(1) An employee seeking to obtain certification as an agricultural appraiser must be certified by the department as a residential appraiser pursuant to the standards set forth in ARM 42.18.206.
(2) Training and testing criteria shall be as follows:
(a) Department training sessions will be offered annually if funding is available and if there are sufficient numbers of field staff who require the courses.
(b) The employee shall attend the next available scheduled Agricultural Land Classification/Appraisal (ALCA) training session after being assigned ALCA responsibilities. Satisfactory completion of the ALCA training session shall include successful completion of the written examination conducted at the conclusion of the ALCA training session. If the employee fails to successfully complete the first written examination, attendance at the next ALCA training session shall be required. Failure to successfully complete the second written examination may result in immediate termination of employment. The department may choose to demote the employee to a residential appraisal position if the position is available and the individual is certified to perform in that position. The employee will be notified of exam results within one month of completion of the exam.
(c) Employees voluntarily attending training not required for their current position will be required to adhere to all training class rules and procedures and take the exam, but they will not be subject to personnel action for failing to pass the exam.
(3) Upon beginning employment with the department as an agricultural appraiser, the employee shall undertake a one-year period of on-the-job agricultural appraiser work during which time the employee will begin the process of meeting the requirements set forth in (2). For employees new to state government, this one-year period will run concurrently with and in addition to the automatic probation period set forth in department policy 3.1.4. The beginning of the one-year experience requirement will coincide with the employee's notification of being assigned ALCA responsibilities. All work will be supervised by the department. Failure to perform the classification/appraisal work satisfactorily at any time during the one-year period may result in immediate termination. The department may choose to demote the employee, if a position is available and the individual is certified to perform in that position.
(4) The department may waive the criteria set forth in (2) if sufficient proof is provided within six months of hire that the employee has previously fulfilled such criteria. Specific evidence may include but is not limited to documentation showing that the individual has successfully completed a course of instruction from a professional appraisal and real estate related organization, provided that the organization is a member of The Appraisal Foundation as defined in 37-54-102, MCA. The course must be equal to or greater in complexity than that of the department's ALCA course. An employee who is a Certified Residential Appraiser through the Board of Real Estate Appraisers of the Business and Occupational Licensing Bureau of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry or in another state in accordance to the Appraisal Qualifications Board (AQB) may be eligible for a waiver under this section.
(5) The department may waive or decrease the length of on-the-job training required in (3) if the supervising manager determines that the incumbent has satisfactorily met the requirement in less than one year.
(6) Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) training will be offered annually if funding is available and if there are sufficient numbers of staff who require the course.
(a) Employees shall attend the next available USPAP 15-hour training session offered by the department after commencement of employment. Satisfactory completion of the USPAP training session shall include attending the 15-hour course as provided by a USPAP certified instructor.
(b) Employees shall attend the next available USPAP 7-hour training session offered by the department within five years of satisfactory completion of the 15-hour training in (a).
(c) If an employee has physical limitations that prevent them from attending the USPAP courses identified in (a) and (b), the department may waive their requirement to attend the USPAP training sessions in person. If waived, the employee shall be responsible for thoroughly reading and comprehending the required material. The employee's manager shall verify and document in the employee's personnel file the employee's successful completion and comprehension of the material.