Professional CPD Structure

CPD for Professional Engineering Practitioners registered in the four professional categories provided for in the Engineering Profession Act, 2000 (Act 46 of 2000).

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a process implemented by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) whereby all professionally registered engineering practitioners have to systematically improve and broaden their knowledge and skills. Section 22(1) of the Engineering Profession Act, 2000 (Act 46 of 2000) requires that a registered engineering professional has to renew his or her registration and has to “apply in the prescribed manner, to the Council for the renewal of his or her registration.”

The most appropriate way for the ECSA to give effect to this legal requirement, was to link renewal of registration with CPD. International accords in engineering and mutual exemption agreements which ECSA has entered into, require CPD as a prerequisite for mutual recognition of professional registration. Furthermore, registration of South African professional engineers and professional engineering technologists on the International Register of Engineers and International Register of Professional Engineering Technologists are provided by the International Engineering Alliance (IEA), to which ECSA is a signatory, visa viz. the International Professional Engineers Agreement (IPEA), the International Technologist Agreement (IETA), respectively, enhances the mobility of engineers in IEA countries and Technologists in IETA countries. CPD is regarded as one of the requirements applicants have to comply with in order to be considered for registration on these international registers.

How CPD Works

All professionally registered engineers must accumulate a total of 25 CPD credits over a five-year period in order to maintain their professional status. CPD credits can be collected over 3 CPD categories through a number of activities that include attending educational conferences and workshops, work experience and belonging to a Voluntary Association (VA).

These 3 categories are:

  • Developmental Activities
  • Work-based Activities
  • Individual Activities

Registered engineering practitioners have to accumulate a minimum of 3 credits per year in at least two of the above mentioned categories. Any additional credits (in excess to the maximum per category per year) may be carried forward between years within the same cycle, but not between cycles. The annual maximum of credits are applied to the sum of credits earned in the year, together with any credits carried over from previous years within the same cycle.

Random audits will be conducted on an annual basis by ECSA to ensure that registered engineering practitioners are CPD compliant.

Category 1: Developmental Activities

Registered engineering practitioners should obtain a minimum of 1 credit in category 1 (activity lasting 10 hours or one day) annually or 5 credits over a 5-year cycle for this category. Additional credits earned within a 5-year cycle are not transferable to the following cycle.

Activities within the Developmental Category are compulsory and include:

  • Attending industry related conferences, congresses, seminars, workshops, online learning, lectures, refresher and training courses and colloquiums
  • Activities attended in foreign countries pending the correct ECSA application process followed and necessary information provided.
  • e-learning
  • Relevant additional completed accredited qualifications at benchmark level or above = (five (5) credits
  • Relevant additional qualifications (these are exceptional qualifications) A completed post graduate qualification = (five (5) credits)

Candidates, retired engineers and engineers over the age of 70 are exempt from this category.

Category 2: Work-based Activities

Registered engineers will receive CPD credits for work done as a professional within this category. Activities within the Work-based Category are:

  • Engineering work in a practitioner’s field of practice (A maximum of 2 credits for 600 hours of work may be earned annually)
  • Mentoring of candidate engineering practitioners within the work place and providing career guidance (a maximum of 1 credit for 50 hours of mentoring annually)

Category 3: Individual Activities

Registered engineers can choose for a range of individual activities in order to receive CPD credits within this category. Activities within the Individual Category are:

  • Membership of an ECSA recognized voluntary association (a maximum of 1 credit received annually)
  • Part-time lecturing to undergraduate and postgraduate students (1 credit for every 10 notional hours of lecturing)
  • Supervision of students undertaking postgraduate studies (2 credits per year)
  • Oral examination of final year and postgraduate students (1 credit for every 10 notional hours of active involvement)
  • Evaluation of Masters dissertations and PhD theses by an external examiner (2 credits per year)
  • Publication of engineering research in peer reviewed journals (Single author: 2 credits per publication; Multiple authors: 1 credit per publication per author)
  • Publication of technical articles (1 credit per article published)
  • Papers presented at engineering conferences/congresses or poster presentations (1 credit per paper or poster)
  • Participation in statutory, professional, institutional, technical or non-technical committees or task groups (1 credit for every 10 notional hours of active participation)
  • Evaluation of educational programmes at universities and Universities of Technology for accreditation purposes (1 credit for every 10 notional hours of active involvement)
  • Evaluation of educational qualifications for ECSA’s Qualifications Examination Committees (1 credit for every 10 notional hours of active involvement)
  • Evaluation of competence and applications for registration for ECSA’s Registration Committees and Professional Advisory Committees (1 credit for every 10 notional hours of active involvement)
  • These last two bullet points should be deleted as they moved to category 1 activities in terms of the new Rules: (Self-study which includes but is not restricted to studying of journals or electronic or computerised materials. All activities under this item must be verified by ECSA. (1 Point for every 10 hours of study)
  • Relevant additional qualifications (5 points per qualification)
Cat. Type of Activity Points Requirement
    Annual Min Annual Max (2) 5-year Min
1 Developmental Activity      
  Including:   4 5
Conferences
Congresses
Large Group Workshops
Lectures
Seminars
Refresher Courses
Colloquiums
Other (to be specified)
2 Work-based Activities      
2 (a) Engineering work (1 credit per 300 hours)   2  
2 (b) Mentoring (1 credit per 50 hours)   1  
3 Individual Activities      
3 (a) Membership of SA recognized Voluntary Association   1  
3 (b)
Part-time lecturing to undergraduate and postgraduate students 1c/10h
  3  
 
