As of this month, all agents will have to have registered for their Continuous Professional Development points with the Estate Agency Affairs Board, where they will have to accumulate 60 points over a three year rolling period.
The yearly allocation is 15 verifiable points and 5 non-verifiable points. Agents will be issued a swipe card by the EAAB, which should be presented at all training and workshops that are attended as this will be their way of recording the sessions attended and the points accumulated.
“Agents must realise that this programme is compulsory and that, as in many other professions, continuous learning has to take place because of changes in legislation, technology, etc., and without knowledge of changes a person cannot expect to be chosen as a preferred service provider over someone who does keep abreast of all that is happening around him,” said Annette Evans, regional general manager of the Institute of Estate Agents SA, Western Cape. “If one looks at professions around the world, if you’re in the medical, architectural, finance, IT, health and safety industries, it is a requirement to be part of a CPD programme to keep your registration to practice.”
At this time, the way the programme works is that agents must register their Professional Development Plan on the EAAB website, selecting their subjects to earn points and the cycle will run for the three years, and then begin again. The CPD programme applies to agents who are already qualified and interns will begin accumulating CPD points in the following their qualification as an agent.
The verifiable points are only gained through doing the training set by the EAAB and the non-verifiable points are broken down into sections such as professional development, personal development, reading and publishing, corporate social investment, and mentoring and coaching, which are earned through attending certain workshops and courses run by various organisations, said Evans.
“Another thing agents must do,” she said, “is keep a Portfolio of Evidence, which is to be presented to the EAAB on request as proof of training done, as this will be assessed by inspectors from the board on a regular basis in order to maintain a current Fidelity Fund Certificate.”
Agents pay annual licencing fees into a Fidelity Fund which in turn protects the public from any losses which they may incur due to the actions of a property practitioner. Full details regarding claiming from this fund is available on the EAAB’s website, www.eaab.org.za.