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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. 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 Interim 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).

3. 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).

4. I paid my fees for 2019 in January why must I pay again now in June 2019 for 2020?

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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. I have sufficient planning experience (more than two years), but I have NO accredited planning qualification?

A: The SACPLAN is in the process of developing a Policy and Procedures on the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Once this Policy and Procedure are complete, it will be announced and made available on the SACPLAN Website.

8. 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.

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. 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. 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.

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