Frequently Asked Questions - Property

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How do I start working in the property industry?

 

To gain authority to work in the property industry anywhere in Australia, you are required to undertake some entry-level training. This training is only a small part of a full qualification. Each State and Territory are a little different in their requirements, and it is important that you complete the course that is relevant to the State or Territory where you are wanting to work – this means that you will learn the relevant legislation that is required to do the job.

Each State or Territory in Australia has a government regulatory body that manages and the issue, renewal and monitoring process of authorities to work in the property industry. Once you have completed your required training program, you will need to make application to the relevant government body in your State or Territory to receive approval to work in the property industry.

When you complete your training with ACOP, we will provide you with the details to make application for the government body relevant to the State/Territory where you are wanting to work.

How do I apply for a Certificate of Registration to get started in the property industry?

Once you have completed your training program for your entry level course, you need to make application to the relevant regulatory body in your State/Territory. As part of this application, you will need to upload copies of your Statement of Attainment and Certificate of Completion – so it is a good idea to have these scanned and saved in your computer prior to commencing your application process.

Most States and Territories have an online application process. Go to the website for the relevant regulatory body and search for the property application forms.

The regulatory bodies for each State/Territory are:

New South Wales NSW Fair Trading
Victoria Consumer Affairs Victoria
Australian Capital Territory ACT Office of Fair Trading
Queensland Office of Fair Trading Queensland
South Australia Government of South Australia – Fair Trading
Tasmania Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading
Northern Territory Northern Territory Consumer Affairs
Western Australia Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

Do I need to get a full licence?

Unless you are planning to operate your own property office, or work as an independent contractor, there is mostly no requirement for you to hold a full licence. This means that you can hold a Certificate of Registration/Agents Authority and work under the supervision of a fully licensed agent.

Naturally, from a knowledge and skill perspective, there is most definitely a benefit to completing the additional training and making application for a full licence in your respective State or Territory.

In NSW, there are Property Services Reforms scheduled to be introduced in early 2020, that will mean that all persons who hold a Certificate of Registration will be required to undertake additional education and gain a full property licence within four years of commencing work in the industry. This is significant and proactive action being taken by NSW Fair Trading to improve the professionalism and knowledge-base of the industry.

What type of licence do I need to work in the property industry?

To work in the property industry, you require either a Certificate or Registration (entry level requirement) or a full licence. If you hold a Certificate of Registration, you are required to work under the supervision of a fully licensed agent. If you hold a full licence, you can choose to work independently, operate your own business or work for another licensed agent.

There are various ways of being employed in the property industry. You should refer to the Commonwealth Real Estate Industry Award 2015, which took effect within the industry throughout Australia on 2nd April 2018.

For information about being employed under the Award, refer to the Real Estate Employers Federation on www.reef.org.au

Are there different categories of licence in the property industry?

Different States and Territories have different categories of licence.

New South Wales Real Estate Agent

Strata Managing Agent

Stock and Station Agent

Business Agent

On-Site Residential Property Manager

Buyers Agent

Victoria Estate Agent
Australian Capital Territory Real Estate Agent

Stock and Station Agent

Business Agent

Conditional Agent (Auctioneer)

Queensland Real Estate Agent

Auctioneer (Real Property)

Resident Letting Agent

Limited Real Estate Agent (Business letting)

Limited Real Estate Agent (Affordable Housing)

South Australia Land Agent
Tasmania Real Estate Agents

Property Managers

General Auctioneers

Western Australia Real Estate and Business Agent
Northern Territory Real Estate Agent

Business Agent

Can I transfer my licence or certificate from one State / Territory to another?

This process of transferring your Licence or Certificate from one State/Territory to another, or gaining an additional Licence/Certificate in another State/Territory, is referred to as “mutual recognition”. Under the Commonwealth Trans-tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997, most States and Territories will mutually recognise a regulatory licence/certificate from one State/Territory to another. Each State/Territory has its own requirements and criteria for this process. For example, if you currently work in NSW and wish to move to Victoria, then in order to be approved for a full Victorian Estate Agents Licence under the mutual recognition process, you will need to hold a current NSW real estate licence, a NSW business agents licence, and a NSW auctioneer accreditation.

The regulatory body in each State / Territory (listed above) has specific details about their mutual recognition requirements.

Do I need to do Professional Development training every year?

In NSW and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), it is a mandatory requirement that all agents (holding either a Certificate of Registration or a licence) complete 12 points of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) every year. An agent cannot renew their licence without completing the mandatory CPD.

In other States and Territories, the CPD requirement is not mandatory, but there are discussions in most States for this to change in the next few years.

New South Wales

Under the guidelines issued in October 2013 by the Commissioner of Fair Trading, there are two (2) categories of CPD training and agents are required to gain their 12 points from these categories. An agent must complete their CPD training prior to their renewal of their Licence/Certificate each year.

