Reforms to the regulation of real estate industry

From 1 July 2022, the ACT Government is changing the regulation of the real estate industry.

These reforms involve changes to:

  • licence and registration categories
  • qualification and experience requirements for licences and registrations, and
  • restrictions on the activities each licence and registration group can undertake.

If you are an existing real estate industry professional (licensed or registered prior to 1 July 2022), please follow the below links to determine the impact of the changes on your existing licence or registration. 

If you are a new entrant to the industry (applying for a licence or registration after 1 July 2022), you will need to comply with the new training and qualification requirements.

The intended updated qualification and education requirements are set out below.

The mandatory qualification and experience requirements will soon be formally declared by the Commissioner of Fair Trading by disallowable instrument.

What are the changes to the regulation of the real estate industry?

From 1 July 2022, the reforms to the regulation of the real estate industry will:

  • divide agent licences into two classes (class 1 and class 2)
  • require all licensees-in-charge of a real estate business to hold a class 1 agent licence
  • introduce a new land auctioneering licence which requires all individuals to hold a class 1 or class 2 agent licence and complete three auctioneer-specific units of competency
  • renames ‘salesperson’ as ‘assistant agents’ to better reflect the remit and responsibilities of this registration group
  • restrict assistant agents from conducting auctions, withdrawing trust money and entering into agency agreements
  • remove the unqualified salesperson registration pathway
  • update the mandatory qualification and experience requirements for licensed agents and registered assistant agents
  • allow the Commissioner for Fair Trading to grant exemptions from the prescribed training requirements in limited circumstances where the applicant holds a higher relevant qualification.
Why are you changing the regulation of the real estate industry?

The amendments have been progressed in response to both a nationally agreed approach to improving training requirements for the real estate industry, as outlined in the National Real Estate Training Package, and feedback from the industry.

Consumers place significant trust in the real estate industry to carry out work on their behalf and it is essential that the industry is appropriately trained to be able to carry out their duties to the highest standard.

The reforms will:

  • support the implementation of the National Training Package
  • allow for appropriate training to be prescribed to each licence and registration group
  • more closely align the Territory’s qualification requirements with other jurisdictions who have already implemented the National Training Package, and
  • help ensure that real estate industry professionals have the necessary skills and knowledge to provide high quality services to the Canberra community.   
What is the National Real Estate Training Package?

In 2019, the Australian Industry and Skills Committee approved changes to the national training qualifications for the real estate industry – the National Real Estate Training Package (NRETP). The NRETP supersedes existing qualifications for the real estate industry in Australia and includes two new qualifications:

  • CPP41419 Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice for real estate professionals generally, including agents and salespersons; and
  • CPP51119 Diploma of Property (Agency Management) for real estate principals who oversee a real estate business.* 
    *Please note this qualification was recently recoded to CPP51122 Diploma of Property (Agency Management)

The NRETP responds to a technical review of the existing suite of the CPP07 Property Services Training Package real estate qualifications which identified that there was significant duplication and overlap across qualifications and units of competency and some qualifications were obsolete and did not reflect current occupational roles.

The updated training qualifications were designed to eliminate ambiguity around qualification outcomes, clearly define skills, roles and career progressions, ensure qualifications reflect industry roles and to future proof qualifications.

You can find more information about the development of the package here. If you are interested in learning more about the new qualifications, you can find more information about the new training package on Training.gov.au.

 

What are the impacts of the reforms on real estate agents?

I am a licensee-in-charge of a real estate business. What do these changes mean for me?

From 1 July 2022, agent licences will be split into class 1 and class 2. Class 1 agent licences will be required for all persons acting as licensee-in-charge of a real estate business.

If you are already acting as a licensee-in-charge of a real estate business, you will automatically receive a class 1 agent licence. Renewal of this licence will be conditional on completing the seven core units from CPP51119 or CPP51122 Diploma of Property (Agency Management) by 1 July 2024.

