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SAIA and SACAP – Their different roles and functions in the Architectural Profession

SAIA and the Regional Institutes often receive enquires which indicate a misunderstanding regarding the respective roles, functions and duties of voluntary associations (SAIA and the Regional Institutes) and the Regulatory body (SACAP). This information is intended to contextualize their respective positions.

SAIA (South African Institute of Architects) and the Regional Institutes

  • Voluntary association of architectural professionals established by consent and through the adoption of a ruling constitution.
  • Voluntary – professionals and candidates elect to join SAIA. Individuals (professionals and candidates) enroll voluntarily.
  • Practices which meet SAIA’s criteria are recognised as Corporate Members
  • Objects – To uphold the dignity of the profession and its members; To promote excellence in architecture; To contribute to the enhancement of society and the environment.
  • Supports the membership through the establishment of best practice and the provision of practice-related information and publications.
  • Mandated by SACAP to present Category One CPD activities and to validate Category One CPD activities offered by third parties.
  • Run Awards programmes.
  • Investigate (initially through Regional Institutes) complaints relating to non-compliance with the SAIA Code of Ethics.
  • Maintain relationships with international professional bodies to facilitate qualification mobility.
  • Compilation of the Professional Practice Exam Study Aid for candidates.
  • Maintain international relationships, with both umbrella and national individual associations to foster co-operation and good international working relationships.
  • Participate in SACAP process and provide a practice-based view on the fee structures.
  • General Benefits that all members of SAIA are entitled to.
  • Additional Benefits that corporate members are entitled to. It should be noted that Regional Institute membership entitles professional and candidate architects to SAIA membership and all the benefits deriving therefrom.
  • Engage with other professional associations and industry related organization for the benefit of membership.

SACAP (South African Council for the Architectural Profession)

  • Statutory Council established by an Act of Parliament (Act 44 of 2000), which regulates the architectural profession.
  • Duty – To protect the public by ensuring that the profession maintains acceptable professional standards and technical competence.
  • Compulsory – only persons registered by SACAP may practice architecture.
  • Practices are recorded in compliance with the Code of Professional conduct.
  • Establish the identification of work framework for the architectural profession.
  • Establish requirements for the renewal of professional registration and the period of validity of registration.
  • Determine, after consultation with the voluntary associations and registered persons, conditions relating to and the nature of continuing education and training professional development (CPD).
  • Investigate complaints of unprofessional conduct on the part of professionals relating the SACAP Code of professional Conduct.
  • Establish mechanisms for registered persons to gain recognition of their qualifications and professional status in other countries.
  • Either conditionally or unconditionally grant, refuse or withdraw accreditation to all educational institutes and their educational programs with regard to architecture.
  • Administer Professional Practice Exam for professional registration.
  • Regulate the practice of foreign entities in the profession in South Africa.
  • Publish annually guideline professional fees for public guidance.

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