The South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN) is the statutory Council of nominated members appointed in terms of the Planning Profession Act, 2002 (Act 36 of 2002) by the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform (Department of Rural Development and Land Reform) to regulate the Planning Profession (Planning is both the organisational process of creating and maintaining a plan) in terms of the Act.
The Planning Profession Principles applies to all registered planners. The SACPLAN through the Act assures quality in the planning profession through the identification of planning profession work that only registered planners can undertake. The functions of the SACPLAN are contained in Section 7 of the Act. The powers and duties of the SACPLAN are contained in Section 8 of the Act. The Act further prescribes a Professional Code of Conduct for registered planners.
Organisations that intend to engage with the SACPLAN in promoting the objectives and interests of the planning profession may apply for recognition as a voluntary association. The purpose of this is to ensure that organisations operating in the planning sector are constituency-based with a proven membership that articulates a clear mandate when dealing with the SACPLAN. The SACPLAN further assures the quality of planning qualifications (such as degrees and diplomas) offered by educational institutions. In addition registered planners are expected to engage in continuing professional development (CPD). This relates to professional and technical registration because any person who intends to register as a planner in any of the categories in terms of the Act must have completed a qualification that has been accredited by SACPLAN. The Act also empowers the SACPLAN to prescribe professional fees, either annually or at least once every 3 years.
The SACPLAN is governed by rules and regulations in its respective areas of operation. The SACPLAN, in fulfilling its legal mandate, engages with various organisations and institutions including, inter alia, the South African planning education institutions; the South African Planning Institute (SAPI); the South African Association of Professional Planners (SAACPP); the Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG); the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR); the South African Local Government Association (SALGA); the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and the Council on Higher Education (CHE).