National licensing will water-down professional standards within the real estate industry: David Airey

The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia has expressed great disappointment that the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), appears determined to water-down professional standards within the real estate industry.

The COAG National Licensing Steering Committee last week released its impact statement on a proposal for national licensing and which calls for a lowering of education standards.

The federal government’s push for this outcome is not sensible and the long term effect will be to make consumers vulnerable.

COAG is calling for a lowering of educational standards, dropping from a Diploma in four states to Certificate IV, while auctioneers would plummet from a required 12 education units to just three.

It is even more concerning that the mandatory Compulsory Professional Development that existed in WA and three other states is not guaranteed under the COAG proposal.

If COAG continues down this path the biggest risk is to those members of the public who use the services of real estate agents. I believe the people of Western Australia want the highest standards of education and training in their agents, not the lowest.

I want to see a national licensing system that requires real estate agents across the country to achieve a diploma level for licensing and requires compulsory continuing professional development.

I support calls by the Real Estate Institute of Australia in Canberra to delay implementing the proposals until after further consultation and also to move discussion of the property industry to the second wave of national licensing.

I am not convinced that the powers-that-be fully understand this issue of the repercussions of getting wrong.

Less than 1 per cent of West Australian real agents conduct business interstate, meaning that a national licensing scheme is completely unwarranted.

More concerning is that the government’s benefit analysis takes no account of the increased costs of managing common complaints which will be inevitable if CPD is removed from the industry.

It is quite ridiculous to propose such a large and hugely unpopular change to the licensing scheme and education standards for real estate professionals when the alleged benefit impacts on less than 1 per cent of the local industry.

David Airey is president of the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia.This article was originally published on

David Airey

David Airey

David Airey is president of the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia.

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