CPD: The Way Forward

Revamping CPD: A New Direction for Estate Agents’ Professional Development

In December 2023, the Property Principal Practitioners Regulatory Authority (PPRA) issued a notice to all estate agents obligated to accrue Continual Professional Development (CPD) points as part of their ongoing education.

The key points of this notice include:

  • All payments, up to and including for 2023, must be current.
  • CPD points outstanding from before 2023 are no longer required.
  • Your CPD Personal Development Plan (PDP) for 2024 must be completed.
  • The previous categorisation of CPD points into Verifiable and Non-Verifiable is now discontinued.
  • Going forward, four modules per annum must be completed. These can be found on your MyCPD PPRA Portal once released.
  • These modules may be completed via your PPRA MyCPD Portal or with a provider accredited by the PPRA.

Who is eligible to complete CPD annual modules?

  • Full Status agents, known as non-principal property practitioners, are eligible.
  • All non-principal practitioners qualify for CPD the year following the achievement of their new non-principal status, as recorded on their PPRA MyPortal.
  • All principal property practitioners are eligible for CPD.

This notice marks a significant shift in the approach to CPD, simplifying the process while ensuring that all practitioners continue to develop their professional skills. It’s essential for all estate agents to stay informed of these changes and ensure they comply with the new requirements to maintain their professional standing and continue providing high-quality service in the real estate industry.

Managing Agents and the PPRA – Simplified

Why do Managing Agents, who do not sell or rent properties, need to register with the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority, and why must they hold a Fidelity Fund Certificate?

All property practitioners are required to register with the PPRA and hold a FFC. Property practitioners are defined as individuals who interact with the public in dealings related to immovable property. The PPRA regulates property practitioners and mandates the holding of a FFC to protect the public against any malpractices by a property practitioner through the FFC insurance.

Anyone liaising with a Landlord or Seller, a Tenant or Buyer during a property transaction must hold an FFC. Similarly, anyone who has access to or transacts with Buyer or Tenant funds, held in the firm’s trust account, must also hold an FFC.

Thus, a Managing Agent is considered a property practitioner.

Given that not all specialised property fields involve selling and renting properties, the PPRA issues FFCs specific to each specialised industry. These specialised FFCs require the completion of a qualification specific to their function. Currently, ServicesSETA and the PPRA are developing a qualification for Managing Agents, expected to be ready by late 2024. A Code of Conduct for Managing Agents is also under development.

Who in a Managing Agency must hold an FFC?

  • All administrative staff involved in property management;
  • Portfolio managers who attend meetings or process payments;
  • Bookkeepers who manage the trust account and have access to the bank account of the body corporate;
  • Directors overseeing operations.

What type of FFC must a Managing Agent hold?

  • A specific Managing Agent FFC;
  • If the agency or property practitioner also deals in sales or rentals, they must also hold a Real Estate FFC.
  • Any previously held FFC will be cancelled, and a new one will be issued.

When are Managing Agency FFCs available?

The PPRA has been issuing Managing Agency FFCs since December 2023. All Managing Agents are required to apply for a Managing Agency FFC immediately.

How do I apply for my Managing Agency FFC?

Under the Property Practitioners Act 22 of 2019, each category of real estate must have a separate FFC and qualification. To obtain your Managing Agent FFC, you must:

  • Complete the E1 Exemption form and request an exemption from Regulation 33;
  • Complete the FFC application form on the PPRA website, follow the prompts, and attach the required documents.

Yes, there is a charge every time an FFC is issued according to the Act and Regulations. These charges are listed on the PPRA website.

What prerequisite is required to register for the Managing Agent qualification?

As the course is still under development, prerequisites have not yet been disclosed. It is anticipated that the prerequisite will align with the NQF4 Real Estate 118714, which requires holding an NQF3 or Grade 11 certificate.

How do I apply for an exemption against the Managing Agent qualification?

The PPRA will consider exemptions for individuals holding a qualification in Managing Agency or similar. A policy will be provided once the qualification has been developed.

Revolutionising PDE: Introducing the Take-Home Exam

On 29th February 2024, learners will experience the flexibility of PDE like never before. In an attempt to address the recent PDE constraints, the PPRA has introduced a pilot project for all registered learners to take part in.

The PPRA has confirmed that you will receive your exam paper at 08h00 via email or download it from the PPRA website. Simply type your answers in the allocated spaces on the MS Word document and submit it back by 16h00 on the same day.

