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NLA to insist on mandatory training for all members in future

NLA to insist on mandatory training for all members in future

All landlords belonging to the National Landlords Association will in future have to go on educational courses.

The NLA has announced the plans as part of a commitment to accredit all its members by 2020.

Members will have to complete a course, either in person or online, and also maintain their knowledge by attending meetings, conferences and further courses, and reading NLA literature to gain ongoing points in Continuous Professional Development.

While details have yet to be fully spelled out, it appears to mean that new members will have to pass a foundation course and commit to CPD before their applications are accepted, while existing members will have to undergo the training if they still wish to belong to the association.

A foundation course currently costs nothing if it is done online, but £95 for members (£125 for non-members) if they attend. CPD currently demands ten hours of study per year. If CPD is not adhered to, then the accredited status is lost: presumably in future, this will mean that landlords will also lose their membership.

The plans were outlined in a speech on ‘Delivering excellence in the private-rented sector’ by Carolyn Uphill, who is deputy chairman of the NLA.

She said that the NLA believes that landlord accreditation is a key tool to improving standards in the private-rented sector and it actively encourages all landlords – members and non-members – to become NLA accredited landlords.

Uphill said: “We believe that NLA membership should be synonymous with landlord professionalism, and accreditation is a significant factor in helping us achieve this. To have all our members accredited is an ambitious target but realistic in the lead-time provided.

“By demonstrating a level of competence represented by NLA accreditation, NLA members will be able to set themselves apart through evidence of their commitment to quality and standards.

“We all need to work together as an industry to improve the reputation of our sector, and NLA members can play an important role through leading by example.”

A spokesperson for the NLA said that having to undertake training and CPD would not impact on costs of membership if members did their studying online, but there would be extra to pay if landlords personally went on courses.

The spokesperson said: “We are confident that this is the way forward for the NLA and we hope that the majority of our members agree.

“We also hope that setting a target date of 2020 will provide adequate time for NLA members to manage the transition.”