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FAQ

1. What qualification do I need to qualify for registration?

A: You need a planning qualification that is accredited by SACPLAN in a South African Planning Schools (the list of current accredited qualifications is obtainable on the SACPLAN website at www.sacplan.org.za).

2. What are the requirements to register with SACPLAN?

A: The SACPLAN Rules sets out the requirements for registration.

  • Rule 15(3) states that “the practical training must be for a total period of at least 24 months.” Please note that in this regard reference is made to actual time. The 24 month period is normally only achieved within a minimum period of 2,5 to 3 years.
  • Rule 15(4) states that “the practical training must be undertaken after obtaining the relevant planning qualification.” You can include your experience from completing your qualification.
  • Rule 15(5) states that “the practical training must be undertaken under the guidance of a registered professional planner in respect of a person registering as a professional planner, or under the guidance of the technical or professional planner for a person registering as a technical planner.”
  • Rule 15(6) does however states that “In addition, it is necessary to have been registered as a candidate planner for at least two (2) years.” This would then be from the date your application as a Candidate Planner was approved. This date is mentioned in the letter of approval you received.

You need to meet the requirements of Rules 15(3), 15(4) as well as 15(6). You must satisfy all the requirement.

3. I have a planning qualification which I’ve obtained in another country. Can I still register with SACPLAN? What is the procedure for registration of qualified planners?

A: Yes, you will need to follow the Policy for Facilitating the Registration of Applicants with Foreign Qualifications in the Planning Profession, complete the forms and attach the necessary supporting documents stipulated in the policy (which is also obtainable on SACPLAN’s website).

4. I have an accredited planning qualification, but with NO experience, am I eligible to register, and if so, in which category?

A: You will first need to apply as a Candidate Planner and undertake work in the planning profession under the supervision of a registered planner for a period of minimum two years (24 months).

5. Can I register with SACPLAN while I am a student?

A: Once you are registered as a full-time student in one of the Accredited Planning Qualifications, you can register as a Candidate Student Planner.

6. Do I automatically upgrade from Candidate to Technical or Professional Planner?

A: No. In order to upgrade from Candidate Planner status you need to have obtained a minimum of 24 months experience, signed off by a Registered Supervisor, with a minimum of six months experience in each category (Category A (Planning Investigation and Plan Formulation) and Category B (Planning Administration and Implementation)). It is important to keep a record or logbook (time sheet) of the planning work you have done in the two years.

7. I have sufficient planning experience (more than two years), but I have NO registered planner/supervisor to sign off my practical report?

A: The Council has adopted a Policy on the “Arrangements for Registration of Professional/Technical Planners in Special Circumstances”, which must be followed in such circumstances. A copy of this policy is available from the SACPLAN Website at www.sacplan.org.za. Please note the date that this Policy will come to an end. Applicants with foreign planning qualification should follow the Foreign Qualifications Policy guidelines.

8. I have sufficient planning experience, but I have NO accredited planning qualification?

A: The SACPLAN has developed a Policy and Procedures on the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Please consult the SACPLAN RPL Policy for the procedure to be followed.

9. Who can sign off on my Practical Training Report?

A: If you are applying for registration as a Technical Planner, your Practical Training Report can be signed off by either a Registered Technical Planner of a Registered Professional Planner, who was your supervisor.

A: If you are applying for registration as a Professional Planner, your Practical Training Report can only be signed off by a Registered Professional Planner, who was your supervisor.

Note:   The Council has adopted a Policy on the “Arrangements for Registration of Professional/Technical Planners in Special Circumstances”, which must be followed in circumstances where you did not have a registered planner / supervisor to sign off on your practical report. A copy of this policy is available from the SACPLAN Website at www.sacplan.org.za.

10. What should I know about the Registration Process?

A: In the case where a Candidate Planner wishes to register as a Technical Planner or a Professional Planner, the Candidate Planner should submit the completed application as soon as he/she has completed the requirements to qualify for registration as a Technical Planner or Professional Planner. This inter alia include aspects such as:

  • the Candidate Planner has completed the required time of practical training (actual time);
  • the Candidate Planner was registered as a Candidate Planner for at least two (2) years;
  • the Supervisor has signed off on the practical training report;

The purpose of this practical training is:

  • To ensure that before registration, a person develops (or demonstrates) the ability and achieves competency in applying theoretical concepts and academic knowledge of the nature of professional responsibility, and
  • To obtain experience in practical planning and to gain knowledge of the nature of professional responsibility.

