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NQF4 Training FAQs

There is a lot of confusion regarding the registration for the upcoming Professional Designation Examinations scheduled to take place on 19 May 2022. In an attempt to unpack the process, the following is relevant:

Payment: Pay EXACTLY R1,067 to the ABSA account number on the form using the 7-digit number as payment reference. Do not add any letters or spaces to the 7-digit reference umber when making payment!

Documents needed: (Name the documents correctly, e.g. not scan1234, but rather Logbook)

  • Logbook completion letter signed by the EAAB/PPRA
  • CERTIFIED Seta Certificate or Certified Competent Letter from the Academy for Master Agents
  • Proof of payment (not a bank statement)
  • Completed PDE Enrolment Form

Submit ALL of the above attached in ONE email (not separate emails)

Submission: Via email. Use only [email protected] Subject line: your 7-digit number.

Closing date: Strictly 6 May 2022.

There are currently two possible exemption applications an intern estate agent can make to the EAAB/PPRA:

  • NQF4 Real Estate exemption – interns can apply for an exemption from having to complete this course if they have an NQF6 diploma or degree (or higher). Note that there are many diplomas that are NQF5 level. An NQF6 level diploma would be the equivalent of 3 years of coursework.
  • Logbook exemption – interns are automatically exempt from doing a Logbook if they had an FFC prior to 1 Jan 2013. There is no need to apply for this exemption, as it should automatically show on your MyEAAB profile.

Both the Logbook and NQF4 (or formal exemption) are prerequisites:

  • Logbook: you must have the letter of approval from the PPRA/EAAB
  • NQF 4: you must have alerted the PPRA that you have successfully completed the qualification:-
  • Email the Services SETA Certificate or Competency Letter (with LA Number and name of External Moderator) to [email protected], and then
  • Log a query (once only) on the system and upload the certificate/letter.

NB: Only once a blue checkmark is behind your name on the MYEAAB portal, will you be able to register for the PDE!

Alternatively, you can take your evidence with you to the PPRA/EAAB in person.

The EAAB requires a mandatory one-year program (minimum) to be completed by all intern estate agents. The program has been specifically designed to facilitate and monitor the induction of intern estate agents into the estate agency profession and applies to all new entrants and intern estate agents. The program involves the following activities:

  • Complete an internship of 12 continuous months under the supervision of a principal or a full status agent who has held a Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC) for longer than three years;
  • Maintain a Logbook reflecting the various estate agency functions and activities that have been undertaken and performed by the intern during the course of the internship period;
  • Complete, within the 12-month internship period, the Further Education and Training Certificate (FETC): Real Estate (NQF 4);
  • Hold a valid FFC; and
  • Once interns are found competent in their Logbook (EAAB) and the NQF4 (SSETA), they will be able to register for the PDE 4 exam with the EAAB.

The National Certificate: Real Estate (NQF 4) qualification is intended to enhance the provision of entry-level knowledge and skills within the property and real estate sectors and to provide the broad knowledge, competencies and values needed in the property and real estate environments. The intern estate agent may be certificated against the qualification after undergoing training through a Services SETA accredited education provider or, only where appropriate, undergoing a Recognition of Prior Learning (“RPL”) assessment with a Services SETA accredited RPL assessment centre.

New entrants holding a relevant tertiary qualification may, upon application to the EAAB and having paid the required assessment fee, be granted an equivalency exemption against the NQF Level 4 and/or 5 real estate qualifications. The exemption qualifications relied upon for this purpose must align with the Board-approved equivalency matrices which may be accessed from the EAAB website by interested persons.

The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) was established in 1976 with the mandate to regulate and control activities of estate agents in the public interest. The EAAB regulates the estate agency profession by ensuring that all persons carrying out the activities of an estate agent as a service to the public are sufficiently trained and registered with the EAAB.

Refer sections 7.4 to 7.10 of the EAAB Practice Note ETD01 2020.

Disqualified interns may apply to the PPRA in writing to have their FFC for 2022 reinstated. Applications must be submitted within 60 days of being disqualified – you must be notified by the PPRA in writing before you can apply. We will be in discussions the PPRA to see if students can apply before this, knowing they will be disqualified. Regardless, it is best to have your application ready.

To prepare your application you will need the following:

  • Logbook completed and marked as competent by the PPRA;
  • An affidavit stating your reasons (which must be “sound and valid”) for not being able to complete the NQF4 within the prescribed deadline; and
  • Include all supporting evidence to verify those reasons (we will provide this for the NQF4 students).

Your application will have to be considered and approved by the PPRA.

If your application is approved, this would mean that the PDE4 Exam on 17 November 2022 would become the last opportunity to reach full status before being de-registered.

