EAAB going digital with logbook system
MAIN IMAGE: Jo-Anne Strydom, registered facilitator, assessor and moderator, says the e-logbook system can be a positive development for the industry.
Without much ado, the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) quietly launched an e-logbook system in January to replace the current paper-based logbook that intern agents have to submit.
While trainers welcome the initiative by the EAAB to phase in an electronic logbook system, they said they felt the board had left them slightly in the dark as has up to now there has been no circular/practice note or tutorial or any other communication to explain the in’s and out’s of the new system.
“I understand this is moving ahead with the times and that’s positive. The Board don’t have the space to keep 100’s of logbooks on their shelves (and according to the new FIC Act they have to keep it for five years). Everything is being digitalised – I just think that, once again, the lack of following due procedure, is frustrating everyone,” explains Jo-Anne Strydom, registered facilitator, assessor and moderator.
The e-logbook system isn’t even mentioned on the homepage of the EAAB and neither is there an instruction manual for download. The e-logbook link is found under the MyCPD on the agents MyEAAB portal.
Another concern is lack of access to reliable internet of sufficient speed and capacity in the more rural areas. Adrianne du Toit of Rebosa mentioned that “many agents, of all races, young and old, do not freely have access to fibre/fast uncapped internet, as this is clearly not just ‘log-on and submit’, it is going to take time in front of the computer, with internet and mentor to do the same”.
Questions abound as to whether there is a cut-off date when paper-based logbooks will no longer be accepted? What about students that have already completed paper-based logbooks for six months, can they continue? Will students who don’t have sufficient internet access be able to apply for exemption to continue with the old logbook system?
We emailed the EAAB and received comment from EAAB spokesperson Bongani Mlangeni. Herewith his comments (in italics),, with further commentary added where needed.
Has the e-logbook system replaced the paper-based system?
- While the e-log book is designed to replace the paper-based logbook, currently registered intern estate agents will, for at least the first year of the new system, still be permitted to file a paper-based logbook for assessment in accordance with current processes.
As explained by Jan le Roux, CE of Rebosa, this basically means that all interns may still submit the manual logbook. The e-logbook is meant for newly registered (2019) interns but they have still been afforded the choice to compile manual logbooks if they so wish.
What about interns who don’t have access to the internet?
- The EAAB is mindful of the fact that some mentors and intern estate agents may not have access to electronic modes of communication. Such persons will be required to motivate why they are not able to utilise the e-logbook format and, after due consideration of the motivation, will be permitted to continue to file paper-based logbooks for EAAB assessment.
How should interns go about filing their logbooks or other assignments?
Pursuant to the e-logbook manual, which may be accessed from the “MyCPD” portal of the EAAB website, the entire process of lodging and filing the e-logbook is fully explained in user-friendly terms. Both mentors and intern estate agents are encouraged to access the explanatory user manual for assistance in implementing the e-logbook programme.
Both intern and mentor/principal must be registered to be able to log onto the system. At the time of writing this article, the e-logbook manual still had to be uploaded. The only manuals visible were the practice notes last updated in 2016 and accessible under the dropdown menu below Education.
Who may act as mentors and how do they access the work of their intern agents?
- In terms of the education regulations, both principal estate agents or full status non-principal estate agents who have continuously held a valid fidelity fund certificate for a period of at least three years may act as mentors to an intern estate agent. The EAAB, when registering an estate agent as a mentor to an intern estate agent, will continue to ascertain from its records that the proposed mentor in fact qualifies to act as a mentor estate agent. It should also be recalled that a mentor estate agent is required to exercise active supervision and control over an intern estate agent.
Strydom says it is clear that the new e-logbook system is going to require more time and effort from mentors/principals where previously many interns were basically left to do their logbooks on their own and then it was just ‘signed off’.
One important positive consequence will be the weeding out of trainers’ that are not even registered with the EAAB. “This will be a very good thing, says Strydom. “This practice was actually defeating the object and it took work away from experienced trainers and mentors,” Strydom explains. She says the internship process should be between an intern and a principal or mentor with the aim to guide, teach and grown the intern into a full status agent over the course of a year. “So, there will be more pressure on the principal, but they can no longer transfer the responsibility to someone else unless it is a mentor in the same agency who has been a registered full status agent for at least three years.”
The e-logbook system is definitively beneficial to the property industry concludes Strydom. “For sure, there will be some growing pains over the next few months as ‘by trial and error’ problems are identified and ironed out, but once the system has gone through this, then we will be wasting much less paper and the EAAB won’t have piles of files that they don’t have space for on their shelves,” she says.
“We as trainers really want to work with the EAAB if only we knew what was going on – we just need to be informed,” ends Strydom.
Property Professional reliably learned that a circular from the EAAB was expected to have gone out in March but to date none has been sent.
If you have comments or questions on the e-logbook system then you are welcome to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.