The proposed national licensing scheme for the property industry will see real estate licence standards lowered in a number of jurisdictions, according to the latest Decision Regulation Impact Statement (RIS).
Should the recommendations for the final Decision RIS, released last Friday, be accepted by the Standing Council on Federal Financial Relations, the required standards to gain a real estate licence would be lowered in many states to a Certificate IV.
At the moment, the qualification entry level for real estate agents differs across Australia. New South Wales and Victoria require a Certificate IV. Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory require a diploma. The Australian Capital Territory requires completion of at least 18 units of competency taken from both qualification levels and Queensland require 19 units of competency to be completed.
The Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW), with the support of the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA), is calling for national licensing to move to a diploma entry level across all states.
“REINSW is of the view that entry-level qualifications for agents should be set at a minimum of diploma level,” Malcolm Gunning, REINSW deputy president said.
“This will ensure a better prepared property professional and better protection and outcomes for consumers.”
Mr Gunning also said the REINSW has recommended a practical experience component for all certificate holders who wish to become licensed.
“There should also be a requirement for a minimum of 12 months’ work experience as a pre-requisite to a certificate holder becoming a licensee,” he said.
“Practical experience is an invaluable component of an agent’s development and would give consumers the confidence to know that the competencies learnt in training have been proven and applied in practice before the agent becomes entitled to operate unsupervised.”
Meanwhile, real estate auctioneers will be required to complete just three units of competency to acquire a licence, which in many states is a considerable drop from the current required levels.
The Decision RIS also recommended that national licensing will not have any age requirements.
Elsewhere in the 264-page Decision RIS recommendations have been made to remove mandatory continuing professional development (CPD) and replace it with ‘skills maintenance’, which would be prescribed on an 'as needs' basis.