By Cath Dickinson
Continuing Professional Development has changed. Completing 12 CPD points per year is a thing of the past and all agents need to understand what their obligations are in accordance with their classification in the licensing structure. REINSW Training Manager Nerida Wood explains the key changes to the CPD framework.
“Since the industry reforms commenced on 23 March 2020, agents across the industry have been focused on their qualifications and what they need to do to comply with the new licensing regime,” Nerida said. “However, the qualification you hold is only one piece of the puzzle. Changes to the CPD framework also need to be considered.
“Moving forward, the CPD you need to complete depends upon your classification in the licensing structure.”
CPD obligations for Assistant Agents are linked to the requirement to upgrade to a Licence.
“All Assistant Agents, as Certificate of Registration holders are now known, must transition to a Class 2 Real Estate Licence,” Nerida explained. “If you are an Assistant Agent, you have four years to complete the transition from the date of your post-23 March registration renewal. Similarly, new entrants to the industry will have four years from the date they receive their Certificate of Registration to transition to a Class 2 Real Estate Licence.”
Transitioning to a Class 2 Real Estate Licence requires Assistant Agents to complete the Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice Course.
“Rest assured that you won’t be required to complete compulsory CPD obligations in addition to any courses you’re undertaking to complete your Certificate IV qualification,” Nerida said. “By completing at least three units of competency from the Certificate IV qualification, you’ll satisfy your annual CPD requirements.”
Nerida said completion of the Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice Course allows Assistant Agents to apply to NSW Fair Trading for their Class 2 Real Estate Licence.
“Having made the transition from Assistant Agent to a Class 2 Real Estate Licence, your CPD obligations will then change,” she said.
Class 2 Real Estate Licence
All Class 2 Real Estate Licence holders must complete six hours of CPD each year.
“This is a significant change from the previous obligation to complete 12 CPD points annually,” Nerida said. “Importantly, these six hours are split into three hours of compulsory topics and three hours of elective topics.
“The compulsory topics will be determined by NSW Fair Trading and these courses can only be delivered by approved training providers, such as REINSW. Agents then have the opportunity to choose three hours of elective topics that align with their area of specialisation or interest.”
Class 1 Real Estate Licence
All Licensees-in-Charge must now hold a Class 1 Real Estate Licence, which requires the completion of additional annual CPD obligations.
“Like Class 2 Licence holders, Licensees-in-Charge must complete three hours of compulsory CPD topics and three hours of elective topics,” Nerida explained.
“In addition, they must also undertake a further three hours of elective topics focused on business management. The purpose of these additional hours is to ensure that agents charged with running the agency have specific business-related knowledge and skills.”
This requirement doesn’t start until 23 March 2021.
A new “CPD year”
Previously, agents were required to fulfil their CPD obligations within a 12-month period aligned with the renewal date for their Certificate of Registration or Licence. For example, if an agent renewed their Licence on 15 June 2017, they were required to complete their CPD by 14 June 2018.
Nerida explained that this is no longer the case.
“There’s now a standard CPD year,” she said. “All agents, whether they are Assistant Agents or Licence holders, must complete their annual CPD obligations between 23 March of the current year and 22 March of the following year.
“This is a significant change and one that all agents need to be mindful of.”
New courses and delivery options
Nerida pointed out that REINSW has launched a new calendar of CPD courses, which includes classroom and online training.
“We know that agents are looking for courses tailored to their chosen field of specialisation,” she said. “So, in addition to providing CPD training for the compulsory topics, we’re also rolling out a series of new courses for auctioneers, buyers’ agents, commercial sales and leasing agents, commercial property managers, residential sales agents, residential property managers, strata managers and more.
“And, if you can’t attend a face-to-face classroom session, there’s the option to attend ‘virtually’ via Zoom,” she said. “Regional agents, in particular, will benefit. Sending trainers to regional areas has always been a challenge for us in terms of resourcing. But, with virtual classes now an established part of our training mix, agents across New South Wales, no matter where they are located, can join our courses.”
Nerida emphasised the strength of REINSW’s CPD offering.
“Our focus is, and always has been, on quality,” she said. “We pride ourselves on the quality of our course material and the quality of our trainers. Together, these ensure agents have a superior training experience.”
To view the training calendar, go to reinsw.com.au/training