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PGP investing R30m in agent training in next 3 yrs

The Property Magazine
PGP investing R30m in agent training in next 3 yrs

Over the next three years alone the Pam Golding Property (PGP) group will invest in excess of R30 million in training all its agents not only to ensure that they are fully compliant with the requirements of the new national curriculum for education and training but also in order to meet the growing demands of an increasingly demanding and sophisticated marketplace, says Dr Andrew Golding, CE of the PGP group.

"With the official introduction of the Department of Trade and Industry's new regulations regarding training qualifications for real estate agents scheduled to take effect from 1 April (2008), we are fully geared to implement these with our first intake of 100 PGP agents to be trained at our own in-house Services Seta accredited Pam Golding Training Academy. Subsequent further training will thereafter be implemented as and where required and will include specialist training outsourced through experts in their field such as the Graduate School of Business," says Dr Golding.

PGP currently has approximately 3000 agents operating in over 300 offices in Southern Africa, all of whom will be required to be trained and assessed in terms of the new requirements over the next three to five years, as well as comply with ongoing professional development requirements.

"Having launched the Academy back in 2000 as a major national training provider which would set a new benchmark for industry standards in South Africa, and having over the years provided comprehensive in house training for our agents at an extremely high level, we see this as a seamless process as we have already incorporated the curriculum within our own training programme. As a result and in effect we will provide all our agents with world-class training and skills which will significantly exceed the requirements of the new training standards, thereby providing us with a further key competitive advantage in the marketplace," says Dr Golding.

From a consumer perspective, Dr Golding says this will ensure that both buyers and sellers can be assured of dealing with professionals with all the necessary skills and knowledge at their fingertips.  "The new curriculum is welcomed as it is beneficial to consumers and the industry in general. It's also far more specific and honed to suit the complex and ever-evolving requirements of the real estate industry, encompassing a wide range of knowledge and skills incorporating legislative issues, marketing and finance, property management and estimations of market value, among many others. It will also benefit those entering the industry for the first time as they will have access not only to relevant theoretical training but also workplace learning and assessments," he says.

While being outcomes based, the new qualification utilises unit standards that represent a minimum of 150 credits - each of which represents 10 hours of learning. This translates into a total of 1500 hours of training of which 500 shall be in the classroom and 1000 practical on the job training. Agents already operating in the industry will have to write a Professional Designation Examination after obtaining the FET Certification: Real Estate before the end of 2013 if they have not been registered estate agents for at least five years on 1 April 2007. Those that have been in the industry for five years still need to obtain the qualification by 2013 to remain registered.

Over the years the company has been working closely with the Services Seta through the Pam Golding Training Academy external training manager, Pam Snyman - who in 2002 was the first member of the real estate industry to be awarded full certification as an assessor - having been involved in the creation of the new industry curriculum as the subject expert called in by the Services Seta to assist in finalising content to cater specifically for the property industry. In total PGP has seven qualified, Seta-approved assessors fully employed by the Training Academy, while both Michelle Keegan, head of internal training, and Pam Snyman are qualified moderators as well, enabling them to moderate the quality of the assessors themselves.

In addition to the training of agents, all PGP administrative staff undergo ongoing training through the Academy, while the group's management development programme - developed in conjunction with the globally rated University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business - has seen an investment of some R2 million over the past year alone, with further investment earmarked for such training over the next two years.


Disclaimer: The information presented and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Estates Report and/or its partners.