Clarifying PDI exemptions on educational qualifications

Clarifying PDI exemptions on educational qualifications

MAIN IMAGE: Agents attending the EAAB’s Transformation PDI Resolution workshop in Khayelitsha.

There has been mounting confusion about what the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) meant exactly, when announcing that agents from the previously disadvantaged groups (PDIs) could apply for exemptions in terms of educational requirements.

The regulator came under immense criticism for allegedly proposing to send lesser qualified agents into the field. We regret to say that in part this followed on from our reporting that the educational exemption included in the EAAB’s “Transformation PDI Resolution” meant that agents from PDI groups “could work with a valid FFC for two years (which could be extended for one more year), while studying for the NQF4 qualification” – this was due to an unintentional misunderstanding.

Understandably this had many registered estate agents dismayed that lesser qualified agents would be allowed to practice in the field.

While it is true that agents from PDI groups may apply for educational exemptions, the exemption in terms of the NQF4 is an allowance for an intern agent to have (“a limited”) longer time to obtain the qualification and not that agents will be operating as fully registered agents while not fully qualified, as was interpreted by industry.

Training expert Ronel Bornman clarified the matter this week. She said:  “The resolution does not aim to provide leniency resulting in a less qualified agents but as per the policy: “An extension of time may be granted for the estate agent to comply with the specific education requirements which are required in terms of the FFC to be issued” 

Bornman represents industry body Rebosa on the Services SETA Real Estate Chamber Committee.

Rebosa’s Adrianne du Toit, clarifies further that FFC requirements currently state that an internship in terms of the Estate Agency Affairs Act, is set to take place over a compulsory period of one year and the Professional Designation exam (“PDE4”) must be passed within 2 years – from the date of the first issue to the intern estate agent of an intern fidelity fund certificate. The exemption in terms of the proposed regulations only allows intern agents from PDI groups, based on a merit by merit basis, to apply for an “extension of time” to complete the qualification, subject to the Board’s approval that this is merited and that the intern meets the requirements to apply for same.

Agents from PDI groups may also apply to the EAAB for a special dispensation to be exempt or partially exempt, from Continuing Professional Development (“CPD”) requirements, adds Bornman.

Special dispensations have been granted by the EAAB previously e.g. the (“Over 60”) exemptions policy which assisted many agents to continue to practice as estate agents by acknowledging Recognition of Prior Learning (“RPL”) and without having to complete the NQF4 certification.

Property Professional apologise for our unintentional misrepresentation due to our misinterpretation of the EAAB PDI Resolution presentation. We remain highly committed to keep our readers updated with accurate, balanced reporting on property-related news.

While the EAAB have publicly stated that the implementation process has begun and inputs are invited in order to ensure that the EAAB is able to meet the needs of estate agents and implement the transformation process in an orderly and speedy manner; they have yet to advise industry on the full process to be followed and the exact implementation dates.

Showing 8 comments
  • Linda Byron
    Reply

    Good morning, I attended the workshop in Port Elizabeth and the message given there was that PDI’S would be entitled to apply for exemption from NQF4 qualification under certain conditions. There was no mention of the exemption being based on time. The EAAB currently have no means or will to police the current Interns with regards to achieving their qualifications therefore I think they need to explain what system will be put in place to monitor this going forward. The EAAB needs to provide the Industry with a plan framework showing the number of PDI Interns enrolled and monitoring the progress and retention success of these PDI’s. The current record of the Industry’s retention of Interns is dismal so it is important for monitoring to be in place to establish viability. Numbers in are not the success indicator!!

  • Ntando
    Reply

    i am an agent from Khayelitsha and my frustration is that those who have a problem with these exemptions are those who has it all, who have opprest us black agents over the years.
    these exemptions are the fruits of our fight over the last few years where our agent’s organisation has presented them to portfolio committe in parliament when discussing the new property bill, to us this is an achievement which we will fight for and make sure that nobody is taking it away from us.

  • Alun Solomon
    Reply

    I did the NQF4 ( RPL ) a few years back, and because of my time in the industry ( since 1997 where i actually wrote and passed the board exam ) i was given exemption on writing the PDE. I also did the FICA compliance course and whatever other bloody courses the EAAB insisted on.

    Now i simply refuse to spend more money on a regulator for their silly points system. I have now been disqualified as an agent so i can no longer practice in an industry that i love.

    The regulator has become far too dictorial in telling long term, experienced, qualified agents what they have to pay in order for them to remain servicing an industry they are passionate about.

    Very frustrated.
    Alun Solomon

  • Verlinde
    Reply

    Next time. check your facts !!!!

  • Frank
    Reply

    ” Agents from PDI groups may also apply to the EAAB for a special dispensation to be exempt or partially exempt, from Continuing Professional Development (“CPD”) requirements, adds Bornman.”

    This is a joke! So these agents who don’t seem to be even able to pass the NQF4 within the required 2 years and therefore require extra time must already be suspect in terms of quality of agent, and therefore probably need the CPD training even more than any other agents, but now they are excempt from doing CPD!!! This just tells me that the EAAB are a bunch of idiots and are happy to have sub-standard agents in the field as long as they are of a certain colour complextion?

    Why don’t they just scap the entire CPD program which is totally over=priced and most agents don’t have the time to do it anyway and the benefits of the current system is dubious to say the least!

    • Loraine Botha
      Reply

      I totally agree with you Frank. The CPD points system is merely a money generator for the EAAB. Costing me R2500 per year. It takes me only about 45 minutes to complete, without even reading the text that the questions are based on. I go straight forward to answering the questions and whala… finished. My point is, the course is really not even worth the money. Now if all of this so called relatively easy training is to difficult for the PDI’s how the ..are they going to complete a difficult contract? It is actually them who need the training. And the so called problem that it is too expensive?
      Becoming an estate agent is one of the cheapest professions.

  • neil
    Reply

    This implicates that EAAB confirm that black agents are not intellectually capable to stand up to the intelligence required to do the work as estate agents …….. I know black agents who are extremely successfull ……… sorry for the EAAB management , who has proven themself as uncapable for the job they were pushed into without qualifications . The EAAB is a mess and a scandal for this industry at this moment.

  • Lavona Engelbrecht
    Reply

    Do we have a lobby group who can represent us in parliament.
    many of us are unemployed due to absurd rules and regulations of the EAAB.Our kids who can work as estate agents,are aware of all our hardships and challenges thats why they refuse to come on board. The board is contributing towards unemployment in a massive way.Colour and race should be irrelavant,Im coloured.
    We wrote the Board Exams many years ago,the board exams covered everything.
    In 2014 at the workshop for unregistered agents it was told that there are agents who could not explain the contract to the clients because of some challenges they had,the above caused the dilemma we now find ourselves.
    The industry has grown massively the older experience agents are much needed to spearhead transformation in the market.It 1991 we the agents fearlessly removed the barriers the Group Areas had caused.If we in the property industry had not been as passionate and hardworking South Africa would not have had a peacefull transition,we made it happen.so please lets stop the pep talk about race groups lets all work together,currently we have Apartheid in another form,lets love one another and work together,look what unemployment is doing,people are being killed daily,inferior areas need to be uplifted,we can do that if we work.
    LETS MEET WITH THE PRESIDENT !!

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