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Furlough and training?

Charlotte Jeffrey-Campbell, Director, The Able Agent, says, “We have had a number of questions relating to furlough and training, what does it all mean?”

Charlotte Jeffrey-Campbell

Link to Furlough/Training feature

  • What does it mean?
  • What does it mean for the staff who are furloughed?
  • What training is available for staff working from home?
  • Is it worth doing a qualification ready for RoPA?

Things have progressed very quickly, and truth be told, up to the end of March, many people understood the term ‘furlough”.

Link to Furlough/Training feature

Charlotte Jeffrey-Campbell

At this point, a furloughed employee can take part in voluntary training, provided that any such activities do not provide services to, or generate revenue for their organisation. However an employer cannot enforce any such training. If employees are required by agents to undertake training while on furlough, they must be paid at least the National Living Wage/National Minimum Wage. Keep an eye on the Government website for more information.

A furloughed employee can do training, so long as such activities don’t provide services to, or generate revenue for their organisation.

Now we have had several weeks of staff getting into new routines or adjusting to the fact they have been furloughed – who had even heard of this word a few weeks ago? – now is a good time to consider what’s available for staff self-development.

Employers are keen to keep their employees engaged, learning new skills, services and supported in these unusual circumstances. Agents have adjusted to the fact that getting back to normality may be months away but are being positive about getting “match fit” for when that time comes. Many have also given the option to staff to sign up to qualifications whilst they have time and motivation to study.

There are many different options for self-development:

  • Short Online Courses – these could be simple professional one-off payment courses such Making the most of Linkedin, Health and Safety, First Aid or something to encourage a hobby such as painting or dancing. Podcasts are a fantastic tool and are a great source of industry commentary. Kerfuffle
  • Podcast, The World Class Agency podcast and The Estate Agents podcast are all free and regularly produced to help you keep up to date while the industry is changing.
  • You Tube – Christopher Watkin, for example, has a fantastic and seeming endless supply of films produced with all sorts of industry experts plus industry hints and tips.
  • e-learning – Consider following an Industry online learning course whether that is via a membership body such as the Guild or a commercial training tool such as The Able Agent.
  • Apprenticeships – It is also possible to place staff on apprenticeship programmes such as Customer Service, Business Admin and Team Leading.
  • Qualifications – Although timing is uncertain, another thing to consider is RoPA.

Whilst we may not know when this is coming and even if, why wait to get staff qualified?

Getting your sales, lettings and management teams qualified is likely to be less expensive now than when it becomes mandatory! So, staff could get qualified and prepared for RoPA now, but choosing industry specific online courses will also give agents a knowledge and ideas boost so that when we do eventually stop working from our beds (sorry homes!) staff will be more skilled at spotting business.

The RoPA report stated that the required qualification for general staff, listers and managers (not directors) would be at Level 3 and Ofqual regulated. Consider the choices available?

Everyone is aware of the Propertymark (NfoPP) qualifications in either Sale of Residential Property or Lettings and Property Management but may not be aware of the Chartered Institute of Housing Qualifications or ABBE’s L3 Ofqual regulated Certificate in Property Advice & Practice (CePAP).

There truly has never been a better time to get staff started on new programmes. They now have the time, drive, and determination to learn more.

ABBE L3 Certificate in Property Advice & Practice (CePAP) can be studied online via The Able Agent® and covers sales skills & customer service as well as all the relevant estate agency and lettings process and law in one course and exam.


June 6, 2020

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