Time’s short for agents to qual­ify for recog­ni­tion of prior learn­ing

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

SANDY WALSH, head of the Western Cape In­sti­tute of Es­tate Agents train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion di­vi­sion, has warned mem­bers of the in­sti­tute who have so far ig­nored their train­ing obli­ga­tions to get started on qual­i­fy­ing for their NQF level 4 for agents and NQF level 5 for prin­ci­pals.

The re­quire­ment to com­plete these cour­ses will not go away and there is no point in de­lay­ing get­ting started on them. Fail­ure to qual­ify, she says, will re­sult in agents be­ing un­able to work.

“It is now ab­so­lutely oblig­a­tory to achieve these qualifications. This mes­sage came through loud and clear at the re­cent South African Prop­erty Trans­fer Guide (SAPTG) road shows and at the the As­so­ci­a­tion of Real Es­tate Li­cense Law Of­fi­cials (Arello) con­fer­ence or­gan­ised by the Es­tate Agency Af­fairs Board in Jo­han­nes­burg,” says Walsh.

She says there are two ways of be­com­ing qual­i­fied. The first is to ful­fil the Recog­ni­tion of Prior Lear ning (RPL) re­quire­ments and the sec­ond is to com­plete the full train­ing course.

“The RPL win­dow of op­por­tu­nity for agents and prin­ci­pals will close at the end of 2011. This means ev­ery­one who wants to com­plete the RPL process must reg­is­ter and be in the process of build­ing their port­fo­lio of ev­i­dence by mid2011.”

The ma­te­rial for NQF level 4 qual­i­fi­ca­tion for es­tate agents is di­vided into four cat­e­gories: law, fi­nance, mar­ket­ing and self man­age­ment. The NQF level 5 deals with open­ing and man­ag­ing a busi­ness, hu­man re­sources, fi­nan­cial man­age­ment, as well as mar­ket­ing, sell­ing and leas­ing in dif­fer­ent prop­erty sec­tors.

Any SA Qual­i­fi­ca­tion Author­ity (SAQA) recog­nised qualifications such as ma­tric or ter­tiary cer­tifi­cates rel­e­vant to prop­erty or which cover any of the above topics may en­ti­tle RPL ap­pli­cants to cred­its that will count to­wards their qualifications.

For mer fi­nan­cial ser­vice providers, for ex­am­ple, may be cred­ited for sim­i­lar NQF level 4 achieve­ments, and for­mer pub­lic re­la­tions prac­ti­tion­ers might qual­ify for cred­its achieved for mar­ket­ing diplo­mas.

“Agents who at­tended school or uni­ver­sity out­side South Africa may find their qualifications, al­though valid, are not recog­nised by SAQA or may re­quire spe­cial ex­emp­tion. How­ever, agents with three or more years of ex­pe­ri­ence should, on the whole, not find the RPL process dif­fi­cult,” says Walsh.

“RPL is a great deal eas­ier than the al­ter­na­tive, the full train­ing route , which will be­come nec­es­sary if peo­ple fail to reg­is­ter and qual­ify in time. The ma­jor con­cern for agents is to make time avail­able. The train­ing can af­fect in­come, but this qual­i­fi­ca­tion needs to be tack­led as soon as pos­si­ble.”

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