A guide to the Compulsory Professional Development program for the real estate and business broking industries in Western Australia

Information status

All documents issued prior to 1 July 2017 were issued by the former Department of Commerce. Documents listed here are the latest versions available, but may be subject to review. For more information on this document, please contact online@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

This publication is for: 
Licence holdersProperty industry

This publication is intended as a guide to the prescribed Compulsory Professional Development (CPD) program for all individuals licensed to carry on business in Western Australia as real estate or business agents with current triennial certificates and all sales representatives with current registrations. The CPD Program commenced from early January 2007 for real estate and business agents and was extended from 1 January 2009 to all sales representatives including those with registrations which restrict them to performing property management transactions.

This booklet should be read in conjunction with Regulations 4AA, 4AB and 4AC and Schedule 1A of the Real Estate and Business Agents (General) Regulations 1979 (the REBA Regulations) and the Code of Conduct for Agents and Sales Representatives (the Code of Conduct). 

More information about the CPD program can be obtained by visiting the Commerce website, by sending an email or by contacting the CPD Section of the Consumer Protection Division (Consumer Protection) of the Department of Commerce on (08) 6552 9582.

1. INTRODUCTION

The CPD program forms part of the licensing regime for the real estate and business broking industries (the industries). As such, licensees and registrants are accountable for completing their CPD requirements to the Commissioner for Consumer Protection (the Commissioner) as the licensing authority. 

The broad aims of the CPD program are to increase levels of consumer protection and public confidence as well as promote professionalism across the industries. The purpose of the CPD program is to assist licensees and registrants to update their knowledge and skills in the area of industry developments, legislative changes and work practices related to these broad aims.

2. CPD PROGRAM OUTLINE

The CPD program operates on an annual cycle based on the calendar year. The CPD program includes activities such as seminars, lectures, workshops and distance educational activities. To be valid, the CPD activity must be approved by the Commissioner as having educational outcomes relevant to the aims of the program and be specific to the industries. CPD activities are categorised as either mandatory or elective.

Compliance with CPD requirements is checked when licensees or registrants apply to renew their triennial certificates or certificates of registration. At renewal, each licensee or registrant will be required to complete a statutory declaration detailing the times, dates, places and approval numbers of all CPD activities they have undertaken. If a licensee or registrant has not complied with their CPD requirements, the Commissioner may refuse to renew, or place a condition on, a triennial certificate or certificate of registration.

NEW LICENCEES/SALES REPRESENTATIVES 

Any person seeking to renew a triennial certificate or certificate of registration will be required to have accrued CPD points for each full calendar year immediately succeeding the year in which the licence renewal is due. This arrangement means that licensees or registrants who obtain a new triennial certificate or certificate of registration part way through the year (e.g. on 1 August 2014) are required to commence the CPD program from 1 January the following year (e.g. from 1 January 2015). After the first triennial certificate or certificate of registration renewal date, all subsequent renewals will require accrual of CPD points for each year preceding the year in which the renewal falls due.

The above requirements also apply to any sales representative or property manager granted a certificate of registration.

3. STRUCTURE OF THE CPD PROGRAM

The CPD Program for real estate agents, sales representatives and property managers comprises activities which accrue a total of 10 points each year. The mandatory activities are prescribed by the Commissioner. Elective activities are approved by or on behalf of the Commissioner continuously throughout the year. The REBA Regulations provide for the Commissioner to specify the point value for an approved CPD activity.

Schedule 1A of the Regulations provides a list of the subject areas for CPD activities. Each CPD activity must address at least one of those subject areas to be considered suitable. In addition, each activity must be approved by the Commissioner before attendance can accrue CPD points. 

MANDATORY CPD ACTIVITIES

Mandatory activities are determined by the Commissioner prior to commencement of a calendar year and are published on the Commerce website. All licensees and registrants must accumulate mandatory CPD points each year by completing the mandatory CPD activities.

It is important to note that funding is provided for attendance at mandatory activities that are relevant to the individual's licence/registration. For example: 

  • a licensed agent with a current triennial certificate will be funded to attend the mandatory CPD activities for licensed real estate and business agents once each year;
  • a sales representative with a full registration will be funded to attend either the sales representatives mandatory activities or the property managers mandatory activities once each year; and 
  • a sales representative whose registration is restricted to property management transactions will be funded to attend the property manager’s mandatory activities once each calendar year. 

