The SAFEagent campaign was born out of letting agents uniting to protect the consumer and campaign for mandatory client money protection. These professional agents have led the way in setting standards in the private rented sector.
From 1 April 2019 the SAFEagent campaign will have achieved its objective for mandatory Client Money Protection (CMP) for all letting agents, but this doesn’t mean the need for consumer protection goes away. Along with mandatory client money protection Government in England has also revealed plans to raise standards in the private rented sector through new training requirements, following the lead of Wales and Scotland.
Agents in Wales must already adhere to training to meet the Rent Smart Wales Scheme, while new rules mean Scottish agents must attain a qualification to be part of the Scottish Register of Agents. We now know that England’s agents will also be required to obtain a nationally recognised qualification to practice, with at least one person in every organisation required to have a higher qualification. These are important steps for stamping out the rogues and ensuring a more professional industry across the board, but it is those who already go beyond those minimum requirements who see the real benefits.
Professional development shouldn’t be a nice to have, in fact, well-trained staff who are up to date with the latest legal and industry developments, provide a competitive edge, and are an important way raise standards in the private rented sector.
Not only does a well-trained workforce provide the very best service to both landlords and tenants, it also has many benefits for agents themselves. Quality staff expect continued professional development (CPD) as part of their career development and an employer that has a culture of professional development and training will attract the best candidates.
Agents who gain qualifications or undertake additional training can improve their motivation and performance, while providing practical techniques to help them deal with the day to day issues in their role. Attaining awards or qualifications is a mark of pride, a benchmark of achievement and enables people to become better skilled, efficient and effective in their role. And who can argue with that?
NALS has supported and administered the SAFEagent campaign since 2011. To find out what NALS professional development can do for you, go to https://www.nalscheme.co.uk/nals-professional-development/