Picture: Courtney McKenna, operations manager of PropAcademy; Jan le Roux, CEO of Rebosa
A policy approved by the EAABB applicable to interns, non-principal or principal estate agents, has granted an extension of a time frame within which they can ensure compliance with the board’s education regulations.
The EAAB’s practise notice (ETD01/2020) states that these education regulations do not apply to persons who want to enter the estate agency sector for the first time or to persons who have never previously applied for, or been issued with, a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC) by the EAAB. By law estate agents are required to have a valid FFC issued by the EAAB for them to practice.
The notice is applicable to estate agents holding full status FFC’s despite having failed to comply with the requirements of the standard of training of estate agents.
“The extension is welcome and a deadline for interns very necessary. It will, however, be impossible for the EAAB to cope with the increased volumes as it is not coping at present “, says Jan le Roux, CEO of Rebosa.
In the case of interns, the notice is applicable to persons who have continuously been registered as intern estate agents for a period exceeding twenty-four months. They are granted time until 30 June 2022 to submit a completed intern logbook to the EAAB, duly signed off by both the intern agent and the principal or qualifying mentor estate agent. This will serve to assess if the intern was initially issued with an intern FFC during 2013. Alternatively, the intern can submit a letter from a principal of the estate agency where the intern estate agent served the internship to confirm the successful completion of the twelve-month internship period.
The intern should also be certificated against the NQF Level 4 real estate qualification and have passed the PDE 4. Interns who fail to comply with these education regulations by 30 June 2022 will be ipso facto rendered disqualified in terms of the Act.
In the case of intern estate agents who have not passed the PDE within two years after having been certified against the NQF Level 4 real estate qualification, are granted until 30 June 2022 to enrol for and pass the PDE 4. Failure to pass will lead to disqualification.
Registered full status non-principal estate agents who have not been certified against the NQF level 4 real estate qualification or who have not passed the PDE45 but who hold a valid FFC, also have until 30 June 2022 to be certificated against the NQF Level 4 real estate qualification and to pass the PDE. If they fail to do so by 30 June 2022, they will be ipso facto rendered disqualified.
The same regulation applies to registered full status principal estate agents holding a valid FFC but who have not been verified against NQF level 5 real estate qualification or who have not yet passed PDE 5 while failure to comply will also lead to ipso facto disqualified.
The consequences of being rendered disqualified in terms of the act, will lead to the person being blocked and unable to renew their FFCs for 2022 or any ensuing calendar years and pay an administrative penalty of R1000.00. The penalty must be paid before any further FFCs will be issued to them.
Agents in these situations can apply to the EAAB under the proviso to section 27 of the Act, for the issue of an FFC for the 2022 calendar year if they can convince the board that it will be in the interest of justice to issue the FFC. This application must be lodged with the EAAB within a period of sixty days after the person concerned is notified of the disqualification. Failure will render the person disqualified.
A disqualified estate agent will remain blocked until:
- The EAAB has received a substantive application from the applicant in the form of an affidavit, together with all supporting documents necessary or required to enable the application to be duly considered, in which the applicant provides sound and valid reasons as to why the issue of a FFC will be in the interest of justice and
- the application has been duly considered and approved.
On approval, the estate agent may be unblocked and granted a maximum further six months, calculated from the date of the unblocking of the application, within which to comply with any outstanding educational requirements in terms of the education regulations. No further extensions of time will be granted to the applicant estate agent.
Failure by an applicant to comply with any outstanding educational requirements in terms of these education regulations within the set period, will render that estate agent ipso facto deregistered as an estate agent.
Estate agents who have been deregistered by the EAAB, may reregister, but only in the capacity of an intern estate agent. They will be required to comply with all the requirements pertaining to an intern estate agent. This Practice Note came into effect on 1 July 2021.
Courtney McKenna, operations manager of PropAcademy, an accredited provider of regulated estate agents’ qualifications, education and an RPL assessment centre, welcomes this Practice Notice with open arms and says it is way overdue and will professionalise the industry.
“The EAAB legislated education some 13 years ago but they never fully implemented their checking policies to police this process, resulting in property practitioners trading as full status or principal status agent as reflected on their fidelity fund certificate, where in fact they have not complied with education regulations requirements and intern agents remaining at that status for years past the cut-off date.
“Part of the reason that property practitioners have not complied with education can be put down to their complacency with the Board. The Board’s administrative systems have been unable to issue FFCs timeously, unable to produce regulated CPD courses timeously and the question is asked: “how will they be able to monitor my education status?”
McKenna says all property practitioners must be compliant by end of June 2022 which is going to be a hard task for some. However, there is relief in recognition of prior learning (RPL), where agents will be able to fast-track their learning, terms and conditions apply.