The cost of attendance at any additional mandatory activities must be borne by the licensee or registrant. 

Distance learning packages are provided for mandatory CPD activities for licensees or registrants who are in remote locations or are otherwise unable to attend face-to-face mandatory activities. Further information is available on the Commerce website or by email.

ELECTIVE CPD ACTIVITIES

Elective activities are educational activities the licensee or registrant chooses to complete to accumulate the remaining CPD points. Electives are chosen from a list of activities also approved by or on behalf of the Commissioner. The cost of completing elective activities must be borne by the licensee or registrant. 

An up-to-date list of the approved elective CPD activities is published on the Commerce website. This information includes the title of the elective activity, training provider, activity approval number, professional development subject to which the activity relates and the number of CPD points it accrues. 

Licensees and registrants should confirm that any course they are planning to attend for CPD purposes is listed on the website prior to attending. If licensees or registrants would like to attend particular courses that they think would be relevant but are not approved, they should contact the training providers to encourage them to apply to Consumer Protection for approval.

4. CPD POINT ENTITLEMENT

Elective CPD activities are categorised into one of four learning categories. The table below sets out how points are allocated to the various categories of CPD activities.  Further details on the number of points a licensee or registrant can claim after completing an approved CPD activity is available on the Commerce website.

CPD point entitlement
Learning Category Comments Comments Required
Evidence
Mandatory CPD Activities All participants must undertake mandatory CPD activities as prescribed by Consumer Protection One CPD point per hour spent on the activity Certificate of Attendance issued by the approved training provider.
Elective CPD
Activities
These activities must relate to industry subjects listed in Schedule 1A of the Real Estate and Business Agents (General) Regulations 1979; activities must be approved by Consumer Protection in advance and be listed on its website. Participants may choose CPD activities from any of the four categories.
Elective Learning Category One: A training activity aligned with a National Training Package. Activities must be provided by an RTO or recognised industry association approved by the Commissioner and must have an assessable component.  One CPD point per hour spent on the activity (maximum of seven per activity). Statement of Attainment issued by the RTO.
Elective Learning Category Two: A training activity tailored to the real estate and/or business broking industry. Activities must be provided by:
an RTO;
a professional (i.e. lawyer, accountant) engaged by an RTO to conduct the training;
a recognised industry association approved by the Commissioner;
a Government or Regulatory Body; or
a firm of legal practitioners. 
One CPD point per hour spent on the activity (maximum of seven per activity). Certificate of Attendance, or a Record of Completion if an assessable component is included.
Elective Learning Category Three:  Commerce delivered training. This category encompasses seminars run by Commerce officers, other than mandatory CPD activities.
 
One CPD point per hour spent on the activity (maximum of seven per activity).  Certificate of Attendance issued by Consumer Protection 
Elective Learning Category Four: Formal industry related training or other approved activity by non-RTOs. CPD points may be claimed for taking part in an agency’s (Consumer-Protection approved) in-house training activities, and through participation in Consumer Protection-approved seminars and distance learning. This category may also include viewing Consumer Protection- approved videos, DVDs, multi-media training, online learning, or taking part in  correspondence courses.

CPD points may be claimed for taking part in an agency’s (Consumer-Protection approved) in-house training activities, and through participation in Consumer Protection-approved seminars and distance learning. This category may also include viewing Consumer Protection- approved videos, DVDs, multi-media training, online learning, or taking part in correspondence courses.

One half of one CPD point per hour spent on the activity (maximum of three per activity). Metropolitan and regional participants can claim up to a maximum of three CPD points per year from this category.

Remote participants can claim up to a maximum of six CPD points per year from this category.

Records or receipts of activities undertaken. Notes on approved videos, DVDs or multimedia
programs. 

