NSW Fair Trading has urged agents and property managers to only use trusted, quality-focused and registered training organisations for professional development and licensing, or risk having their qualifications challenged.
The plea comes after the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) announced in October that it would monitor the performance and conduct audits of registered training organisations (RTOs) across the country, following reports standards in three real estate qualifications are not being met.
The qualifications include CPP41419: Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice, CPP51122: Diploma of Property (Agency Management) and CPP40521: Certificate IV in Strata Community Management.
NSW Fair Trading Commissioner, Natasha Mann, said the nation-wide investigation would crack down on organisations offering poor enrolment, industry training and assessment to graduates and could lead to providers being de-registered.
It will also investigate if RTOs are misleading graduates into believing the qualifications offered may ‘fast track’ them to obtaining a NSW Fair Trading agent licence.
“Consumers, regulators and industry leaders expect to work with trusted and highly skilled professionals,” Ms Mann said.
“We will be watching the results of the ASQA audit very closely.
“These organisations have an obligation to provide high quality education to students.
“Providers found to have poor professional practice can expect a review of their status in NSW.”
When Elite Agent first announced the audits in October an ASQA spokesperson said the aim of the compliance measures were aimed at maintaining the integrity of the qualifications.
“ASQA is acting on feedback from industry and regulators, which raised concerns that graduates from RTOs across Australia in three real estate qualifications are not being properly enrolled, trained and assessed, or given sufficient information of their legal and licensing requirements prior to applying to the relevant state or territory licensing authority to become a licensed real estate agent,” the ASQA spokesperson said.
“Where vocational education and training standards are not met, qualifications may be issued to students who do not possess the appropriate skills and competencies needed to meet licensing requirements and take up jobs.
“This undermines outcomes for individual students and erodes confidence in the quality of vocational education and training and the industry as a whole.”
NSW Strata and Property Services Commissioner, John Minns, said he and Ms Mann had provided intelligence, alongside other industry leaders and reputable providers, of poor-quality education; leading to the audit.
“If a training provider is promising quick qualifications at a low cost, they are highly unlikely to deliver the skills needed to be a professional agent,” he said.
“Organisations with unacceptable training standards compromise the trust and integrity of the industry.
“We will continue to proactively improve the property and management industry to give consumers confidence they are dealing with experienced professionals.”
ASQA said it was working with the real estate industry and responding with a “range of regulatory activities”, including clear guidance, so RTOs understand what’s needed to comply with the expected standards, as well as targeted auditing and monitoring of RTOs.
“This will hold RTOs accountable for meeting their obligations and ensure students, industry, governments and the community can have confidence in the integrity of the qualifications issued by the training provider,” the spokesperson said.
If ASQA finds an RTO is not meeting legislative requirements or standards, it responds to non compliance in a proportionate way using an escalating range of regulatory tools to enforce compliance or cancel registration.
For more information see the ASQA website here.