RPL... But with a difference

Just after 7:00am on a crisp August morning 19 highly experienced Dormehl Property Group principals converged on the group's Westville Head Office to start a new chapter in their profession with them all about to embark on the Real Estate Industry's regulatory NQF5 requirement.

The bright-eyed, enthusiastic principals had traveled from all over greater Durban and from as far afield as Richards Bay in northern KZN as well as all the way from the idyllic hamlet of Darling in the Western Cape with the only instruction from the group's CEO, Owen Dormehl, to bring a laptop, a calculator, pens, pencils, highlighters and some 'Red Bull'!

On arrival the principals found that the group's Head Office had been transformed and reconfigured to now be a very formal and specialized 'class room' with 19 separate work-stations! On hand, even at that hour, was a very hi-tech IT specialist who quietly and efficiently connected each principals computer via the Head Office's wi-fi system to the state of the art, centrally situated printer as well as making the connection to enable each one of them to be able to access the wonders of the internet to facilitate the vast amount of research that would be undertaken during the RPL NQF5 process.

Within a short space of time a real air of excitement and anticipation had built up. At 7.45am Owen Dormehl kicked off proceedings by welcoming all of the participating franchisees to "DPG's NQF5 Class of 2010" and he introduced the facilitator Jill Corfield representing iSeleSele Property Academy, accredited RPL Assessment Centre with Services SETA, EAAB and Department of Education.

Owen Dormehl has a well-earned reputation in the industry for his innovative ideas in managing a franchise group and accordingly the franchisees were not surprised to hear that they were to be the 'pilot project' in the ground breaking format that Owen and Jill had formulated to facilitate the group's principals with completing all five clusters of the NQF5 process within 6 weeks and to then be assessed competent in terms of the Services SETA and Estate Agency Affairs Board's required qualifications.

It was clear from the start that it was going to be a very intense schedule which was going to be run with military type precision. All of the logistics were already pre-arranged and set in place such as which days were to be in the 'class room', what time the tea and lunch breaks would be and wait for it … even the time that the hot dinner would be served! Yes, that's correct, even dinner was going to be served. The days in between were allocated to the considerable amount of home work that would have to be presented back to the facilitator at the next scheduled 'class room' day. The days spent in the 'class room' at the Head Office were going to commence at 7.45am sharp and would continue throughout the entire day to finish at 10.00pm at night, hence the hot dinner being served!

The whole process soon got under way with the arrival of the iSeleSele team's administrative ladies who assisted Jill as she attended to the registration of all of the principals and the distribution of the iSeleSele, professionally compiled and branded RPL NQF5 manuals.

Within an hour every individual was totally focused on 'Googling' a variety of internet web-sites whilst they conducted extensive research. The 'class room' quickly resembled a national newspaper's newsroom as 19 franchisees had their heads down concentrating on their screens with the only sound in the room being the continuous pounding of the many key-boards.

As promised the teatime biscuits and refreshments arrived on time as did the fantastic lunch time treats and the crowning glory with the excellent dinner was that it was also accompanied by desert!

The caterers, ably headed up by Mrs Gardiner, did a truly outstanding job of continually replenishing falling energy levels by arriving at the 'class room' with an amazing variety of tasty, specially prepared food.

After six grueling weeks of hard work the group completed all five clusters of the NQF5 process, truly an excellent achievement on everybody's behalf. Owen Dormehl and Jill Corfield congratulated the group and thanked them for their total dedication to the task and the excellent discipline they displayed while working through the entire programme which culminated in all 19 principals being assessed as competent. 100% SUCCESS RATE !

A point of interest in regard to the age old war of the sexes was noted, especially so by the ladies, that the gender of the first person to be assessed as competent in respect of the NQF5 qualification was ….wait for it…a female! This is possibly due to the fact that females are invariably more experienced typists or possibly that females spend less time on 'smoke breaks' or do not take as many 'toilet breaks' as one elderly gentleman did!

All of the DPG franchisees were unanimous in that they agreed that the pilot project had been an extremely interesting and very informative exercise. Everyone was of the opinion that with the CEO having conducted the RPL NQF5 process in such a manner it had provided the added benefit of being an excellent team building facility for the group's franchisees.

Even though the 19 franchisees were all seasoned, well experienced principals they were very pleased to have been participants in the pilot project and they all agreed that they had gained considerable value by having been assessed competent in regard to their chosen profession of Real Estate.

By: Charles Alterskye

Article by: Dormhl