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SACAP : Announces RPL online system live launch - 08 May 2017

Monday, 08 May 2017   (5 Comments)
Posted by: Jacquie Cullis
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Online self-assessment for RPL goes live for SA’s architectural profession

Johannesburg, 8 May 2017: The South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) announces that from today, its registered Professional Architectural Draughtspersons, Professional Architectural Technologists and Professional Senior Architectural Technologists can gain access to its Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) programme by applying to register for the online self-assessment phase – the first such online platform developed amongst SA’s Built Environment Professional Councils.


The purpose of RPL is to redress past imbalances and asses previously acquired skills, knowledge and experience, with the view to providing an opportunity to articulate to the next level of professional registration. The RPL programme allows only for access to elevated professional registration and is not an academic qualification.  Articulating within the profession will uplift the professional status of successful applicants and is expected to help them unlock more lucrative work opportunities. The highest registration category is that of Professional Architect.


Through its research, SACAP estimates that a significant portion of the register across the country, commonly referred to as “The Missing Middle in Architecture”, 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 a portfolio of work from the last three to five years, depending on their registration category.


To be eligible, the individual must be registered as a professional in the following categories of registration - Professional Architectural Draughtsperson, Professional Architectural Technologist and Professional Senior Architectural Technologist. Additional criteria for eligibility are contained in the MATRIX FOR RE-GRADING OF PROFESSIONALS THROUGH EXPERIENCE that forms part of the RPL ASSESSMENT GUIDELINES, available on the registration page of SACAP’s website, under Recognition of Prior Learning.


Every SACAP registered professional can access RPL through SACAP’s website ( after entering their YourMembership online profile login details. The website’s ‘Registration’ tab on the top bar has a drop down menu from where they select Recognition of Prior Learning and also select the professional category they wish to articulate from, as well as up towards.

Applicants will find the online registration form which must be completed and submitted to SACAP for evaluation in order to make sure they meet the criteria and are eligible for the RPL online self-assessment phase.


The RPL programme has been designed as a two phase process. Before accessing the first online self-assessment phase, the applicant must apply to register with a registration fee, and receive acknowledgement from SACAP on email that their application has been evaluated and accepted.

Thereafter, the successful applicant creates a profile and enters information from five completed projects that demonstrate they meet the minimum standards in 10 different architectural outcome areas. A tutorial assists first time users through this process and they receive an automated report advising them if they have been successful.

Those successful can then apply to complete the second phase (invoiced separately) where they will be invited to present a portfolio of evidence for the projects they submitted in the self-assessment phase. This portfolio is reviewed by an assessment panel. The assessment panel will be made up of registered professionals and academics and will convene in major cities, based on demand, around the country, on pre-determined dates. 

During this phase, 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.


Guidance will be given to those professionals who need to first supplement their knowledge in order to demonstrate readiness to present to the assessment panel. As part of further development, a virtual library will be made available through SACAP’s partnership with the Architectural Learning Sites (ALSs) and Voluntary Associations (VAs) that are recognised 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.


Following a moratorium on SACAP’s RPL programme instituted in 2010, a lengthy period of consultation ensued between SACAP’s 4th Term Council and its recognised Voluntary Associations which resulted in a new format of the programme, as well as the testing of the newly designed RPL software. More recently, the relevant Board Notice 47 of 2017 was published in the Government Gazette to advise stakeholders of the administration fees charged for this process. These fees were determined in accordance with the current category of registration of the applicant and will be payable in two parts, at the beginning of each of the two phases of the process.  Please click on the following hyperlink Fees and Charges for the financial year 1 April 2017 – 31 March 2018 to access the RPL fees which have been published and refer to section 8 for more information.


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 large scale infrastructure projects. Architectural Professionals ignite the planning process of projects such as these undertaken by the Department of Public Works.


President of SACAP, Dr Yashaen Luckan says, “I anticipate equity statistics will improve through this RPL programme and am certain it will enable the realization of our transformation objectives and the vision for people-centred architecture. 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.”


Six architectural professionals who took part in the testing phase of the online programme will be the first to formally submit their online self-assessment applications to SACAP’s Professional Statutory Services Unit on Monday 8th May. 


Abraham Moloi says...
Posted Friday, 21 July 2017
It is amazing that SACAP is now quiet about the RPL programme after some of us have put efforts to undergo this programme which looked beneficial to our career. I missed the opportunity in 2007 and thought that this time around the programme was going to be properly and professionally managed. But it seems as if the are some hiccups and the programme is loosing its credibility. Please Nita advise us on what is happening with this programme. I have indicated in my previous comments that this programme may look lucrative for some of us but it will have some loop holes when implemented.
Dock Stephen Motsilanyane says...
Posted Sunday, 14 May 2017
Adding to Abraham M Moloi’s comment, owing to the absence of IDOW; anarchy reins supreme in the registration categories 2, 3 and 4.Work for these categories is mainly from the private clients. These clients do not reserve work for the different categories of registration. Instead the bulk of work goes to the professionals of the lowest category of registration, because they charge next to nothing; as they do not have expenses of attending architectural events. As a result, the would-be portfolio of work of the professionals of the category of registration 2 is eroded to the lower categories of registrations. Lastly, the assessment should consider that some professionals obtained their qualifications before the birth of SAQA. As such, it is imperative to treat such qualifications in the merit of their times, and not to import them to new requirements, as that would be counter-productive to redressing the imbalances of the past.
Gavin P. Stoffberg says...
Posted Wednesday, 10 May 2017
Please advise how I can obtain my results for the PP2 exams that I did in the first year of SACAP inception?
Abraham Moloi says...
Posted Tuesday, 09 May 2017
It is with my great pleasure to have the RPL system coming on board. But I have some concerns. To name few…… 1. Most of us who are regarded as “MISSING MIDDLE IN ARCHITECTURE” will struggle to undergo this assessment, as we had to survive by other means other than Architecture. By this statement I mean…Monopoly that has been happening in practices made it difficult for some of us to run projects from start to finish. Thus making it impossible for us to have a proper portfolios. 2. We “MISSING MIDDLE IN ARCHITECTURE” are mostly from Kasi (Locations and rural areas) where clients disregards other stages in Architecture, you will only produce work up to (Council Approval) Stage….then other stages…dololo Those are some of my concerns Dr Luckan and I hope they will be taken into consideration when doing these assessments…..especially with regards to “MISSING MIDDLE IN ARCHITECTURE"
Simon M. Motau says...
Posted Tuesday, 09 May 2017
Wow!!! Bravo to the Management of SACAP as well as the Council. You are doing well Mr Yashaen Luckan