A training program that creates a minimum standard of education for unlicensed real estate assistants is being offered in B.C.
The Professional Real Estate Assistant (PRA) Training Program is the brainchild of Nina Campbell, a Realtor with close to two decades of experience, who began teaching the program in 2009.
Campbell says she developed the program in response to demand. “Many colleagues didn’t have time to train their unlicensed assistants, and these assistants, who are unregulated, had the potential to get the licensees and the brokerages they work for into trouble.”
The program, which Campbell says is the only one of its type in Canada, was developed to raise the bar and help ensure unlicensed assistants have a minimum uniform standard of training. Along the way the program has been reviewed by many professional experts, including legal counsel, all with the goal of promoting industry standards and professionalism, she says.
The training is flexible and includes a comprehensive six-day Foundations Certificate Program offered in a classroom setting over two weekends of three days each. There is also a one-day introductory Competency Program aimed at assistants already working in real estate offices and there are professional development courses on topics such as social media.
Students must complete multiple assignments and pass a final exam that determines their knowledge in a range of areas, including the federal Competition Act, FINTRAC regulations, Do Not Call rules, the provincial land titles registry system and municipal sign bylaws.
“Assistants completing our programs learn what they can and cannot do, and are able to recognize situations that could result in litigation and pass these to their employer. This leads to more effective risk management,” says Campbell.
“Our grads are in demand because they’re trained,” says Campbell. “Our program establishes minimum practice standards and guidelines so that licensees and brokerages are assured the grad they hire has solid skills and knowledge.”
PRA Training has also established a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for unlicensed assistants and offers ongoing support through a networking community and events.
This year the company plans two new offerings: a course for licensees on how to best hire and work with unlicensed assistants; and virtual on-demand assistants.
For information: www.pratraining.com.