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Already acknowledged as the industry leader in professional property education, SAPOA is raising the bar with a bouquet of three carefully-designed new courses presented in partnerships with the University of the Witwatersrand in Gauteng and the University of Cape Town in the Western Cape.

The Introduction to Commercial Property Programme (ICPP), the Essential Commercial Property Programme (ECPP) and the Property Management Programme (PMP) are being launched on 26 March and 30 March 2009 respectively to add to SAPOA’s stable of accredited courses.

“SAPOA is pleased to facilitate these courses in partnership with the University of Cape Town and the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg,” explains SAPOA CEO Neil Gopal, pointing out that the universities will take on the role of training provider.

An increasing focus on standardizing industry education prompted SAPOA to undertake a wide-scale audit of its educational offerings in 2008 and match them more closely with industry needs.

“We work closely with the Services SETA and Estate Agents Affairs Board to ensure there are effective learning pathways in the commercial property industry,” says Gopal.

“We are also active participants in the Service SETA Employer Association, Commercial Property Chamber Board, Organising Framework for Occupations, and Committee of Expert Practitioners.”

The result was a detailed SAPOA Education Strategy, which included the restructuring of the SAPOA Education Committee and the establishment of a new committee to interact with accredited training providers.

“Our primary goal is to ensure effective and consistent course content nationally, based on relevant and standardized material,” says Francois Viruly, Pareto professor of property studies and acting head of the School of Construction Economics and Management at Wits. Viruly sits on SAPOA’s board of directors.

“SAPOA focuses on outcomes-based methodology for its courses, which are aligned with SAQA standards wherever possible.”

The Introduction to Commercial Property Programme (ICPP) aims to provide a bird’s-eye view of the commercial and industrial property marketplace for new entrants into the sector. The three-day course will cover a diversity of key property topics, ranging from SA property terms, to town planning and conveyancing processes, to property marketing, and the legislative environment. The launch course is being held in Gauteng in March, in partnership with Wits University, KZN in May in partnership with Wits and in the Western Cape in June, in partnership with the University of Cape Town.

Essential Commercial Property Programme (ECPP) is a four-day course that offers a more advanced insight into the property industry than the ICPP and covers more in-depth topics, including: property investments, transformation issues in the SA marketplace, financing decisions, and listed property. The Western Cape, Gauteng and KZN courses are scheduled for launch in July and September, in partnership with Wits University and the University of Cape Town, respectively.

Both short courses offer a strong focus on case studies and will include assessments.

The new Property Management Programme (PMP) is an eight-month professional course aimed at property managers and will include modules on property law, economics and finance, marketing, technology and facilities, and property management. The first course, in partnership with Wits University, will kick off in March 2009.

“Participants will walk away with relevant, professional knowledge that will enhance their industry-specific skills,” adds Viruly.


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