 

Key points to note:

  • CPD points cannot be claimed retrospectively – a course must be approved by or on behalf of the Commissioner and published on the Commerce website before attendance can accrue CPD points. 
  • When a CPD activity includes an assessment, the licensee or registrant must pass the assessment to be able to claim the CPD points related to the activity. 
  • Only the hours spent on the actual activity may count towards accruing CPD points (as opposed to time spent on travel, preparation or fellowship). 
  • If you participate in more CPD activities than required, excess points are not carried over to the next calendar year without the express approval of the Commissioner or delegate.
  • CPD points may be claimed in full or half points only. For example, if participants spend one hour and forty-five minutes on a CPD activity, they can claim 1.5 CPD points, (or 0.5 points if it is a Learning Category Four activity).
  • If a CPD activity is completed more than once in the same CPD year, licensees or registrants can claim CPD points only once for the activity. 
  • CPD activities conducted by interstate Registered Training Organisations may accrue CPD points. Before commencing any such activity, participants are advised to check that the activity has been approved and is published on the Commerce website.
  • Sales representatives and property managers may claim CPD points for study undertaken towards obtaining a real estate agent’s licence and triennial certificate for the CPD year during which the study was undertaken.

REMOTE LICENSEES

Licensees operating outside of the State of Western Australia, or in its remote areas, are given special consideration and are permitted to claim up to a maximum of six CPD elective points per CPD year for activities falling under Elective Learning Category Four. A participant is considered to be in a remote location if their principal place of business lies outside a 100km radius of Perth, Kalgoorlie, Geraldton, Albany, Broome, Bunbury, Port Hedland, Karratha, Northam, Margaret River or Busselton.  

5. EXEMPTIONS AND EXTENSIONS

In exceptional circumstances, the Commissioner may exempt an agent, sales representative or property manager from completing part or all of their CPD requirements.

To apply for exemption, a statutory declaration should be completed and sent to: Consumer Protection, Locked Bag 14, Cloisters Square WA 6850. 

The declaration must explain the reasons for seeking an exemption. Such applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Partial exemption from the requirement to complete CPD requirements may be considered in the following circumstances: 

  1. when a licensee or registrant has been absent from the industry for all or part of the year due to serious illness, parenting leave, extended leave or another reason; or
  2. when an agent, sales representative or property manager did not hold a current triennial certificate or certificate of registration for part or all of the year.

A licensee or registrant’s CPD points requirement will be proportionally reduced when a partial exemption is granted. For each month not worked during a calendar year, the ten CPD points required will be reduced by 0.83. Such exemptions generally will only apply to elective CPD points. 

From time to time a licensee or registrant may need to seek an extension of time to complete the CPD requirements of a particular year. Such applications should be made in writing setting out the reasons for needing an extension. Such applications also will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Individuals who do not hold a current triennial certificate (i.e. the licence has been placed “on hold”) are not required to complete CPD activities during that period. Those with licences “on hold” that return to the industry, will be expected to ensure that their knowledge and skills are up to date, and are encouraged to participate in the mandatory CPD program while their licence is “on hold”. When a triennial certificate or registration is renewed, the licensee or registrant may be required to “catch up” those mandatory CPD activities they have not completed to ensure that they are well informed about current issues and changes that will affect their work in the real estate industry.

Upon renewing a triennial certificate, a pro-rata reduction in elective CPD points may be given for time out of the industry in a particular year, however the licensee or registrant will be required to recommence the CPD program in the year that the licence is renewed. 

6. MONITORING COMPLIANCE

Consumer Protection requires evidence from participants at renewal of their triennial certificates or certificates of registration that they have complied with the CPD requirements for the three years prior to renewal. It is the responsibility of each licensee or registrant to maintain personal CPD records for each CPD year. An example of a Training Log Sheet is provided in section nine of this guide. Whatever form the log sheet takes, it must include all of the following details: 

  • CPD activities undertaken;
  • CPD activity approval numbers;
  • date each CPD activity was undertaken;
  • details of the training provider conducting the CPD activities; and
  • number of CPD points accrued.

Certain activities may require that licensees and registrants successfully complete an assessment. Assessments may be requested when a licensee or registrant is seeking to claim CPD points for an educational activity attended by means of audio link or video link, viewing a recording of an educational activity or participation in a course of study or a specified component of a course of study. 

