It is midway through the year and a good time to pause and reflect on the past six months and see whether your business is on track to achieve its mission and vision. Performance reviews form part of this process, with “professional” conduct often used as a performance descriptor.

The Institute for Timber Construction South Africa (ITC-SA) is “recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) as the only Professional Body for the engineered timber roof truss industry in South Africa“. It is a statement to be proud of, but what does it mean in practice?

Professional bodies

There are two types of Professional Bodies: statutory and non-statutory. They have in common that they comprise a collective of experts in a specific field of occupation who are concerned about the impact of their profession on consumers.

An Act of Parliament, or statute, establishes statutory bodies. A statutory body is an organisation that governs a specific occupation in South Africa. It has the authority to monitor people and their businesses in the profession to ensure that they operate legally.

Significantly, it also means that anyone working in a profession (professionals) governed by a statutory body must register with that body to practice their occupation.

A non-statutory body is formed by a group of voluntary practitioners responding to a need. They are not required by law to register with a Professional Body to practice their profession. Unlike a statutory body, they cannot participate as a group in industry standards-setting processes.

Professional designation

Individual ITC-SA member can acquire a Professional Designation if they comply with the Professional Designation requirements of the ITC-SA. This gives the member recognition by SAQA and the sector as a professional practising in the engineered timber roof truss industry and offers members access to a support network of peers.

The designation does, however, comes with responsibilities. Retention of the status depends on compliance with the stated requirements of the Professional Body. In particular, members must comply with the Institute’s Code of Conduct, commit to continuous personal development (CPD) programmes and pay their annual membership.

If a member does not comply, the Institute can revoke the designation in terms of the ITC-SA’s policies.