Elite AgentINDUSTRY NEWSNEWS

One National Licensing System to Be or Not to Be?

The debate continues – NSW vs QLD, SA vs VIC – this might form great entertainment for football, however, do we need the same rivalry and state divide in agency practice? Change is imminent and now is the time for your voice to be heard. Paula Irvine gives her opinion.

The real estate industry will be one of the first licensed occupations to be given a national license, which is planned for 1 July 2012.

I have been involved in the development and delivery of real estate education and training to the real estate industry since 1988. Conversations around the then introduction of the new Australian training system focused on the achievement of competency so there would be national consistency in all licensed occupations, including real estate. After all, the way you list, market, sell and manage property is the same across the country. Did we achieve this for real estate? In short, NO – we ended up with eight different educational requirements for each state and territory and a perception that we all conducted real estate differently.

Move forward to the new millennium and the conversations are still the same. Why can’t we have national consistency? Why can’t we have a national real estate license?

Why, for some obscure and, for me, unfathomable reason, do the industry and regulators believe every state and territory operate very differently?

As the General Manager of Kaplan Professional, the only current national provider of real estate training (ie courses delivered in each state and territory), I can assure you, the commonality of agency practice is huge and far greater than the tiny differences.

Now it’s 2010 and finally it seems we’re heading in the right direction. As an industry we need to grab this opportunity and ensure that at last we have national educational requirements for licensing and a national license.

There are now vital changes underway that will allow this to happen. These include the introduction of a national award for real estate which commenced on 1 January 2010 after significant work and negotiation by the Real Estate Employer Federation (REEF); the establishment through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) of a National Licensing Board that will issue national licenses; the support of the Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council (CPSIC) and all those who represent the real estate industry plus agencies who operate across borders.

The real estate industry will be one of the first licensed occupations to be given a national license, which is planned for 1 July 2012. An interim industry advisory committee has been established to provide advice to government and The Exposure Draft for the National Law for the National Licensing System is now out for public comment.This Draft can be accessed at https://www.govdex.gov.au/confluence/display/COAGNL/Home or alternatively subscribe to the CPSIC Industry Newsletter, which provides regular up-dates and industry news. www.cpsisc.com.au

CPSIC has already established a national working party of Registered Training Organisations (RTO), with the aim to work together to ensure national consistency in training delivery and outcomes (based on the nationally endorsed CPP07 Property Services Training Package).

For the very first time RTOs large and small, public and private, have come together and have agreed to share ideas, resources, case studies and assessment strategies in order to support a national system.

This collaborative approach will provide confidence for both the regulators and industry in training delivery and outcomes, which in turn will support a national license regime. As Chair of this committee I invite any person with suggestions or feedback on any training issue effecting licenses and agency training, anywhere in the country to contact me at paula.irvine@kaplan.edu.au. I would be more than happy to provide your ideas to the working party.

If we want this national license and if we want national consistency, then now is the time to do something about it – be heard. Get a copy of the draft, talk to people on the industry advisory committee, provide feedback to government or myself and we can make a difference. Together we can make this long overdue and long awaited change and ensure we have a national real estate license for the benefit of all agents.

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Paula Irvine

Paula is a well respected Real Estate agent with over 25 years of practical experience across the industry and property training. Paula is the RTO Manager at Harcourts Academy.