As a real estate agent in Singapore, you’re required to complete Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses annually. This requirement helps you keep your skills sharp and stay updated on industry changes. However, with your daily responsibilities as a realtor, CPD might sometimes be viewed as a regulatory burden that takes time away from your work. 

Nevertheless, you can actually transform this obligation into a valuable opportunity for your professional growth by making the whole process simpler. Choosing the right courses is an important part of it.

Let’s explore how to choose the right CPD course so you can easily navigate through it without adding stress to your professional routine. 

Understanding CPD Requirements

Real estate agents in Singapore must complete a specified number of CPD hours through courses accredited by the Council of Estate Agencies (CEA). The CPD framework is designed to ensure continuous enhancement and update of a real estate agent’s professional skills, plus their understanding of the latest industry practices and regulatory changes.

Each year, you are required to fulfil a minimum number of CPD hours. This typically involves: 

  • Core CPD hours that focuses on regulatory updates, ethics, and essential industry knowledge that all agents must know.
  • Non-core CPD hours covering a broader range of topics, such as marketing, new technology, customer service, and advanced real estate knowledge.

The annual CPD cycle runs from 1st of October of the previous year to 30th September of the current year. For instance, the 2024 CPD cycle will start from 1 October 2023 and end on 30 September 2024. According to the CEA, new agents are exempted from CPD requirements for the first CPD cycle. However, they will need to comply with the CPD requirement for the next and subsequent CPD cycles.

Please note that the specific number of hours and course types can vary. Therefore, always ensure you regularly check the official CEA website for the latest updates.

CPD courses can be classified into two main categories:

  1. Core courses cover essential regulatory updates, ethical standards, and risk management practises that are crucial for compliance and ethical practice in real estate; and 
  2. Non-core courses that include a variety of topics like negotiation techniques, digital marketing strategies, financial planning, and technology in real estate. These courses aim to enhance an agent’s skills and competencies beyond the regulatory frameworks.

CPD course providers

Many institutes and training providers offer CPD courses approved by the CEA. Some prominent providers include:

  • Real Estate and Construction Centre (RECC): RECC offers a wide range of both core and non-core CPD courses, focusing on practical skills and up-to-date industry knowledge.
  • Singapore Estate Agents Association (SEAA): SEAA is a leading industry body and provides comprehensive CPD courses that meet the diverse needs of real estate professionals.
  • Institute of Estate Agents (IEA): IEA offers various CPD courses for agents to stay compliant with regulatory requirements and sharpen their professional skills.

If you’re unable to commit to traditional classroom settings, there are many online CPD courses as well. With online courses, you have the flexibility to complete CPD requirements at your own pace and convenience. Platforms like PropertyGuru Academy and Real Centre Network offer online and hybrid course options.

While selecting a CPD course, always verify that the course is CEA-accredited to ensure it counts towards your CPD requirements. 

Choosing the right CPD course

While CPD is a mandatory framework, it shouldn’t become a burden since it can actually maximise your continuing education. Therefore, choosing the right CPD course is essential. Here are some tips on how to choose the right course for you: 

Assess your goals: Begin by evaluating your career aspirations within the real estate sector. The best way is to identify areas where you need improvement or new skills that could open up additional opportunities. For instance, if you’re interested in moving into real estate investment and development, look for courses that cover these topics comprehensively.

Consider learning preferences: Some people prefer in-person workshops while others opt for online courses. It’s totally up to you and your routine to choose between a learning environment that allows you to engage directly with instructors and peers, or the one that provides the flexibility to learn at your own pace and on your own time. You may also want to look for hybrid options that offer the best of both worlds.

In any case, you’ll need to ensure the learning format aligns with your learning preferences and schedule.

Verify accreditation: Accreditation guarantees that the course you choose meets industry standards and will count towards your CPD requirements. Therefore, always ensure the courses you choose are accredited by CEA. 

Cost: You may also want to consider the cost of the course and the potential return on investment. If you’re choosing expensive courses, make sure they justify the price tag with exceptional content and exclusive expertise that can’t be found in cheaper or free courses. Balance cost with the quality and potential career benefits of the course.

Common pitfalls to avoid with your CPD obligations 

Navigating the CPD requirements shouldn’t be tricky, but there can be some pitfalls that you should be aware of to ensure you make the most of your CPD efforts. Here are some key pitfalls to avoid:


Leaving CPD obligations until the last minute can end up with you rushing to complete hours without properly absorbing the material, or even missing the deadline altogether. It can result in penalties or complications with maintaining your licensing status.

Sloppy planning

Without a clear schedule, you’ll likely find yourself taking courses at inconvenient hours or missing out on your preferred courses. Structured planning may involve mapping out the entire CPD year, understanding when different courses are available, and registering early.

Not verifying course accreditation

Only take courses accredited by CEA to ensure your training counts towards your CPD requirements. Always double check that a course is accredited before enrolling.

Ignoring your professional development needs

Some people choose CPD courses based purely on convenience, such as location or timing, rather than opting for courses that align with their career goals. This approach can result in missed opportunities to enhance specific skills that could benefit their career growth. Since it’s a mandatory thing, trying to make the most out of it shouldn’t hurt at all.  

Focusing solely on compliance

While meeting regulatory requirements is necessary, you should also view CPD as an opportunity for professional growth. If you view CPD only as a checkbox activity, you’re limiting yourself from the practical benefits it can offer.

Not keeping records

Keeping proper records of completed courses is the best way to avoid unnecessary stress when it’s time to report CPD hours or in case of an audit. Always ensure you have digital or physical records of course certificates and a log of courses taken.


CPD is a mandatory framework for you to maintain your real estate licence smoothly. However, it shouldn’t become an extra burden on your professional and personal life. You can meet your CPD requirements efficiently by planning in advance and gradually completing small portions each day. Ensure that your CPD courses not only fit into your routine but also contribute to your professional growth.

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A writer from the heart and marketer from the mind, Michael writes to help businesses implement effective sales and marketing strategies.