There are many advantages to this approach. You get to enjoy the added benefits of working offline and accessing all your resources. It also promotes more meaningful learning, instead of having to memorise your material.

Notes:

  • The exam is completed in a location of your choice
  • You will not be invigilated
  • You get more time to complete your exam
  • Download/save your exam paper
  • Complete your exam offline
  • You do not need to print your exam paper
  • You will email your exam paper back to the PPRA on completion
  • Your exam starts at 08:00 and must be submitted to the PPRA by 16:00
  • You have full access to online resources and your study material

We at PropAcademy encourage you to embrace this innovative approach to PDE. It has been designed to make your exam experience smoother and more efficient!

For more information on this important communication, please click here.

Get Qualified to Uphold Your Status & Avoid Disqualification

As per revised clarity notice on 30 June 2023 deadline on compliance with education regulations published by the PPRA.

Given the ongoing hurdles, we feel the pressure placed on you as a Practitioner, so let’s clear things up.

WHAT MAKES ME COMPLIANT?

If you hold Intern/Full Status, then to be compliant within the 24 month period, the following must be marked as competent:

  1. Internship Logbook
  2. NQF4
  3. PDE4

If you hold Principal Status, then to be compliant the following must be marked as competent:

  1. Internship Logbook
  2. NQF4
  3. PDE4
  4. NQF5
  5. PDE5 (within 24 months of holding Principal Status)

WHO IS THE COMPLIANCE DEADLINE FOR?

Candidate/Intern’s who have not complied within 24 months from their first FFC issue date.

Full status agents who have not been found competent in the NQF4 or PDE4.

Principal’s who have not been found competent in the NQF5 or PDE5.

Unless they have proof of exemption.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM NON-COMPLIANT?

If you were non-compliant on the 30th June 2023, then you will be disqualified and automatically blocked on the PPRA portal effective 03 July 2023. This means that you will not be issued with a further FFC when you wish to renew.

Your current FFC remains valid and you can continue to trade until it expires.

SO, HOW DO WE FIX THIS?

This is how you lift your disqualification block.

Submit your application within 60 days of disqualification, requesting an extension of 6 months within which you must become fully compliant. If you do this within 60 days there will be no penalty fee.

The application needs to be made by use of the affidavit which you can download here.

The affidavit must be accompanied with a letter signed by the applicant, together with supporting documents on how the applicant will ensure they will comply within the extended 6 month period.

The application must be submitted to [email protected]

When the PPRA receive the application, they will consider it, approve or reject it, and advise the applicant of the outcome within 30 days.

If the application is approved, the disqualification will be removed and a letter issued granting the extension of 6 months.

The applicant has this time period to become fully compliant.

If the application is declined, or if an application was never made, then the practitioner will remain blocked until they are compliant and have notified the PPRA of their compliance.

In such instance, and if the practitioners FFC has expired, the practitioner may apply to register as a candidate property practitioner for the respective sub-sector in terms of Regulation 33 of the PPA.

If the practitioner complied fully before their FFC expires, and within the 6 month period (from the date of disqualification letter) the block will be removed.

If you fail to apply within 60 days of being notified of your disqualification, and are still disqualified at your FFC expiry date, you will not be issued with a FFC at your current practicing status until you have fully complied and you will have to pay a penalty.

Practitioners who cannot comply with the extension process, or meet the education requirements, may, when their current FFC expires, apply for an FFC as a candidate practitioner and must then comply with the candidates education regulations.

Old and new terminology:

Intern Status – Candidate Property Practitioner

Full Status – Property Practitioner

Principal Status – Principal Property Practitioner

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Disclaimer: PropAcademy has prepared these notes to the best of their knowledge and have taken advice from various experts.  PropAcademy are indemnified against any misrepresentation or error that may occur herein.

Recognition of Prior Learning & ServiceSETA Rules & Regulations

How do I know that an ethical Accreditation Centre is representing me?

It is difficult to turn down a “cheap” course – how are you to know that there are providers in the industry selling cheap RPL courses to agents who do not qualify and cannot complete them?