The Supervisor must be convinced that the Candidate Planner demonstrates development from working under the guidance of a supervisor towards being able to work independently.

Please note that once the application is complete (all required documentation received, qualifications verified, experience checked, experience verified, etc.) the application will be released to be included in the report that goes to the Registration Committee. The Registration Committee would then evaluate and determine which applications can be recommended to Council for approval and which applications needs to be referred back to obtain additional information.

Only application that have been to Registration Committee and had a recommendation to Council will be going through to Council.

1. Is this a new form as I was not required to fill it in last time I submitted an application for my supervisor?

A: This is now required for all new submissions for Candidate – Supervisor approvals.

2. Is it mandatory to fill it in or it is a form that helps with guiding towards Professional Registration?

A: This form is mandatory for all new submissions for Candidate Supervisor approvals.

3. Is this form still applicable to me given that I intend on submitting in less than 6 months?

A: This form is mandatory for all new submission for Candidate Supervisor approvals irrespective of the remain period. The PDP must be completed for the remain period.

4. What is the difference between Professional Development Goals and Specific Goals towards Professional Registration?

A: The Professional Development Goals refer to those goals agreed on between you and your supervisor – what do you want to achieve within 6 months, 12 months, etc., at what level of competency would you be with regard to certain activities, etc. This would change as you obtain additional skills, or you decide to specialize more in a certain direction. Some goals also take longer to achieve than others. You can use the Categories and Sub-categories as guidance.

Your specific goals toward registration relates to the areas that you need to develop more skills to enable you to work and operate on a professional level / independently once you register professionally. This would typically be more detailed specifically to what you would like to achieve.

5. What is meant by specific action items to undertake and what are the implications of not meeting them due to unforeseen circumstances?

A: These are the agreed upon actions / activities between you and your supervisor. This is also to assist you in meeting your goals and that your practical training is focused to ensure you achieve the required level of competency / skill to be registered professionally.

6. What if I do different action items to the ones I committed myself to but they are just as useful to assist me qualify?

A: These are the agreed upon actions / activities between you and your supervisor. This is also to assist you in meeting your goals and that your practical training is focused to ensure you achieve the required level of competency / skill to be registered professionally.

7. What is reflected on the PDP does it also have to be reflected on my practical training report?

A: Your PDP information will assist you to complete your Practical Training report. There will obviously have to be a correlation between the two (especially relating to the specific action to undertake and what you eventually did).

8. Which document supersedes the other between the PDP and the practical training report form when submitting for Professional Registration?

A: The practical training report, reports on the actual work as the actual time spent. SACPLAN will however be looking at both when evaluating your application.

1. I have received a statement, but I have no idea how to read it?

A: The statement indicates the following information:

  • Balance brought forward – this is the invoice for the previous year which is still unpaid.
  • Invoice – this is the annual fees invoice for the current year.
  • Credit transfer / cash deposit – this is the monies received by SACPLAN for the annual fees / registration fees to date.
  • Balance due – this is the total amount due on your account as at a particular date / month end.

2. I received a statement which indicate a balance due although the payment was made, how is this possible?

A: If you have made payment for the annual fees and / or registration fees either through EFT (electronic funds transfer) or cash deposit, please make sure of the following:

  • Use your registration number as reference; or
  • Use your name and surname as reference.

Fax / email proof of payment to SACPLAN so that your payment can be correctly allocated to your account.

3. I made payment for my annual fees a year or two ago and I had misplaced my deposit slip / proof of payment, so what should I do then?

A: We would need the following to be able to locate your payment:

  • Actual date of deposit / EFT and reference used on the deposit slip or EFT.
  • Once we have located the payment, then we will allocate it to your account and then email you the statement to indicate the adjustment on your account.

4. I paid my fees in January why must I pay again now in June?

A: The financial year for SACPLAN runs from the 1st April to the 31st March each year. You can just check with the office to confirm for which year the fees are due and payable.