Existing licence: Agent licence, identified as licensee-in-charge of a real estate business

New licence: Agent licence class 1

The completion of the seven core units is considered necessary to ensure class 1 agents who are a licensee-in-charge will have appropriate training across core areas including compliance, trust management, ethics, health and safety, team management, operational finances and strategic planning.

I am a licenced agent but not a licensee-in-charge. What do these changes mean for me? Am I eligible to receive a class 1 licence?

Existing licence:                                                    New licence 

Real estate agent                                                      Real estate agent class 2

Stock and station agent                                            Stock and station agent class 2

Business agent                                                         Business agent class 2

Existing licensed agents who have two years’ experience as a licensed agent may elect to transition to a class 1 agents licence (real estate, stock and station or business). Eligible existing agents must inform Access Canberra of their election to receive the class 1 licence by 1 July 2023.

The completion of the seven core units is considered necessary to ensure universal upskilling across the industry for class 1 agents. This additional training requirement will ensure all class 1 licensed agents who are a licensee-in-charge will have appropriate training across core areas including compliance, trust management, ethics, health and safety, team management, operational finances and strategic planning.

Who is eligible to receive a class 1 agent licence?

An individual is eligible to receive a class 1 agent licence if they:

  • are a licensee-in-charge of a real estate business at 1 July 2022 or
  • hold an existing agent licence (issued prior to 1 July 2022) and have two years’ experience as a licensed agent and elect to transition to a class 1 agent licence before 1 July 2023 or
  • hold a CPP51119 or CPP51122 Diploma of Property (Agency Management) and have two years’ experience as a licensed agent.

Eligible existing agents must inform Access Canberra of their election to receive the class 1 licence by 1 July 2023.

I am planning to apply to become a licensed agent after 1 July 2022. What do these changes mean for me?

From 1 July 2022, licensed agents will be issued with a class 2 agent licence.

The training and experience requirements that need to be completed in order to become a class 2 licenced agent will depend on the type of licence you are planning to apply for.

Real estate agent

To be eligible for a class 2 real estate agent licence, you must:

  • have 12 months’ experience as a registered salesperson/assistant agent.
  • hold a CPP41419 Certificate IV in Real Estate including:
    • 5 core units
    • all units from Group A – Residential Property Sales
    • all units from Group B – Residential Property Management, and
    • remaining elective units

Stock and station agent

To be eligible for a class 2 stock and station agent licence, you must:

  • have 12 months’ experience as a registered salesperson/assistant agent; and
  • hold a CPP41419 Certificate IV in Real Estate including:
    • 5 core units
    • all units from Group J—Stock and Station, Stock
    • all units from Group K – Stock and Station, Station, and
    • 1 elective unit.

Business agent

To be eligible for a class 2 business agent licence, you must:

  • have 12 months’ experience as a registered salesperson/assistant agent; and
  • hold a CPP41419 Certificate IV in Real Estate including:
    • 5 core units
    • Remaining 13 units from Group G – Commercial Sales and Leasing, Group H – Commercial and Property Management or Group I – Business Broking.
What are the impacts of the reforms on salespersons/assistant agents?

I am a registered salesperson. What do these changes mean for me?

From 1 July 2022, the reference to salespersons in the Act will change to assistant agents. This is to better reflect the qualifications required and nature of the work undertaken by this class of licence.

Current registration holders will be automatically transitioned to an assistant agent registration in accordance with the table below and will be able to renew their registration based on their previous qualifications. Assistant agents are not required to complete any additional training to maintain their registration.

Existing registration                                      New registration

Real estate salesperson                                  Assistant real estate agent 

Stock and station salesperson                         Assistant stock and station agent 

Business salesperson                                      Assistant business agent 

From 1 July 2022, assistant agents will be restricted from undertaking the following activities:

  • Entering into agency agreements
  • Withdrawing trust money
  • Conducting auctions

Please note that existing registered assistant agents (registered prior to 1 July 2022) will not be subject to the new restrictions on entering into agency agreements or conducting auctions until 1 July 2023.

