Peter Bushby | 17 December 2012

Real estate licensing qualifications must not be dumbed down

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) calls on the Standing Council on Federal Financial Relations to advise the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to jettison real estate into the second tranche of national licensing reform with the other property professions.

Agents across Australia will be looking to the treasurers to show leadership on this matter.

We want the treasurers to defend the need for high standards in the profession and ignore the COAG Taskforce’s push to dumb down real estate by eliminating the diploma and compulsory professional development, which operates individually or together in six out of eight states and territories.

REIA calls on the treasurers to do the right thing by protecting consumers.

We know that there is $550 million of competition payments on the table with the first tranche of national licensing. These payments need not be jeopardised by putting REIA in the second tranche.

A UMR Research opinion poll conducted in September 2012 shows that the majority of Australians favour a diploma qualification over a certificate, 82% believe that professional development should be required and only 17% support the COAG proposal to remove the current requirement for commercial properties to be sold and leased by licensed agents, with 69% opposing the deregulation of commercial property.

The Australian public knows what is good for them. They are vehemently opposed to any change to the current licensing arrangements, and our leaders must take their views into consideration during their deliberations.

It is unthinkable to imagine Australia turning its back on world’s best practice, which requires compulsory CPD in Singapore, every state of the US, and New Zealand. The government’s rhetoric on the importance of building a skilled Australian workforce will be hollow unless common sense is practised."

We implore the nation’s treasurers to advise COAG to move real estate to the second tranche so that due consideration can be given to the matters raised by the real estate profession. This also provides for a natural fit with the other property professionals.

The UMR Research is attached to REIA’s submission on the draft regulatory impact statement and is available here.

Peter Bushby is president of the Real Estate Institute of Australia.

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