5. My postal and physical address on my invoice that I have received through email are incorrect, how is this possible when I sent through the correct address to your offices?

A: Kindly send an email to us every time your address changes. You can also login to the SACPLAN Website and update your information online. Alternatively fill in the change of details form available from the SACPLAN Website and forward it to our offices and we will effect the changes and send you an email to acknowledge your change of details

1. Where can I get my New SACPLAN Registration Certificate?

A: The new SACPLAN Registration Certificate is available from the SACPLAN Website once you logged in. The new certificate also serves as confirmation of good standing (please see the wording on the certificate). SACPLAN will therefore not be issuing Letters of Good standing anymore.

If it is the first time you login you will have to request access and follow the process.

2. I am unable to download my SACPLAN Registration Certificate. What could be the reason for that?

A: There might be an outstanding amount on your account, which could be the result of your certificate not being available. If you have made payment, could you please forward a copy of the proof of payment to the SACPLAN Accounts section at accounts@sacplan.co.za.

Once you have made payment you should allow two to three days for the new certificate to be available for download.

3. How can my SACPLAN Registration Certificate be verified?

A: Your SACPLAN Registration Certificate can be verified in one of two ways:

  1. Once you have downloaded your certificate you can verify it by double clicking on the certificate (pdf).
  2. You can also upload the unique number on the certificate (bottom right corner of the certificate) in the “Verify Registration Certificate” button on the SACPLAN Website at https://sacplan.org.za/verify-registration-certificate/.

1. I’m unemployed and studying. Is there a rebate for full-time students?

A: Yes, there is a Rebate for students registered full-time in one of the Accredited Planning Educational Programmes.

2. If my application is declined, do I receive the fees I’ve paid?

A: If your application is declined, you can apply for a refund of the Annual fee paid. You will also have to provide the SACPLAN with your banking account details as refunds are only made through EFT payment. The Registration fee is non-refundable.

3. I am leaving the country and will not be practicing in South Africa. Has provision been made for a reduced annual fee?

A: You will still be liable for the full fee as you will still receive the full benefits of being Registered with SACPLAN e.g. newsletters, etc.

1. Continuing Professional Development (CPD): What is it, and why does it matter?

A: Working professionals need to regularly acquire new skills and knowledge to advance their careers. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is non-negotiable in fields such as accounting, engineering and planning.

CPD is a term used to describe learning activities that professionals take part in to develop and enhance their skills. This could include courses, workshops, informal learning opportunities, or vocational education that helps to expand knowledge or add new skills related to a chosen career. CPD also includes some activities that you may well be doing already.

Some of the benefits of CPD are:

  • CPD ensures you can upskill throughout your career – Engaging in CPD ensures that your qualifications never become outdated. You can continually upskill yourself and update your existing skills, no matter your age, occupation, or educational level.
  • CPD lets you take control of your own development – CPD is a process driven by you – not your employer or anyone else. Unlike traditional learning, it requires a conscious, proactive approach.
  • CPD allows you to adapt to the evolving workplace – change is occurring faster than ever. Employees have to keep up with the rapid pace of change brought about by advances in technology, and they have to adapt quickly to their new circumstances.
  • CPD keeps your career exciting – All careers offer the opportunity to learn something new. Without exploring these opportunities, there’s a good chance that you’ll become uninterested in your work over time.

2. Why do I have to do CPD?

A: CPD is a requirement by law of all professionals and is written into the Planning Profession Act, 2002 and SACPLAN Rules. Section 2(c)(ii) and (iii) state that the Council must strive to achieve high standards of quality and integrity in the profession, and to pursue improvements in the competence of planners through the development of skills, knowledge and standards. Rule 18(2) further states that “A Person registered as a technical or professional planner, must obtain the minimum number of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points within the prescribed period to maintain his/her registration status, in line with the guideline so published from time to time.”

3. I am a Candidate Planner; do I have to submit CPD Scorecards?

A: No, Candidate Planners do not report separately on CPD activities. Any training activities are reported as part of the Practical Training report submitted for registration.