Assistant agents who wish to enter into agency agreements or undertake auctions after 1 July 2023 must transition to agent and land auctioneering licences.

What does the restriction on entering into agency agreements mean?

An agency agreement is defined in the Act as a signed written agreement between the principal (property owner) and agent which sets out the services that will be carried out. This means that under the restriction, an assistant agent cannot sign an agency agreement that binds a property owner and a real estate agency (or a registered assistant agent) to lease or sell a property on the property owner’s behalf.

Assistant agents are still permitted to undertake activities that flow from the initial agency agreement, including entering into tenancy agreements, completing inspection reports, showing a property for lease or sale and other property management tasks.

What does the restriction on withdrawing trust money mean?

From 1 July 2022, assistant agents are restricted from withdrawing trust money. Under the restriction, assistant agents are still permitted to receive rent or bond payments and carry out administrative duties. 

I am planning to apply to become a registered salesperson after 1 July 2022. What do these changes mean for me?

From 1 July 2022, registered salespersons will be renamed as assistant agents.

The required training and experience requirements you will need will depend on the type of assistant agent registration you are planning to apply for.

To apply for registration as an assistant agent, you must complete the 5 core units of CPP41419 Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice.

You must also complete five additional units within the first 12 months of your registration. The additional five units you must complete will depend on the type of assistant agent registration you are planning to apply for:

  • Assistant real estate agent - Group A or Group B from CPP41419 Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice.
  • Assistant stock and station agent - Group J or Group K from CPP41419 Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice.
  • Assistant business agent - Group G, Group H or Group I from CPP41419 Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice.

Occupational disciplinary action will be taken should you fail to complete this training within the prescribed 12 month period and may result in the suspension or cancellation of your registration.

I am an unqualified salesperson. What do these changes mean for me?

From 1 July 2022, the unqualified salesperson class will be phased out.

This pathway is being phased out to ensure that all those working in the industry have demonstrated competency in core skills, such as interpreting legislation and undertaking ethical practice prior to engaging with consumers in this important field.

While you will be able to operate under your existing registration until 31 October 2023, you must have registered as an assistant agent from 1 November 2023 to continue to work in the industry.

From 1 July 2022, to register as an assistant agent you must complete the 5 core units from the CPP41419 Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice.

If you wish to apply for registration as an assistant agent under the current qualification requirements, you must complete your five units and submit your application including a Statement of Attainment from your Registered Training Organisation to Access Canberra before 1 July 2022. 

If you believe you will be unable to complete all five units required under the current qualification requirements prior to 1 July 2022, you are advised to contact your Registered Training Organisation to discuss options for transitioning to the new package including your eligibility for recognition of prior learning.

From 1 July 2022, all assistant agents will also be required to complete five additional units from CPP41419 Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice within 12 months of their registration being approved.

The five units that must be completed will depend on whether you are applying for a real estate, stock and station or business assistant agent registration (please see above information).

What are the impacts of the reforms on conducting auctions?

I have a restricted real estate agent licence to sell land via auction. What do these changes mean for me?

If you hold a restricted real estate licence to sell land via auction, you will be automatically to a restricted class 2 real estate agent licence.

However, from 1 July 2024, the subsequent renewal of your licence will be conditional on the completion of all units from Group D Auctioneering from CPP41419 Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice. 

Existing restrictions on your current licence (e.g. not undertaking any other real estate activities) will continue to apply.  

I am existing agent who conducts auctions. Do the changes mean I have to get a land auctioneers licence? 

From 1 July 2022, existing licensed agents (licensed prior to 1 July 2022) may conduct auctions under their existing licence until 1 July 2024.

All agents who wish to conduct auctions after 1 July 2024 must hold a land auctioneer’s licence in addition to their class 1 or class 2 agent licence.

People who are licensed as an agent after 1 July 2022 will be restricted from conducting auctions unless they also hold a land auctioneer’s licence.