Certain costs must be carried out when delivering a qualification.  Your course must be current with the legislation of that industry, and it must be assessed by an ETDP/SSETA accredited Assessor who must be paid to mark your assignments and liaise with you directly to ensure you understand how to present any remedial work.  Then the assessor hands over your competent portfolio to an accredited Moderator.  The moderator, in turn, must take a sample of learners from a group and then check that the assessor has assessed correctly and that the candidates’ answers are authentic, sufficient, valid and current.  Only then will SSETA confirm a visit to verify the group and pass certification.  This process costs money to be carried out efficiently and effectively.  Don’t be caught out!

Are there unethical Accreditation Centres and Providers in the marketplace that I must avoid?

In any industry, you will find stakeholders who want to cut corners to the detriment of the consumer.  Just ask the correct questions and ensure that the provider is an approved Accreditation Centre and has the backup to ensure your speedy certification.

What could be the repercussion if I use an unethical provider of an RPL qualification?

The most important repercussion is how it will affect your pocket in the long term and your compliance with the PPRA.  Often, candidates dump the course they have purchased and re-purchase through another provider to achieve compliance.  Be aware and ask questions.

What determines that I am eligible for RPL?

Recognition of Prior Learning is just that.  It can be recognised through experience, or it can be recognised through past qualifications, and the regulatory bodies determine these parameters.

You will comply if you have been a property practitioner for at least a year and have knowledge of the industry, proof of training and experience in various property market sectors. At our PropAcademy Assessment Centre, we supply you with an online quiz to give you a quick indication of what is required and then ask for evidence which we examine.

We ensure that you understand that RPL is a course where you will have to prove to the SSETA that you have been in the industry and understand the processes and requirements of a full-status property practitioner.  You will be asked to provide proof of contracts that you have completed and complete quizzes and assignments.  Because you are an RPL candidate, you don’t receive learner guides, but at PropAcademy, we throw those in case your memory needs reminding of a certain industry specialisation.  For example, you may be a rental agent and need to know more about sales.

How does RPL help me complete my course faster?

RPL does speed up the process. Because you are not “learning” the industry but only providing evidence that you understand the industry, the course can be done half the time.  Remembering, though, the assessment and certification process takes at least three to four months after you have been found compliant.

It must be noted that even though you may be eligible for RPL, you must follow the SAQA pre-requisite to complete RPL in that qualification.  If you are applying for NQF4, 59097 Real Estate, you must have mathematics and a second South African language at the matric level.  PropAcademy supplies easy bridging courses for both subjects.  If you apply for NQF5, 20188 Real Estate, the pre-requisite has an NQF4 59097 or exemption.

PPRA/EAAB Extension of the Education Requirements Compliance Deadline

New Deadline

The PPRA/EAAB has extended the deadline from 31 January 2023 to 30 June 2023. All candidates must meet this deadline as it will not be extended again.

Who is the deadline for?

When you receive your first FFC you must submit your Logbook within the first 12 months, and within a total of 24 months [from FFC issue date] you must be found competent in your NQF4 and your PDE4.

You will then need to comply with CPD the year following the year you received your PDE4 results.

If you then complete your NQF5 and registered as a Principal, you have 2 years in which to be found competent in your PDE5.

If you held Full/Principal status without completing the educational steps, then you need to confirm which courses you need to complete to comply with the deadline.

If you have not stuck to these timelines, then you will need to do so by 30 June 2023.

For a breakdown of the education process, download this free guide.

How to Become a Principal Property Practitioner

To become a principal property practitioner in South Africa and own your real estate firm, you must comply with the controlling regulatory authority, The Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority.  The PPRA was previously known as The Estate Agents Affairs Board, the EAAB.  The Property Practitioners Act No 22 of 2019 was promulgated in February 2022.  Agents/Practitioners are also governed by The Property Practitioners Code of Conduct.  Well, what does this all mean?  Let’s summarise “how to become a property practitioner” for you.

From Intern or Candidate Property Practitioner:

Terminology recently changed the naming of an intern agent to a candidate property practitioner.
The candidate practitioner enters the property industry in South Africa as an employee of an estate agency firm. They register with the PPRA and receive a Fidelity Fund Certificate.  No practitioner may trade as an estate agent or practice under an estate agency firm without an FFC.

Whilst trading under the candidate status, they require the assistance of a principal or non-principal practitioner in completing any documentation with a client. Once the candidate has received an FFC, they have a stipulated period within which to become qualified as Full Status, failing which their FFC is withdrawn, and they may no longer trade.  As of November 2022, this period is stipulated at two years.  During that period, they must complete their intern logbookNQF4 qualification and PDE4 exam. They will then achieve full status.

