Regulating the architectural profession

by Tania Wannenburg

Protecting the public & guiding the architectural profession is SACAP’s goal.

On 28 January 2016, The South African Council for the Architectural Profession, (SACAP) hosted a media breakfast at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Johannesburg. FLOORS in Africa’s Editor, Roxanne Mancini and Journalist, Charmain Pieterse, attended to report back on what was discussed during this session.

This media breakfast was hosted to share with attendees, and ultimately the readers at large, who SACAP is, their role within the industry, and more importantly, to communicate that SACAP is open to input and involvement from professionals within the industry. This is to ensure the success of the Council going forward, but more importantly, to ensure the sustainability of the architectural profession in South Africa.

Marella O’Reilly, SACAP Registrar, stated that SACAP was formed in 2000 and was established with effect from 12 September 2001. It offers formal registration of Professional Architects, Senior Architectural Technologists, Architectural Technologists and Architectural Draughtspersons, whereas the previous legislation had dealt only with architects.

SACAP controls the standards of education at tertiary institutions for the purposes of professional registration by means of visiting boards, the administration of a Code of Conduct in the public interest, and protection of the public interest by identifying the type of architectural work each category of registered person is capable and competent to perform.

The Council will be obliged to consult with the Council of Higher Education (CHE) and Education Training Quality Assurance bodies in connection with the educational standards, and with the Council for the Built Environment on matters such as the Code of Conduct and Identification of Work. Prior to the Architectural Professions Act 44 of 2000, approximately 70% of work done in the residential market was carried out by architectural practitioners who  weren’t registered, as only architects could be registered. Therefore their work wasn’t regulated,” says, SACAP president, Yashaen Luckan.

Previously, only architects were included for registration under the Architects’ Act 1970 (No. 35 of 1970). The Architectural Profession Act 2000 (Act 44 of 2000) replaced the Architects’ Act 1970, and includes Architectural Technologists, Senior Architectural Technology and Draughtspersons. This has provided access to registration for Candidates and Professionals in other categories within the profession. “South Africa is the only country in the world that recognises and trains individuals in all four of these competency levels,” highlights O’Reilly. The goal of these categories is to ensure that those who are practising within the profession are registered, as it is SACAP’s role to protect the public and guide the profession.

Luckan identifies SACAP’s key challenges, namely transformation, sustainability and attracting interest from historically disadvantaged communities. To address these challenges, SACAP is launching extensive campaigns to educate the public. “We have asked challenging questions such as, how do you transform communities who aren’t even aware of architecture as a profession?” How do you make architecture a lucrative profession? How do you attract more women into the profession?”

Projects underway in 2016:
•    Take a girl child to work day
•    Women in Architecture South Africa (WiASA) – “We want to see the number of women professionals increase,” says Luckan.
•    SACAP will soon launch profile software to assist with the validation of members
•    Mentorship and candidacy – SACAP is working with the Council for the Built Environment to get architectural footsteps into these programmes.
•    Architectural month in October – Every month SACAP will drive a specific activity that assists in transformation.

“SACAP has a renewed vigour and desire to take these projects forward,” concludes Luckan.

You may also like