For the past year I have been involved with the Washington DC-based Appraisal Foundation that oversees the appraising profession (business, real property, gems, and personal property). I am on a resource panel for personal property appraisers charged with helping the Appraisal Foundation enhance public trust in personal property appraisers. We are examining ways appraisers get accredited and are attempting to determine if a universal accreditation/certification system is feasible, considering the creation of a "national registry" for valuation specialists/appraisers in various disciplines, seeing if developing discipline-specific standards is possible, and considering methods of oversight of the profession.
At present, there is no universal set standard to which appraisers must adhere. It is also a self-regulated profession, with appraisers of the various organizations setting admissions policies for their own members. Moreover, only a small number of appraisers belong to the big three appraiser organizations (AAA, ISA, ASA) at all--most are independent, with many being dealers or auction house staff members. Still, while many members of these organizations are very good, membership in these national appraiser organizations does not guarantee that appraisers are really qualified in the areas they appraise.