RECO sets the education standards for real estate salespeople and brokers in Ontario for both registration education (for those entering the industry) and continuing education (for those already in the industry). In 2017, RECO selected a new provider to develop and deliver a new education program for aspiring registrants, scheduled to launch mid-2019.
Here’s a short Q&A with RECO Registrar Joseph Richer about the new program.
Why is RECO developing a new program?
Ontario’s real estate landscape is evolving. Consumers are more informed than ever, and technology is changing the way real estate professionals conduct business.
To better meet the demands of tomorrow, RECO set out to create a new program that will do more to ensure that new salespeople are ready to serve their clients’ needs on day one of the job. Through focused content development, simulations and assessments, learners will be equipped with more knowledge from the get-go. This means that they’ll have the confidence needed to trade in real estate, and provide high quality service to buyers and sellers in Ontario.
Who is administering the new program?
Last year RECO announced a partnership with Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning (Humber College) and NIIT Canada to build a best-in-class registration education program for the future of the profession. Humber College is one of Canada’s leading post-secondary institutions and they will manage the delivery of the program. NIIT Canada is the Canadian arm of a global leader in award-winning education development, and they’ll use their innovative technology infrastructure to build course material and assessments.
What will the new program look like?
Humber College and NIIT Canada are working to deliver top-notch, world-class training that will ensure new entrants to the profession can hit the ground running.
There are a number of highlights that I’m excited to share in the coming months. But for now, I’ll say that the new program will feature course content that follows the flow of a real estate transaction. The courses will take an in-depth look at specialized topics, like residential and commercial condos. There will be theory exams and two week-long simulation sessions where learners must pass assessments of their ability to apply key skills, before applying for RECO registration.
One feature I’m particularly excited about is the online database that can be accessed by both learners and existing salespeople and brokers. The database will contain on-the-job reference and support tools. This is something we’ve been hearing a lot of interest in from the industry, particularly during the RECO town halls last fall.
In a future phase, there will also be an additional certification exam that’s independent of the program. This must be passed before learners can qualify for registration with RECO.
Are industry experts contributing to the development of the program?
Yes. NIIT Canada has recruited a team of subject matter experts. These are local leaders in the industry who are drawing on their experience and understanding of the Ontario marketplace and real estate related legislation. Altogether, there are well over 40 leading real estate experts building and supporting the project. And more will be added, as needed in specialty areas, as development continues.
The program will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis, with input from industry experts. And if government makes any changes to REBBA or its associated regulations, then the necessary changes will be made to the program right away.
Will classroom learning be an option?
Yes, learners will be able to choose from completing courses through eLearning, as well as physical classroom and virtual facilitated classroom offerings. This combination will help to tailor their experience to meet their individual style, location and schedule needs.
I should note, however, that all assessments, including both the examinations and simulation sessions, must be completed in-person.
How will the new program ensure that new salespeople are practice-ready?
We’re developing the new program so that the right tools are built into it from the start. This will give learners the opportunity to receive ample practice and feedback that will ultimately help them succeed when they enter the industry.
In addition to simulation sessions, exams and in-depth focus on specialized topics, we’ll also provide information to help learners select a brokerage that best matches their individual needs. And for those who aspire to eventually lead brokerages, we’re including in our Broker program information on how to be an effective leader and create a positive and productive work environment.
We’re excited for the launch of the new program and what it means for RECO registrants, and ultimately, buyers and sellers in Ontario.