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.

Real Estate is Leading the Way in SSETA Digital Strategy (October 2020)

Real Estate is Leading the Way in SSETA Digital Strategy

In a move that reflects the Services SETA’s determination to embrace the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution, SSETA is launching its first ever online learning program this month in association with Durban-based real estate elearning provider, PropAcademy.

This pilot programme, which forms part of the SSETA’s eLearning Adoption Project, will enable 15 real estate students to complete a four-week course in property valuations from the comfort and convenience of their homes or offices at a time that suits their busy schedules.

The course, which carries 12 SAQA credits, was compiled by PropAcademy and incorporates a range of elearning materials including videos and webinars. Students will be able to access the course via the SSETA’s Learner Management Information System (LMIS); and their work will be assessed and moderated by PropAcademy’s team of real estate training professionals. The LMIS is an online interactive platform where learners will be issued with their own portals where they can complete their course, answer questions and upload required evidence and documents.

The project is headed by Tumelo Ngwako, acting accreditation manager at SSETA and head of its elearning implementation committee. Dumisani Zinondo, from ImplementX Analytics whose expertise includes aiding and implementing elearning strategies and solutions, has been appointed to lead the project. ImplementX Analytics work closely with Xenothan Hojem of Synrgise who runs the learning platform.

The project is part of the SSETA’s quest to continuously improve its value proposition to its stakeholders. The aim of this pilot project is to transition the capabilities of the Services SETA to an operating model that includes accredited elearning or online learning programmes.

Real estate professionals work long and variable hours and this type of learning will benefit them enormously with the convenience and accessibility that online learning provides. SSETA is therefore kicking off the initiative with a pilot project in the real estate industry.

PropAcademy CEO Janet Alexander said the company was honoured to have been selected to partner SSETA in this new and exciting venture.

“As a South African pioneer in the provision of online courses for real estate professionals, including those aimed at qualifications regulated by the Estate Agency Affairs Board, PropAcademy has seen the popularity of online learning explode within the industry. We are therefore delighted with the brave progressive decision by SSETA to investigate the potential of eLearning. We have seen first-hand how it increases access to training and advancement for all individuals, including those living outside the major metropolitan areas where most on-site training courses take place,” she said.

How to Qualify as a Property Practitioner or Principal Property Practitioner

Qualification Process for Real Estate Agents

It can be quite a daunting process to understand all of the real estate education regulations in South Africa and the set qualifying process.  However, we will do our best to explain this simply so that you understand these steps and why they have been implemented with ease.

Before 2008 property practitioners (formerly known as Real Estate Agents) were required to write an exam set by the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), and that was it. The EAAB was formed to regulate the conduct of property practitioners.  The EAAB was established in 1976 in terms of the Estate Agency Affairs Act 112 of 1976, with the mandate to regulate and control certain activities of property practitioners in the public interest.

On the 1st of February 2022, the EAAB was replaced with the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority (The Authority/PPRA). The Authority is governed according to the Property Practitioners Act No. 22 of 2019, which has replaced the Estate Agency Affairs Act 112 of 1976. The differences between the EAAB and The Authority are laid out in a blog post here.

The Authority regulates the real estate profession by ensuring that all persons carrying out the activities of a property practitioner as a service to the public are registered. A Fidelity Fund Certificate, which is to be renewed each year, is issued as evidence of such registration and confirmation that such a person is legally entitled to carry out the activities of a property practitioner.

South African Qualifying Association (SAQA) is the body that issues qualifying certificates, from school certificates to Doctorates.  ServiceSETA (SSETA) falls under SAQA and controls the NQF4 and NQF5 real estate qualifications.

Here is a high-level overview of each step. Should you want additional or detailed information about any aspect of the process, simply click on the links.

The Qualifying Process – Step-by-Step

Step 1: Preparing for the Journey

Before you can study to become a property practitioner, you must:

  • Get a job as a candidate property practitioner with a registered Estate Agency
  • Register as a candidate property practitioner with The Authority
  • Receive your Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC).

Step 2: First Steps – Intern logbook

Step 3: NQF4

To become a property practitioner, you must be competent in the outcomes-based NQF Level 4 Real Estate requirements set out by the SSETA and be competent in your PDE4 exam.

  • Check whether you qualify for an NQF4 exemption. Click here to check your qualification against the PPRA Matrix. If you think you qualify for an exemption, apply for this (this can take two months).
  • If you are not exempt, you will need to complete one of the following:

Suppose you are doing the NQF4 or the NQF4 RPL course and cannot provide proof that you have passed Mathematics and a 2nd South African language at a Matric level. In that case, you will need to purchase the relevant bridging courses through PropAcademy. The NQF Level 4 Functional Mathematics Course and the NQF Level 4 Literacy Course.

Step 4: Professional Designated Exam Level 4 (PDE4)

To become a property practitioner, you must write and pass The Authority’s PDE4 exam.

This is a 4-hour open-book exam written through The Authority. Check the next exam date by clicking here. Bookings for this exam open six weeks prior.

  • As soon as you receive your NQF4 competency certificate from SSETA, book for your PDE4 exam with The Authority
  • Brush up on the knowledge required to pass the exam; this course has maintained its 100% pass rate.
  • Write and pass this exam.
  • Go out and celebrate – you are now a property practitioner!

Step 5: CPD Points

To maintain your status, you will need to earn CPD points. Click here for details about the CPD process and complete your non-verifiable CPD points online by registering here.

Step 6: Achieve Principal Property Practitioner Status – NQF5

To become a Principal Property Practitioner, you must be competent in an NQF Level 5 in Real Estate. You do not have to have written your PDE4 exam to begin your NQF5 studies; however, this exam must be completed to become a property practitioner. To start your NQF5 studies, you must have completed your NQF4.

  • Check whether you qualify for an exemption from NQF5. Click here to check your qualification against the PPRA Matrix. If you think you qualify for an exemption, apply for this (this can take two months).
  • If you are not exempt, you will need to complete one of the following:
  • Another celebration is called for – you are now a Principal Property Practitioner! Just one more step to go to maintain your status…

Step 7: Professional Designated Exam Level 5 (PDE5)

Your journey is coming to an end. Armed with your NQF5, you have two years to write and pass your PDE5 to maintain your Principal Property Practitioner Status. Bookings for this exam open 6 weeks prior.

  • Check the next exam date by clicking here and book your seat through The Authority.
  • Brush up on your real estate knowledge to sit for the four-hour PDE5 exam. Our 100% pass rate is still intact.
  • Write and pass your PDE5 exam
  • Your journey is complete

The Authority & ServicesSETA Qualification Process Infographic

To make it a little easier for you to keep track of the qualification process, we’ve put together this handy infographic which you are welcome to download, print and share.

Real Estate Qualifications Flow Chart

Click the image above to download and save it to your computer or print it out so you can refer to it at any time.

The Qualifications Flow Chart | Who is PropAcademy? | How to Register for a Course

Hint: Read our blog – it contains interesting hints and tips. Download our eBook “The Authority & ServicesSETA (SSETA) Qualification Guide” for more detailed information.

We hope this makes The Authority & ServiceSETA qualification process for property practitioners a little easier to follow, but if you have any questions, please post them in the comments below or contact us. We’ll gladly assist you in becoming a qualified estate agent. And if you found this guide helpful, please like and share it with your friends and colleagues.