If interns who have had an FFC for 24 months or more do not meet the training requirements (Logbook + NQF4 + PDE4) by the deadline of 30 June 2022, the following will happen:

  • The intern will be blocked and unable to renew their FFC;
  • The intern will be fined a penalty of R1,000 and this must be paid before they can re-register;
  • The intern may re-register, but only as an intern with the internship period of 12 months starting again.

Note that the true deadline for students is actually 6 May 2022 as this is (currently) the last date you can register for the May PDE4 Exam.

On 25 August 2021, the EAAB issued an announcement that the EAAB Practice Note ETD01 2020 would come into effect on 1 July 2021.

The Practice Note states that if an intern estate agent has had an FFC for more than 24 months and have not achieved Full Status they will have until 30 June 2022 to complete their logbook, NQF4 and pass the PDE4 Exam. It also states that agents who were previously classified as full status, but did not complete, or get an exemption from, the NQF4 Real Estate course - will now have to complete the course.

The PDE4 exam can be sat typically four (4) times per calendar year. The EAAB releases the PDE4 exam dates annually, with the most recent dates as follows:

  • 24 February 2022
  • 19 May 2022
  • 18 August 2022
  • 17 November 2022

Therefore, the PDE4 Exam in May 2022 is the last opportunity for students who have had an FFC for 24 months or more to meet the June 2022 deadline.

The Act basically covers the following general topics:

  • definition of who the act regulates – all property practitioners (which covers estate agents, property portfolio managers, estate managers, “bond brokers”, and providers of bridging finance among others);
  • continuation of the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) as the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority (PPRA);
  • continuation of the Estate Agents Fidelity Fund as the Property Practitioners Fidelity Fund;
  • rules for appointment of board members, the CEO and other staff members of the PPRA;
  • transformation of the property practitioners sector (which focuses on increasing B-BBEE candidates in the sector and removing previous barriers to entry, such as rigid training requirements);
  • establishment of the transformation fund and research centre (aiming to promote Black owned firms and Principals, assist B-BBEE candidates with training and create awareness of the profession);
  • focus on consumer protection (mandatory disclosure, agreements, education/public awareness of consumer rights and a property practitioner’s duty of care to both buyers and sellers); and
  • repeal of the Estate Agency Affairs Act, 1976.

The new registration status levels under the Property Practitioners Regulations - 2022 are as follows:

  • Candidate Property Practitioner; registered with the PPRA, but can only act with certain restrictions applied;
  • Non Principal Property Practitioner or Property Practitioner;
  • Principal Property Practitioner; business owner and/or manager of a property practitioner business.

The PPRA will require the following for agents to become fully qualified:

Professional Designation Exam (PDE)

  • The PDE can be sat by anyone at any time (technically a prospective agent can now sit the PDE4 prior to registering with the PPRA or an agency)
  • It will be scheduled at least 4 times per year
  • As soon as an agent is registered with the PPRA and acting as a candidate property practitioner, they will have 180 days to sit and pass the PDE4 (where there will be at least two exams during that time)
  • If a candidate property practitioner fails to pass the PDE within the 180-day period they may apply to the PPRA for an additional 180 days on good cause shown
  • Candidates can request for the exam to be written in all official South African languages or taken orally

6-Module Industry-Specific Practical Course

  • Maximum time of 6 months to complete
  • Course content yet to be developed by leading industry bodies
  • Will need to be reviewed and approved by the PPRA

6-month Probation period

Once a candidate property practitioner passes the PDE4, they have a further 6-month “probation period” where they must still act under supervision of a qualified property practitioner

Continued Professional Development

All property practitioners must undergo and meet requirements of continued professional development (CPD) training to maintain their registration;

  • CPD is to be completed on a 3-year rolling cycle with 4 training modules per year
  • PPRA will approve any business or independent training organization providing CPD (each module must be pre-approved by the PPRA)
  • PPRA will charge PPs R1,500 per annum for CPD, unless they enlist the help of an independent training provider, of which they’ll be charged R500 per annum

There’s a lot of speculation around the new Property Practitioners Act and subsequent Regulations from everyone in the industry. The most common questions we get are about training of agents and how this will change under the new regulations. At this stage, the new requirements are very much “up in the air” with additional instructions expected from the PPRA over the course of the year. Note that both LOGBOOK and the NQF4 REAL ESTATE COURSE (as we know it) will be discontinued under the new regulations.

These new regulations will not apply to current full status agents or current intern estate agents who had a valid FFC prior to 1 Feb 2022. However, it will take time for the relevant professional bodies to create and implement the new courses. As such, the PPRA may bring in transitional provisions for the phasing in of some or all of the new training requirements under the new Act.

In other words, business as usual until further notice!