The categories are:

Category 1:

An activity with an identifiable learning outcome. The training must be delivered interactively such as by CD-Rom, workshops, web-based tools, forums or conference presentation. A maximum of 4 points can be achieved this learning category. Points: One point per hour

Category 3:

Structured learning with an assessed learning outcome linked to either a relevant Australian University qualification or a relevant National Training Package outcome delivered by a Registered Training Organisation.

OR

An activity with an identifiable learning outcome delivered by an industry association, or a government agency such as the NSW Department of Industry and Investment or NSW Fair Trading. Courses must be approved by the Director General, NSW Fair Trading, except for courses delivered by Real Estate Institute of NSW, the Estate Agents Co-operative Ltd, the Australian Livestock and Property Association (ALPA), Institute of Strata Title Management, Australian Institute of Business Brokers, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the Australian Property Institute and the Property Council of Australia. Points: Three points per hour

Australian Capital Territory

Under the Agents (Continuing Professional Development) Guideline 2008 (No 1), agents are required to complete 12 points of continuing professional development in the 12 month period prior to the renewal for the licence for each year. Training may be based on, but is not limited to, national Units of Competency from the CPP07 Property Services Training Package.

Licence holders are required to obtain their CPD points between 1 July and 30 June each year, and submit a record of their completion to ACT Office of Fair Trading by 30 June each calendar year.

Certificate of Registration holders are required to obtain their CPD points between 1 November and 31 October each year, and submit a record of their completion to ACT Office of Fair Trading by 31 October each calendar year.

There are three categories of learning in relation to which points may be obtained for continuing professional development. A person must obtain learning in any combination of at least two of the categories set out below, of which one must be category 3.

Category 1

This involves undertaking self-paced activity with a stated learning outcome. In relation to category 1:

(a) points for continuing professional development shall be calculated at the rate of half a point per hour of activity;

(b) a maximum of two points can be obtained from category 1 each 12 month period; and

(c) only the hours of the actual presentations may be counted for seminars or conferences.

Category 2

This involves undertaking an activity with a stated learning outcome without assessment. In relation to category 2:

(a) points for continuing professional development shall be calculated at the rate of one point per hour of the activity;
(b) the continuing professional development may only be considered category 2 where the person delivering the training is competent to deliver the training.

Category 3

This involves undertaking an activity with a stated learning outcome with assessment. This should be one or more units of competency which contribute to a recognised qualification or learning pathway relevant to the property industry. In relation to category 3:

(a) points for continuing professional development shall be calculated at the rate of eight points per unit of competency;

(b) the continuing professional development may only be considered category 3 where the person delivering the training is competent to deliver the training.

How do I renew my Licence / Certificate of Registration?

In most States and Territories throughout Australia, you will be advised by the regulator approximately 4 to 5 weeks prior to your renewal date, that you are due for renewal. You will need to go to the online portal provided and renew your licence – this usually involves answering some questions, making a declaration that you have answered the questions truthfully, and pay your renewal fee.

If you do not receive a notification from your regulatory body, it is YOUR responsibility to contact them and organise for the renewal process to be undertaken.

You should use a calendar reminder to ensure that you do not forget to renew your licence or certificate, as without a current authority, you are acting in breach of the legislation in your specific State or Territory.

What are the new Property Services Reforms that everyone is talking about in New South Wales?

To support the professionalism of the sector into the future, the Reform Paper sets out a path to:

  •  improve entry standards and training requirements for the real estate and property industry
    • the new qualifications for entry level training will contain additional Units of Competency and be practically oriented to the industry
  • ensure proper career pathways and professional development through enhanced continuing professional development (CPD)
  • increase consumer protection measures through changes to trust accounting and higher standards of accountability
  • strengthen NSW Fair Trading’s powers to take action on rogue agents

The main proposed changes are as follows:

  • Creation of the category, ‘licensee in charge’, requiring additional skills and experience and to provide stronger supervision obligations
    • This new category will require a person to hold the Diploma of Property (Agency Management) qualification, and have held a full licence for a period of two years. This will mean that only experienced agents will be able to open an agency and act without supervision within the industry
  • Improved entry level education for certificate holders and the creation of a career pathway
  • Reduction in the number of other licence categories
    • Business agents, buyers agents and on-site residential property management agents – will be incorporated into the Real Estate Licence category
    • There will be separate licences for Stock and Station Agents and Strata Managing Agents
  • New CPD requirements for all licensees
  • Greater conduct and accountability requirements
  • Enhanced audit requirements for trust accounts
  • Enhanced disciplinary provisions to suspend a licence where there is serious consumer risk
  • Clear definition of ‘material fact’ disclosure obligations.

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