Continuing development for professionals and candidates

All registered professionals are expected to keep up to date with the latest trends, technology and legislation and to generally broaden their knowledge and skills to address professional and technical duties throughout their engineering careers. Known as Continuing Professional Development (CPD), professionals are expected to record their development activities and renew their registration every five years. CPD is categorised under three headings as outlined below.

The same is not required of candidates. Although they are expected to develop during the candidate phase, their activities, known as Initial Professional Development (IPD), are not limited to the categories shown below, but can be any activities necessary for them to develop the qualities and competences required for professional registration.

Categories of activities for CPD credits

The details below are extracted from the ECSA policy on CPD.

CPD credits must be obtained in at least two of the three categories, with at least 5 credits per five year cycle from Category 1. Unless otherwise stated, 1 credit = 10 hours. The maximum credits, which may be accumulated annually in each category, is also indicated. The categories are:

Category 1: Developmental Activities: minimum of 5 credits

This refers to attendance of structured educational/developmental meetings accredited through ECSA or an ECSA Voluntary Association. A full day activity will be regarded as being for 10 hours and a half-day activity will be regarded as 5 hours and as half a credit. A maximum of 4 credits (40 hours) may be accumulated annually under this category. Activities may include:

  • Conferences
  • Congresses
  • Large group workshops
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Refresher courses
  • Colloquiums

It should be noted that those working outside of South Africa or attending or presenting at international conferences can earn points under category 1 by submitting CPD certificates issued by the country in which the event was attended, or where there is no formal CPD system in place, by submitting details of the event, including programme, speakers including short CVs where appropriate and details of the organisers, for evaluation by ECSA.

Category 2: Work-based Activities

  • Engineering Work: 2 credits = 800 hours (400hrs/credit)
  • Mentoring of candidate practitioners: 1 credit = 50 hours (50hrs/credit)

Since registered persons also remain current by performing their day-to-day engineering responsibilities, one credit is assigned for every 400 hours per year of engineering related work (including management). A maximum of 2 credits may be earned per annum.

Mentoring of candidates in the workplace is also recognized. A maximum of one credit may be claimed per annum for a minimum of 50 hours of mentoring. This may include hosting in-house workshops, career guidance and other staff development activities.

Category 3: Individual Activities

There are two categories under individual activities which are:

  1. Membership of a recognised Voluntary Association: 1 credit per annum
  2. Other activities: 3 credits = 30 hours (10hrs/credit)

Other activities may include:

  • Part-time lecturing: one credit for every 10 hours of lecturing.
  • Supervision of students undertaking postgraduate studies: 2 credits per year.
  • Oral examinations of final year and postgraduate students: 1 credit for 10 hours of involvement
  • Evaluation of M dissertations and PhD theses by external examiners: 2 credits per year
  • Evaluation of final year students by external examiners: 1 credit per year
  • Publication of research in peer reviewed journals: a single author: 2 credits per publication.
  • Where a paper has a number of authors: 1 credit per publication per author.
  • Publication of technical articles: 1 credit per article published.
  • Papers presented at conferences or congresses / poster presentations: 1 credit each
  • Participation in statutory, professional, institutional, technical or non-technical committees, PAC evaluations, accreditation visits or task groups: one credit for every 10 hours of active participation.
  • Relevant additional qualifications (these are exceptional allocations): A completed postgraduate qualification: 5 credits.
  • Self-study which includes, but is not restricted to studying of journals or electronic or computerised material, one credit for every 10 hours of study. All activities under this item must be verified.

A maximum of 3 credits (30 hours) may be accumulated per annum under this category, with the exception of postgraduate studies.