The issue of agency qualifications has finally been mentioned in the Houses of Parliament, almost three years since the landmark Regulation of Property Agents (ROPA) report.
Unfortunately, there is still no indication of a timeframe for the introduction of proposed minimum standards and qualifications but government minister Eddie Hughes has at least reiterated the official line that the reforms are still on the agenda.
He responded to a written question tabled by fellow Tory MP Matthew Offord that asked when the proposals will be implemented.
Hughes, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Rough Sleeping and Housing said: “The government remains committed to creating a fair and just housing system that works for everyone.
“This commitment includes raising professionalism and standards amongst property agents, letting, estate and managing agents, protecting consumers, and defending the reputation of good agents from the actions of rogue operatives.
“We welcome the ongoing work being undertaken by the industry itself to raise professionalism and standards across the sector, including on potential codes of practice for property agents, and continue to engage with industry on this.
“The government is considering the recommendations in the final report on the regulation of property agents from Lord Best’s working group.”
It comes as estate agents within the Lomond Group network are to be given access to new training in collaboration with Propertymark.
The brand behind firms such as Linley & Simpson and DJ Alexander has joined forces with Propertymark to deliver a ground-breaking training and development strategy for its
1,000 people employed across England and Scotland.
For the first time, Lomond will work in partnership with the industry body to deliver a new online learning Level 3 qualification across the entirety of its network.
This will cover both residential letting and property management; and the sale of residential property.
Clare Wakeford, Lomond Group’s director of human resources, said: “The announcement further strengthens ambitions to become the UK’s leading collection of lettings and sales agencies. It also reinforces our commitment to invest in our biggest asset - our people.
“Employing brilliant people is one of the golden threads in our ambitious growth strategy.
“We are determined to attract, retain and develop the most talented and passionate property professionals, creating a best-in-class working environment where they can thrive.
“This new initiative will help us achieve that, as well as add an extra dimension to the raft of career pathways and person-centred development opportunities that already exist across Team Lomond.”
The training will be provided by Propertymark Qualifications, whose dedicated team offers specialist, regulated accreditations that are nationally-recognised and tailored to support staff in advancing their careers.
Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark, said: “The Lomond Group is well-known and respected, and our new partnership will help ensure it maintains its authoritative market position.
“We look forward to fostering the knowledge and careers of more exceptional professionals.
“The appetite amongst agents to professionalise the sector is overwhelming - and this commitment by the Lomond Group couldn’t be a better example.”