SACSSP

Professional Conduct

Professional conduct refers to the conduct and performance expected from social service practitioners registered with the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) while acting in a professional capacity.

The SACSSP together with the Professional Board for Social Work  and Professional Board for Child and Youth Care Work has a legal obligation in terms of section 3 of the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978  to determine and maintain the standards of professional conduct, and to exercise effective control over the professional conduct of social workers, social auxiliary workers, student social workers, student social auxiliary workers, child and youth care workers (professional category of registration), child and youth care workers (auxiliary category of registration) and student child and youth care workers. Section 14B of the Act further requires from the Professional Board for Social Work and Professional Board for Child and Youth Care Work to exercise control and authority in respect of all matters affecting the manner of the exercise of the practices pursued in connection with the professions falling within the ambit of the professional boards, i.e. social workers, social auxiliary workers, student social workers, student social auxiliary workers, child and youth care workers (professional category of registration), child and youth care workers (auxiliary category of registration) and student child and youth care workers.

All social workers, social auxiliary workers, student social workers, student social auxiliary workers, child and youth care workers (professional category of registration), child and youth care workers (auxiliary category of registration) and student child and youth care workers are accountable for all actions and omissions while carrying out their responsibilities as professionals and must always be able to justify all decisions taken and carried out.

Note: With regards to student social workers, student social auxiliary workers and student child and youth care workers this apply in general, but in particular while undergoing their practical training under the supervision of a lecturer, qualified trainer or registered professional.

SACSSP

Ethics

The role of the SACSSP together with the Professional Board for Social Work and Professional Board for Child and Youth Care Work is first and foremost to promote professional practice of social service professionals falling within its mandate by determining the standards of professional conduct of social workers, social auxiliary workers, student social workers, student social auxiliary workers, child and youth care workers (professional category of registration), child and youth care workers (auxiliary category of registration) and student child and youth care workers and to ensure that standards are maintained in practice.

Standards of Professional Conduct

The role of the SACSSP together with the Professional Board for Social Work and Professional Board for Child and Youth Care Work is first and foremost to promote professional practice of social service professionals falling within its mandate by determining the standards of professional conduct of social workers, social auxiliary workers, student social workers, student social auxiliary workers, child and youth care workers (professional category of registration), child and youth care workers (auxiliary category of registration) and student child and youth care workers and to ensure that standards are maintained in practice. This one of the three core functions, together with registration and education, training and development, of the SACSSP. This is done through guidance through policies and guideline.

Course of Conduct and Code of Ethics

Setting standards for professional conduct for social service practitioners is an explicit mandate of the SACSSP as contemplated in section 3 of the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978. The Professional Board for Social Work  and Professional Board for Child and Youth Care Work determine the code of conduct and related code of ethics for social workers (inclusive of social auxiliary workers and student social workers) and child and youth care workers (inclusive of child and youth care worker in the auxiliary category and students in child and youth care work).

Social work:

Find out more about the code of conduct for social workers and social auxiliary workers, describing in detail the standards of professional conduct within which they should work in the Rules relating to the course of conduct to be followed by social workers in the practicing of their profession (Code of Ethics) (General Notice 292 of 1986 in Government Gazette 10205 of 25 April 1986) and the Rules relating to the course of conduct to be followed by social auxiliary workers in the practicing of their profession  (General Notice 136 of 1991 in Government Gazette 113620 of 15 November 1991).

Child and youth care work:

Find out more about the code of conduct for child and youth care workers (professional and auxiliary categories of registration) describing in detail the standards of professional conduct within which they should work in the Rules relating to the acts or omissions which constitute unprofessional or improper conduct  of child and youth care workers and rules relating to conduct of child and youth care workers practising at professional and auxiliary levels (Government Notice No 833 published in Government Gazette 38128 of 31 October 2014)

Fit and Proper Person Requirement

The SACSSP has the mandate and legal obligation in terms of section 3 of the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978  to protect and promote the interests of the social service professions and to maintain and enhance the prestige, status, integrity and dignity of these professions, while also protecting the public. Therefor the SACSSP is responsible for ensuring in terms of sections 17(1) and 18(1) of the Act that persons who are fit and proper are allowed to practise social work and/or social auxiliary worker.

