The nature of the engineering profession carries with it the responsibility of professional persons to practise strictly within their area of competence and knowledge. Staying abreast of developments and advancements within the profession is therefore a requirement that can be achieved by continuously maintaining and developing knowledge within the field of practice. Continued Professional Development (CPD) is a mechanism used by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) to achieve this for registered professionals in South Africa.
ECSA defines CPD as: “The systematic maintenance, improvement and broadening of knowledge and skills, and the development of personal qualities necessary for the execution of professional and technical duties throughout a person’s engineering career.”
All persons actively practising as engineering professionals are required to register with ECSA, the body charged by the Government in terms of the Engineering Professions Act, 2000 (Act 46 of 2000) to regulate the practice of engineering in South Africa. The Act charges ECSA: “to serve and protect the safety and health of the public by establishing and maintaining minimum standards of practice, knowledge and skills of registered engineering persons in the country as well as to establish and maintain standards of professional ethics among them.” Agreements with international bodies—Engineers Mobility Forum, and the Engineering Technologists Mobility Forum—allows registered persons to have international registration through ECSA’s CPD programme. CPD is used to determine the renewal of ECSA registration.
For professionals practising within the energy sector, the Energy Training Foundation (EnTF) provides CPD-accredited training through the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) for ECSA registration renewal requirements. ETF is the affiliated training provider for Certification courses of the Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency (SAEE), an association dedicated to furthering and enhancing the body of energy efficiency knowledge and expertise within the Southern African region.