CEOs from the Real Estate Industry (REI) state and federal bodies will be in Sydney early next week to press the NSW Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts about the need for a fair and equitable system that mandates high standards of education and ongoing professional training for a national licensing system, which is due to commence in July 2012.
“This is the biggest challenge faced by the real estate industry in 30 years,” Greg Troughton, CEO of the Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA), told Real Estate Business today. Mr Troughton will attend the meeting on Monday.
He said the entry level requirements in South Australia, which he regarded as the highest in Australia, could be under threat by the move to national licensing.
To become a real estate agent in South Australia applicants must complete a Certificate IV in Property (Real Estate), which can be undertaken full time over six weeks, part time over seven months, or as a 12-month traineeship. Based on feedback Mr Troughton had received, entry level requirements could be dramatically undermined by the new system.
Moreover, compulsory continuing education, which is not a requirement in South Australia, may not form part of the new licensing regime. Mr Troughton said the REISA, which provided its own training programs, would welcome an ongoing training requirement, a point reinforced by Real Estate of Australia REIA acting president Pam Bennett earlier this month.
“Whilst it is important to have a high level of initial training, it is equally important that agents are kept up to date with changes in the industry, including government requirements and the regulatory environment agents operate within,” she said in early July
“Real estate agents can only keep their knowledge and skills current if compulsory professional development is required,” added Ms Bennett.
Mr Troughton added the monitoring of registered training companies (RTOs) was also important under any ongoing training system. He pointed to reports of poorly run courses currently being offered in some states as a threat to any national licensing system. Under national licensing each state and territory would still be responsible for implementing and monitoring agents, and as such, agents looking for “quick, cheap and easy” courses could simply travel to another state to secure their annual training requirements, he said.
Draft legislation for the national licensing of real estate agents is expected in September.