Find out about the requirements in the Policy on the Fit and Proper Person Requirement (2017).

POPI Act

Forth coming

Also see PAIA and POPI Act

PAIA

Forth coming

Also see PAIA and POPI Act

Guidance

Please contact the Professional Conduct Division should you need any guidance regarding ethical and professional conduct matters at:

Email: profcond2@sacssp.co.za 
Telephone: 012 356 8315

Solemn Declaration

The South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) has approved a professional Solemn Declarations for every professional category (social worker, social auxiliary worker, child and youth care worker in the professional category of registration and child and youth care worker in the auxiliary category, as well as students in social work, social auxiliary work and child and youth care work (professional and auxiliary categories)) that may be used as an undertaking that shows commitment to the values that underpins the professions.

Please note:

  • A Solemn Declaration (downloads below) may only be undertaken and used by a person registered with the SACSSP.
  • A Solemn Declaration certificate is not a proof of registration with the SACSSP and may not be used as such proof.
  • No person or entity, including an employer, training institution, professional association, may charge or collect any money from a social worker, social auxiliary worker, child and youth care worker in the professional category of registration and child and youth care worker in the auxiliary category of registration, as well as students in social work, social auxiliary work and child and youth care work (professional and auxiliary categories), for the purpose of undertaking the Solemn Declaration, including costs for the preparation, printing and/or issuing of the Solemn Declaration certificate; and/or any ceremony, activity or requirement directly or indirectly related to the undertaking of the Solemn Declaration.

Recommendations for the use of a Solemn Declaration:

Registered social service professionals (social worker, social auxiliary worker, child and youth care worker in the professional category of registration and child and youth care worker in the auxiliary category – not students): Download the Solemn Declaration certificate appropriate to his or her registration category, fill it in and then sign it (and have it co-signed by a witness), frame it and place in your area of work.

(This option should not be used by students)

  • FORM C.2.1.1: Solemn Declaration certificate for social workers (self-completion)
  • FORM C.2.1.2: Solemn Declaration certificate for social auxiliary workers (self-completion)
  • FORM C.2.2.1: Solemn Declaration certificate for child and youth care workers -professional category (self-completion)
  • FORM C.2.2.2: Solemn Declaration certificate for child and youth care workers – auxiliary category (self-completion)

Employers of social service professionals may plan a special ceremony for newly graduated employees (the experienced social service professionals reconfirm the Solemn Declaration during this ceremony) where the Solemn Declaration is undertaken with or in front of others. Another option is to have newly employed social service professionals, especially if there is only one or two, undertake the Solemn Declaration at the first staff meeting after their appointment. Download the Solemn Declaration appropriate to a staff member’s professional registration category, as these can be co-signed by the employer. The Solemn Declaration certificates to be used by an employer can be downloaded below.

  • FORM C.2.1.3: Solemn Declaration certificate for social workers (for use by employers)
  • FORM C.2.1.4: Solemn Declaration certificate for social auxiliary workers (for use by employers)
  • FORM C.2.2.3: Solemn Declaration certificate for child and youth care workers -professional category (for use by employers)
  • FORM C.2.2.4: Solemn Declaration certificate for child and youth care workers – auxiliary category (for use by employers)

For training institutions and providers may plan in the beginning of an academic year to have all students in social work, social auxiliary work and child and youth care work (professional and auxiliary categories) undertake the Solemn Declaration as a class/ group. It also provides the ideal opportunity to explain the importance of the values that underpin the profession as well as professional ethics. It may also be opportune to use as part of the graduation ceremony of social worker, social auxiliary worker, child and youth care worker in the professional category of registration and child and youth care worker in the auxiliary category of registration. The Solemn Declaration certificates to be used by a training institution can be downloaded below.

  • FORM C.2.1.5: Solemn Declaration certificate for student social workers (for use by training institutions)
  • FORM C.2.1.6: Solemn Declaration certificate for student social auxiliary workers (for use by training institutions)
  • FORM C.2.2.5: Solemn Declaration certificate for student child and youth care workers -professional category (for use by training institutions)
  • FORM C.2.2.6: Solemn Declaration certificate for student child and youth care workers – auxiliary category (for use by training institutions)

Training institutions to note that in the case where the Registrar or designate or Member of Council or a Professional Board will officiate the ceremony where students undertake the Solemn Declaration, please contact the SACSSP’s office for the Solemn Declaration certificate template that provides for the signature of the aforementioned, as the above does not provide for those signatures.