From Full Status or Non-Principal Property Practitioner:

A non-principal property practitioner must achieve principal status to open and manage an estate agency firm in South Africa.  How is this achieved?  There are typical scenarios which are broken down:

  • “I have only achieved full status – what are my next steps?”

You will have to complete the full qualification known as NQF5 Real Estate.  The full name of the qualification is National Certificate: Real Estate: 20188: NQF Level 5.  This is a five-month course and will take at least an additional three months for SSETA certification.

Once you achieve your NQF5 certification, you will receive a Principal FFC and have two years to pass your PDE5 exam, failing which your FFC will be rescinded.

  • “I am a full status/non-principal practitioner and have managed an estate agency firm under a principal practitioner – what are my next steps.”

This is a shorter process as you can complete your NQF5 through Recognition of Prior Learning, RPL.  The course will take up to three months and is a compilation of your work experience.  To qualify for RPL, you will be assessed by PropAcademy and must prove that you have managed an agency and can manage a trust account.

Exemptions apply to all facets of legislated education

  • Intern Logbook: A candidate may be exempt if he had traded as a practitioner for five years before 2013.
  • PDE4 & PDE5: If you were a practitioner for five consecutive years before 2008, you would be exempt from the exam level stipulated on the FFC you held at that time.
  • NQF4 & NQF5: Always check the PPRA website to see what diplomas, degrees, and NQF credits may exempt you from completing these qualifications.

How can I open my agency before obtaining my required principal status is a common question?

This can only be overcome if you employ a Principal Practitioner to manage the firm while obtaining your qualifications.

You will also have to open your entity to manage your agency.  Your accountant or auditor will probably complete this process, investigate the PPRA’s requirements, open the firm with CIPC and adhere to the normal SARS protocols.

Exam Prep for PDE4 & PDE5

10 Tips on Writing Your PDE

These tips only apply to the PDE – Professional Designated Exam – Level 4 and 5 regulated by the PPRA.

Don’t study using everyone’s handed-down crash course material; this will have you spinning with unanswered questions and outdated material.

The PDE exams are held online and at a venue, depending on the PPRA’s requirements.  Here are some instructions for both:

At a Venue:

  1. Take your ID, FFC and proof of exam registration with you.
  2. When the PPRA refer to a “seat number”, please ignore this.
  3. You are not allowed any electronic devices in the exam room, including a cell phone.
  4. It is an open-book exam so please take your PropAcademy course material into the exam and know where to find your answers; that is key! Index your files (soft or hard copy) and be very familiar with where everything is.
  5. Make sure that you have a backup pen.
  6. Don’t talk to others during your exam.
  7. Ensure you don’t just get up and leave the room; you must ask for permission.

What to purchase and what not to purchase

  1. Purchase our crash course if you haven’t already! The course is live on your profile for 6-weeks but can be completed as quickly as you like. We have both PDE4 and PDE5. This includes our training material updated after every exam, live classes for you to join online, and quizzes to test your knowledge.
  2. You will be advised to purchase the “EAAB/PPRA NQF4/5 Study Guides”. Please feel free to borrow these from your fellow colleagues. If you have purchased our course, these guides can be seen as your back up and in our course, we advise you on which chapters to focus on.

Complete our PDE course quickly!

  • You can register for our course before registering with the PPRA for your exam – whenever it suits you.
  • You start your course as your payment reflects. No waiting is required!
  • Payment options are available to suit your needs. You will see these on the checkout page and below.
  • 98% of the learners using our material have passed the 1st time!
  • Our course is based on the PDE exam papers, giving you the tools to knock this exam out of the park.
  • Watch the recorded webinars in your course at any time that suits you.
  • There are live webinars closer to exam time, where you can join your fellow writers and chat with our facilitator about your concerns.
  • Support channels are ready and waiting for you.

Purchase today & start as soon as your funds reflect.

It’s that easy. Study our range of courses and grow your career with us to guide you. Payment options: EFT, Debit, or Credit card. Alternatively, take advantage of our PayJustNow facility; you choose this option at the checkout page, apply for an interest-free loan [we cover the fees], and if you qualify, you will pay over three months instalments and have access to your course after your first payment.

Studying online with ease…

We have designed our platform to suit your needs. You are out and about, busy in meetings, and need something you can do in your own time, from wherever it suits you, at any time of day or night. So, we have developed it for you. Accompanied with videos in your course, live webinars, online support and more.

