RPL : Online programme announcement - 08 December 2016
08 December 2016
Posted by: Jacquie Cullis
SACAP launches online platform that re-ignites Recognition of Prior Learning programme
Johannesburg, 8 December 2016: The South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) is about to unveil an online platform that will launch its re-ignited Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) programme, a key strategic component of the 4th Term Council’s plan that aims to realise transformation within the profession and the broader Built Environment.
As the architectural professionals’ regulatory body, SACAP’s strategic plan and objectives are aligned with the imperatives of the National Development Plan (NDP) and the roll out of its cutting edge large scale infrastructure projects. Architectural Professionals ignite the planning process of projects such as these undertaken by the Department of Public Works.
Following a moratorium on SACAP’s RPL programme instituted in 2010, a lengthy period of consultation ensued between SACAP and its Voluntary Associations. More recently there has been an intense period of testing newly designed RPL software. SACAP’s 4th Term Council is now pleased to announce that from 08 December, the programme will once more be available, in a new format, for the benefit of three of its registration categories: Draughtspersons, Architectural Technologists and Senior Architectural Technologists.
The purpose of RPL is to assess previously acquired skills and knowledge, with the view to providing an opportunity to articulate to the next level of professional registration. The two-stage process allows for online self-assessment followed by assessment panels as means of fulfilling the requirements to upgrade to a higher category of registration. Articulating within the profession will uplift the professional status of successful applicants and is expected to help them unlock more lucrative work opportunities.
It is important to note that RPL allows only for access to elevated professional registration, and is not an academic qualification. To be eligible the individual must be registered as a professional and as such, have passed SACAP’s Professional Practice Exams (PPEs).
Through its research, SACAP estimates that 500 plus professionals across the country, commonly referred to as “The Missing Middle”, need access to equal opportunity and practical redress for past imbalances and are eager to take their first steps on SACAP’s innovative RPL online platform. Each will have to demonstrate project work from the last three to five years, depending on their registration category.
President of SACAP, Yashaen Luckan says, “I anticipate equity statistics will improve through this RPL programme and certain it will enable the realization of our vision for people-centred architecture.”
He adds, “The fundamental philosophy on which the RPL assessment is based is that practitioners in all four categories essentially share the same professional landscape and social responsibilities. They are exposed to exactly the same technological, environmental, legislative and socio-economic parameters and constraints, although arguably to different degrees depending on the complexity of the project and circumstances.”
The programme has been designed as a two phase process. The first phase happens online and allows for self-assessment. The outcome of this assessment determines whether the user can progress to the second phase which includes the applicant being invited to present their work evidenced in the self-assessment phase for review by an assessment panel. These assessment panels will convene in major cities, based on demand, around the country, twice every year. To this end, a video tutorial has been produced to guide first time users who will need to enter evidence that demonstrates they meet the minimum standards in 10 different outcome areas.
Applicants may be required to undertake a design test/mini dissertation. In the spirit of transparency and constructive input, every applicant will be issued with an assessment rubric with points range and comments. An independent adjudicator will be part of this jury. Any unsuccessful candidate may lodge an appeal with the registrar who will steer it through a carefully formulated appeals process.
For those professionals who need to first supplement their knowledge in order to demonstrate readiness to present to the assessment panel, SACAP is ensuring that a virtual library will be available. This library will be made available through SACAP’s partnership with the Architectural Learning Sites (ALSs) and Voluntary Associations (VAs) that are validated by it. This is envisaged to include access to online journals, dissertations and material from Professional Practice Examinations (PPEs) and previous Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses.
The administrative process including the application costs of the RPL Online platform will be confirmed pending a Council resolution and thereafter, a communication will be published with the link to the RPL online platform.
Please visit the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) section of the SACAP website for more information.
The South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) is legally charged with regulating the architectural profession. Its mandates are provided for in the Architectural Profession Act 2000, (Act No. 44 of 2000) which came into operation in 2001. It upholds the standard of education and training through accrediting Architectural Learning Sites situated within tertiary institutions. It registers suitably qualified candidates and professionals and promotes Continuing Professional Development through collaborative engagement with Voluntary Associations. It protects public interest by identifying the type of architectural work each category of registered person is capable and competent to perform and administrates a Code of Conduct.