Printing of Solemn Declaration certificates

Solemn Declaration certificates are designed in full colour and A4 size.

When printing Solemn Declaration certificates, ensure that the printer’s settings are on A4 and for high resolution colour print.

SPECIAL REQUESTS

Individual Solemn Declaration certificates can be ordered from the SACSSP by individuals as a special request at a fee. In such a case the Solemn Declaration certificate is:

  • printed on high quality paper
  • with the name of the social worker, social auxiliary worker, child and youth care worker in the professional category of registration and child and youth care worker in the auxiliary category of registration (as on the Registers of the SACSSP)
  • SACSSP registration number
  • signature of the Registrar
  • posted to the requesting party by registered mail in a special protective envelope.

Any order of such a special request will take six weeks to be processed (from the date of receipt until the date that it is mailed). No rush orders can be accommodated. Please contact communications@sacssp.co.za for more information and a quotation.

SACSSP

Professional Conduct Procedures

The South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) together with the Professional Board for Social Work  and Professional Board for Child and Youth Care Work deals with cases of alleged unprofessional or improper conduct in terms of sections 21 and 22 of the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978.

Alleged Unprofessional or Improper Conduct

The South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) together with the Professional Board for Social Work  and Professional Board for Child and Youth Care Work deals with cases of alleged unprofessional or improper conduct in terms of sections 21 and 22 of the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978. Section 21 mandates the SACSSP to conduct an inquire into alleged unprofessional or improper conduct on the part of a social worker, social auxiliary worker, child and youth care worker in the professional category of registration and child and youth care worker in the auxiliary category, as well as students in social work, social auxiliary work and child and youth care work (professional and auxiliary categories), while section 22 confers upon the SACSSP certain disciplinary powers.

Unprofessional or improper conduct refers to any act or omission that is not in line with the standards of practice that are expected from a social service professional (see Ethics and Professional practice), whether at a professional level (social workers and child and youth care workers); an auxiliary level (social auxiliary workers and child and youth care workers registered in the auxiliary category); or students that are busy with their practical training or internships in social work, social auxiliary work and/or and child and youth care work (professional and auxiliary category).

The SACSSP is legally obliged in terms of the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978 to receive and consider every complaint of alleged unprofessional or improper conduct and to take such actions as deemed necessary should a person registered with Council be found guilty of professional misconduct. This is also part of the SACSSP responsibility to ensure that high standards of conduct are maintained, which all service users are entitled to.

What is unprofessional or improper conduct?

Unprofessional or improper conduct may present in many forms. Below are some examples that may assist in answering the question:

  • Not being registered with the SACSSP while practising as a social worker, social auxiliary worker, child and youth care workers (professional category of registration), child and youth care workers (auxiliary category of registration) or doing being enrolled, attend class and doing practical training or internships as student social workers, student social auxiliary workers and student child and youth care workers. This include the timely payment of annual fees as to renew the licence (registration) to practice).
  • Pretending to be a social worker, social auxiliary worker, child and youth care workers (professional category of registration), child and youth care workers (auxiliary category of registration) student social worker, student social auxiliary workers and student child and youth care worker without being registered with the SACSSP, including using any of these titles.
  • Pretending to be registered with the SACSSP for speciality, while not registered for such a speciality.
  • If required when registered at an auxiliary level or as a student, to execute duties under the supervision of a registered professional, and not adhering to that requirement.
  • Neglecting or omitting to provide a professional service at the required standards.
  • Participate in or associate with dishonesty in the execution of professional duties.
  • Receipt of any bribe, or agreement to receive any bribe in connection with any matter which is directly or indirectly related to professional duties or practice.
  • Refusing to render professional services which he or she took on or for which he or she was employed.
  • Discrimination against a client or colleague or other professional on any grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth account of social or economic status, sex, race, religion, language or nationality.
  • Failure to refer a client to a colleague, or another person or body with specialised knowledge in a field, should the matter fall so far outside his or her field of training or experience that such referral could in the circumstances be reasonably considered necessary;
  • Failure to keep a record of acts performed, money managed, and fees charged in all matters dealt with by him or her in his or her professional capacity.
  • Sharing confidential information of a client with an unauthorised person or third party, subject to certain strict conditions that may allow this, without the express consent of the client.
  • Unprofessional behaviour towards colleagues and/or other professional persons.

