Bodies’ resolution puts the real estate profession in a position to achieve its goals
THE RESOLUTION of the disagreements between the Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SSETA) and the Estate Agency Affairs Board puts the real estate profession back on track towards achieving the advanced educational standards that will be its defining characteristic after 2011, says Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties.
As long ago as the early 1990s, Clarke was calling for professional qualifications to become mandatory for all agents and franchise principals and was heavily involved in the setting up of the requirements for the now accredited qualifications.
“It became clear a long way back,” says Clarke, “that the industry had to be able to assure its clients that the agents they were dealing with had to have the same level of educational and competency qualifications as were introduced in the banking and insurance industries. Now that the SSETA and the EAAB have reached ag reement, this goal once again becomes achievable.
“The new NQF4 qualifications make it essential for agents to be found competent on 20 unit standards and to acquire 150 credits, each of which involves 10 notional hours, divided 30/70 between classroom study and practical work.
“After the 1 500 hours put in here, the a g e n t s w i l l b e ve r y m u ch b e t t e r equipped than agents of former years, who were often thrown in at the deep end immediately after being accepted for the job and getting their fidelity fund certificates. At the end of their first year, such agents were fully accredited – without proof of competency being called for.”
Clarke says agents who struggle will inevitably take longer to qualify, but will be assisted with ongoing training.
Under the new SSETA/EAAB agreemen t , S S E TA i s r e c o g n i s e d a s t h e quality assurance body for the accreditation of estate agents’ study material and the EAAB undertakes to provide sufficient assessors and moderators from its ranks to serve SSETA in its quality assurance assessments.
The EAAB textbook for the NQF4 qualification remains the standard work, but will be reviewed and amended regularly by SSETA.
“The decks are now cleared for us to move forward and make SA estate agents among the best qualified in the world,” says Clarke.