Qualifications and Registration
The New Zealand Society of Conveyancers (NZSOC) offer the following conveyancer registration options:
Registered Conveyancer – is a person who has successfully completed the Diploma of Conveyancing or successfully applies through the NZ Society of Conveyancers under an Equivalency Assessment. A Registered Conveyancer may only work under the supervision of another practitioner or firm, and may apply to be the Primary Contact with LandonLine.
Conveyancing Practitioner – a Registered Conveyancer who successfully applies through the NZ Society of Conveyancers to obtain a Practising Certificate. Practitioners can apply to be the Conveyancing Professional with LandonLine.
Conveyancing Practitioner who practices on their own account – a Conveyancing Practitioner who successfully applies through the NZ Society of Conveyancers to practice on their own account.
The NZ Society of Conveyancers requires candidates who seek to qualify as a Registered Conveyancer solely by their prior experience, qualifications and training to have in excess of 8 years (if a qualified Legal Executive) relevant conveyancing experience. Candidates may apply to the NZ Society of Conveyancers for an equivalency assessment to determine the extent to which the person’s qualifications, training, or experience (or any combination of them) is the equivalent of the specifications for NZ Diploma of Conveyancing (see also our Become a Conveyancer webpage which fully outlines the prescriptions and learning outcomes for the 12 course diploma).
Should the candidate not have a Legal Executive certificate, however does have in excess of 10 years relevant conveyancing experience, then the applicant will be required to complete two Diploma of Conveyancing papers (contact the NZ Society of Conveyancers for further details).
The Equivalency Assessment application must be accompanied by a full CV, a detailed written statement along with documentary evidence of the applicant’s qualifications, training, or experience (as further outlined in our Prior Experience Guideline Form endorsed by the applicants employer; references; police check, a statutory declaration that the applicant is the person named in the documents submitted and that the documents are true, complete and correct; along with payment of the applicable fee.
The equivalency assessment completed by NZSOC may include an examination on conveyancing knowledge and capabilities, and referees that are provided to verify the applicants past experience will be contacted.
The NZ Society of Conveyancers or an approved provider will notify the applicant of any additional training or study required in order to obtain full equivalency, and the candidate will have 3 years to complete any further training or study required by that assessment.
The Society may impose any conditions on a grant of registration that it considers appropriate in the circumstances.
A registered Conveyancer is a candidate who qualifies as a Registered Conveyancer by successfully completing the Diploma of Conveyancing; or
A candidate who has attained the appropriate Equivalency Assessment Certificate from the NZ Society of Conveyancers (see above) confirming that their prior conveyancing experience and training meets the specifications of the Diploma of Conveyancing.
A Registered Conveyancer is required to work under the supervision of another Practitioner or firm. Before they can apply to NZ Society of Conveyancers for their Practising Certificate and to practice on their own account, they need to provide evidence of the required 3 years practical conveyancing experience.
Criteria for registration as a Registered Conveyancer
The candidate must -
- Meet the educational requirements set by the NZ Society of Conveyancers (as below)
- Be a fit and proper person to be registered as a registered conveyancer (as defined by s83 Lawyers and Conveyancers Act)
- Payment of the applicable fee
- Hold a NZ Diploma of Conveyancing or
- Hold a certificate Equivalency Assessment (as below), issued by the NZSOC whereby qualifications, training or experience is the equivalent of the requirements of the Diploma of Conveyancing.
A Registered Conveyancer with at least three years relevant conveyancing experience can make application to the NZ Society of Conveyancers to become a Conveyancing Practitioner where if successful, they will be issued with a Practising Certificate. Conveyancing Practitioners may work for another practitioner or firm or can apply to the NZSOC to operate on their own account (see below).
Criteria for Eligibility for a Practising Certificate
- The applicant must be a Registered Conveyancer through NZ Society of Conveyancers with at least 3 years relevant conveyancing experience. Such conveyancing experience must be obtained during the 8 years immediately before the proposed date, and the Conveyancer has had not less than 3 years conveyancing experience in NZ or Australia. The applicant must provide a written Prior Experience statement outlining the experience that has been attained, in accordance with our Prior Experience Guideline form.
