The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has hit out at the National Occupational Licensing Authority’s (NOLA) claims that compulsory professional development has no value to the industry.
Recently in an exclusive interview with Real Estate Business, NOLA deputy CEO Barbara El-Gamal said there is little evidence to show mandatory continuing professional development (CPD) adds value to the real estate industry.
Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) president Peter Bushby has rubbished these claims.
“The benefits of mandatory CPD are real and documented, and NOLA claiming the contrary is a continuation of the misinformation being peddled and the aggressive advocacy for national licensing,” he said.
“If there are concerns about the quality of CPD delivery, then that should be addressed directly rather than abolishing the need for it. NOLA is confusing service delivery with the value of CPD.”
Mr Bushby said Western Australia was a good case study that showed the positive impact of mandatory CPD.
“In WA, mandatory CPD was introduced for licensees in 2007 and for sales representatives in 2009,” he said. “For the five years up until and including 2009, the average number of written concerns raised by the public to the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) was 143 per year, with a high of 196 in 2009.
“In 2010, the year immediately after mandatory CPD was introduced for sales representatives, the number of written concerns dropped to 58 - a 70 per cent reduction over the previous year. The average for the three years to 2012 has been 55, or a 61 per cent reduction from the five years of 2005 to 2009."
Similarly, the ACT’s industry standards had improved after mandatory CPD was introduced, Mr Bushby added.
“Let’s address any issue with the quality of the provision of training but let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. As statistics show, it’s the consumer who is likely to suffer if mandatory CPD is thrown out,” he said.
CPD trainer at Real Coach Melanie McFarlane told Real Estate Business that CPD as a concept worked and NOLA was basing its opinion on training providers that did not do the right thing.
“That’s what’s extremely frustrating for us as a business because they’re saying across the board the training has no relevance,” she said. “Really there are just a few training providers that have been totally focused on making money and not improving the industry.
“Our business model is about providing really quality training and sometimes that’s to our commercial detriment because there are some agents who just want to be able to get their box ticked and don’t want to learn anything.”
Ms McFarlane said a majority of people her company dealt with were genuinely looking for assistance.
“They want training, but they want training that’s relevant and they do want to walk away and take some new information from the training course. It’s not a flaw on the system but perhaps the regulation of training providers that is the issue,” she said.