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Keep Calm and Carry on with Tony Rowe

CEO & Managing Director MRT Training

Agent licence and Certificate of Registration reforms in New South Wales have created a lot of noise and chatter. We went straight to an expert Tony Rowe, to find out what it all means. An experienced educator, trainer and coach with over 15 years experience, Tony is the CEO and managing director of MRT Training and an authority on all things about real estate licensing in New South Wales.

Don’t panic, that’s Tony’s first point. Carry on and do what you do best.

Tony explains, “There's a new National Training package being developed, so licensing is dependent on that package being developed and released. The Training Package developers have been waiting for New South Wales Licensing Regulations to get sorted before they progress too far. It's a little bit of chicken and egg, and the egg is saying to the chicken, ‘No, you go first’, but then the egg is saying to the chicken, ‘No, you have to go first’.”

He adds, “The confusion has been caused by the overlap of the two processes. There's a transition period that will be put in place to allow people who are enrolled in the current system to complete that and still come out with their licence even though the new reforms will be implemented.” He continues, “There's been a lot of talk about the New South Wales Licensing Reforms being introduced on the first of July and then it was to be October, November. Then it is at the moment after the state election, which is the end of March, and then we've also heard that it's likely to be delayed until July of 2019.”

Also, he adds, “CPD reforms are anticipated before the end of this year, but again, I'm a little bit confused about how they're going to do that before the new Licencing Regulations coming into force.” Tony says, “People are concerned about what those regulations will actually be. I know at the moment, Fair Trading are in the process of drafting them, but it's a complicated process. Whilst we'd like some certainty around what they're going to decide, I don't think it's fair to say to them, well, you need to come up with something that meets everybody's expectations at the same time as somebody else is changing the criteria under which they operate."

Sit on your hands – that’s what Tony recommends - and wait till there is certainty. He says, “Let's wait and see what they come up with. Once the regulations and the training package have been settled and released, then we're in a position to be able to advise people more effectively on what the rules are. Until that happens, the rules as they are at the moment are in place. Certificate Four for a Licence. Get your licence, and you can become the Licensee-in-charge. Certificate holders operate as they do at the moment. Until we see the regulations and what they've actually drafted and proposed, there’s been no discussion around those in the industry at this stage. Until that happens, it's sit back and carry on."

What we know so far...

1. Licensing Reforms

Tony says, “What's going to happen with them is that a Certificate Holder is now going to be called an Assistant Agent. Assistant Agents will be required to become licenced within four years. The Certificate of Registration will be issued once and once only after the regulations come into force. Within four years, they will have to have completed the Certificate Program until they have got their licence and become licenced. If they don't, the Certificate of Registration will be withdrawn, and they'll be out of the industry for a year, and then they have to go back and start all over again. The Licencing Courses are based on the National Training package. If the National Training Package is going to be revised, it's a bit silly for Fair Trading to be coming up with a new licencing package that within a couple of months will have to be changed because the new training packages has been released. That's where the confusion has occurred”.

2. Renewal of Certificate of Registration

Tony says, “It's not clear at this stage but the expectation is that at the next opportunity for that person to renew their certificate, it will be issued to them for a four-year period. You've probably got a five-year turnover period. If somebody gets their Certificate issued to them today and then next week, they came to the regulations, that person will have the full 12 months before they have to have that one-year Certificate of Registration issued to them. That's the expectation, but we don't know."

For people who want to get their licence, the reforms suggest that you must gain some industry experience after gaining a Certificate of Registration. Tony says, “It says that you need to have a full year's experience before you’re able to get a licence. You can do the course, but before you would be issued your licence, you need to have 12 months as a certificate holder. That's the program. That's the way things operate in Victoria at the moment. It'll be tougher to get. There'll be seven units instead of the four that currently exist, but you'll also need to have 12 months experience before you can become licenced."

3. Licencing Course

For the Certificate Four in Property Services, 24 units are currently required. Tony says, “The proposal for the new Certificate Four in the New Training Package is that it will be 18 units. There’ll be different units and they'll probably be in a little bit more detail, and the assessment criteria is going to be a little bit more rigorous than it is for some of them now. Again, until we actually see the detail and the content of the new training package, it's impossible, absolutely impossible for anybody to say with any certainty at all what the criteria is, how it will be applied and how long it's going to take."

He adds, “I don't think there's anything in the new training arrangements that are going to allow people to do a 600% increase. For a lot of people, I think the message should be sit back, relax, wait, and don't go rushing out to do anything. Just because you've got a piece of paper, it doesn't mean you're an experienced agent, and that's not going to get you anything more than what you'll be able to get later on. It may as I said turn out to be an easier process under the new training package than it is under the current 18 versus 24. There's not a 600% increase. It's about a 25% decrease. Those figures that have been bandied around by some at the moment are total furphies and a marketing person's dream."

4. How will principals and licensees be affected?

Tony explains, “The proposal is that for a licensee-in-charge, a new licence category has been created under the reforms. Those reforms say that the licensee-incharge position will require the holder to have a diploma level qualification in either business property services. However, anybody who is currently a principal licensee-in-charge, so we’re told, that position will be grandfathered across under the new reforms, and those people will continue in the role that they're in at the moment without needing to undertake a new course. They will be caught up with the new requirements by the more stringent CPD requirements for licenseesin- charge."

He adds, “Anybody who's a certificate holder won’t have specific CPD requirement courses to do because they will be doing their Certificate Four in Property Services. The expectation is their CPD will be completing their Cert Four Course. Licence holders will be required to do three hours of mandatory and three hours of elective study each year. At the moment, most people are doing four hours. That'll go to six; three hours mandatory with the industry associations and Fair Trading we’re told, and the three hours of electives that, we understand, will have to be done through RTOs. That's the understanding."

Finally, Tony says, “The licensee-in-charge, because they're licenced, they’ll have to do those three mandatory, three elective hours, and they'll be required to do an additional three hours of business-related in order to meet the criteria that their training will be putting in with those new regulations. It's a more stringent CPD exercise. The mechanics and the details around that is still to be seen."


More Information

If there is anybody who does require any more clarification and would like more information, call Real Estate Academy on 1300 367 412, and we’ll help the best we can. We’ll also provide MRT Training’s information for anybody who is interested in up skilling for his or her licence.

Remember - keep calm and carry on.


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