If you were in the real estate industry before the 23 March 2020 reforms, how the changes affect you depends on the type and level of your licence. Read information for Real Estate Certificate of Registration holders.
Select one of the options below to learn more
Your certificate and authorised functions
From 23 March 2020, the name of your certificate changed to Assistant Agent in Real Estate – Sales and Leasing.
This certificate is conditioned to the work currently done by a real estate certificate holder and/or onsite residential property manager.
You must still be employed and supervised by the licensee in charge to exercise the functions of this category.
As an Assistant Agent in Real Estate – Sales and Leasing, you can perform real estate sales and leasing functions, which include:
- acting as an agent to induce or negotiate with a person to enter into, or to make or accept an offer to enter into, a real estate transaction or a contract for a real estate transaction
- acting as an agent to introduce a prospective purchaser, lessee or licensee of land to another licensed agent or to the owner, or the agent of the owner, of land
- acting as an agent to collect rents payable for any lease of land or provide property management services for the leasing of any land
But you cannot:
- enter into a contract for the sale of land
- enter into an agency agreement (this includes a sales agreement or a property management agreement)
- enter into a franchising agreement
- authorise the withdrawal of money from a trust account
This means that from 23 March 2020, an Assistant Agent can still try to get new clients. However, only a Class 2 or Class 1 Agent can sign and bind the agency to an agreement.
Why can’t I bind parties to an agreement? I have been in the industry for years.
This is a key reform to increase the overall level of qualification of industry participants to a standard that is more appropriate for the demands of the market today.
Under the real estate and property industry reforms, the Assistant Agent is an entry level position to allow new entrants to gain the experience and knowledge required to qualify as an Agent.
Choosing to remain at the current entry level will no longer be possible. To remain in the industry, all new entrants and existing certificate holders will be required to progress to a Class 2 Agent licence.
Can I still arrange for tenants and landlords to enter a residential tenancy agreement?
Yes, you can still sign these agreements on behalf of your agency. However, you can’t arrange for a landlord to enter into a property management agreement with your agency.
Can I still enter agreements for services and repairs on managed properties on behalf of the agency?
Why will my certificate be conditioned to sales and leasing?
Under the reforms, a number of categories and the work they perform have been grouped into the real estate category. These include business broking and on-site residential property management.
All persons exercising these functions will transition to the real estate category but be conditioned to the work they were previously qualified for.
The new training package for the real estate category allows you to gain knowledge in all these categories and on completion of the new Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice (CPP41419) and work experience requirements, a person may be granted a class 2 real estate agent licence without restrictions.
Can I continue to inspect properties and complete sales inspection reports?
Yes, an assistant agent can continue to inspect properties and complete sales inspection reports for sales or property management. However, the licensee entering into the agency agreement for the property will need to ensure that the inspection is carried out properly and be satisfied that the contents of the inspection report are true and accurate.
A certificate as an Assistant Agent is a one-off certificate issued for a period of 4 years.
By the end of the 4 years, you must attain a Class 2 Real Estate Agent licence. You can obtain this licence by either:
- completing the Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice (CPP41419) and 12 months’ experience for an unrestricted Class 2 Real Estate Agent licence, or
- completing the Certificate IV in Property Services (Real Estate) (CPP40307) and 12 months experience for a Class 2 Real Estate Agent licence restricted to real estate sales and leasing functions.
If you fail to obtain the Class 2 licence within this time, your certificate will lapse and you will be unable to work as an Assistant Agent for a period of 12 months.
If I hold a certificate but really just do administrative work, will I be required to qualify as a Class 2 Agent within the 4 years?
A person who holds a certificate as an Assistant Agent must obtain the Class 2 licence.
After 4 years, the Assistant Agent certificate will lapse.
Unless a person is undertaking real estate functions as outlined in the legislation, there is no requirement for them to hold a licence or certificate of registration.
More information to assist businesses distinguish between licensed activities and administrative work can be found on our website.
Can I get credit for time already spent in the industry?
The time you held your equivalent certificate prior to 23 March 2020 will also count towards the period of time you have spent in the industry.
You'll still be required to complete logbook experience requirements and a Certificate IV.
You can request Recognition of Prior Learning from your training provider. Contact your training provider to find out more.
Can I extend the 4 year time period as an Assistant Agent? What about extenuating circumstances?
No. The period of 4 years provides ample time to complete the qualification, with a buffer for time away from work due to health, family or other reasons.
How to change my existing licence to the new one
If your certificate is current as at 23 March 2020, you will automatically become an Assistant Agent in Real Estate – Sales and Leasing under the reforms.
We will extend the expiry date of your current certificate until 23 March 2024 at no further cost to you.
We will let you know when your new certificate showing the new licence name and expiry date is available.
Can I use my current certificate?
Yes, you can use your current certificate until your new certificate is available.
Do I need to change my business cards and other published information?
This will depend on how you refer to your current position.
You can still use the term ‘certificate of registration’. However, there is now a clear distinction between an Assistant Agent and an Agent.
Any reference to your position as being an Agent is misleading once the reforms commence and should be changed.
What if I haven’t renewed my licence by 23 March 2020?
Only certificates that are current as at 23 March 2020 will automatically transition to the new Assistant Agent.
If your certificate expired in the 12 months before 23 March 2020, you will need to reapply as an Assistant Agent, but you can use the entry qualification you completed for your previous certificate.
If your certificate expired more than 12 months ago, you will need to complete the new entry qualification and apply to become an Assistant Agent.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
CPD will also undergo significant change and you will have new requirements. Compliance with the CPD requirements will continue to be a condition of holding your certificate.
As an Assistant Agent in Real Estate – Sales and Leasing, the key changes to CPD that apply to you are:
- you will need to complete CPD on an annual basis, starting on 23 March each year.
- you must complete at least 3 units from the relevant Certificate IV
- if you do not comply with your CPD requirements, your certificate may be suspended.
You should retain your own record of completion of CPD.
If I complete a unit of the Certificate IV through recognition of prior learning, will this count towards my CPD?
Yes, it will count towards CPD.
If I have completed other CPD since my last renewal, will this credit towards my first year?
Only if you have completed a unit from the relevant Certificate IV since your last renewal.
Do I need to keep a record of CPD? Will I need to make a statement verifying I have completed my CPD?
You will need to keep your own records. Certificate holders must retain the statement of attainment issued by a registered training organisation for each unit completed. These records must be retained for 4 years.
Under the current CPD arrangements, the CPD year and reporting is linked to your certificate renewal.
Going forward, certificates are issued for 4 years and licences can be renewed for 1, 3 or 5 years.
This means the current practice of having CPD reporting periods aligned to an individual’s renewal date must cease.
How to prepare for the changes
There are a few things you can do to prepare for commencement of the changes:
- Make sure your certificate is current as at 23 March 2020. If your renewal date is around this time, make sure you renew promptly.
- Make enquiries with registered training organisations about their offerings for a Certificate IV. If you want to obtain a Class 2 Agent licence without restrictions, you will need to source a training organisation offering the new qualification, Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice (CPP41419)
- Talk to your employer about changes in your business processes. For example, what will be the process for having a Class 1 or 2 Agent sign sales agreements and property management agreements? Are there new business processes for trust accounts?
- Check your business cards and promotional material to make sure your job title is not misleading by referring to you as an ‘Agent’.
- Get familiar with the revised Rules of Conduct
- Get familiar with the experience requirements you will need
- Register an account with my.service.nsw.gov.au if you don’t already have one.
- Make sure you have subscribed to our eNewsletter Property Matters. We will use this eNewsletter to communicate important information about the reforms.
If you have questions not answered here, please contact us on 13 32 20.