Pamela Bennett | 28 November 2012

Continued professional development should be mandatory for all real estate agents: REIA

Continued professional development (CPD) should be mandatory for all real estate professionals.

Under COAG’s proposed national licensing model, CPD would no longer be guaranteed for real estate agents. Currently half the states and territories have mandatory CPD.

Agents need to know the various conduct laws for different jurisdictions, specific laws that are relevant to selling or managing a property and appropriate national legislation.

Continuing education ensures up-skilling and development of individuals. Abolishing mandatory CPD would leave the consumer at risk.

The proof is in the pudding. Since Western Australia introduced mandatory CPD in 2007, written complaints across all categories of real estate activity have dropped by around two-thirds.

The National Occupational Licensing Authority (NOLA) is proposing to abolish mandatory CPD but hase the power to require it be irregularly done at times of major changes to real estate laws.

REIA rejected the proposal put forward by NOLA at the Occupational Licensing Advisory Committee (OLAC) meeting.

The proposal shows a lack of knowledge of the profession and creates a bottleneck of centralised decision making. There are many more issues that an agent needs to be aware of.

Agents need to be across a great number of constantly changing laws regarding issues such as smoke detectors, swimming pools, GST implications, environmental protection guidelines, equal opportunity legislation, OH&S, privacy and many more.

Pamela Bennett is president of the Real Estate Institute of Australia.

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