Compulsory professional development (CPD) - settlement agents

The continuing professional development (CPD) program is designed to increase the knowledge, skills and professionalism of those working in the settlement industry. The aim of the program is to increase Consumer Protection and promote consumer confidence in the settlement industry.

The CPD program is part of the licensing framework. All settlement agents must comply with the requirements of the CPD program as prescribed by legislation.

Agents are required to:

  • complete six activities per calendar year.
  • keep track of activities attended.

Failure to comply may result in a penalty of up to $5000.

CPD Activites

In each calendar year, licensed settlement agents must accumulate a total of six points of approved activities made up of:

  • at least four points from core activities and
  • two points from either core or elective activities.

Please note: The elective activity “Trust account reconciliation” is required by all new settlement agents to be completed within their first six months of operation. 

Activity log

You should maintain a CPD training log with details of each CPD activity completed and the CPD points accrued.

It is your responsibility to keep track of the CPD activities you have attended. You are encouraged to keep evidence of completed activities for four years.

Activities attracting one CPD point per hour need to be supported with a statement of attainment, record or certificate of completion.

Can I choose my activities?

Participants can choose the elective activities to make up the balance of the six CPD points.  They can choose topics with a specific relevance or interest to them or their business from a list of elective activities approved by Consumer Protection.  Alternatively, a participant may make up the outstanding points by attending another core activity.

How does Consumer Protection check that I have completed my six CPD points for each CPD cycle?

CPD training providers update Consumer Protection on each agent's participation in CPD activities after a course has been completed.

At the end of each calendar year, non-compliance is investigated.

What happens if I don't accrue six CPD points in the calendar year?

If you do not complete six CPD points per calendar year, Consumer Protection will consider this to be non-compliance with the program, which may incur a fine or may affect your licence renewal. Consumer Protection will consider instances of non-compliance on a case-by-case basis.

If I obtain a new license and triennial certificate during the calendar year, do I need to obtain six CPD points for that year?

If you are a new licensee who has had their triennial certificate granted for the first time between 1 January and 30 September of the calendar year, you are required to obtain 6 CPD points for that calendar year.

However, if you are a new licensee who has had their triennial certificate granted for the first time between 1 October and 31 December of the calendar year, and you completed a prescribed examination for the grant of the licence in the 12 months immediately before the day on which the licence was granted, you are not required to participate in the CPD program during the year in which you are first granted a new licence and triennial certificate.  You are required to commence the CPD program from 1 January the following year. 

Can I get an exemption?

You must apply during the calendar year which the exemption applies.

Exemptions may be granted for extenuating circumstances for all or part of your CPD obligations.

If a partial exemption is given, the required CPD points will be reduced. For example, if you apply for an exemption from completing your CPD requirements for six months, you would still need to obtain three CPD points in the relevant calendar year.

Exemptions may be granted if you:

  • are not operating as a settlement agent for all or part of the calendar year due to serious illness, parental or extended leave owing to an exceptional circumstance; 
  • are experiencing particular hardship or difficulty in completing the number of CPD points needed owing to geographical location or physical or mental disability; or
  • do not hold a current triennial certificate for part of the year.

How do I apply for an exemption?

Apply to the Commissioner for Consumer Protection in writing, setting out the reasons why you should be granted an exemption.

Your application must also include evidence to support your claim. Requests for exemption will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

I am a lawyer, do I still need to participate in the CPD program?

Yes, if a settlement agent obtains a licence through their legal practitioner's qualification they must still participate in the CPD program.

I live in a regional area (outside of metropolitan Perth), do I still have to complete the CPD program?

Remote participants can now complete all of their CPD requirements online by contacting a training provider, see CPD activities - settlement agents.

Consumer Protection is able to provide financial assistance to those settlement agents who have to travel at least 100 km (in one direction) to attend a CPD seminar or workshop in either Perth or Busselton, see CPD distance learning – settlement agents.

Need some help?

If you have any queries about the CPD program please contact us by email or phone 1300 30 40 54 (for the cost of a local call state wide) 8.30am – 5.00pm weekdays.

 

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