SACSSP

Education, Training and Development

Determining and prescribing the minimum educational requirements  (prescribed qualification) that are needed to register for and practice a social service profession falling within the ambit of the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) and its Professional Boards is one of the core legal mandates of the SACSSP.

About

Determining and prescribing the minimum educational requirements  (prescribed qualification) that are needed to register for and practice a social service profession falling within the ambit of the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) and its Professional Boards is one of the core legal mandates of the SACSSP. Currently these include social workers, social auxiliary workers, child and youth care workers in the professional category of registration and child and youth care workers in the auxiliary category of registration (also referred to as social service professionals below).

The Professional Board for Social Work and Professional Board for Child and Youth Care Work have a legal obligation for the professions falling within their respective ambits to:

  • determine the prescribed qualifications that will be acceptable to register a social service professional with the SACSSP.
  • determine the minimum standards for the education and training (qualifications) of social service professionals.
  • control and to exercise authority in respect of all matters affecting the training of social service professionals. This includes regular reviews and quality assurance of learning programmes provided by training institutions (training providers and higher education institutions).
  • approve the learning programmes by training institutions (training providers and higher education institutions) that provide education and training (qualifications) with respect to social service professionals.
  • maintain minimum standards of professional practice through continuing professional development (CPD).
  • promote liaison in the field of training relating to social services both in the Republic and elsewhere, and to promote the standards of such training in the Republic.
  • recognise any qualification, upon application, held by a person (whether such qualification has been obtained in the Republic or elsewhere) as being equal, provided that such qualification indicates a standard of professional education and training not lower than that prescribed qualification.
  • assess and recognise qualifications obtained outside (foreign graduates) the Republic of South Africa, before a person is allowed to register with the SACSSP and practice a profession.
  • recognise or prescribe the degrees, diplomas or certificates which may be registered as additional qualifications with the SACSSP.
  • prescribe the proficiencies which may be registered as specialities in specific professional categories.

The SACSSP is supported by its Education, Training and Development Division in the execution of the above mandates.

The SACSSP’s Education, Training and Development Division is committed to constructive, supportive and collaborative relationships with Higher Education Institutions, Further Education and Training Colleges and other training providers in the interest of each specific profession.

SACSSP

Qualifications

Learning Programmes

A ‘learning programme’ is any structured and purposeful set of learning experiences that leads to a qualification or part-qualification (SAQA) provided by a training institution (training providers and higher education institutions) where a qualification can be obtained which complies with the requirements of a prescribed qualification.

Prescribed Qualifications

A prescribed qualification refers to the minimum or basic qualification that meets the minimum educational requirements that are needed to practise at a professional or auxiliary level of a specific profession.

Only a person with the prescribed qualifications that meet the required minimum standards as set by the respective Professional Board, may be registered in terms of sections 17(1), 18(1) and 18A(1) of the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978 as social workers, social auxiliary workers, child and youth care workers (in the professional category) and child and youth care workers (in the auxiliary category).

IMPORTANT: 

Any person intending (or is busy studying) to obtain a qualification in social work, social auxiliary work, child and youth care work (professional category) or child and youth care work (auxiliary category) has the right to enquire from a training institution (training providers and higher education institutions) and request proof whether the learning programme (qualification) is a prescribed qualification that is recognised SACSSP (Professional Board for Social Work or Professional Board for Child and Youth Care Work). The SACSSP’s  Education, Training and Development Division may also be contacted to verify whether a qualification is a prescribed qualification.

A person who studies and obtains a qualification that is not recognised as prescribed qualification, will not be able to register with the SACSSP, which will result in him or her not being able to practise his or her profession, as the qualification is not recognised as meeting the minimum standards.

Also see training institutions for a list of Higher Education Institutions and training providers that provide prescribed qualifications in social work, social auxiliary work, child and youth care work (professional category) or child and youth care work (auxiliary category)

Quality Assurance

Professional Boards are mandated by the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978 and Regulations to review and quality assure learning programmes provided by training institutions (training providers and higher education institutions) as to ensure that such qualifications meet the minimum educational requirements to be recognised as a prescribed qualification. This includes new learning programmes as well as the regular quality assurance of existing learning programmes.

SOCIAL WORK

The Professional Board for Social Work has set minimum standards for the Bachelor of Social Work learning programmes at any Higher Education Institution (HEI) in South Africa. Click on the underlined text below to download the standards and the assessment tool:

Assessment Tool for the Quality Assurance of the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) programme (2020)

Training Institutions

A training institution is defined in section 1 of the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978 as a university, further education and training college or other institution where a qualification can be obtained which complies with the requirements of prescribed qualifications.

The Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978 requires in terms of section 15(1)(b)(i) that any person who provides instruction (lecture/teach/) in any aspect of any subject in connection with social work, social auxiliary work or child and youth care work at a training institution must be registered as social worker or child and youth care worker with the SACSSP.

Higher Education Institutions that provide prescribed qualifications for social service practitioners that meet the requirements for registration with the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) are indicated below.

TRAINING INSTITUTIONS THAT COMPLY WITH THE SACSSP REQUIREMENTS OF PRESCRIBE QUALIFICATIONS

PROFESSIONAL BOARD FOR SOCIAL WORK

The following training institutions offer Prescribed qualifications recognised by the Professional Board for Social Work:

Degrees in social work

  • Nelson Mandela University, Department of Social Development Professions
  • North West University, School of Psychosocial Health
  • Stellenbosch University, Department of Social Work
  • University of Cape Town, Department of Social Development
  • University of Fort Hare, Department of Social Work and Social Development
  • University of Johannesburg, Department of Social Work
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Social Work and Community Development
  • University of Limpopo, Department of Social Work
  • University of Pretoria, Department of Social Work and Criminology
  • University of South Africa (UNISA), Department of Social Work
  • University of the Free State, Department of Social Work
  • University of the Western Cape, Department of Social Work
  • University of Venda, Department of Social Work
  • University of Witwatersrand, School of Human and Community Development, Department of Social Work
  • University of Zululand, Department of Social Work
  • Walter Sisulu University, Department of Social Work
  • Hugenote College, Social Work
  • South African College of Applied Psychology,Faculty of Social Work and Community Development

Qualifications in social auxiliary work

Coming soon

Advance degrees in Social Work

Contact the above-mentioned universities for more information.

Professional Board for Child and Youth Care Work

The following training institutions offer prescribed qualifications recognised by the Professional Board for Child and Youth Care Work:

Degrees in Child and Youth Care Work (professional category)

  • IIE MSA, Bachelor of Child and Youth Care
  • Durban University of Technology, Community Health Studies, Child and Youth Care Programme

Qualifications in Child and Youth Care Work (auxiliary category)

  • National Association for Child Care Workers (NACCW)

Advance degrees in Child and Youth Care Work

Contact the above-mentioned universities for more information.

Training providers who wants to advertise with the SACSSP please consult the SACSSP’s  or send an enquiry to communications@sacssp.co.za

Additional Qualifications

Forthcoming

SACSSP

Foreign Graduates

Foreign Graduates

A social worker, social auxiliary worker, child and youth care worker (professional category) or child and youth care worker (auxiliary category) who has obtained his or her basic (or first qualification) outside of the Republic of South Africa and who wishes to practise his or her profession in the country must first have his or her qualification assessed by the SACSSP in terms of section 17D of the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978 as to ascertained whether such a qualification is of the same standard of professional education and training as the required prescribed qualification.

The aforementioned assessment includes one or more of the following:

  • an assessment of the qualification by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA);
  • the passing of an examination by the respective Professional Board for the purpose of determining whether such person possesses adequate professional knowledge and skill to be registered; and/or
  • assessment whether the applicant is proficient in any of the official languages of the Republic of South Africa.

Also consult the Assessment of international qualifications and registration policy for social workers and social auxiliary workers (2019).

For the procedures to submit an application and register with the SACSSP please see foreign graduates (registration), Foreign Graduates in social work and social auxiliary work and Foreign graduates in child and youth care work.

SACSSP

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

CPD Explained

Continuing professional development (CPD) is a planned and structured process required from every registered professional to ensure that the standards of professional practice are maintained through a range of learning activities that ongoingly enhances the knowledge, skills, attitudes and professional integrity of social workers, social auxiliary workers, child and youth care workers (professional category) and child and youth care workers (auxiliary category).

CPD Policies

The Professional Board for Social Work and Professional Board for Child and Youth Care Work execute their statutory obligations in terms of sections 3(h) and (m)(ii) as well as 14B(c)(ii) of the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978 to ensure that the standards of professional practice of social workers, social auxiliary workers, child and youth care workers (professional category) and child and youth care workers (auxiliary category) are maintained through the implementation of continuing professional development (CPD). The policies below aim to ensure that:

  • all registered social service professionals adhere to the requirement to actively participate in their own continuing professional development (CPD) and accumulate the required number of CPD points per CPD cycle; and
  • CPD activities provided by CPD providers are of a high and appropriate quality and standard.

