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Agency boss calls for ROPA exam clarity

The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) chief executive Gareth Samples has called for a steer on when the long-awaited Regulation of Property Agents (ROPA) rules will be introduced.

It is almost three years since the ROPA working party recommended a new regulator and code of practice, compulsory training and licensing, and significantly beefed up enforcement.

Legislation has been promised to introduce the changes but is yet to materialise.


Lord Best, chair of the working group, has previously said all agents, regardless of experience will have to pass exams.

But Samples says it would be good to have information on this sooner rather than later.

“We are broadly supportive of regulation,” he told Estate Agent Today.

“But the lack of clarity is frustrating.

“We want to help our franchisees.

“My biggest concern is there are business owners of a certain age that will have to go through exams and need support at an early stage.”

Glynis Frew, who stepped down as managing director of Hunters when it was acquired by TPFG last year, is now tasked with helping agents meet the ROPA recommendations.

Samples adds: “She will try to influence government.

“It is important we get it right.”

It comes as agency trade body Propertymark reported increased appetite for qualifications in the property sector.

It says almost 7,000 agents have registered for Propertymark Qualifications assessments so far in the current academic year.

A fifth of those are 16 to 24-year-olds — double that of five years ago — and the highest number of registrations is among 26 to 36-year-olds.

A Level 4 qualification was introduced in 2018, primarily aimed at those currently in, or considering, the role of principals, partners and directors in sales and or lettings agencies.

Registrations rose by 26% last year to more than double the number of participants in the first year it was available, Propertymark says.

Propertymark Qualifications is an approved end-point assessment organisation for the Junior Estate Agent Apprenticeship.

The number of assessments carried out has trebled over the past two years and new registrations for end-of-course assessments were five times more than in 2021 compared to the previous year.

Michael Smith, head of Propertymark Qualifications, says: “There is currently no UK-wide requirement for property agents to hold a recognised qualification, so to see a sustained demand demonstrates a real appetite among those entering and progressing in the profession to get qualified and to be fully accredited.

“Since the start of the pandemic more than 2,500 people have gained their full qualifications. This underlines the determination to succeed, professionalise and qualify even in challenging circumstances.

“We’re particularly pleased to see a continued rise in registrations for qualifications from those at the beginning of their career as a property agent. 

“We hope to be able to harness this growing interest to create a healthy pipeline of staff going forward.”

  • charlotte Jeffrey- campbell

    I spoke to the team involved on Friday and due to the urgency of current legislation - there is still no timescale.

  • charlotte Jeffrey- campbell

    We have seen a great enthusiasm for qualifications at Able Agent - why wait for regulation to enable the industry to gain knowledge?


    Regulation of an industry makes no difference to overall standards. It's been proven time and time and time again.

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    The RoPA proposals are understandably enthusiastically supported by those who sell training! Indeed the entire report was basically written by private companies who happen to sell training!

    Thank goodness the govt has other priorities!

    charlotte Jeffrey- campbell

    No - training is enthusiastically supported by trainers! RoPA or no RoPA we believe in expertise and sales skills!

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    PM training is a joke
    Multiple choice rubbish
    There is not a lot to agency
    Legal stuff
    Sales chasing

    charlotte Jeffrey- campbell

    I presume you mean there IS a lot to Agency….?

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    Business making money out of agents, by allowing this is letting these companies dictate and interfere with our industry making their rules to suit them.

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    The good agents will carry on being good, the bad agents will carry on being bad.

    Training companies will make a LOT of money. Organisations and individuals with the power to influence the legisaltion will most likely be invested in these companies in one way or another. Expect more, in both changes and new legislation in the next couple of decades, with lots of narrative about why it's necessary for them to 're-train' you again.

    You'll also need new informational and source materials, software etc which of course, they will be happy to sell you.

    A good proportion of agents will ignore it completely, and a good percentage of them will get away with it. Very little will be done on the enforcement side because it eats into their profit.

    Meanwhile, agents with their egos attached to their jobs will think that the shiny star they get makes them 'good', and willl go around signalling their virtue for having it.

    The cost of everything goes up for everyone.... buyers, sellers, tenants, landlords... to account for all the extra bureaucracy.

    None of it makes any difference to overall standards and we're all still having the same conversation in 20 years.

    The same cycle played out again and again, in practically all industries.

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    "I presume you mean there IS a lot to Agency….?"
    No I mean there is not a lot to it.
    I was an agents for some years.
    In my first day aged 18 I arranged an appointment for a guy on the mailing list who I rang ( off an applicant card )
    Received an offer and agreed a sale.


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