What is USPAP?
Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice
USPAP, which you might hear pronounced like "YOOS-pap," is the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. It is the handbook of Federal guidelines for appraisers, and it is law. USPAP is published and maintained by the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) of the Appraisal Foundation, a non-governmental entity charged by Congress with creating appraisal standards.
USPAP is revised periodically, usually annually, and almost never radically. It includes sections covering rules, such as an Ethics Rule, a Departure Rule, and a Competency Rule. It includes Standards, 10 of them, each covering, in detail, different functions an appraiser might perform. It includes 10 Statements, some retired, which are used to clarify, or supplement, the Standards. It also includes Advisory Opinions, which describe real-life problems and how they would be governed under the Rules and Standards of USPAP.
Every appraiser is required to know and follow USPAP, usually by operation of state law, and must complete Continuing Education periodically to relearn the basics and become familiar with new Advisory Opinions and annual changes to USPAP.