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8 July 2020
Changes to the Real Estate and Business Agents Act 1978 (the Act) to create a stand-alone provision for compulsory professional development (CPD) emphasise the important role of CPD in maintaining professional standards in the real estate industry.
It is an offence for a real estate or business agent, sales representative or property manager to fail to meet the annual CPD obligations. From 1 January 2021 such a failure could result in enforcement action being taken.
This bulletin is a reminder that the Commissioner for Consumer Protection (Commissioner) may initiate prosecution action that carries with it a maximum fine of $5,000. Changes to the regulations will provide Consumer Protection with the capacity to issue an infringement notice or take disciplinary action. The infringement notice will be a $1,000 penalty.
To make accessing CPD easier the Commissioner has approved provision of mandatory CPD online or via webinar.
Industry participants should consider that exceptional circumstances would be required to justify a failure to meet the annual CPD requirement.
Completion rates to the end of May 2020 are slightly down on those for the same period in 2019 and there is still a long way to go as a number of agents and sales representatives are yet to complete their 2019 obligations. If this situation were to be replicated in 2021 many agents could find themselves facing fines or infringements.
If you are not active in the industry it may be time to consider whether to surrender your registration or licence or to put your licence on hold. Otherwise you will need to arrange to continue to pay for and complete all CPD requirements or be held accountable for any non-compliance.
Non-compliance with the CPD requirements could also result in the refusal of your licence or registration renewal as the Commissioner must be satisfied that a person fully understands the duties and obligations imposed by the Act, including CPD.
For any further enquiries about your CPD please contact email@example.com.