Licensees and registrants should retain evidence supporting the completion of each activity (e.g. certificate of attendance, statement of attainment or record of completion) for four years. It is recommended that full details of the training be retained and listed on the Training Log Sheet. Any documents or certificates presented should also be retained with the log sheet. 

All licensees and registrants are required to certify that they have obtained the required ten CPD points for each of the relevant previous years at the time of applying to renew their triennial certificates or certificates of registration. This is done by completing and signing the appropriate section on the renewal application form. Failure to supply records or submitting incorrect or incomplete records could result in a licensee or registrant being unable to demonstrate compliance with the CPD program and may put the licence or registration at risk. The Commissioner may refuse to renew a triennial certificate or certificate of registration if not satisfied that the licensee or registrant has complied with the annual CPD requirements. 

7. TRAINING PROVIDERS

CPD ACTIVITY APPROVAL

Training providers seeking approval for elective activities must submit details of each activity for assessment to Consumer Protection. Activities submitted for approval as electives are assessed to determine whether the activity is relevant to the industry and the aims of the CPD program. While elective CPD activities may cover a wide range of material, it is expected that each activity will include some core concepts contributing to increasing consumer protection, enhancing public confidence in the industry and increasing professionalism. Activities that do not meet these criteria will not be approved and cannot be claimed as CPD activities. An Application for Approval of CPD Elective Activity is available on the Commerce website.

ACTIVITY DURATION 

Elective activities must run for the length of time stipulated on the application form when the activity was originally approved. If the length of time for an activity changes, the training provider must notify Consumer Protection as the number of CPD points may need to be amended.

LATE ARRIVAL

Any licensee or registrant who arrives late to a CPD session by 30 minutes or more will not be eligible to claim CPD points for that session. If a licensee or registrant arrives more than 30 minutes late and stays for the remainder of the activity, they will only be eligible for the CPD points when they reschedule the same activity with the same provider to complete the period of the session they initially did not attend. Licensees and registrants are responsible for withdrawing or re-scheduling the activity prior to the arranged attendance if they cannot make it on time. 

CPD ONLINE

Consumer Protection maintains data about CPD attendance. Training providers must notify Consumer Protection about CPD activity participation by logging attendance on the CPD online system within 14 days after each activity has taken place. In the event that login and/or password details become misplaced or compromised, training providers should contact the CPD team directly on (08) 6552 9582 (option 8) or email

MAINTAINING AND STORING RECORDS

Training providers are required to issue participants with evidence of attendance after they complete a CPD activity and, when relevant, with proof that any assessment was undertaken and passed. Evidence may take the form of a certificate of attendance, a statement of attainment or a record of completion. 

Training providers are required to maintain and hold for a period of four years, appropriate records of attendance at mandatory and elective CPD activities. Ideally, these records should be in electronic format, so participant attendance can be verified if required by Consumer Protection.

A statement of attainment is granted by a Registered Training Organisation when an assessable component of a unit of competency in a National Training Package is successfully completed. A statement of attainment is required in order to claim CPD points for activities under Elective Learning Category One.

A certificate of attendance is provided by a training provider to participants who attend a CPD activity that may not have an assessable component as verification of attendance. A certificate of attendance can be evidence of completing a mandatory CPD activity, or a CPD activity under Elective Learning Categories Two, Three or Four. 

A record of completion is issued by a training provider to a participant who successfully completes the assessments required for an activity that is not aligned to a National Training Package. A record of completion is suitable proof of completing CPD activities under Elective Learning Categories Two, Three or Four. 

