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The acquisition of a qualification such as the Government Certificate of Competency was a means to gauge the professional skill level of the engineer. The measure and identification of the level of competence, knowledge, skill and behaviour of the qualifying candidate is considered quantified through the prescribed process of being accepted as a candidate, and passing the examination. The question is, whether obtaining this qualification alone is an effective means of ensuring, and measuring, competence levels for the professional life of the Certificated Engineer. This could be debated at length and depends on the relevant experience gained. CPD is a means to effectively measure each engineers competence and development on a continuous basis.

The proposed CPD regulation requires the measurement of continuous professional development to maintain your professional registration. The means of assessing the appropriate breadth and depth required in the knowledge and skill of an experienced practitioner is a complex subject. It is a mammoth task to measure and quantify the necessary level of skill and knowledge across the full breadth of professional engineering activities, specifically those specialising in a limited range of activities. With experience, there is tendency for the engineer to migrate into more managerial positions. Pure technical and theoretical expertise is therefore no longer the only factor. The competencies of authority, management expertise, and leadership are also needed. We now live in a modern world, with the only constant being the certainty of change. Competency is a dynamic state and each registered person will be required to maintain currency with technical evolution. A registered person's continued competency must therefore develop beyond the baseline for initial registration, requiring a competence exceeding that at registration through on-going personal development.

No doubt, you are all wondering how this will work and how onerous will it be. Especially when, like most of us, the documentation for the Pr Cert Eng registration took a few years to complete and eventually submit.

The CPD system is SAQA aligned, and is intended to measure the quality of your professional participation over a specific minimum number of hours over a five-year period. Fulfilling this criteria will enable you to be eligible for re-registration. CPD is intended to be neither complicated nor costly for the individual practitioner and takes South African conditions into consideration. The priority in CPD is to achieve improved engineering standards in South Africa, while it will at the same time be of benefit to development in the engineering profession as a whole.

The means of measurement described above involves three categories of measurement:

Category 1 - Organisational activities

Attendance of formal educational meetings will be credited if they are educational and research-based conferences, large-group workshops, lectures, seminars, and refresher courses. These meetings are organised on a regional, national or international basis and are non-recurring.

Category 2 - Worked based activities

Work-based activities such as work-based learning, work shadowing, transfers to new departments, technical work in a practitioner's field of specialization. Development and professional activities such as mentoring candidate engineers, in the work place and career guidance within the working environment.

Category 3 - Individual activities

It would not be the intention to reward activities that do not contribute to the professional development of an individual. The intention is to credit only activities that can reasonably be monitored. These activities will include, review of technical papers, participation in technical as well as taking part in statutory, professional or non-technical committees


 Mining and Factory Professionals

Certificated Mechanical or Electrical Engineers in mining and factory are the professional engineering practitioners recognised by law in South Africa to accept legal responsibility to improve health and safety in mines and works.  These Engineers need to provide solutions reliant on basic scientific, mathematical and engineering knowledge, supported by analysis and synthesis, and underpinned by sound techno-economic analysis.  Solutions must take into account the needs of society and the protection of the physical environment. 

The Certificated Engineer brings to an engineering problem leadership, management, and a technologically specific approach, supported by financial, commercial, statutory, safety, and environmental knowledge as required. The Certificated Engineer manages interactions within and at the boundaries of the industry context and technology domain.



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