EAAB BOARD’S DECISION TO AMEND THE EQUIVALENCY EXEMPTION MATRICES
In the fulfilment of its role to regulate and control the activities of estate agents in the public interest, the Board of the Estate Agency Affairs Board (“the EAAB”) has taken a resolution to amend and effect changes on the existing equivalency exemption matrix.
The effect of the Board’s resolution is that all equivalency exemption applicants holding a relevant qualification, preferably a three-year or any other similar tertiary qualification with the status of NQF Level 6 obtained from a tertiary academic institution accredited with the Council on Higher Education, will be granted an equivalency exemption against NQF4 Real Estate qualification notwithstanding the subjects passed by the applicants towards award of such qualifications. Similarly, all equivalency exemption applicants holding a relevant qualification, preferably a three-year or higher tertiary qualification with the status of NQF Level 7 or higher obtained from a tertiary academic institution accredited with the Council on Higher Education, will be granted an equivalency exemption against NQF5 Real Estate qualification notwithstanding the subjects passed by the applicants towards award of such qualifications.
This varies the current position which requires equivalency exemption applicants to, in the qualifications they hold, have passed relevant subjects aligned to the curriculum of either the NQF 4 or 5 Real Estate qualifications, whichever is applicable.
In, for example, the case of a teacher holding a 3 year Higher Education Diploma, it would be unlikely that an applicant would have been granted an equivalency exemption.
RATIONALE FOR THE DECISION
The real estate industry has gone through distinct evolutionary stages. In the first instance, prior to the introduction of the Standard of Training of Estate Agents Regulations on 15 July 2008, there was no minimum educational standard for aspirant estate agents. Effectively, anyone who wished to become an estate agent could make an application to write an examination and be an estate agent. Conversely, the Standard of Training of Estate Agents Regulations of 15 July 2008 introduced minimum educational qualifications for aspirant full-status estate agents and principals. This was aimed at professionalising the sector. This was followed by the establishment of an equivalency exemption matrix requiring applicants who applied for an equivalency exemption to hold tertiary qualifications with certain subjects.
The peremptory requirements of the equivalency exemption matrix had an effect of excluding a number of applicants whose applications could not be granted on the basis that the qualifications they hold do not contain certain subjects. For instance, applicants holding qualifications in teaching, as set out above, social work, anthropology, humanities etc, were not granted equivalency exemptions and as such, could not pursue a career in real estate. Patently, there is no scientific basis to exclude applicants with qualifications and subjects not meeting the current equivalency exemption matrix from participating in the real estate sector or making their effort to join the sector, a mountain to climb.
The direction taken by the EAAB Board opens up the property sector to new possibilities and positions the sector as a career of choice for many. This will have the effect of unlocking and unleashing the economic potential of the sector which, in turn, will be a catalyst for extinguishing the blaze of unemployment and poverty.
In another front, this will also open an avenue for the EAAB, as a regulator, to meet the transformation ideals, which are one of the primary objectives of the Property Practitioners Act.
In a nutshell, the amendment of the equivalency exemption matrix in a way that removes restrictions prevalent in the previous matrix, is a step in the right direction and there are more benefits to be reaped by the sector, the overall economy and the society in general.
Issued: Estate Agency Affairs Board
Education & Training Dept
20 August 2020