4. When does my 3-year cycle start?

A: For planners that have registered before 1 April 2018, the first cycle started at 1 April 2018 and will end on 31 December 2020. The second 3-year cycle will start on 1 January 2021 and will end on 31 December 2023.

With regards to planners that have registered after 1 April 2018 you are referred to Section 4.3 of the SACPLAN CPD Policy that states that “All persons that register after 1 April 2018 must submit their information on the specified form to the CPD Administrator and CEO within 30 days following their registration anniversary date.”. For example: If your application for registration as a Professional Planner was approved on 14 November 2019. Your CPD submission for the period 14 November 2019 – 13 November 2020 must be submitted by 14 December 2021 (30 days following your registration anniversary date). Your 3-year cycle will start on 14 November 2019 and will end on 13 November 2022.

5. What is the deadline for submission of my CPD submissions?

A: For planners that have registered before 1 April 2018, the first cycle started at 1 April 2018 and will end on 31 December 2020. The second 3-year cycle will start on 1 January 2021 want will end on 31 December 2023.

CPD Scorecards for the period 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2019 must be submitted before the end of January 2020.

6. What must be part of my CPD submissions?

A: Please note that you need to complete and submit the CPD Scorecard only. You should keep the evidence with you and only once we do an audit on your submission do you need to submit the evidence. You can email the completed scorecard to planner@sacplan.co.za.

7. What happens if I don’t submit any CPD?

A: Failure to comply can result in deregistration, such a defaulter will be removed from the database of registered persons and defaulters’ names will be published on the SACPLAN website. In addition, the Council will not issue you with a letter of good standing which is a requirement for many tenders.

Please also see Section 6.1 in the SACPLAN Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Policy and Procedure document.

8. Would training in transportation planning be recognised as a CPD activity?

A: The relationship between land use and transport has been recognised by SACPLAN and as a result Transportation planning and systems (including for example components such as theories, processes and methods of transportation planning; interaction between transport, land use, environment and infrastructure; and sustainable transport) had been identified in the SACPLAN Guidelines for Competencies and Standards for Curricula Development document as one of the Core Competencies for Urban and Regional / Spatial Planners. Others that have also been included here are for example environmental planning and management and land economics.

Transport planning conferences, degrees and papers are then as a result including as possible CPD activities.

Courses that are administered by CESA or SAICE on transportation planning would resort under Focus area 2.1 “Non-Credit Bearing Planning related courses / modules as per accreditation criteria at recognised institutions”. Due to the fact that CESA and SAICE are Voluntary Associations of ECSA, these are acknowledged by SACPLAN. Please note that not all CPD activities needs to be formally SACPLAN CPD approved.

9. Must I cover all the areas as part of my CPD activity?

A: You can choose any of the activities (or combination) to achieve your CPD points.

10. I am struggling to meet the CPD point requirements, what can I do to obtain my CPD points during the year?

A: The following are ways / examples of how you will be able to obtain your CPD points during a year (even as a newly registered Professional or Technical Planner). It is suggested that you develop a CPD plan of action to assist you to navigate the requirements for CPD. Such can also consists of a combination of the things listed below:

  • Non-Credit Bearing Planning related courses / modules as per accreditation criteria at recognised institutions – Examples of such courses (planning related courses) you will find being offered by for instance the Work Bank Institute. There as some that are free. We are in the process of identifying online courses that planners will be able to partake in. With 1 point per hour you will be able to meet the required 25 points if you spend an average of 2.5 hours per month over a period of 10 months.
  • Reading planning / planning related peer-reviewed academic literature. There is a link available on the SACPLAN Website to all the published Town and Regional Planning Journal articles. There is also a link to New Published Articles. By reading one article every second month and making a 1000 word / 2 page summary you will be able meet the 25 point minimum requirement.
  • Active participation in Recognised Voluntary Associations. SAPI is also arranging Spatial Transformation Seminars that is carrying CPD points.
  • Attending DRDLR / COGTA SPLUM workshops / HDA and similar trainings. There is a list of DRDLR SPLUM workshop dates available on the SACPLAN Website. With these you can get up to 4 points per workshop.

You would see that activities that includes any further studies, attendance of Conferences, reviewing papers for publication of conferences, presentation of conference papers, or peer reviewed papers have not included in the list.

