Qualification review updates

In response to feedback from the industry, we’ve initiated a review of the real estate qualifications suite in collaboration with The Skills Organisation, REINZ and the Open Polytechnic. You can find updates on the progress of the review here.

9 December 2021

Amendments to licensing regulations published - New Level 5 and Level 6 Qualifications Recognised

We are pleased to announce that amendments to the Real Estate Agents (Licensing) Regulations 2009 that enable the recognition of the new real estate qualifications have been published. These amendments take effect on 1 February 2022.

In May 2021, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority approved changes to the real estate qualification suite, resulting in new Level 5 (Branch Manager) and Level 6 (Agent) qualifications. From 1 February 2022, these qualifications can be used to meet the relevant education requirements when applying for a real estate licence under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008.

The Skills Consulting Group and Open Polytechnic plan to offer programmes for learning and recognition schemes for enrolment into the new Level 5 and Level 6 qualifications in early 2022

Registrar discretion where qualifications completed outside of the specific period

In response to feedback received from the sector, the regulation amendments also gives the REA  Registrar the discretion to accept a prescribed qualification completed by an applicant outside the specified 3 or 10-years’ period, where the Registrar is satisfied that the applicant can demonstrate sufficient knowledge of real estate agency work. Further information will be provided about the application process early next year.

You can view the press release here

To find out how the qualification and regulation changes affect you, or for more information on the recognition and training programmes available and how to progress your real estate career, see the FAQs

For additional information, please see:

Regulation Change Information

Q: What are the licensing regulations?

A: The Real Estate Agents (Licensing) Regulations 2009 (Regulations) set out the prescribed qualifications that an applicant needs to hold to apply for a licence as a Salesperson, Branch Manager, or Agent under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008 (Act).

The Regulations provide that a qualification must also have been completed within a certain period. For the qualifications set out in regulation 12(1) (certificates and diplomas), this is the 3 years preceding the application; and for the qualifications set out in Schedule 3 (degrees), this is the 10 years preceding the application.

Q: What are the changes to the licensing regulations?

A: The Regulations have been amended to include the newly approved real estate qualifications: the New Zealand Certificate in Real Estate (Level 5) and New Zealand Certificate in Real Estate (Level 6). The Level 5 qualification can be used to apply for a Branch Manager licence, and the Level 6 qualification can be used to apply for an Agent licence.

The amendments also give the REA Registrar the discretion to accept a prescribed qualification completed by an applicant outside the period specified in regulation 12 (2)) provided she is satisfied that the applicant can demonstrate sufficient knowledge of real estate agency work.

These changes will come into effect on 1 February 2022.

Q: What does this mean for me?

A: The new Level 5 and 6 qualifications will be available for enrolment in early 2022. From 1 February 2022, you will be able to use the new qualifications to meet your education requirements when applying for a licence using our online application process.

For information about eligibility criteria for Branch Manager and Agent licences, click here.

If you wish to apply for a license but have completed a prescribed qualification outside the period specified in regulation 12 (2), you can apply for a licence using the usual online application process from 1 February 2022. Each application will be considered on a case by by case basis. REA will provide further detail about the type of information you may need to provide with your application before the regulation changes come into force next year.

28 May 2021

Update to the Real Estate Qualification review and redesign process

We've reached an important milestone in the review of the real estate qualification suite. NZQA has approved the new Level 5 and Level 6 qualifications. The Real Estate qualification suite will now staircase from Level 4 to Level 6, reducing duplication.

The next steps will see training providers collaborating with industry stakeholders to produce new training programmes that meet the Real Estate industry's high educational standards and expectations. We are working towards these programmes being available for enrolment in early 2022.

In the meantime, Skills Organisation, Open Polytechnic, REA and REINZ are here to support learners through their education journey. 

"This is a great opportunity to review qualifications to make sure they're current," says Skills Consulting Group Chief executive Garry Fissenden. "In this fast-moving industry, it's important to equip Real Estate professionals with the tools they need to stay ahead."

To help answer any immediate questions, we have provided an overview of the newly approved qualification framework, a table explaining any qualification pre-requisites, frequently asked questions, an organisation contact list, next steps, and notes. See the FAQs here.

Important note: If you are currently studying for a Branch Manager or Agent qualification, it is critical you keep to the qualification time frame, keep studying and make completion of your qualification a priority.

For more information about the qualifications review and redesign, visit the Skills Organisation website.

26 February 2021

Consultation results for the proposed real estate qualification suite

We are pleased to announce we have been able to build a robust, fit for purpose and efficient qualification for the long-term success of the real estate industry. The Skills Organisation (Skills) together with the Real Estate Authority (REA) and the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) aligned to review the qualifications through an industry and public request for consultation. We now present the results of the qualification review consultation.

The objective of the review and the proposed qualification solution is to ensure that the real estate qualifications suite and delivery programmes are fit for purpose for the industry and meet regulatory requirements. A strong New Zealand qualifications suite is key to supporting high standards of conduct and professionalism across the industry and plays an important role in lifting public confidence in real estate professionals.

