New Qualification Requirements for Property Agents – Are your Employees Ready?

UK property agents will have to ensure they have at least level 3 qualifications to continue working legally by 2021. New standards of regulation come into practice at the beginning of next year and it will require all residential property businesses to ensure their employees are properly qualified, in line with recommendations laid out by the Regulation of Property Agents Working Group (RoPA).

What do the Changes to Requirements Mean?

RoPA has proposed extensive recommendations to improve the sector including:

  • Agencies which operate residential property business should be licensed. This should include the company director taking a “fit and proper person test”. This usually consists of an extensive and in-depth range of background checks to ensure unsuitable people cannot easily get into positions of legal and financial responsibility.
  • Company directors and managing agents must have a level four qualification, if not higher.
  • Employees who deliver “reserved activities” within the property business must be licensed and adhere to a fully set out Code of Practice. “Reserved activities” will include tasks such as conducting viewings, market appraisals, negotiations, direct client advice, handling client money and health and safety compliance.
  • Employees delivering the aforementioned “reserved activities” must have at least a level 3 qualification.

RoPA completed their full report after the government requested it and were tasked with providing recommendations to positively improve the property sector. Anyone company working within the sector will need to look at their employee’s backgrounds and the and ensure they are fully qualified for their role, if not, the relevant training will be necessary,

Qualifications and Training for Property Agents

To comply with the RoPA recommendations then property agencies need to ensure they push their employees to achieve the relevant qualifications if they want to keep them at the level they are currently working. The property industry is popular with apprentices and there are many benefits to bringing an apprentice into your firm. Apprentices generally learn level 2 and 3 qualifications in the property sector, ensuring they are prepared to carry out the “reserved activities” mentioned above.

It is also possible for apprentices to consider their studies to Level 4 and this positions them well for senior roles in their employer’s company or any other firm they are interested in working with in the future.

Funding for Training Employees and Apprentices

There are many ways you can access funding for your employees and to bring apprentices into your company. Residential property businesses who pay levies can use their apprenticeship levy funds to pay for the training of apprentices and assessments.

Other businesses, particularly SMEs, may be ale to access incentive payments when taking on a new apprentice. With the government’s schemes to help business post-COVID-19 there will be the chance for more businesses to access funding and bring more apprentices into their businesses.

Support for Upskilling and Bringing in New Trainees

Whether your business is in the position to take on new apprentices or you want to upskill the trainees you have, there are training programmes designed for you and many ways we can help. We can work with you to ensure your business is ready for the RoPA recommendations coming into force in 2021.