11. Which bodies had been recognised as Voluntary Associations?

A: The Recognised Voluntary Associations are:

  • The South African Planning Institute (SAPI);
  • The South African Association of Consulting Professional Planners (SAACPP); and
  • The Committee of Heads of Planning Schools (CHoPS).

12. What is the minimum number of CPD points which one should accumulate in a three (3) year cycle?

A: The registered Technical or Professional Planner needs to obtain a minimum of 75 points over a three (3) year cycle. The registered Technical or Professional Planner needs to obtain a minimum of 25 per year.

Every registered Professional Planner or Technical Planner needs to earn 75 points cumulatively over a 3-year cycle. The minimum number of points every registered Professional Planner or Technical Planner are required to accumulate during a year is 25 points, provided that where a registered Professional Planner or Technical Planner has already met the minimum of 25 points during a year due to carry over, the planner must do a CPD activity(ies) of a minimum of 5 points during that year. This is to ensure that at least one CPD activity is done per year.

13. Am I allowed to carry over CPD points within a three (3) year cycle?

A: Yes. Any CPD points more than 25 points may be carried over from one year to the next within the three (3) year cycle.

14. Am I allowed to carry over CPD point from one three (3) year cycle to the next three (3) year cycle?

A: A Professional Planner or Technical Planner will be allowed to carry a maximum of 25 points from one 3-year cycle to the next 3-year cycle.

1. Does the SACPLAN RPL Policy makes provision for registration as a Candidate Planner?

A: No. The SACPLAN RPL route is for registration as either a Technical Planner or a Professional Planner.

2. How many times will I be able to submit an application to register in terms of the SACPLAN RPL Policy.

A: A person will only be able to submit an application to register in terms of the SACPLAN RPL Policy once.

3. Is there a minimum number of years’ experience required to registered through the SACPLAN RPL route?

A: Any applicant wishing to register as a Professional Planner or Technical Planner using the SACPLAN RPL route must have a minimum of five (5) years’ practical experience in categories A, B, and C as set out in Table 3 in the RPL Policy document available from the SACPLAN Website – https://sacplan.org.za/wp-content/uploads/RPL-SACPLAN-RPL-Policy-and-Procedure.pdf.

4. Is there a minimum requirement in respect of a qualification to be able to register as a Professional Planner?

A: No applicant will be registered within the category of Professional Planner in terms of the SACPLAN RPL policy if not in position of a Higher Degree on at lease an NQF level 8 in a related field of study to Planning.

5. What are the requirements for an application to SACPLAN for Registration with a formal qualification that is not accredited?

A: Section 3.2 in the SACPLAN RPL Policy document (pp 8-9) sets out the requirements. The SACPLAN RPL Policy document is available from the SACPLAN Website at https://sacplan.org.za/wp-content/uploads/RPL-SACPLAN-RPL-Policy-and-Procedure.pdf.

You will be required to submit a list of the information (projects and documentation) that would form part of your Portfolio of Evidence that supports your application. The list must also specifically indicate what your own contribution was. Only the list is required with the application. Depending on the evaluation, the committee might then request specific detail documentation. If an interview is required the committee might request that some of the information referred to in the list be made available.

6. What are the requirements for an application to SACPLAN for Registration based on RPL principles only (with no formal qualification)?

A: Section 3.3 in the SACPLAN RPL Policy document (pp 9-10) sets out the requirements. The SACPLAN RPL Policy document is available from the SACPLAN Website at https://sacplan.org.za/wp-content/uploads/RPL-SACPLAN-RPL-Policy-and-Procedure.pdf.

You will be required to submit a list of the information (projects and documentation) that would form part of your Portfolio of Evidence that supports your application. The list must also specifically indicate what your own contribution was. Only the list is required with the application. Depending on the evaluation, the committee might then request specific detail documentation. If an interview is required the committee might request that some of the information referred to in the list be made available.

7. Where do I find the relevant application forms?

A: The relevant forms are available from the SACPLAN under the “Online Registration Forms” tab. Please also see the supporting documents under the same tab.

Please do not hesitate to send enquiries to planner@sacplan.co.za.