On 19 January, consultation launched on the proposed qualification solution. Consultation closed on 22 February. 80 people completed the survey through the Skills website, responding to 12 key questions. In addition, 11 experienced and senior leaders in the industry requested half-hour private consultation sessions which were conducted by Skills with the support of REINZ and REA.

Throughout the consultation period, Skills reviewed the feedback, responded to all individual submissions and relayed pertinent and relevant information to REA and REINZ for their consideration and review. These discussions have provided important insights and are being addressed in the development of the qualifications. The feedback received through the consultation process recorded significant support of the proposed changes.

The key themes from the comments can be found on theSkills website.

19 January 2021

Consultation is now open

You can read the consultation material and provide your feedback here

15 December 2020

Real Estate qualifications review and development

We're pleased to advise that The Real Estate Authority (REA), the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), and more recently The Skills Organisation (Skills), have been working closely with people from the real estate industry to better understand their needs, both now and into the future, to design a qualification suite that is fit for purpose and supports a career pathway in real estate.

The proposed changes, if approved, could result in changes to the existing Agent and Branch Manager qualifications. Consultation will shortly commence on the proposed changes. Once consultation opens, we will invite you via email to review and provide your feedback.

In the meantime, this is how you can engage in the qualifications that relate to the Agent and Branch Manager licensing classes: 

  • People who want to complete the qualification required to apply for the Agent licence class can continue to enrol in Skills’ programme which leads to the award of the National Diploma in Real Estate (Agent) (Level 5).  Assessments for this qualification will need to be achieved by June 2022. Skills’ Real Estate Operations team will let people know if they can cross-credit any unit standards previously achieved and also advise them about the time required to complete the qualification while working. 
  • Both Skills and the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand offer programmes leading to the award of the National Certificate in Real Estate (Branch Manager) (Level 5) and the New Zealand Certificate in Real Estate (Branch Manager) (Level 5), respectively.  Both of these qualifications can be used to apply for the Branch Manager licence class. If learners complete the National Certificate in Real Estate (Branch Manager) (Level 5) with Skills then they will have completed most of the assessments required for the National Diploma in Real Estate (Agent) (Level 5).  Skills offers a programme to transition between the two qualifications. 

More information about real estate licensing is available here.

10 October 2020

Review of the real estate qualifications suite underway

The next 5-10 years is a critical period for the real estate sector, with many seasoned branch managers and agents planning to retire and exit the industry.

In the coming months, our REA team will be working closely with qualifications bodies and industry representatives to co-design and consult on the development of a refreshed qualifications suite.

We’ve started by seeking industry feedback. You told us that the current National Diploma in Real Estate (Agent) (Level 5) and the planned New Zealand Diploma in Business (Level 6) (Real Estate) are both too big and take too long to complete.

Instead, you’ve told us you’d like the qualifications to build on each other, focus on the core skills and requirements at each level, and support career progression in the industry. We’re listening to your feedback.

Qualifications in New Zealand need to be approved by NZQA and are developed by Skills (and soon, the interim Workforce Development Council). At REA, our role in this process will be to facilitate collaboration with the industry, to ensure that your voices are heard, and your needs are met. Our objective is to ensure that the real estate qualifications suite and delivery programmes are fit for purpose for the industry and meet our regulatory requirements.

We know that capturing the insight and expertise of licensees is essential to ensure the final product is something that works for you, and the next generation of real estate professionals. Equally, consumers need to be able to feel confident that the New Zealand qualifications suite sets a robust minimum standard for training and expertise.

We want New Zealand licensees to be completing New Zealand qualifications. A strong New Zealand qualifications suite is key to lifting the standards of conduct and professionalism across the industry, and plays an important role in lifting public perception of real estate professionals.

What happens to qualifications in the meantime?

Learners will still be able to complete most real estate qualifications while the review of the qualification suite is underway.

  • The New Zealand Certificate in Real Estate (Salesperson) Level 4 will continue to be available from several education organisations.
  • The New Zealand Certificate in Real Estate (Branch Manager) Level 5 will continue to be available from the Open Polytechnic.
  • NZQA has granted an extension to the current National Diploma in Real Estate (Agent) Level 5, which is available via Skills. The last date for assessment of this qualification is now 30 June 2022, with new enrolments likely to close 30 June 2021.
  • There is currently no programme available for enrolments to complete the New Zealand Certificate in Real Estate (Specialist) Level 5, which offers strands in Business Broking, Commercial, Complex Residential, and Rural. This qualification is set to expire.

As part of the normal qualification review cycle, the New Zealand Certificate in Real Estate (Salesperson) Level 4 has been recently reviewed by an industry consultation group, with some small improvements recommended. We’re working with Skills to understand the next steps in this review.

As part of the review’s co-design process, there will be an opportunity for the industry to provide feedback on the Business Broking, Commercial, Complex Residential, and Rural unit standards of the specialist qualification, and whether these should be incorporated into another qualification.

Updates on the progress of the qualifications review

We’ll provide regular updates to licensees through the REA newsletter.

If you have any questions or would like to be actively involved, get in touch with Nadine Thomas, Industry Insights and Engagement Manager via nadine.thomas@rea.govt.nz.

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