Council is a statutory body

The SACSSP is a “creature of Statute”

The South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) is first and foremost a statutory body i.e. instituted by Law (a “creature of Statute”). The specific Act, or statute, sets the guidelines within which Council and its professional boards can and must function and these guidelines are determined by Parliament.  Council and its Professional Boards derive their authority and the foundation of its policy from the dictates of the Legislator (Parliament).  In legal terms, Council is the juristic person, with the Professional Boards the juristic person’s delegates.[1]

The Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978 together with the published Regulations and Rules provides for the statutory foundation for the SACSSP as a body and for its functioning. These determine how Council and its Professional Boards are constituted and elected, what its aims and functions are, how Council is administratively constituted and run. The Act specifically describes the Council’s task concerning the registration of social service professionals registered or required to be registered in terms of the Act as well as disciplinary steps in respect of registered persons where necessary. The Act also provides for additional matters.[2]

The SACSSP is an autonomous body, which means it is independent, free from all other institutions. Within the framework of the Act, Council and its Professional Boards are solely responsible for the execution of its statutory mandate and its own resolutions and the execution thereof. The SACSSP, like some similar statutory professional bodies in South Africa, receives no financial assistance[1] whatsoever from the State for the execution of its mandate[2].

[1] This excludes special project funds that may be received with certain conditions from time to time, subject to an application made by Council to the respective government department.

[2] South African Council for Social Service Professions. 2001: Social Service Professions Act, 1978, Regulations and Rules: Manual. Pretoria: SACSSP. (with adaptions where necessary)

The SACSSP, in conjunction with the Professional Board for Social Work and the Professional Board for Child and Youth Care Work, derives its statutory mandate from the provisions of the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978 that confers upon it the powers to regulate the social service professions of social work and child and youth care work, at a professional and auxiliary level, in the country in aspects pertaining to registration; education and training; professional conduct and ethical behaviour; ensuring continuing professional development; and fostering compliance with professional standards.

In order to safeguard the public and indirectly the professions, registration with the SACSSP in terms of the Act is a prerequisite before practicing social work and child and youth care work. Registration is mandatory for social workers, social auxiliary workers, student social workers, student social auxiliary workers, child and youth care workers, auxiliary child and youth care workers, student child and youth care workers, and student auxiliary child and youth care workers.

Section 3 sets out 17 very clear and specifics objects (purpose and mandate) of Council, which establishes the principle that Council and the Professional Boards have the authority over all matters related the professions falling under its auspices (self-regulation of the professions, without undue interference by persons outside of the professions) as a statutory body.

The powers of Council are provided for in section 4 of the Act, which sets the general parameters of what Council may do in order to achieve the objectives.

Corporate Governance

The SACSSP executes its mandate as contemplated in the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978 through four functional components, namely, (1) Council, (2) the two Professional Boards, (3) Committees of Council and (4) the Secretariat. Council also adopted the ‘King Report on Governance for South Africa’, and the ‘King Code of Governance Principles’ to guide its conduct and governance.

Council’s Strategic Objectives For Its Term (Five Years) Are

The 4thCouncil and its Professional Boards agreed that the following vision, mission and strategic objectives will guide it over the next five years.


Social service practitioners united in excellence.


Serving the best interests of the social service practitioners, professions and service users by regulating, leading and promoting the social service professions in an innovative and responsive manner.


  1. Develop an effective, efficient and accountable administration (structure, systems, policies, governance, procedures, competency, capacity, staff morale and infrastructure).
  2. Ensure an effective financial management system compliant with applicable and appropriate financial frameworks is in place and fully functional.
  3. Ensure an efficient registration system and process for social service practitioners.
  4. Ensure that education and training of social service practitioners meets the required standards.
  5. Nurture and consolidate partnerships and stakeholder relations (nationally, regionally and internationally).
  6. Communicate in a transparent, consistent and responsive manner.
  7. Contribute to policy and legislative developments and implementation.
  8. Ensure Council operates in an integrated, unified and supportive manner with all its components (Council, Professional Boards and Administration).
  9. Promote innovative, indigenous methods of multi-disciplinary practice.

Download the SACSSP Strategic Plan 2016 to 2021

Office of Council

The office of Council is based at 37 Annie Botha Ave, Riviera, Pretoria, South Africa. This is where the SACSSP’s Secretariat is based which is responsible for administrative matters under the leadership of the Registrar.

See management and staff.

SAQA - Professional body recognition and Professional Designation Registration

The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) is responsible for the evaluation and processing of applications for recognition of professional bodies and registration of professional designations for the purposes of the National Qualifications Framework Act 67 of 2008. The SACSSP, in addition to the statutory powers that it is endowed with in terms of Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978, is also recognised by SAQA in terms of section 29 of the National Qualifications Framework Act 67 of 2008 as a statutory body (recognition number: 982) of expert practitioners in the occupational fields of social work and child and youth care work.

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)

In terms of the National Qualifications Framework Act 67 of 2008, the SACSSP must comply with the provisions of this Act, which include:

  • Co-operate with the relevant Quality Council
  • Maintain the agreed level of qualifications and quality assurance of professional designations registered
  • maintain a database for the purposes of the said Act

For more information visit SAQA’s website at


37 Annie Botha Ave Riviera
Pretoria 0084

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