I am an existing salesperson who conducts auctions. Do the changes mean I have to get a land auctioneers licence? 

From 1 July 2022, existing registered salespersons (registered prior to 1 July 2022) may conduct auctions under their existing registration until 1 July 2023.

Following the expiry of the transitional arrangement, individuals who wish to conduct auctions will need hold both a class 1 or class 2 agent licence and a land auctioneer licence.

Please note this measure is not contained in the Bill and will be introduced via a different legislative vehicle.

I am planning to apply to become a land auctioneer after 1 July 2022. What do these changes mean for me?

From 1 July 2022, to work as a land auctioneer, you must:

  • hold a class 1 or class 2 agent licence and
  • have completed all 3 units from Group D Auctioneering from CPP41419 Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice.
What are the impacts of the reforms on conditional real estate agent licence to manage an owner’s corporation?

I hold a conditional real estate agent licence to manage an owner’s corporation. How do the changes impact me? Am I eligible to receive a class 1 agent licence?

From 1 July 2022, if you hold a conditional real estate agent licence you will be automatically transitioned to a restricted class 2 real estate agent licence to manage owners’ corporations.

You will be able to renew your licence based on the current qualification and experience requirements.

Existing licence: Conditional real estate agent licence to manage an owners corporation.

New licence: Real estate agent class 2 licence, subject to a condition to only manage an owner’s corporation.

However, if you have two years’ experience as a licenced agent, you may elect to transition to a class 1 licence.

Please note, renewal of a class 1 licence will be conditional on completing the seven core units from CPP51119 Diploma of Property (Agency Management) by 1 July 2024.  

The completion of the seven core units is considered necessary to ensure class 1 agents have the necessary

I am a licensee-in-charge of a strata management business. What do these changes mean for me?

From 1 July 2022, if you hold a conditional real estate agent licence to manage an owner’s corporation, you will automatically receive a class 1 real estate agent licence.

This licence will only permit holders to act as licensee-in-charge of a strata management business. You will not be able to act as a licensee-in-charge of a real estate business which undertakes other commercial activities. 

Renewal of this licence will be conditional on completing the seven core units from CPP51119 Diploma of Property (Agency Management) by 1 July 2024.

The completion of the seven core units is considered necessary to necessary to ensure class 1 agents have the necessary training to undertake the requirements of the role.

Existing licence: Conditional real estate agent licence to manage an owner’s corporation

New licence: Real estate agent class 1 licence subject to the condition to only manage an owner’s corporation

I am planning to apply for a conditional real estate agent licence to manage an owner’s corporation. What do these changes mean for me?

Qualification requirements for conditional real estate agent licences to manage owners’ corporations will not be impacted by the reforms, however, the licence will be issued as a class 2 conditional licence from 1 July 2022. 

Strata management qualifications were not progressed as part of the National Real Estate Training package and as such were not considered as part of the proposed reforms. However, as the national review into qualification requirements for the strata management industry was only recently concluded, amendments in this space may be considered as part of a future reform project.

I am a licensed corporation. What do these changes mean for me?

Under section 24(3) of the Act, a corporation is only eligible to be licensed if at least 1 director of the corporation holds a licence of the same kind. This means that from 1 July 2022, an existing licensed corporation will be automatically transitioned to the same kind of licence as the relevant director. For example, if the licensed director of a corporation holds a class 2 real estate agent licence the corporation will be licensed as a class 2 real estate agent.

A corporation seeking to be licensed after 1 July 2022 will also receive the same kind of licence as their relevantly licensed director.

I am a licensed agent in a partnership. What do these changes mean for me?

Under section 24(2) of the Act, a person in a partnership is eligible to be licensed provided that they meet the general eligibility requirements for an agent licence.

The licence a person in a partnership is eligible to receive will depend on their qualifications and experience.

Please carefully review the information above to determine what kind of licence you are eligible to receive.