Continuing Professional Development review
The 2023 review sought community feedback by:
- completing an online consultation hub survey
- providing a written submission
- responding to questions in the word document above
The survey closed on 15 March 2023.
Purpose of CPD
The Continuing Professional Development (CPD program) seeks to increase the knowledge, skills and professionalism of real estate and settlement agents by delivering ongoing education on relevant and necessary topics. The aim of CPD is to make licensees aware of their licence obligations to protect consumers and promote consumer confidence in the real estate and settlement industries.
Since 2011, Consumer Protection (CP) has funded the mandatory units for real estate agents and the mandatory and prescribed elective units for settlement agents from the industry Education and General Purpose (E&GP) accounts created under the Real Estate and Business Agents Act 1978 (REBA Act) and the Settlement Agents Act 1981 (SA Act).
There has been a significant drop in the amount of interest generated by the industry E&GP accounts since the 2019–2020 financial year, resulting in a subsequent drop in total revenue. This has put significant pressure on the funding of CPD. Consequently, an internal review of the CPD program was undertaken as a priority in 2022.
Purpose of the review
Industry views were sought on alternative options to the current CPD Program which included:
- Option A – Retain the current mandatory CPD program, as approved by Consumer Protection and funded by cost recovery from industry through an increase in licence fees.
- Option B – Retain CPD as a mandatory requirement with some prescribed topics and potentially fewer overall units. Consumer Protection will no longer approve detailed course content or fund the CPD program.
- Option C – Remove mandatory CPD as a legislative requirement.
Findings of the review
- A mandatory CPD program is regarded as beneficial by stakeholders.
- Property industry licensees are evenly divided on whether self-funding CPD activities or an increase in licence fees should fund a mandatory CPD program.
- If the mandatory CPD program was removed 56 per cent of property industry licensees reported they would continue to complete CPD voluntarily.
- If the mandatory CPD program was removed, the majority of property industry licensees preferred to be kept up to date with relevant industry information via Consumer Protection e-bulletins, CPD training and professional industry association websites.
- The real estate industry supported a reduction of CPD points from 10 to five in a calendar year.
- The settlement industry supported no changes to be made to the prescribed number of CPD points for the settlement industry.
- There is support for Consumer Protection to retain some of its role in setting CPD activities.
- If the mandatory CPD program was to continue, registered training providers (RTPs) supported a 12-month transition period prior to the commencement of the new CPD program.
- If the mandatory requirement for CPD was removed, RTPs supported a two-year transition period.
- Current enforcement mechanisms for the CPD program are resource intensive and not effective.
The report recommended Option B2. This involves:
- retaining the mandatory nature of the CPD program;
- Consumer Protection prescribing broad categories of subjects, with RTPs developing content within those subject categories;
- The Commissioner having power to specify mandatory topics or activities on an ad-hoc basis;
- removing Consumer Protection’s role in administering and funding the CPD program with a transition period of 24 months; and
- reducing the number of CPD points to five for both the real estate and settlement agent sectors.
CPD Review report
The CPD review report includes detailed issues, results and recommendations covering the future of CPD.
The Government has accepted the recommendations of the report and Consumer Protection will now be working towards implementation of the recommendations.
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