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Revamped Real Estate CPD Empowers Professionals

In a significant development for the real estate industry within the state, a comprehensive overhaul of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program has been announced, signaling a move towards greater self-reliance among industry professionals. The initiative marks a departure from the existing model, which has been partially subsidized by the government since its inception in 2011.

Under the current CPD framework, real estate agents are required to accumulate 10 CPD points annually, with settlement agents needing six points. These points are garnered through a mix of mandatory and elective training activities. Of these points, real estate agents personally fund seven, while the remaining three are covered by government funds. However, in an effort to streamline the program and align it with contemporary professional standards, the state is proposing to reduce the CPD point requirement to five for real estate agents and align settlement agents to the same benchmark. This shift also comes with a significant change: professionals will now bear the full cost of their continuing education.

To facilitate a smooth transition to this new self-funded model, a 24-month transitional period has been proposed, commencing January 2024. This period is designed to provide adequate time for industry participants to adapt their professional development strategies to meet the new requirements.

The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) has expressed support for this updated approach to CPD. REIWA’s CEO, Cath Hart, highlighted that confusion surrounding the future of the CPD program had led to procrastination among practitioners. “With persistent uncertainty and rumors of potential cancellation of the program, it’s understandable that many have delayed their CPD activities,” Hart explained. She also revealed that a significant proportion of the industry—67% of licensed agents and 69% of sales representatives and property managers—have not yet commenced their CPD for the current year.

Hart further emphasized that the revised CPD requirements resonate with both consumer expectations and industry aspirations. “Our research indicates that consumers in Western Australia have consistently voiced concerns over any proposals to eliminate CPD for real estate practitioners,” she stated. “Furthermore, our members have overwhelmingly supported the continuance of CPD as a means to uphold professional standards, safeguard consumer interests, and bolster the overall reputation of our industry.”

The state’s Commerce Minister, Sue Ellery, echoed these sentiments, expressing satisfaction at the positive reception from various stakeholders. “The broad sector support for a program that underpins consumer protection and bolsters confidence in the real estate and settlement sectors is heartening,” she said.

While acknowledging the end of government subsidies for CPD funding, Minister Ellery assured that Consumer Protection would remain actively engaged with the program. “Consumer Protection will still play a crucial role by defining broad CPD subject areas, supplying educational resources, and enabling the commissioner to specify mandatory topics or activities as needed,” she affirmed.

The overhaul of the CPD program is expected to encourage real estate professionals to take greater ownership of their learning and development. With an emphasis on “How to get CPD accredited” and understanding the “Cost of accreditation,” professionals can make informed decisions about their education pathways. Additionally, advancements such as “Digital CPD certificates” can streamline the process, offering convenience and verifiability.

For those seeking “CPD accreditation” or information on “Self-accreditation education providers,” resources are available to guide through these processes. The changes underscore the importance of continuous learning in maintaining competency and competitiveness in an evolving market.

As these reforms take shape, real estate professionals are encouraged to stay informed and proactive in managing their professional growth. The transition to a self-funded CPD model is not just a regulatory adjustment but an opportunity for individuals to demonstrate their commitment to excellence and consumer assurance in an industry that remains integral to the state’s economy and community wellbeing.

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