Definition
Lesson 3  Preliminary Survey and Analytics
Lesson 4  Data Collection, Maintenance, and Analysis
Lesson 5  The Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA)
Lesson 6  Performance Measurement and Defending Mass Appraisal

 

Course must be completed within: 18 weeks

CPD Credits: 5.0 Learning

Cost: $400



 


 

Course Description

High levels of data quality and data management operational procedures are critical components of a well functioning property valuation system. This course deals with the collection and gathering of data, data analysis and the need for effective data management.


Course Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Explain why high-quality data is important to the mass appraisal process.
  • Describe ways to reduce data errors and the types of data on which appraisers should focus in the mass appraisal industry.
  • Identify and describe data collection strategies for the appraisal office along with what part the CAMA system plays in data collection strategies.
  • Describe the data edit process and how these processes translate to increased data quality.
  • Explain the importance of sales validation in the valuation processes including the use of questionnaires and other modern data capture techniques.
  • Understand comparable sales adjustments including the recommended sequence to making adjustments.
  • Describe data management and its importance within the organization.
  • Understand data management best practices and why leading organizations focus on continuous improvement of their operational practices

Course Content

Lesson 1  Data Collection for Assessment Purposes
Lesson 2  Data Collection for Assessment Purposes
Lesson 3  Data Analysis
Lesson 4  Data Management

 

Course must be completed within: 14 weeks

CPD Credits: 6.0 Learning

Cost: $400



 


 

Course Description

This course provides a comprehensive overview of Canadian assessment law. Using the Canadian legal system as the basic building blocks for the course; participants will explore the legal system, rule of law, administrative law, and how provinces administer justice. Building on that base knowledge, participants will dive into the particulars of real estate law by looking at the different interests in land ownership and registration of real property interests. Next, participants turn their attention directly to assessment law in Canada, exploring why we assess properties, defining assessment or property tax base and investigating what is assessable and how. The penultimate lesson addresses assessment reviews and appeals, including administrative tribunals, procedural fairness and natural justice. Finally, the course examines the role of the assessor, describing their legal and professional responsibilities, including those as a witness.


Course Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Have an appreciation for the origins of both statute and administrative law and how the Constitution Act of 1982 and additionally the Charter of Rights & Freedoms influenced Canadian society.
  • Understand the definitions, legal concepts and the bundle of rights associated with real estate ownership & real property use within the context of assessment administration, including what is assessable.
  • Develop an understanding of real property assessment? What is it’s purpose? Who are the stakeholders? How is an assessment made? Why is equity so important in the valuation?
  • Be familiar with administrative tribunals. What are they? Why were they created and by whom? What is the Rule of Law and why does Natural Justice and Procedural Fairness play such an important role in democracy?
  • Understand the Rule of Law and how this rule may be interpreted at a tribunal and how decisions are typically made.
  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of an assessor. What are their legal, professional and ethical expectations? Understand the differences between acting in the role of a factual witness or an expert witness when providing evidence at tribunals.

Course Content

Lesson 1  The Canadian Legal System
Lesson 2  Real Estate Law
Lesson 3  Assessment Statutes – An Overview of Principles and Practice
Lesson 4  Assessment Review and Appeal Systems
Lesson 5  The Assessor

 

Course must be completed within: 16 weeks

CPD Credits: 5.0 Learning

Cost: $400



 


 

Course Description

Statistics for real property assessors begins with the explanation why it is necessary to use statistics in assessment. It provides a review and understanding of the mathematical formulas and functions commonly used by assessors and appraisers in the industry. It discusses and provides guidelines for computing the standard measures of central tendency and variability. This includes calculations of the coefficient of dispersion, standard deviation and coefficient of variation. Analyzing data, including a series of processes and mechanisms to dissect all of the data collected, is discussed. Illustration of data including charts and graphs are provided. In addition, it deals with the statistical significance and includes the definition and explains how to test significance and confidence intervals. The importance of Ratio Studies is discussed. The explanation is provided on what a ratio study should look like and on understanding of the ratio study results. Finally, this course covers statistics around sales chasing and provides guidelines on how to determine if there has been sales chasing. Various techniques to identify the chasing of sales such as split sample are also discussed.