8. GLOSSARY

  • Act means the Real Estate and Business Agents Act 1978.
  • Agent means a natural person who is a real estate agent or a business agent, or both.
  • Approved training provider means a training prodiver by the Commissioner for Consumer Protection to deliver elective CPD activities for the purposes of the CPD program.
  • Business agent means a natural person whose business either alone or as part of or in connection with any other business, is to act as agent for consideration in money or money’s worth, as commission, reward, or remuneration, in respect of a business transaction, but does not include a person whose business is to so act by reason that-
    1. he/she is appointed by a court as a receiver or receiver and manager of the business of another; or
    2. he/she is an official receiver or trustee within the meaning of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cwlth) or any Act in amendment or substitution of that Act.
  • Business sales representative means a person who on behalf of an agent negotiates a business transaction irrespective of whether or not the agent is the owner of the business involved, and includes-
  1. a person who does so as a member of a firm that is a licensee and the holder of a current triennial certificate, unless he is also a licensee and the holder of a current triennial certificate; and 
  2. a person who does so as a director of a body corporate that is a licensee and the holder of a current triennial certificate unless he is also a licensee and the holder of a current triennial certificate. 
  • Certificate of attendance means a document provided by a training provider to participants who attend a CPD activity (that may not have an assessable component) as verification of attendance. 
  • Code of Conduct means the Code of Conduct for Agents and Sales Representatives. 
  • Commissioner for Consumer Protection means the person designated as the Commissioner under section 55 of the Fair Trading Act 2010, or an officer acting with the specific delegated authority of the Commissioner. 
  • Consumer Protection means the Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Commerce.
  • CPD means compulsory professional development for real estate and business agents and sales representatives in Western Australia.
  • CPD points means the point value allocated to a CPD Activity. 
  • Educational outcome means an activity having significant intellectual or practical content.
  • Elective CPD activity means any learning activity that is industry-specific with an educational outcome and is approved by or on behalf of the Commissioner for Consumer Protection.
  • Industry specific means relevant to the carrying out of an occupation in the real estate or business broking industries.
  • Licensee means a person licensed under the Real Estate and Business Agents Act 1978.
  • Mandatory CPD activity means a CPD activity prescribed by the Commissioner for Consumer Protection that all licensees and registrants are required to undertake in a particular CPD year. 
  • Property Manager means a sales representative who holds a current certificate of registration with a condition that restricts them to just perform property management transactions.
  • Real estate agent means a person whose business either alone or as part of or in connection with any other business, is to act as agent for consideration in money or money's worth, as commission, reward or remuneration, in respect of a real estate transaction but does not include a person whose business is to so act by reason that- 
    1. he/she is appointed by a court as a receiver or receiver and manager of the business of another person; or 
    2. he/she is an official receiver or trustee within the meaning of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cwlth) or any Act in amendment or substitution of that Act.
  • Real estate sales representative means a person who on behalf of an agent or developer negotiates a real estate transaction irrespective of whether or not the agent is the owner of the real estate involved, and includes-
    1. a person who does so as a member of a firm that is a licensee and the holder of a current triennial certificate, unless he is also a licensee and the holder of a current triennial certificate; and 
    2. a person who does so as a director of a body corporate that is a licensee and the holder of a current triennial certificate unless he is also a licensee and the holder of a current triennial certificate.
  • Registered Training Organisation (RTO) has the same meanings as in section 5(1) of the Vocational Education and Training Act 1996; ie. an organisation registered by the Training Accreditation Council to deliver nationally accredited training.
  • Registrant means a person who is registered as a sales representative under the Real Estate and Business Agents Act 1978.
  • Regulations mean the Real Estate and Business Agents (General) Regulations 1979.
  • Remote location means any agent or sales representative whose principal place of business lies outside a 100km radius of Perth, Kalgoorlie, Geraldton, Busselton, Bunbury, Port Hedland, Broome, Karratha, Northam, Margaret River or Albany. 
  • Sales representative means a person who is a real estate sales representative or a business sales representative, or both a real estate sales representative and a business sales representative, with a current certificate of registration. 
  • Statement of attainment means the document granted by a Registered Training Organisation when an assessable component of a unit of competency in a National Training Package is successfully completed.
  • Triennial certificate means a certificate granted by the Commissioner for Consumer Protection to a licensee to carry on business as an agent.

9. EXAMPLE CPD TRAINING LOG SHEET

The following is an example of a CPD training log sheet to allow participants to keep track of their CPD points. Please refer to the Commerce website to confirm the activity approval number and number of CPD points applicable to any approved CPD activity.

CPD training log sheet
Date activity was completed Name or description of activity  Training provider Learning category Activity approval number No. of CPD points Yearly subtotal
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
TOTAL CPD POINTS:  

 

Certificates of attendance, statements of attainment, records of completion and other supporting evidence should be retained for a period of four years for verification purposes.

Consumer Protection
Guide / handbook
Last updated 29 Mar 2017

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