Supervision of students undertaking postgraduate studies 2c pa
Oral examination of final year and postgraduate students 1c/10h
Evaluation of Masters dissertations and PhD theses by an external examiner 2c pa
Publication of research in peer reviewed journals
Single Author
Multiple Authors
2c/paper 1c/paper/author
Publication of technical articles 1c/article
Papers presented at conferences or congresses/ poser presentations 1c/paper, poster
Participation in statutory, professional, institutional, technical or non-technical committees or task groups 1c/10h
Evaluation of educational programmes at Universities and Universities of Technology for accreditation purposes 1c/10h
Evaluation of educational qualifications for ECSA's Qualifications Examination Committees 1c/10h
Evaluation of competence and applications for registration for ECSA's Registration Committees and Professional Advisory Committees 1c/10h
Self-study which includes, but is not restricted to studying of journals or electronic or computerised materials(3) 1c/10h
Relevant additional qualifications: A completed postgraduate qualification(4) 5c/qualification
 
Total  
3(1) 11 25
  1. These credits must be spread across at least two of the three categories.
  2. Points in excess of the maximum in any year may be carried forward between years but not between cycles. The annual maximum is applied to the sum of points earned in the year and the carry-over from previous years.
  3. All activities under this category must be verified.
  4. Five points can be claimed, irrespective of the limits in force.

Recording your CPD

Registered engineering practitioners have the responsibility to continuously record or document all the relevant professional development activities that they have undertaken each year. Professionals must keep these CPD records containing the documentary evidence of all your CPD activities undertaken each 5-year cycle and be able to present such evidence to ECSA when audited.

When Audited

ECSA will assess whether registered professionals meet the set out CPD requirements by conducting random audits. These audits will be conducted at ECSA’s own discretion in the form of an audit cycle of the CPD records of all registered engineers across the different categories.

When selected for an audit, the registered engineer will be required to submit their CPD records within four weeks of initial notification to ECSA.

Non-compliance

When a registered engineer is found non-complaint with the requirements of the CPD system, ECSA will inform the individual on the deficiency and the remedial steps to be taken in order to rectify the deficiency and will be re-audited during the following year.

Should the individual be found non-compliant during the re-audit, the matter will be referred to ECSA’s Central Registration Committee to determine whether the professional registration of the individual should be refused.

CPD for Project and Construction Management Professionals

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a process implemented by the South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professionals (SACPCMP) to develop, enhance and maintain the professional competency of all practising project and construction management professionals, to ensure that the professional technical knowledge and skills are improved and international best practices implemented.

How CPD Works

All registered professionals must accumulate a total of 50 CPD hours (6 CPD points) over a five-year period in order to maintain their professional status. CPD points can be collected within the combination of 3 categories through a number of CPD activities.

These 3 categories are:

Category A: Core Knowledge and Non-Core Knowledge
Category B: Mentorship and Development
Category C: Ongoing Practice

According to the CPD policy, registered professionals can transfer CPD hours / points from one cycle to the next only when their 50 CPD hour requirement for the current cycle has been met. The maximum amount of CPD hours or points that can be transferred are 10 CPD hours or 1.2 CPD points.

Allocation of CPD hours

The SACPCMP has assigned hours to the learning outcomes of all CDP activities in order to determine the extent to which each activity adds value to an individual’s skills set and knowledge. CPD activities will be rewarded CPD points on the basis of hours equal with relevance and importance of the core areas of Project and Construction Management, Construction Mentorship and Construction Health and Safety and contribution to professional development. It is recommended that registered professionals engage in activities in the following manner over the five (5) year cycle:

Category A: Core and Non-Core (60% = 30 hours)
Category B: Mentorship and Development (20% = 10 hours)
Category C: Ongoing Practice (20% = 10 hours)

Category A: Core and Non-Core Knowledge

Registered professionals should maintain a minimum 60% of their CPD activities or 30 CPD hours (equivalent of 3.6 CPD points) within 1 CPD cycle (5 year) in this category. A maximum total of 15 CPD hours (1.8 CPD points) can be accumulated per year.