This is not an exhaustive (complete) list of examples. Also read

  • Rules relating to the acts or omissions of a social worker, a social auxiliary worker or a student social worker which shall constitute unprofessional or improper conduct (Government Notice 54 published in Government Gazette 14526 of 15 January 1993)
  • Rules relating to the acts or omissions which constitute unprofessional or improper conduct of child and youth care workers and rules relating to conduct of child and youth care workers practising at professional and auxiliary levels (Government Notice No 833 published in Government Gazette 38128 of 31 October 2014)

Also see Lodging a complaint.

Lodging a Complaint

The SACSSP is mandated to receive, investigate and conduct inquiries into complaints that are received regarding any alleged unprofessional or improper conduct by a social worker, social auxiliary worker and student social worker. The SACSSP takes all complaints made seriously, while it is committed to be fair and just in protecting practitioners and the public.

Any person who receives a service from a social service professional has the RIGHT to lodge a complaint about alleged unprofessional or improper conduct. A complaint may also be lodged, amongst others, by:

  • any member of the public
  • another social service professional
  • an organisation, including employer
  • other professionals

A complaint of alleged unprofessional or improper conduct can be lodged against a:

  • social worker
  • social auxiliary worker
  • child and youth care worker (professional category of registration)
  • child and youth care worker (auxiliary category of registration)
  • student social workers
  • student social auxiliary workers
  • student child and youth care workers (professional and auxiliary category)
  • a person pretending to be any of the above

Before lodging a complaint, you are encouraged (where it is practically possible) to first raise your complaint directly with the social service professional concerned so that you can jointly consider the possibility of attaining an expeditious remedy to your complaint

Any complaint of alleged unprofessional or improper conduct must be lodged in the form of FORM C.1.1. Please see Procedures to lodge a if you wish to lodge a complaint of unprofessional or improper conduct:

All complaints are dealt with in accordance with prescribed Inquiries into alleged unprofessional conduct.

Inquiries Into Alleged Unprofessional or Improper Conduct

The South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) takes all complaints of alleged unprofessional or improper conduct seriously. Every complaint received is examined, analysed and categorised to ensure that the right course of action is taken. If a complaint does not fall within the jurisdiction of the SACSSP it is referred to the relevant authorities, for example in the case of complaints against organisations, government departments, other professionals that do not fall under the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978, or disputes where a social service professional was not involved.

The disciplinary powers of the SACSSP to deal with alleged unprofessional or improper conduct is mandated in terms of Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978 together with the Regulation and thereto.

How the sacssp deals with a complaint

When dealing with a complaint of alleged unprofessional or improper conduct there are three main (or principal) parties involved:

  • The complainant who is the person(s) who lodged a complaint of alleged unprofessional or improper conduct against a registered person;
  • The respondent who is the person against whom a complaint of alleged unprofessional or improper conduct have been lodged; and
  • The SACSSP represented by the Registrar or designated official, Committee for Preliminary Inquiry (CPI) and/or Conduct Committee.

The procedures to be followed when a complaint of unprofessional or improper conduct is lodged against a registered social service practitioner (social worker, student social worker, social auxiliary worker, or child and youth care worker) are prescribed in the Regulations regarding the conducting of inquiries into alleged unprofessional conduct (Government Notice R 917 in Government Gazette Number 25109 of 27 June 2003)*.

Investigation and review in terms of regulation 4(1) and (2)

When a complaint of alleged unprofessional or improper conduct is received it will be reviewed to determine the nature of the complaint and whether it falls within the mandate of the SACSSP.

If it falls within the mandate of the SACSSP the complaint is forwarded to the respondent (the person against whom a complaint of alleged unprofessional or improper conduct is lodged) affording him or her the opportunity to respond in writing within 21 calendar days. After the response from the respondent is received the Registrar or designated official will review the response and the complaint thoroughly to make a determination.

