‘Patience is a virtue. Virtue is a grace’ … estate agents will need grace for their regulating body as it continues to work on IT problems with last year’s CPD roll out.
As last year’s nationwide lockdown was extended from the initial three weeks to two months, all tertiary training institutions had to make quick adaptations to allow for online tutoring. Unfortunately for estate agents, their regulatory body, the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), was not able to make similar adaptations to e-learning as swiftly. It was only in December that the online training courses were made available for 2020’s mandatory Continuous Professional Development (CPD). This delay was unrelated to Covid-19 or the lockdown as the courses should have been available by Feb/March.
However, the troubles were not over. The EAAB did announce last year that CPD fees for 2020 are waived and agents who paid already will be accredited for this year’s CPD programme. However, when agents try to log on to do the e-learning course on the EAAB website now, they face numerous problems, e.g., payment is required when no payment is due etc.
According to numerous complaints by estate agents the EAAB don’t respond to their complaints about this via email either. Rebosa has also written to the board to obtain answers and was told they are working on the online system. Property Professional this week received a similar reply from the EAAB stating that a service provider was recently appointed to overhaul the IT framework and that this will also involve the CPD configuration. The EAAB says ‘a lasting solution that will allow affected estate agents to access e-Learning’ is on its’ way.
EAAB won’t suspend CPD e-learning
According to Le Roux what he fails to understand is why this had to happen in the first place? He says Rebosa suggested last year already to the EAAB that the entire programme for CPD training in 2020 be suspended until the IT system was updated and working efficiently. Since no payment was required from agents this would have been an ideal solution and the EAAB could have started 2021 with courses ready early in the year as it should be. Now 2021 courses will be made available later, undoubtedly late yet again. This is “like getting yourself into a hole and keeping on digging,” says Le Roux.
Nonetheless, the EAAB, in their comments this week affirmed that the CPD programme will not be suspended as the solution is being worked on with the IT service provider.
“I am amazed that the EAAB prefers thousands of agents logging on, getting stuck and logging queries instead of suspending the endeavour until problems are solved and advising agents accordingly “, continues Le Roux.
At least the EAAB says that estate agents will receive an extension for completion of CPD 2020 points until 30 June 2021.