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Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Information Guide

CPD as a condition of Renewal of Registration

Since January 2007 all registered architectural professionals have been required to renew their registrations with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) every five years (subject to certain phasing-in provisions which have now run their course). One condition of renewal is that the registered person must have accumulated a prescribed minimum number of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits during the five year renewal cycle.

CPD is considered to be the systematic maintenance, improvement and broadening of knowledge and skills and the development of personal qualities necessary for the execution of professional and technical duties throughout a person’s architectural career. The introduction of periodic renewal of registration and the attendant requirement for undertaking CPD activities are viewed positively as a means of keeping pace with developments in the dynamic architectural field and providing opportunities to develop the highest levels of competence in practice. The intention is to support and encourage “life-long learning” and to enable compliance with the conditions for renewal of registration.

Basic Requirements for CPD

Registered professionals are generally required to accumulate at least 25 CPD credits in each five year renewal of registration cycle. At least 3 CPD credits must be accumulated in any one year of the cycle and at least 1 Category CPD credit must be earned each year.

Exceptions to this requirement are where SACAP has exempted a registered professional from undertaking CPD.

CPD Categories

There are three categories in which CPD activities are undertaken:

Category One: Developmental activities

These are activities which are presented by a SACAP recognised Voluntary Association, such as SAIA or a regional institute, or by an Architectural Learning Site (School of Architecture)or which are presented by a third party activity provider and which have been validated by a recognised Voluntary Association.

Typical Category One activities are conferences, workshops, seminars, training courses (technical or professional).

Credit values are time-based and activities are classified as either non-interactive or interactive and attendance or participation.

Non-interactive Category One activities are valued at 1 credit per 10 hours of attendance. A full day activity such as a conference is regarded as earning 1 full Category One CPD credit. A 1 hour lecture would carry 0,1 CPD credits. A question and answer session at a conference is not considered to be interactive.

Interactive Category One activities are valued at 2 credits per 10 hours of participation.  Interactive activities are considered to be those activities in which the individual “learns by doing” – ie “hands-on training courses such as design master classes in which simulated project work is undertaken or CAD training courses where actual projects are used to develop skills, etc,

A minimum of 1 Category One CPD credit must be earned in any one year.

A maximum of 4 Category One CPD credits may be claimed in any one year and a maximum of 4 Category One CPD credits may be carried forward to a following year.

Category Two: (a) Work-based activities and (b) Mentoring of candidates

It is considered that undertaking architectural services, whether in practice or academia, is, in itself an ongoing learning experience. Recognition of this is therefore accorded by the award of 1 Category Two CPD credit per 400 hours of architectural related work (including management) undertaken. Full-time lecturing at an accredited school of architecture is recognised as a Category Two CPD activity

A maximum of 2 Category Two CPD credits may be claimed for architectural work or full-time lecturing.

Recognition of time spent on in-house training and mentoring of SACAP candidate practitioners is also accorded. A maximum of 1 Category Two CPD credits for 50 hours spent mentoring per year may be claimed.

Therefore a maximum of 3 Category Two CPD credits may be claimed in any one year. No credits in this category may be carried forward to the next year.

Category Three: Individual activities

Individual activities are varied in scope and content, including undertaking relevant post-graduate degrees, academic examination, supervision of post-graduate studies, publication of professional/technical articles, part-time lecturing, etc. Category Three credit values vary with the nature of the activity undertaken.

With the exception of post-graduate studies, a maximum of 3 Category Three CPD credits may be claimed in any one year in respective of the above activities. Maximum of 3 Category Three CPD credits may be accumulated and carried forward to the next year.

In addition to the above-mentioned Category Three activities, 1 Category Three CPD credit is accorded for membership of a recognised Voluntary Association. A maximum of 1 Category Three CPD credits may be claimed for such membership/s.

Summary: Credit claims and carry forward of credits

The following table summarises the annual claims that may be made and carried forward

Category Minimum annual required Maximum permissible annual claim Maximum accumulated for carry-forward to nextyear
Category One: Development activities 1 Credit 4 Credits 4 Credits
Category Two: Work-based activities      
(a) Architectural practice No minimum requirement 2 Credits No accumulated carry-forward permitted
(b) Mentoring SACAP candidates No minimum requirement 1 Credit No accumulated carry-forward permitted
Category Three: Individual activities      
(a) Membership of recognised VA No minimum requirement 1 Credit No accumulated carry-forward permitted
(b) Other individual activities No minimum requirement None specified 3 Credits
Total per annum (all categories but subject to stated category annual limitations 3 Credits None specified >5 Credits
Total per 5-year cycle (all categories but subject to stated category annual limitations) 25 Credits N/A No credits may be carried forward from one cycle to the next

Annual Declaration of CPD Portfolio

The CPD year runs form 1 January to 31 December of each year. This is irrespective of the date of registration by SACAP.

Registered professionals are required to declare (claim) their portfolio of CPD activities annually by not later than 31 January of the following year. There is a SACAP Portfolio claim form downloadable from the SACAP website.

Click here to view claims forms

5-Year CPD Cycle

The 5-year CPD cycle coincides with the architectural professional’s 5-year cycle for renewal of registration.

No carry-forward of CPD credits is permitted from one 5-year cycle to the next.

Verification of CPD Compliance

SACAP may conduct random audits of the CPD records of any registered professional. Registered professionals must therefore be able to verify CPD credit claims.

In the case of Category One activities presented by recognised voluntary associations or accredited learning institutions written verification of attendance by the association or institution will be taken as sufficient evidence of participation.  Where the activity is presented by a third party as a validated Category One activity, proof of attendance is required.  Current practice is that the validating association will obtain the necessary proof from the third party activity provider and will in turn furnish the participant with a certificate confirming attendance and giving the CPD credit value for the activity.  The validating authority provides this information to SACAP for possible audit purposes.

In the case of Category Two activities, time sheets, a dated portfolio of work, or a lecture schedule should suffice as evidence. Mentorship could be verified through the monthly SACAP reporting system for candidates

Many Category Three activities are likewise easily verifiable by way of qualifications, progress reports, minutes and the like. But certain claims, such as self study, may be more difficult to substantiate.  Proof of purchase of literature or the study material itself should be retained.

Registered Professionals Practicing Abroad

Registered professionals practicing abroad are not exempt from the requirement to undertake CPD. Where the registered professional is practicing in a country where there is  CPD system in place, the professional is required to comply with requirements of that system and to demonstrate such compliance to SACAP.

Individual Responsibility

The individual registered professional is responsible and accountable for their own CPD compliance. While an architectural practice or institutional employer should support and encourage all effort of the individual towards active and effective CPD participation, successful outcomes remain in the hands of the individual.

Individual responsibility extends to completion and submission of accurate annual records of CPD activities undertaken and to the 5-yearly application for renewal of registration, with supporting CPD portfolio documentation.

The information given in this publication is based on the SACAP Board Notice 31 of 2009, Conditions Relating to Continuing Professional Development and Renewal of Registration, which is in force at the time of publication (March 2013). This publication only addresses those aspects of the Board Notice which relate to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as one condition of the renewal of professional registration.

Click here to view SAIA Validated CPD Activities