There is still no word from the government on what national licensing will mean for real estate industry entry and training standards, the Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA) has said.
“Over the past two years, REISA, and other industry groups, have been involved in liaising with government to discuss the professional standards we believe are critical in South Australia,” REISA chief executive officer, Greg Troughton, said.
“However, there has been little communication in recent times and this is really concerning as the implementation date has been set for July 2013, which is literally just 12 months away.”
National licensing, which was originally due to come into effect on July 1 this year, had its implementation date pushed back due to complexity of the laws, the chair of the National Occupational Licensing Authority’s Board (NOLA), Elizabeth Crouch, said in April.
The state institutes, along with the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA), fear national licensing will lead to a lowering of entry and training standards.
“Interstate, the entry levels are lower, but REISA simply can’t accept that lowering standards is a good move, especially when our salespeople assist buyers and sellers with so much of the paperwork and important legal documentation,” Mr Troughton said.
“As an industry body committed to raising professional standards, we’re not interested in winning a race to the bottom.”
“Although there are generous financial incentives for the state government to agree to national licensing and implement within the agreed timeframe, we can’t compromise standards for cash.”
REISA’s position on registration for salespersons is that they should have extensive training in legislative matters, legal documentation, transaction processes and risk management. This largely mirrors the current licensing requirements in SA, REISA said.
Mr Troughton reiterated that REISA fully supported the principle of national licensing, as long as consumer protection and industry standards were maintained.
“Real estate salespersons are trusted to assist consumers through very large financial transactions, and they need to have the skills and training to make sure they can do this in a very professional way,” Mr Troughton said.
“To ensure the skill level is there, adequate training is essential and we will keep fighting to uphold high standards, on behalf of industry and consumers.”