Agency Training Plans – Is Your Agency Compliant?

29 Nov 2023

This article from our appointed training partner, the Australian College of Professionals, serves as a reminder of a major change to the NSW Supervision Guidelines regarding Employee Supervision.

As of the 23rd of March this year, the latest version of the Supervision Guidelines, issued by NSW Fair Trading for property professionals in NSW, incorporated the additional requirement of a training plan for all agency employees.

In section 8, relating to ‘Employee Supervision,’ the new clause is as follows:

8.3 A licensee in charge is also responsible for preparing and maintaining an annual training plan (aligned with the CPD year) for all agents and assistant agents under the supervision of the licensee in charge, including plans and records of completion for:

8.3.1 Compulsory continuing professional development requirements, and

8.3.2 Any additional training in compulsory or elective topics.

NSW Fair Trading has issued a proforma and an instruction guide for Licensees-In-Charge to assist in compliance with the Secretary’s Guidelines for the Proper Supervision of the business of a Licensee, issued under section 32 of the Property and Stock Agents Act 2002.

All agencies licensed under the Property and Stock Agents Act 2002 are required to prepare and maintain an annual training plan for their agency, connecting the performance goals of the entire agency with the training needs of all agents employed within that agency. Nominated Licensees-In-Charge are responsible for the development and annual updates of the training plan.

The plan will align with each CPD year, which runs for 12 months from March 23 to March 22 every year.

Purpose of Mandating a Training Plan

The purpose of mandating a training plan is to ensure that all agency owners and Licensees-In-Charge are considering the training needs of their business. Planning for and documenting the professional development of all agents is an important step towards a more trusted, empowered, and accountable property services sector.

Licensee in Charge Training Plan Template

A template to help Licensees-In-Charge create a training plan for their agency has been provided by NSW Fair Trading and can be downloaded from their website. It can be expanded and modified as needed within an agency since the template is a minimum guideline only. As this is a guide, a Licensee-In-Charge can make amendments and additions as required.

The core inclusion in the annual training plan, completed and managed by a Licensee-In-Charge, will be the compulsory CPD set by the Property Services Commissioner annually. Naturally, this is only a legal minimum for agents to remain licensed. Their training and development needs will go beyond what is required by law. The training plan must also include further training for agents’ development to boost the performance of the entire agency.

When planning the training needs of the agency and individual agents, Licensees-In-Charge can use the capability framework provided by Fair Trading to consider how both compulsory CPD and further, non-compulsory training serves the professional development needs of the agents working in their business. Each training exercise can enhance skills and knowledge and may involve a combination of interactive training, online courses, workshops, mentoring, and job shadowing.

The training plan is being discussed in this year’s CPD classes conducted by the Australian College of Professionals, so we will be looking at this in more detail. In the meantime, every agency should commence their plan and, at a minimum, include when they have booked to undertake their CPD sessions for the licensed agents and the license qualification training for the Assistant Agents.

Notably, NSW Fair Trading emphasises the scrutiny of training plans during compliance audits state wide. For guidance and support in developing your training plan, consider reaching out to the Australian College of Professionals.

EAC Members receive a 10% discount on all Australian College of Professionals courses and offerings.

Article Contributor: Rosy Sullivan, PhD, Director/College Principal of the Australian College of Professionals.





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