Pathway to professionalism

January/February 2017 edition

It’s a new year. A time for fresh beginnings, new goals and looking forward. For REINSW it will be ‘the year of the professional’ and we’re excited to be working with you as we strive to evolve our industry into a profession.

What makes a profession?
The word “profession” means different things to different people. But at its core, it’s an indicator of trust and expertise.

The Professional Standards Council (PSC) is the independent statutory body responsible for promoting professional standards. They use the 5 E’s to define the elements that are necessary to qualify as a profession: ethics, education, experience, examination and entity. On our pathway to professionalism, we’ll need to demonstrate that we not only meet but exceed the required standard in each of these areas.
But REINSW believes we need to add another E to our journey – evolution. If real estate agents are to be recognised as professionals, then along with the 5 E’s we must also embrace the reality that our industry must evolve. If we don’t collectively embrace a mindset of evolution, we simply won’t be in a position to commit to the work required to elevate ourselves to a recognised professional standard.

The journey has started
Our journey toward professionalism will take time. But we’re already on the right path.

In November last year, the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Victor Dominello, announced a landmark series of reforms that will have a real and lasting impact on the way agents in NSW are educated. Agents at every level – from new entrants to those running their own agency – will be required to undertake better and more relevant training if they are to hold a Certificate of Registration or Licence.

After many, many years of unrelenting lobbying and calling for higher education and training standards, we welcome the reform package – it’s a giant step forward. And we’re pleased the NSW Government incorporated many of our recommended changes into the package.

As the reforms make their way through parliament, we’ll continue to work hand in hand with the government to ensure the package remains intact and is not diluted.

It will take time
For some of you who have been working in our great industry for many years, this may all sound a bit like a blast from the past. It harks back to an era when our education standards were much higher and ethics actually stood for something. But it’s undeniable that our industry has suffered greatly over the years due to the constant lowering of education standards and a lack of oversight, including weak disciplinary and enforcement powers. It’s time for this to change.

This year, REINSW is focused on driving the evolution of our industry and will be working closely with members to put frameworks in place so we can achieve the standards set down by the PSC. We’ll also be promoting the concept of professionalism to consumers, with a view to creating new expectations about what it means to deal with a professional member of REINSW. Our goal is to change hearts and minds – both our own and those of consumers.

We have an exciting year ahead and I look forward to working with you as we travel the pathway to professionalism.

John Cunningham
REINSW President