How a real estate salesperson got in trouble by circumventing CPD course requirements

CEAnergy_Case Study Circumventing CPD Requirements

April 2024 - 3 min read

For the renewal of estate agent licences and salesperson registrations, industry professionals including Key Executive Officers (KEOs) and real estate salespersons (RESs) must fulfil the necessary Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements by personally attending CPD courses.

Since October 2019, a minimum of six credits must be undertaken by industry professionals for each annual CPD cycle. The credits are obtained by them personally attending CPD courses. 

CPD is one of the key components of CEA’s regulatory framework which ensures that KEOs and RESs have the skillsets and critical competencies to carry out their duties effectively. Currently, RESs will have to fulfil six CPD credits a year to renew their registration.

This case study is about an RES who tried to circumvent the CPD requirements: Sum Yusen (‘Sum’), also known as Caleb, who persuaded another RES, J, to attend CPD courses on his behalf.

Sum then submitted his application to renew his RES registration despite knowing that he had not personally fulfilled the CPD requirements.

Case background

In August 2022, Sum contacted RES J for help to fulfil Sum’s CPD requirements.

At that time, they were from different estate agents. Sum was an RES with Huttons Asia Pte Ltd (Huttons), while RES J was registered with PropNex Realty Pte Ltd. RES J was previously with Huttons, which was where he became acquainted with Sum.

RES J agreed to Sum’s request, and the duo subsequently discussed how RES J could complete Sum’s CPD requirements on Sum’s behalf.

The duo’s plans involved two CPD courses which were conducted online in early September 2022, via the Zoom video conferencing software. These courses were conducted by Company H. 

A matter of courses 

Using Sum’s log-in details, RES J signed up for two CPD courses, worth four CPD credits, in Sum’s name. On both days which the CPD courses were held, RES J accessed Sum’s email inbox to retrieve the details for the courses held online. RES J then accessed and attended these courses through the Zoom video conferencing software in Sum’s name.

Company H was not aware that it was RES J, and not Sum, who had attended both online CPD Courses via Zoom. On both occasions, RES J appeared on the video feeds and his username was stated as Sum’s name.

Sum then received certificates for the courses that RES J had attended on his behalf, and he reimbursed RES J for the course fees. 

In November 2022, Sum submitted his application to CEA to renew his RES registration for calendar year 2023 through the Advanced CEA Estate Agencies System (“ACEAS”). He did so despite knowing that he had not personally fulfilled the necessary CPD requirements, as four of the six CPD credits were obtained through the courses RES J had attended in Sum’s name.

Based on the course attendance information that Company H had submitted to CEA, CEA’s IT system, ACEAS, inaccurately reflected that Sum had satisfied the CPD requirements. Sum did not correct this wrong information, and instead chose to intentionally suppress this material fact when he submitted his application for renewal of his RES registration.

CEA investigated Sum after receiving a complaint. Sum also made false statements to a CEA officer during an interview regarding his application for the renewal of his RES registration.


After the investigations were completed, Sum was charged and convicted in Court for an offence under Section 64(1)(a)(ii) of the Estate Agents Act 2010 (EAA) for having intentionally suppressed a material fact – that is, his ineligibility for renewal of his RES registration – in relation to his registration renewal application. A second charge was taken into consideration.
Sum was sentenced to a fine of $6,000.


Industry Perspective 
By Dennis Yeo
Secretary, Singapore Estate Agents Association

The annual CPD course requirements are set by CEA for RESs to continue practicing estate agency work. The CPD course requirements must be taken seriously, for us to continue to maintain a high level of professionalism as an Industry.

No one should be allowed to “fake it”. Getting another RES to attend the CPD courses on one’s behalf, then claiming to have fulfilled the necessary requirements, is as serious as committing fraud. It is definitely not what we would consider as conduct worthy of a professional RES.

Information accurate as at 23 April 2024

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