Course Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Understand the importance of statistics for real property appraisers
  • Use statistics in assessment valuations
  • Apply the use of averages, measuring of variability and analysis of data
  • Understand the importance of ratio studies and rationalizing the results of ratio studies

Course Content

Lesson 1  Statistics for Real Property Assessors
Lesson 2  Descriptive Statistics
Lesson 3  Analyzing Data
Lesson 4  Statistical Significance
Lesson 5  Ratio Study: Putting It All Together
Lesson 6  The Statistics Around Sales Chasing

 

Course must be completed within: 18 weeks

CPD Credits: 6.0 Learning

Cost: $400



 


 

Course Description

This course examines the provisions in the IMA Code of Ethics and how they apply in a variety of work situations and it also explores the requirements when serving as an expert witness. In addition, the course emphasizes the importance of two other factors when it comes to promoting ethical behaviour – the personal values of the individual and the culture/values embraced by the organization/employer.


Course Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Understand the ethical expectations of members of the Institute of Municipal Assessors; specifically, as it relates to their profession, employers/clients, colleagues and themselves.

Course Content

Lesson 1  A Framework for Ethical Behaviour
Lesson 2  Deciphering the Code
Lesson 3  Serving as an Expert Witness
Lesson 4  Developing an Ethical Organization

 

Course must be completed within: 14 weeks

CPD Credits: 6.0 Learning

Cost: $350



 



M.I.M.A. Required Courses



 

Course Description

This course provides an in-depth, introductory level description of the property assessment and taxation system in Ontario, specifically addressing:

  • Assessment Law – its purpose and objectives and the key players.
  • Current Value – the property assessment standard and its key components.
  • Property Valuation – the three approaches to value and MPAC’s mass appraisal process.
  • Equity – the role of equity in the assessment system, the components of equity and its interplay with current value.
  • Property Classification – an overview of the classes, subclasses and optional classes, with a more detailed review of the residential, commercial and industrial classes.
  • Exemptions – an introduction to the nature and sources of exemptions from property taxes and some organization or activities that may be exempt.
  • Correcting Assessments – what and how changes can be made to an assessment once it has been returned by MPAC including a discussion of requests for reconsideration and appeals to the Assessment Review Board.
  • Property Taxes – what do property taxes pay for, how is a tax roll created, refunds / rebates of taxes, and how municipalities collect unpaid taxes.


Course Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to understand the property assessment and taxation regime in Ontario from first principles to practical aspects, and from the law to its implementation including:

  • What is valued, how is it valued, and what is the purpose of valuation
  • What role equity plays in the property assessment system
  • How properties are classified and the criteria for classification
  • How and why properties or uses are provided with exemptions, rebates or refunds of taxes
  • What statutory tools are available to correct assessments
  • How municipality’s budget and the role of assessment changes on the budgeting process

Course Content

Lesson 1  Ontario Assessment Law
Lesson 2  Current Value Assessment
Lesson 3  Property Valuation
Lesson 4  Equity
Lesson 5  Property Classification
Lesson 6  Exemptions from Taxation
Lesson 7  Correcting Assessments
Lesson 8  Property Taxation

 

Course must be completed within: 22 weeks

CPD Credits: 7.0 Learning

Cost: $400



 



Course Description

This course provides an in-depth, introductory level description of the steps in a property assessment appeal before Ontario’s Assessment Review Board, including:

  • Assessment – an overview of how properties are valued, classified and taxed, and how assessments can be corrected.
  • Law – an introduction to legal concepts including procedural and substantive law, issues of jurisdiction, and the role of the tribunal.
  • Legal Resources – how to find, read an interpret statutes, case law and other legal resources.
  • Evidence – what is / can be evidence at a hearing, and the ‘burden of proof’.
  • Assessment Appeals – how, who and when can assessments be reviewed.
  • Process – how to raise or respond to issues raised in an appeal and the use of comparable properties.
  • Pre-Hearing Steps – confidentiality, discovery, and disclosure.
  • Dispute Resolution – settlements and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
  • Hearings – hearing etiquette, and steps in a hearing.
  • Giving Evidence - how to provide evidence, respond to cross-examination, and the use of documents at a hearing.
  • Appeals & Reviews – an overview of what procedures are available to dispute a hearing decision.

