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HR: The Benefits Of Registering with a Professional Body


Recent Gauteng Business News

After attaining a qualification in any profession, there is often some doubt related to whether an individual needs to register with the professional body regulating and governing that profession, says EDGAR SABELA, Acting CEO, Engineering Council of South Africa.

There are several compelling reasons why this is necessary. Registration with a Professional statutory body invariably involve an initial financial and time investment in putting together a portfolio of evidence but the benefits far outweighs the initial investment, the return on investment is significant. Some of the benefits are:

Professional Recognition:

The assessment process of attaining professional recognition is very important in confirming an individual’s competencies benchmarked to international standards.

Many professions, such as engineering is a statutory reserved professional title to individuals who are professionally registered with the primary regulatory body of that profession. Engineers who have completed their three years of candidacy phase training and have been assessed by a panel of their peers are conferred with the Professional Engineer (Pr Eng) title once registered. Under South African legislation impacting on the engineering work environment only professionally registered engineering practitioners are declared competent to act as a “competent person” as defined in the particular Act, to take engineering responsibility and to sign off on any engineering project where significant risk to the health and safety of the public is at stake.

Continuous Professional Development:

Several professional bodies use the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) as a means of sustaining renewal of professional registration. CPD can be defined as 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 professional career.

In the engineering profession , all recognised Voluntary Associations in terms of the Engineering Profession Act, 2000, as well as all Tertiary Institutions with engineering faculties, have been delegated the authority to validate Developmental Activities, like courses, seminars, , workshops, lectures, site visits, conferences, , congresses, and colloquiums, which earn CPD credits..

Renewal of registration is required in five year cycles. Registered engineering professionals are required to obtain 25 CPD Credits in five year cycles in terms of the three Categories of CPD activities which are recognised to obtain the minimum of five CPD credits which is required annually to be able to accumulate the 25 CPD credits required after five years. These Categories are: (i) Category 1 Developmental Activities (ii) Category 2 Work-based Activities and (iii) Category 3 Individual Activities.

Individual Involvement:

Getting the most out of professional registration will require a level of personal commitment and involvement in the broader engineering profession and voluntary engineering associations. Most professional bodies are in dire need of professionals with experience in different sectors, to join committees and serve the professional body in addition to being registered professionals.

This level of involvement provides individuals with an opportunity to grow, network and most importantly, influence the direction the profession is taking, by being actively involved, as opposed to passively watching (and in most cases complaining). The experience that individuals are exposed to in their day-to-day work can be leveraged for the benefit of the profession at large, by an individual’s decision to serve in a committee. As committee membership is a voluntary decision, most professional bodies will try by all means to compensate committee members for their travel and other basic expenses that are incurred in the fulfilment of their voluntary duties.

Registering with a professional body has several personal and professional benefits. It is highly recommended for an individual’s growth and relevance in his/her profession of choice.


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