Bryan Chaplog, acting CEO of the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), reminded all the property practitioners present at the latest EAAB Road Show meeting held in Cape Town, that all estate agents must receive certification for the National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 4 or level 5 before October 2013 or they will not be issued with Fidelity Fund Certificates (FFCs) for 2014, said Annette Evans, manager of the Institute of Estate Agents, Western Cape, who attended the EAAB Road Show gathering in Cape Town last month.
Agents, principals and owners of estate agencies or related businesses all need to take note of how critical it is that every manager/owner/member and registered operation complies before they apply for their 2014 FFC in October 2013 or they will be deregistered on the 1st of January 2014.
There are various ways to comply, either by exemption, due to experience or tertiary qualifications or by completion of a portfolio of evidence (POE) which supports the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for either level 4 or 5. A certificate by Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SSETA) will then be issued, whereby agents are given two years from the certification date to complete their professional designation exams (PDE) and once they have completed the appropriate steps, they are able to apply for their Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFCs) renewals for 2014.
“The important thing here,” she said, “is that there might be many agents who will not be issued with their FFC renewals and it is in buyers’ and sellers’ best interests, when dealing with an agent, to ask whether he has a valid FFC. You are actually within your rights to ask for proof of an agent’s registration and whether he is working legally as an agent.”
Once an agency, agent or business is deregistered, as per the Estate Agency Affairs act and Laws Society Rules, no business will be entitled to receive commissions and this includes:
- · residential, agricultural, commercial or industrial sales agents;
- · holiday or rental agents;
- · business brokers;
- · developers offering re-sales;
- · managing or property administration agents;
- · time share or Life Rights consultants; or
- · immovable property auctioneers.
Another important aspect to note is that agents will not get their FFCs if the company they work for has not been issued theirs (i.e. the principal must have his NQF5), said Evans.
If there are any queries regarding FFCs and the renewal thereof, all agents (and members of the public) are urged to contact the Institute as workshops and information sessions are being run regularly by the Institute on various property related topics as well as assisting members in getting their NQF4 and 5 and to prepare for their PDEs as well as being there to help sort out any problems with regards to qualification deadlines for FFCs, said Evans.
Evans has asked all IEASA members who are uncertain of their status or the process to book and attend an information session “Demystifying the qualification process” at the Institute to be held in Pinelands on 28th May or northern suburbs on 5th June 2013.
The next RPL sessions are being held in the northern suburbs for two full days:
NQF4 on 11 and 12 June 2013 or NQF4 on 23 and 24 July
NQF5 on 18 and 19 June 2013 or NQF5 on 25 and 26 July.