Course Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to understand the steps in an assessment appeal from the request for reconsideration to an appeal of a hearing decision including:

  • What is can be reviewed or appealed, to what body and when
  • The importance of the rule of law and limitations on the ARB’s jurisdiction
  • How statutes and cases are interpreted and used by the ARB
  • What is relevant and admissible evidence and how expert evidence is unique
  • The procedural steps required in review and appeals
  • What steps are required to ensure that every party understands the case that they have to meet
  • What steps are required to be taken prior to a hearing, in what order and when, and what are the consequences if the steps are not completed on time
  • How to get ready for a hearing including a consideration of expert evidence and expert reports
  • Alternatives to a hearing
  • How to conduct opening and closing statements and the order of evidence
  • Examining, cross-examining and re-examining witnesses
  • How and when to consider a review or appeal

Course Content

Lesson 1  The Basics
Lesson 2  The Law
Lesson 3  Legal Resources and Research Tools
Lesson 4  Evidence
Lesson 5  Assessment Appeals
Lesson 6  When an Appeal is Received
Lesson 7  Pre-Hearing Steps
Lesson 8  Getting Ready for the Hearing
Lesson 9  8Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)/Settlement
Lesson 10  Conducting the Hearing
Lesson 11  Giving Evidence
Lesson 12  Appeals and Review

 

Course must be completed within: 32 weeks

CPD Credits: 10.0 Learning

Cost: $400



 



Course Description

The Sales Comparison Approach in the Valuation of Properties course will provide the requirements to gain an understanding and working knowledge of the procedures and techniques for both vacant and improved properties. Students will build the necessary skills for conducting effective inspections, properly identifying the necessary data for collection and sales verification. In applying the direct comparison approach to valuation, the student will learn how to use the data collected to properly apply the necessary sales adjustments to accurately estimate value. The course will also examine how the direct comparison approach is applied in the cost and income approaches to value.


Course Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, participants should understand:

  • The concept of the sales comparison approach to valuation
  • The different methods and applications of the direct comparison approach
  • The different types of property and sales data to be collected
  • The role and verification of sales data
  • The concept of “Highest and Best Use” and how it should be applied
  • What role sales adjustments play in the sales comparison approach
  • What units of comparison are used for vacant and improved properties
  • What types of adjustment methods and techniques can be used
  • The application of direct comparison in the cost & income approach

Course Content

Lesson 1  Introduction to the Sales Comparison Approach
Lesson 2  Sales Collection and Verification
Lesson 3  Highest and Best Use
Lesson 4  Comparative Sales Analysis
Lesson 5  Sales Adjustment
Lesson 6  Applications of the Sales Comparison Approach

 

Course must be completed within: 18 weeks

CPD Credits: 6.0 Learning

Cost: $400



 



Course Description

This course examines the income approach to value of rental properties and business enterprise properties. Students will learn the process to developing capitalization rates, and the factors that affect them. The course guides students through various topics including highest and best use, data collection, proforma sales analysis, and the discounted cash flow model. The course provides students with the understanding of what information is required to accurately calculate the current value.


Course Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the participant should be able to:

  • Calculate the overall capitalization rate, direct capitalization method and the yield capitalization.
  • Identify and calculate the key steps to valuing income producing property types.
  • Utilize rental information from lease documents and property inspection.
  • Understand the components of highest and best use for vacant and improved properties.
  • Identify the application of sales analysis

Course Content

Lesson 1  Introduction to the Income Approach
Lesson 2  Data Collection
Lesson 3  Establishing Highest and Best Use
Lesson 4  Uses of Market Sales in the Income Approach
Lesson 5  Applying the Income Approach
Lesson 6  Determining Discount Rates for the Discounted Cash Flow Method

 

