Licensing - settlement agents

Settlement agents licensing, registration and code of conduct

In Western Australia, there are two ways a person may arrange settlements or carry on business as a real estate settlement agent (individual, company, or partnership), or a business settlement agent.

  • The first, is to be licensed and hold a current triennial certificate granted by Consumer Protection.
  • The second, is to be a certified legal practitioner under the Legal Practice Act 2003.

The licensing system administered by Consumer Protection ensures only suitably qualified people are allowed to operate in the settlement industry.

As part of the licensing system, people are required to have certain qualifications, experience, sufficient material and financial resources, and be a person of good character and repute.

Education qualifications

Applicants for a real estate or business settlement agent's licence must have passed the examinations which are required by a public training provider or registered training provider in order to complete a Diploma of Conveyancing. 

A person wishing to obtain a business settlement licence must have passed the examinations which are required to complete a unit covering the settlement of business transactions.

To locate a registered training organisation that is approved to deliver the Diploma you can search the National Vocational Education and Training Register at www.training.gov.au/search.

Statement of academic record

Real estate settlement agent's licence applicants are required to provide to Consumer Protection a statement of academic record issued by the public training provider or registered training provider verifying that they have completed the education qualifications prescribed in regulation 6(1) of the Settlement Agents Regulations 1982.

Where an application relates to a business settlement agent's licence, the completion of the additional business settlements module must be shown on the statement of academic record.

Licensing information kit

Each licensed settlement agent is issued with a licensing kit.

Firms and companies

The Settlement Agents Act 1981 also requires separate licences be obtained by firms (partnership licence) and companies (body corporate licence) which are set up as settlement agencies. For firms and companies to be licensed, and to continue to be licensed, they must meet and maintain certain standards, including a minimum number of licence holders, staff supervision and sound financial practices.

Settlement agents licensing forms

Settlement agents forms:

The Settlement Agents Act 1981 has been amended to allow the Commissioner to consider the continued fitness  and propriety of all of the natural persons involved in the management and or/control of the agency, as well as the licensee’s ongoing financial viability at the time they seek to renew their triennial certificate.

As such, the Commissioner requires settlement agents to provide upon renewal:

  • An Australian Police check not more than three months old for the licensee, or for each partner, director and person in bona fide control of the licensee;
  • A statement of assets and liabilities as part of the renewal application form; and
  • Authorisation for the Commissioner to obtain a credit history report on the applicant’s behalf (also listed in the renewal application form).

More information about the legislative changes to renewal application requirements, is available from the 23 October 2014 bulletin (issue 46) circulated to all licensees.

Applicants who lodge an incomplete application will be sent a request for the missing information and/or documents. Failure to complete the application within the timeframe specified (usually 21 days) will result in the lapsing of the application. 

Remember: settlement agent renewals must be approved by Commissioner before expiry so get your application in early!

Further information

You can obtain additional information on the CPD program from:

  • licence fees and forms
  • A guide to the compulsory professional development program for settlement agents operating in Western Australia;
  • email enquiries; or
  • phoning the Consumer Protection advice line on 1300 304 054.

If you have any questions about the application process, please phone the licensing advice line:

  • 1300 304 064 (option 4)
  • 8:30am – 5:00pm weekdays.

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