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