- Be a fit and proper person (as defined by s83 Lawyers and Conveyancers Act)
- Payment of the applicable fee
- The applicant does not hold and has not applied to hold a practising certificate as a lawyer
- The applicant has completed the required undertakings in accordance with section 5 of the Act
- The applicant has completed any ongoing educational requirements as outlined by the Society, which may include;a. A Trust Accounting Course; b. A Business Management Course.
- The practice (if any) to which the person is a member or employee must hold professional indemnity insurance
- If the Conveyancing Practitioner is an employee of a law firm or law practitioner, then an indemnity declaration by the employer is to be provided to the NZSOC
- Legal Executives who qualified as a Registered Conveyancer under the Equivalency Assessment process with 8 years practical experience, must demonstrate that they have attained 10 years conveyancing experience prior to applying for a Practising Certificate.
In accordance with s9 Lawyers and Conveyancers Act, a practitioner is guilty of misconduct, who, being an employee, provides conveyancing services to the public other than in the course of his or her employment –
- by a lawyer; or
- by a partnership comprised entirely of lawyers; or
- by an incorporated law firm; or
- by a community law centre; or
- by the Legal Services Agency; or
- o by Public Trust; or
- o by the Maori Trustee; or
- o by a trustee company; or
- o by an employer organisation; or
- o by a union.
A Conveyancing Practitioner with authority to practise on their own account may operate as a sole practice, partnership or incorporated conveyancing firm.
1. Applicant must have at least two years of conveyancing experience gained within NZ or Australia and can provide employer confirmation that the applicant has worked on at least 100 conveyancing transactions (being sales, purchases and refinances). The NZ Society of Conveyancers must be satisfied with regard to the level of conveyancing experience demonstrated.
2. The applicant has successfully completed the NZ Society of Conveyancers Trust Accounting Course (during the 3 years immediately before the proposed commencement date)
3. The applicant has successfully completed a Business Management course (as below) or can provide evidence to the Society that they have sufficient business management experience to be exempt from this requirement.
The Business Management qualification needs to be at or above Level 4 with a minimum of 60 credits that is quality assured by NZQA. You can find a list of courses available by:
a. going to the NZ Qualifications Authority www.nzqa.govt.nz
b. in the Search Bar near the top of the home page, key in search criteria “small business”
c. click the “qualifications” button
d. click “GO”
Look for courses which meet the minimum of Level 4 with minimum of 60 credits.
4. The applicant has satisfied the NZSOC that they are a suitable person to practice on their own account. This may include the applicants employer providing their written statement attesting to the applicants suitability to practice on their own account.
5. The practitioner provides Power of Attorney to another Conveyancing Practitioner entitled to practise on his or her own account, and has the signing and certifying authority established on their Landonline account.
6. The practitioner contributes towards the Conveyancers Fidelity Fund and other applicable fees and levies
7. Any other matters the Society considers relevant.
The Registration Authority will consider waiving the requirement for the applicant to complete a small business management course if the applicant can provide;
- proof or evidence that the applicant has owned or co-owned and operated his/her own business
- such business ownership and management to be for a minimum of 5 years
- such ownership and management to be no longer than 3 years ago
Conveyancing experience means any 1 or more of the following:
(a) conveyancing work in the office of a conveyancing practitioner in sole practice, a partnership of conveyancing practitioners, or an incorporated conveyancing firm:
(b) conveyancing work in the office of a lawyer in sole practice, a partnership of lawyers, or an incorporated law firm:
(c) conveyancing work in any State service (as defined in section 2 of the State Sector Act 1988):
(d) conveyancing work in the office of a local authority:
(e) conveyancing work as an employee of a company or other body (whether incorporated or unincorporated)
In accordance with s22 Lawyer and Conveyancers Act (Conveyancers: Registration and Practice) Regulations, such conveyancing experience must be obtained during the 8 years immediately before the proposed date, and the conveyancer has had not less than 2 years conveyancing experience in NZ or Australia.
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org