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Agency Training Plans – a major change to the NSW Supervision Guidelines
The new Supervision Guidelines which commenced on 23 March 2023 have one major change, which incorporates the addition of a training plan for all agency employees.
In section 8 relating to ‘Employee Supervision’, the new clause is:
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 have issued a 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, which connects the performance goals of the whole agency with the training needs of all agents employed within that agency. Nominated Licensees-In-Charge are responsible for the development and implementation of the training plan, as well as reviewing and updating it annually.
The plan will align to each CPD year, which runs for 12 months from 23 March to 22 March each and every year.
The purpose of mandating a training plan is to ensure that all agency owners and Licensees-In-Charge are thinking about 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.
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, as the template is a minimum guideline only. As this is a guide, a Licensee-In-Charge is able to make amendments and additions as they require.
The core inclusion into 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 and to boost performance of the whole 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 think about how both compulsory CPD and further, non-compulsory training serves professional development needs of the agents working in their business. Each training exercise can be identified as enhancing skills and knowledge and can 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, so we will definitely be looking at this in more detail. In the meantime, every agency should commence their plan and as a minimum include when they have booked to undertake their CPD sessions for the licensed agents and the licence qualification training for the Assistant Agents. A suggestion for a great inclusion into the training plan, is the review of the ACOP newsletter on a fortnightly basis with the team. Whilst this may only be a 15 minute conversation with the team as part of a regular meeting, it is certainly something that is enhancing the knowledge base for all agents within your business.
NSW Fair Trading have made it clear that they will be checking training plans as a compliance focus point when they are conducting compliance audits throughout the State. Contact us for assistance and/or coaching with your training plan.