SAQA: What is a professional body?

A SAQA-accredited professional body must be a legally constituted entity with the necessary human and financial resources to undertake its functions, governed either by a statute, charter or a constitution and be compliant with and adhere to good corporate governance practices.

A professional body has the intent to protect the public interest in relation to the services provided by its members and the associated risks. Recognised and accredited professional bodies are mandated to develop, award, monitor and revoke its professional designations in terms of its own rules, legislation and/or international conventions.

An accredited professional body shall at all times retain and manage the members’ individual profiles and performance in regards to training undertaken and completed for professional recognition. This training shall be aligned with the criteria set by the ITC-SA and as approved by SAQA for the promotion and monitoring of continuing professional development (CPD) for its members to meet the relevant professional designation requirements.

All professional members recognised by the ITC-SA shall abide by its published Code of Conduct and the ITC-SA mechanism for the reporting and investigating of members who are alleged to have contravened this Code. The accredited professional body shall not apply unfair or exclusionary practices in terms of membership admission to the body.

 

Benefits of professional recognition, and SAQA requirements and consequences for non-professional conduct:

A professional designation shall be conferred by a professional body to an individual in the form of a title, status and/or registration number. This title, status and/or registration number may be used by the registered professionals as confirmation of recognised competence in delivering of a service to the public at large.

A professional designation indicates registration of the individual with a professional body, and, where relevant, the right to practice in the particular field of expertise governed by the professional body. Retention of the status is dependent upon compliance with the stated requirements of the professional body concerned.

All professional designations must be registered separately from a qualification. Only professional bodies recognised by SAQA for the purpose of the NQF Act of 2008 may apply to SAQA for the registration of a professional designation on the NQF. A professional designation can be revoked in terms of the rules, legislation and/or international conventions of the recognised professional body with which it is associated.

The same professional designations cannot be registered by more than one recognised professional body in South Africa. Verification queries related to professional designations are the exclusive responsibility of the relevant professional body. The registration of a professional designation by SAQA will only be valid for as long as the professional body conferring the designation is recognised by SAQA.

SAQA may deregister a professional designation if the professional body which submitted the designation for registration no longer complies with the SAQA policy and criteria for the recognition of a professional body, and/or the professional designation no longer complies with the SAQA policy and criteria for the registration of a professional designation.

A recognised professional body that has its professional designation(s) de-registered or declined for registration on the NQF has the right to appeal to SAQA within a period not exceeding sixty (60) working days. Following deregistration of a professional designation from the NQF, the relevant professional body is required to communicate the deregistration to individuals in possession of the designation.

For more information about SAQA, visit www.saqa.org.za.

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