The above advice is based on real-life experiences from our learners.

Online:

  1. When the PPRA refer to a “seat number”, please ignore this.
  2. Make sure your mic and webcam work. Don’t have a webcam? Buy one!
  3. Don’t talk to others during your exam; you must be alone in a quiet room.
  4. When you book your exam, you may see you need to choose an area to write. Please click on the area to complete your booking but note. You can do this exam from anywhere quiet as long as you are online. The area is just there until the PPRA remove it.
  5. Ensure you don’t just get up and leave the room; you must ask for permission.
  6. Your internet connection must be bulletproof; you cannot afford to be disconnected.
  7. You should receive a practice test just before your exam; please do this; it will also show you how to draw a graph and a few other tricks for the day.
  8. Don’t bounce around from question to question; sometimes, you can’t return. Instead, answer the question as you read it.
  9. Know where to find your answers; that is key! Index your files (soft or hard copy) and be very familiar with where everything is.

The Path to Certification: REIS Panel Discussion 2022

The Property Practitioners Act No22 of 2019 is the law from 1st February 2022.   Whenever there is a change in legislation, clarification is needed.

Listen to this 40-minute discussion to understand how agents must comply during the change from the old to the new Acts and how the new Act affects developers, Homeowner Associations and Property Practitioners.

REIS PPA Roundtable

The experts include Janet Alexander, CEO PropAcademy / Mfundo Daki, HOD Education Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority PPRA / and Sean Theunnissen, CEO Property Point.

Educational material now available for CPD

IMAGE: Courtney McKenna of PropAcademy

The EAAB announced that the CPD 2021 material will be uploaded in the coming weeks thereby making the CPD programme available from 1 October 2021 to all eligible estate agents.

Experience has taught the EAAB that there are some estate agents who experience difficulties in navigating the CPD portal which compromises their ability to complete the CPD programme. In this regard, the EAAB will, in due course, issue a schedule to remotely assist the affected estate agents using a meeting virtual platform.

“We wish to further reiterate the position we have clarified before that, all estate agents who did not take advantage of the CPD fee ministerial waiver in 2020 and made payment towards the CPD programme, will not be required to pay 2021 CPD fees.

“Conversely, all estate agents who took advantage of the ministerial CPD fee waiver for 2020, will be required to pay CPD fees for 2021.

“We urge those estate agents who have not yet done the catch-up to finalise their 2020 CPD programme before 1 October 2021,” the EAAB said in a statement.

The EAAB thanked the stakeholders for their patience and understanding.

Courtney McKenna of PropAcademy said continual professional development (CPD) is just that – information that keeps stakeholders up to speed with changes to legislation, regulations and general knowledge within the property industry.

“CPD is commonplace in most professions and has been so for years. Property practitioners are dealing with the public daily, and more than that, advising them on property-based investments.  This cannot be done without knowing current changes to various property related Acts. CPD also keeps you ahead of the pack with changes in the financial world that relate directly to the property industry.

“There are two aspects to CPD. One is verifiable CPD points, where you are required to achieve 15 points in 5 different property categories. Verifiable points are only attainable directly from the EAAB through the property practitioners EAAB portal. These verifiable points are in the form of online learning material, videos and then a quiz.

“Non-verifiable CPD points can be attained through PropAcademy or any other training that relates to property matters. Annually you are required to achieve five non-verifiable CPD points in 3 different categories. This information is freely obtainable on the PropAcademy website,” she explained.

When do I qualify for CPD?

Full status and principal status property practitioners qualify for CPD, which kicks in the year after the EAAB advised them that they were successful in their PDE4 exam. For example, if you write your exam in November 2021 and your PDE4 results are released in January 2022, you will need to comply with CPD in 2023.

“PropAcademy has several online CPD online short courses designed by experts, enabling the property practitioner to achieve the required non verifiable points in record time. Our courses are approximately an hour-long, include training material, online quizzes and a certificate for each point.

“Once both non-verifiable and verifiable points are completed, they must be uploaded to the CPD MyPortal, on or before a determined cut-off date. Should a property practitioner not produce these points as required, the EAAB may impose penalties, including a fine and rescinding of the practitioner’s Fidelity Fund Certificate.  Without a current valid FFC, you may not trade,” McKenna said.

Written by
Danie Keet (Property Professional)