Training and qualifications
Before you can register you have to make sure that everyone in your business who needs to has the correct training.
Those who have to be trained as part of the registration process will need to have a relevant qualification covering essential aspects of letting agency work. This will need to be at (or at the equivalent of) Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level 6 or above.
Those who already have a qualification which is over 3 years old will also need to have done additional training on letting agency work.
Who needs training?
If you're applying as a sole trader, the people who need the qualification plus any necessary training are:
- every person directly concerned with managing and supervising the day-to-day running of your letting agency work
If you're applying on behalf of a company, partnership or other body, the people who need the qualification plus any necessary training are:
- the person holding the most senior position in the organisation's management structure (unless they aren't involved in day-to-day running of letting agency work)
- every person directly concerned with managing and supervising the day-to-day running of the organisation's letting agency work
If you have an office where letting agency work is done and nobody in that office is listed above, there must be at least one person in that office who meets the training requirement.
If you're already qualified
If you already have a relevant qualification but you got it more than 3 years before you apply, you also need to have had 20 hours of letting agency work training over the last 3 years.
This must include at least 15 hours of formal training which could consist of:
You should have documented evidence (like a certificate) showing that you got the training or that you delivered it.
The rest of the hours needed can be informal training. This may include:
- work shadowing and coaching
- informal learning within your company
- interactive discussions with experts
- informal teaching for others
- reading and writing articles on letting agency work
Organisations based outside Scotland
If a business outside Scotland is doing letting agency work in Scotland, the office where this work is undertaken will need to have someone qualified even if they're not in Scotland.
As part of the registration process, you will have to say who in your business has to be qualified and show proof they have the qualification.
Getting the qualification
Anyone who has to be qualified as part of the registration process will need to have a relevant qualification covering essential aspects of letting agency work. This will need to be at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level 6 or above.
There are currently four programmes leading to qualifications that are considered acceptable. They are:
- The LETWELL programme, delivered by Landlord Accreditation Scotland and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland: CIH level 3 certificate in letting and managing residential property (equivalent to SCQF level 6)
- Propertymark qualifications (formerly National Federation of Property Professionals) programme – Residential Letting and Property Management – Scotland
- The safeagent Foundation Lettings Course (formerly NALS)
- MRICS qualification, but only if certain conditions have been met. See below for more information.
Members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS) may have qualifications considered acceptable for letting agent registration, but only if they:
- attained their MRICS qualification through the residential pathway
- qualified in Scotland after 2006
They also need to have undertaken the following competencies as part of their Assessment of Professional Competence (APC):
- leasing and letting
- either landlord and tenant, housing aid and advice, housing management and policy, or property management
- accounting principles and procedures
- housing maintenance repairs and improvements;
- client care
- communication and negotiation
- dispute resolution
- conduct, rules and ethics
Any RICS professionals who haven't covered all the above competencies will need to do additional training to meet the minimum standards for registration.
If you're an MRICS qualified professional and you covered the above competencies in Scotland but did so through a different pathway, you may still be eligible. Email email@example.com for clarification.
More information can be found on the RICS website.