Professional Board for Social Work 

Professional Board for Child and Youth Care Work

Policy on continuing professional development (CPD) for child and youth care workers (2020)

CPD providers (below on this page)

CPD Providers

A CPD provider is any person (individual) or body (organisation, government department, training institution, or similar) providing an approved continuing professional development (CPD) activity. Thus the CPD activity was approved by the respective Professional Board and will be recognised for the purpose of continuing professional development (CPD) for social workers, social auxiliary workers, child and youth care workers (professional category) and/or child and youth care workers (auxiliary category).

Applications for the recognition

Prospective CPD providers must submit applications for the recognition and approval of a continuing professional development (CPD) activity in the prescribed format (FORM E.2.1) at least six (6) weeks before the planned group activity. The application will not be considered for assessment, if received after the activity has taken place. The annual scheduled dates of CPD Assessment Panel’s meetings will be published on the website

See cpd assessment panel and cpd policies for more information.

FORM E.2.1: Application: CPD Training provider/ programme

Above to be completed by a person and/or organisation (including government departments and higher education institutions) that applies for the registration of an education, training and/or development activity for the purpose of continuing professional development (CPD) with the South African Council for Social Service Professions

FORM E.2.2: CPD: Assessment of CPD activity

Above published for information only. For use by the CPD Assessment Panel.

FORM E.2.2A: CPD: Apwproval Certificate: CPD activity approved and recognised

Above published for information only. For use by the CPD Assessment Panel.

FORM E.2.2B: CPD: Notice of CPD activity not approved/ assessment suspended

Above published for information only. For use by the CPD Assessment Panel.

Appeals

A CPD provider may appeal the decision of a Professional Board’s CPD Assessment Panel within 21 calendar days after receiving their CPD activity assessment results.

Appeals must reach the SACSSP’s ETD division. Appeals should be submitted in writing to the ETD division on the CPD appeal form (FORM E.2.5: Appeal by CPD provider).

FORM E.2.5: Appeal by CPD provider

Above to be completed by a CPD provider in the case of an appeal

PAYMENTS OF FEES BY CPD PROVIDERS

All fees payable to the SACSSP needs to be deposited into the SACSSP’s bank account (indicated below)  with a correct reference number. Please note that no application or request that is subject to the payment of a prescribed fee will be processed without proof of payment.

IMPORTANT:

  • All payments must have the correct Deposit Reference Number as this is the only way in which the SACSSP can identify a payment made in the bank account.
  • The SACSSP is not liable nor responsible for payments that are made without an identifiable and correct Deposit Reference Number.

Always keep a copy of your proof of payment for your own records.

DEPOSIT REFERENCE NUMBERS:

Firstly, payment of fees into the SACSSP bank account must be deposited with the correct reference number.

For Continuing professional development (CPD):

CPD providers who are registered as social service professionals who are applying for accreditation of CPD activities with the SACSSP must use “CPD” as a reference “number” when a payment is made.

Other individuals and non-individual CPD providers who are applying for the accreditation of CPD activities with the SACSSP must also use “CPD” as a reference “number”  when a payment is made.

BANK ACCOUNT DETAILS

Account name: SACSSP
Bank: Nedbank
Account number: 1190739410
Branch: Menlyn Maine
Branch code: 198765

Important: Deposit Reference Number must be provided with every payment

Also see cpd frequently asked questions (faq).

CPD providers who wants to advertise with the SACSSP please consult the SACSSP’s  or send an enquiry to communications@sacssp.co.za

CPD Assessment Panel

The CPD Assessment Panel of the Professional Board for Social Work or Professional Board for Child and Youth Care Work will assess all applications for CPD group activities during its scheduled meeting, provided that such an application in the form of FORM E.2.1 is received in time (6 weeks before the date of the scheduled meeting). Applications received after the indicated date, will be reviewed at the CPD Assessment Panel’s next meeting.

Download the scheduled dates for the meetings of each Professional Board’s CPD Assessment Panel below:

Professional Board for Social Work

2021: Download here.

Professional Board for Child and Youth Care Work

2021: Download here.

CPD Opportunities for Social Service Professionals

All social workers, social auxiliary workers, child and youth care workers (professional category) and/or child and youth care workers (auxiliary category) are obliged in terms of the respective cpd policies to accumulate the required number of CPD points per CPD cycle.

Every social service professional has an ethical and legal obligation towards his or her clients and profession to continually stay abreast with the latest knowledge, skills and competencies in a fast-changing world through continuing professional development (CPD)  in order to:

  • be up to date with the latest developments, innovations and new evidence related to his or her profession;
  • provide a high quality professional service;
  • practise his or her profession safely, ethically, proficiently and legally;
  • safeguard and promote the prestige, status, integrity and dignity of his or her profession; and
  • maintain professional standards of excellence

Also see cpd frequently asked question (faq)

Every social service professional needs to actively engage in a range of continuing professional development (CPD) activities that need to be recorded in his or her Portfolio of Evidence (PoE).

