On 22 August 2017, members of the Independent Professional Bodies Forum signed a declaration committing themselves to a set of “shared continuing professional development (CPD) principles and practices”. Known as the Parktown Declaration, it was signed by representatives of the Forum’s members as part of a common drive to professionalise the professions they represent.
“All our members share a set of challenges and opportunities related to strengthening their professions, keeping them relevant to the constituencies they serve, and attracting and retaining talent,” says Angela Cherrington, Chair of the steering committee of Independent Professional Bodies’ Forum. “One of our most important tools to do all this is the professional designations we award, and CPD is the way we ensure that designation holders have the right portfolio of skills at the right level—and that these skills are constantly refreshed and new ones added as needed.”
In terms of the Declaration, the individual members of the Forum are committed to being recognised by, and in good standing with, the South Africa Qualifications Authority (SAQA); maintaining professional standards and helping professionals attain that standard. Importantly, all the signatories undertook to professionally governing their CPD programmes in line with the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). Signatories also committed to making it as easy as possible for their members to access CPD.
SAQAs mandate is to recognise and perform quality assurance on professional bodies.
“Each professional body however remains responsible for ensuring that the CPD they offer is relevant to the changing needs of the particular profession—what this Declaration does is commit us all to a set of principles, and to aligning with the overall policy of SAQA,” she explains. “It’s all about ensuring that those holding our designations have credible, relevant and up-to-date skills. We are very appreciative of the close working relationship we have with, and the support of, SAQA.”
Members of the Forum are the Association for Skills Development in South Africa, The International Employee Assistance Professionals Association, the Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa, the Institute of Bankers South Africa, the Institute of Business Advisors Southern Africa, the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa, the Institute of Internal Auditors South Africa, the Institute of People Management, the Insurance Institute of South Africa, the South African Communication Industries Association, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, the South African Payroll Association, The Marketing Association of South Africa, and The Institute of Risk
Management South Africa.