The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is calling for a strengthened real estate education program in its third white paper published today, Working Towards Excellence: A Forward Looking Plan for Real Estate Registration Education. Ontario Realtors want to see a tougher, North American-leading curriculum replace the current dated registration education program that will produce highly educated, well-trained, practice-ready real estate professionals.
“Raising the professional standards of Ontario Realtors begins with improving the education that happens before becoming a licensed professional,” said Ettore Cardarelli, OREA President. “A stronger education program will better prepare salespeople for our increasingly complex real estate market, and the challenges that come with helping families through the biggest purchase of their lives.”
The OREA Real Estate College has been the sole provider of real estate licensing education since the 1950s. Prior to 2008, the curriculum received international acclaim through various education awards, and has been the benchmark against which other provinces have modeled real estate education programs. In 2008, the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), the industry regulator, took control over real estate education curriculum and standards. Since then, the quality of the program has fallen behind.
“The current curriculum diminishes the importance of a Realtor, homes and property to Ontarians,” said Cardarelli. “Despite our best efforts to upgrade the standards by which real estate licensing education is granted, our hands have been tied since 2008 by RECO, the government regulator. This is our opportunity to have our recommendations for improving education considered and hopefully implemented.”
The OREA REBBA Review Taskforce is asking for Realtor and public feedback on several proposals in the Working Towards Excellence white paper, including:
- A college diploma or degree as registration pre-requisite
- Tougher, more practice based examinations
- More in-class instruction on offer writing and presentation
- A longer, more demanding articling period that better prepares registrants for the rigours of the marketplace, similar to other professions
- The introduction of new specialty courses in areas like condominiums, industrial and rural/waterfront properties
At OREA’s urging, the provincial government has committed to improving professional standards in the real estate industry by way of a review of the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA). In response to the review, OREA is releasing four white papers designed to encourage member discussion and feedback, which will inform the final recommendations that OREA presents to the government. OREA’s consultation with members will span the rest of 2017 and engage thousands of members in a conversation about the future of the Act and the profession. Members can go to www.REBBAreform.ca and submit their feedback.