Activities within the Core and Non-Core Knowledge category includes:

Core Knowledge

  • Further studies to gain advanced knowledge leading to certification (certificate, post graduate diploma, diploma, degree, masters, doctorate and others)
  • Attendance of local and international accredited conferences and congresses
  • Accredited courses in accordance with the SACPCMP validation criteria
  • Registered formal educational meetings, seminars, workshops and short courses
  • Any other methods of delivery of professional development that are deemed appropriate by SACPCMP in the following fields but not limited to:
    • Technical aspects
    • Managerial Training
    • Financial aspects
    • Professional Ethics
    • Health and Safety
    • Project Management
    • Planning
    • Relevant Legislation
    • Development Workshops and Congresses

Non-Core Knowledge

  • Computer usage skills
  • Image seminars
  • Technical and professional conferences, symposia
  • Refresher courses, short courses without a measurable outcome
  • Delivering of lectures or papers at accredited and registered formal congresses, conferences, educational meetings, seminars, workshops
  • Construction Marketing

Categories B & C: Mentorship and Development & Ongoing Practice

Registered professionals should maintain a minimum 40% of their CPD activities or 20 CPD hours (equivalent of 2.4 CPD points) within 1 CPD cycle (5 year) in these two categories. CPD activities can be undertaken in either Category B or C, or in a combination of the two categories. A maximum total of 5 CPD hours can be accumulated per category per year.

Activities within the Mentorship and Development category includes:

  • Mentoring Registered Candidate in Structured Candidacy Programme
  • Mentoring Experiential Learner in Work Integrated Learning programme
  • Informal Mentoring of Staff on the Job
  • Trainer for contractors in construction and project management
  • Trainer of community members in construction, project management and community development
  • Professional consultancy services provider (to government and private construction companies)

Activities within the Ongoing Practice category includes:

  • Devoting time to imparting knowledge in community development for the public good and promotion of the profession
  • Work-based activities such as:
    • Council Participation
    • On the job training
    • Unbroken continuous service
    • Professional contribution
    • Teaching and training work
    • Acting as examiner or moderator for accredited relevant exams

Conversion of CPD Hours into CPD Points

The conversion process of CPD hours into CPD points will follow the hourly conversion formula as indicated below:

CPD Training Course Duration in Hours CPD Points Allocated
2 Days (16 hours) 2 CPD Points
1 Day (8 hours) 1 CPD Point
7 Hours 0.7 CPD Points
6 Hours 0.6 CPD Points
Half day Course (5 hours) 0.5 CPD Points
4 Hours 0.4 CPD Points
3 Hours 0.3 CPD Points
2 Hours 0.2 CPD Points
1 Hour 0.1 CPD Points

Recommended CPD activity per cycle

The current CPD policy as set out by the SACPCPMP recommends that registered professionals maintain a 60:40 ratio between Category A and Category B and C activities over the five (5) year CPD Cycle.

Category A Category B Category C
Core Knowledge Non-Core Knowledge Mentorship and Development Ongoing Practice
30% = 15 CPD Hours 30% = 15 CPD Hours 10% = 10 CPD Hours 20% = 10 CPD Hours
15 Hours = 1.8 CPD Points 15 Hours = 1.8 CPD Points 10 Hours = 1.2 CPD Points 10 Hours = 1.2 CPD Points
30 hours = 3.6 CPD Points 20 hours = 2.4 CPD Points
60% = 30 Hours 40% = 20 Hours

CPD Record Submission

Registered professionals have the responsibility to develop their own CPD plans, evaluate CPD activities undertaken and keep record of all the relevant professional development activities that they have undertaken within a 5-year cycle.

CPD records must be submitted to the SACPCMP no later than 60 days from completion of the CPD cycle.

Non-compliance

Once audited, registered professionals that do not comply with the CPD requirements will be dealt with as follows:

  1. Professionals will be required to follow a remedial programme of CPD compliance within twelve (12) months of the end of the cycle and /or;
  2. Write an examination, or be interviewed, to demonstrate their skills;
  3. Failure to comply with (i) and (ii) within the CPD cycle will result in suspension for a period determined by the SACPCMP pending deregistration;
  4. Failure to comply at this stage would result in deregistration, i.e. the defaulter will be removed from the data base of registered professionals and defaulters’ names will be published in the Government Gazette
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