FORM E.2.3: CPD: Portfolio of evidence

To be used and completed by registered social workers, social auxiliary workers and child and youth care workers registered in the professional and auxiliary categories of registration to report on and provide evidence regarding education, training and/or development activities for the purpose of continuing professional development (CPD)

FORM E.2.4: CPD: Self-study report

Above to be used and completed by registered social workers, social auxiliary workers and child and youth care workers registered in the professional and auxiliary categories of registration to report on and provide evidence regarding self-study of scientific articles and books relevant to the social work profession and/or child and youth care work profession

To find approved and recognised CPD activities provided by CPD providers go to find a cpd activity. Please remember the following when planning to participate in a CPD group activity provided by a CPD provider:

  1. Make sure that the CPD activity will contribute towards the development of your existing competencies and knowledge
  2. The CPD activity by the CPD provider is approved by the Professional Board concerned.
  3. The CPD activity is still valid and has not expired.
  4. Ascertain what the costs for you will be. Some CPD activities are provided at a cost to participants.
  5. Participants have the right to enquire about the approval of a CPD activity from the CPD provider.

Also see cpd frequently asked question (faq).

Find a CPD Activity

The CPD activities indicated below were approved and are recognised by the Professional Boards, as applicable, for the purpose of continuing professional development (CPD) for social workers, social auxiliary workers, child and youth care workers (professional category) and/or child and youth care workers (auxiliary category).

CPD ACTIVITIES PROVIDED BY THE SACSSP

Professional Board for Child and Youth Care Work

A free online in-service training course of the SACSSP’s Professional Board for Child and Youth Care Work in collaboration with the NACCW, the Children’s Institute, Jelly Beanz, Durban Child and Youth Care Centre and UNICEF South Africa.

CPD ACTIVITIES PROVIDED BY CPD PROVIDERS

The lists of approved and recognised CPD activities for social workers, social auxiliary workers, child and youth care workers (professional category) and/or child and youth care workers (auxiliary category) can be downloaded below f. Please note that these list are updated on a regular basis, so please check back for more up to date versions.

Approved and recognised by the Professional Board for Social Work 

CPD activity updated list (dd.mm.yyyy)

Approved by the Professional Board for Child and Youth Care Work

CPD activity updated list (dd.mm.yyyy)

CPD providers who wants to advertise with the SACSSP please consult the SACSSP’s  or send an enquiry to communications@sacssp.co.za

CPD Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Download the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on CPD for social workers and social auxiliary workers here.

If you have any questions pertaining to education, training and development in social work and child and youth care work, please send an email (the relevant email addresses can be found under cpd enquiries.

CPD Online

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) online is not available. The SACSSP is investigating this option with the Professional Boards and will send out a notice to all social service professionals when this function is established.

CPD Enquiries

If you have enquiries related to continuing professional development (CPD) please send an email to cpd@sacssp.co.za

SACSSP

Recognition of Prior Learning

Forth coming

Forth coming 

SACSSP

Specialities

Specialities in the social service professions are regulated by the SACSSP in terms of section 17C of the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978 which provides for  Council, on recommendation of a Professional Board, to prescribe the proficiencies (qualifications, knowledge and experience) required to be registered for specialities and the use and affix a specialist title to the name and/or professional practice of such a person. Specialities are established through the publication of the requirements and scope of practice for every speciality in Regulations made in terms of section 28 of the Act.

Specialities

No person may use a title that is associated with a speciality if he or she is not registered for that speciality.

Section 17C(5) of the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978 states: “No person registered under this Act shall practise as a specialist or shall pretend to be such a specialist, or shall in any other manner profess to be a person in respect of whom a speciality has been registered, unless the speciality in question has been registered in terms of this section in respect of such person”. Thus, if a person is not registered for a speciality either in social work or child and youth care work, he or she may not affix a specialist title to his or her name or professional practice.

The registration for a speciality is an additional registration, which requires an assessment as well as the payment of additional fees.

The education, training and development division plays a central role in determining whether social service professionals meet the required proficiencies before being registered for a speciality that has been established.

Click on the underlined text below to find out more about specialities for each profession.

SACSSP

Research

Forth coming

Forth coming 

SACSSP

Resources

Forth coming

Forth coming 

SACSSP

SAQA

SAQA

The following professional designations are currently registered with SAQA under the ambit of the SACSSP:

  • Social worker (640)
  • Social auxiliary worker (641)
  • child and youth care worker (1118)

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