Course must be completed within: 18 weeks

CPD Credits: 6.0 Learning

Cost: $400



 



Course Description

Cost and Depreciation Analysis covers the application of a cost approach to produce property values. The course is designed to provide understanding of concepts, terminology and how to complete a cost approach analysis. The cost approach determines the value using the principle of substitution and through the application of various methods, the course demonstrates how this principle is incorporated into the analysis to arrive at the assessment values. The course discusses the advantages and the limitations of the cost approach and what steps are undertaken to ensure the cost approach produces market values as required by the legislation. When developing assessment values, it is imperative that the valuer has a thorough knowledge of the relevant legislation for the local jurisdiction.


Course Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the participant should be able to:

  • Understand where and when to apply the cost approach.
  • Understand the rationale of how a cost approach produces market values.
  • Understand how the functionality, utility, and property condition affect value.
  • Understand the steps in a highest and best use analysis and its importance in developing a cost value for a property.
  • Identify and evaluate the various types and forms of depreciation and obsolescence that affect value.
  • Employ methods available to quantify obsolescence and depreciation.
  • Establish land values and consolidate with improvement values to derive market values and assessments.

Course Content

Lesson 1  Deriving Values using a Cost Approach
Lesson 2  The Cost Approach Procedure
Lesson 3  The Importance of Functionality and Utility
Lesson 4  Estimating Cost Improvements
Lesson 5  Depreciation
Lesson 6  Breakdown Method
Lesson 6  Finalizing the Property Value

Course must be completed within: 20 weeks

CPD Credits: 7.0 Learning

Cost: $400





Course Description

This course covers the theory and application of a Highest and Best Use (HABU) analysis in property valuations. It examines the four main elements in HABU analysis which include: physically possible, legally permissible, financially feasible and maximally productive. Students will learn the key factors to market analysis, property uses, and supply and demand factors.


Course Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the participant should be able to:

  • Understand the application of Highest & Best Use as it applies to vacant and improved property.
  • Identify critical information to be collected for HABU analysis.
  • Determine and apply the four testing criteria.
  • Identification of reasonably probable alternative uses of property as if vacant and improved.
  • Determine the key market analysis factors.

Course Content

Lesson 1  Role of HABU in the Appraisal Process
Lesson 2  Data Requirements for HABU Analysis
Lesson 3  Testing HABU Conceptual Framework
Lesson 4  Legal and Physical Environment Considerations
Lesson 5  Market and Investment Analysis
Lesson 6  Unusual and Special Circumstances

Course must be completed within: 18 weeks

CPD Credits: 4.0 Learning

Cost: $400





Course Description

The course provides the participants with an understanding of the preparation of an appraisal report, acceptable to a court, tribunal, or arbitrator. The candidate has the opportunity to identify their subject property personally. The guidelines provide relevant interaction to a broad cross-section of IMA members at different stages in their careers, requiring the application of basic appraisal theory for completion of a narrative report. The guidelines offer consistency of standards to achieve a measure of reliability concerning contents and structure of expert valuation reports that convey the data, analysis, findings and conclusions of the steps and analytical processes involved in the appraisal process. Participants acquire a working knowledge of the theory, structure, and practical applications of professional appraisal reports, focusing on valuation techniques, research, analysis and report writing skills.


Course Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the participant should be able to:

  • Apply the appraisal process to produce a narrative appraisal report.
  • Apply critical thinking, research, and analysis principles through planning, preparation, and analysis relevant to the application(s).
  • Apply the 3 traditional approaches to value. [Cost, Income, and Direct Comparison]
  • Reconcile various indications of market value into a single, logically supported estimate of market value, which meets a reasonable appraiser’s test.

Course Content

The course presents guidelines for the format and contents of an expert property valuation report. The overview addresses 7 sections:

Section 1  Nature and Scope of the Retainer
Section 2  Qualifications of the Expert
Section 3  Logistics of The Assignment
Section 4  Study Approach and Methodology
Section 5  Stages of Research, Analysis;
Section 6  Interpretation and Reporting
Section 7  Findings and Conclusions

CPD Credits: 15.0 Learning

Cost: $400