Determination and referral in terms of regulation 4(3)

Registrar or designated official, following the investigation, will make a determination, based on all the facts at his or her disposal, whether the complaint needs to proceed either to the Committee for Preliminary Inquiry for further inquiry or to the Professional Conduct Committee for a disciplinary inquiry, or not; or whether it can be resolved cordially with a settlement between the complainant, respondent and/or any other parties involved. The complainant and respondent will be notified in writing of the determinations of the Registrar or designated official related to each complaint received.

If the matter does not fall within the jurisdiction of the SACSSP it will be referred to an appropriate body or authority.

Inquiry in terms of the Regulations

Further investigation and a determination by the Committee for Preliminary Inquiry (CPI) for in terms of regulations 5 to 15 of the Regulations*.

A disciplinary inquiry by the Professional Conduct Committee for in terms of regulations 16 to 26 of the Regulations*.

The SACSSP endeavours to finalise the investigation of each complaint received within a reasonable period. However, depending on the nature of the complaint, some cases might take longer than envisaged.

Please see  Committee for Preliminary Inquiry (CPI) and Professional Conduct Committee for more information.

Disputes and appeals

If a complainant or respondent does not agree with the decision of the Registrar/ designated official made in terms of regulation 4(3) he or she may lodge a dispute in terms of regulation 4(4) within 21 calendar days.

If a complainant or respondent does not agree with the decision of the Committee for Preliminary Inquiry, he or she may lodge a dispute in terms of regulation 4(4) within 21 calendar days.

If a complainant or respondent does not agree with the decision of the Professional Conduct Committee, he or she may file a dispute within 3 months.

See Dispute and appeal procedures for more information and the procedures to be followed when a dispute or an appeal is lodged.

Also see:

Alleged unprofessional or improper conduct

Professional practice

Please consult the following documents (Click on the underlined text to download a document):

  • Regulations regarding the conducting of inquiries into alleged unprofessional conduct (Government Notice No. R. 917 published in Government Gazette No 25109 of 27 June 2003)
  • Rules relating to the course of conduct to be followed by social workers in the practicing of their profession (Code of Ethics) (General Notice 292 of 1986 in Government Gazette 10205 of 25 April 1986)
  • Rules relating to the course of conduct to be followed by social auxiliary workers in the practicing of their profession (General Notice 136 of 1991 in Government Gazette 113620 of 15 November 1991)
  • Rules relating to the acts or omissions of a social worker, a social auxiliary worker or a student social worker which shall constitute unprofessional or improper conduct (Government Notice 54 published in Government Gazette 14526 of 15 January 1993)
  • Rules relating to the acts or omissions which constitute unprofessional or improper conduct of child and youth care workers and rules relating to conduct of child and youth care workers practising at professional and auxiliary levels (Government Notice No 833 published in Government Gazette 38128 of 31 October 2014)

Policy on the fit and proper person requirement (2017)

Practical Information for Registrants on Inquiries

In the case where a social service professional receives notice of a complaint of alleged unprofessional or improper conduct against him or her, the following practical information may be helpful. Please note that the SACSSP at all times remains impartial (not choosing sides between a complainant and a respondent) in dealing with all complaints of alleged unprofessional or improper conduct. The information below does not compromise that SACSSP’s impartiality and compliments the information provided to the public under Lodging a Complaint.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION #1: Terminology

The following are some key words that will help you not to get confused with the terminology used from the start:

  • Respondent: This is the social service professional against whom a complaint was brought and who must respond to the complaint (sometime also referred to as the defendant)
  • Complainant: This is the person or body that brought a complaint against a social service professional registered with the South African Council for Social Service Professions

PRACTICAL INFORMATION #2: Read the procedures that will be followed  

The procedures regarding an inquiry into alleged unprofessional or improper conduct will be found in:

PRACTICAL INFORMATION #3: Understand what constitutes alleged unprofessional or improper conduct

See Alleged unprofessional or improper conduct and read the following:

  • Rules relating to the course of conduct to be followed by social workers in the practicing of their profession (Code of Ethics) (General Notice 292 of 1986 in Government Gazette 10205 of 25 April 1986)
  • Rules relating to the course of conduct to be followed by social auxiliary workers in the practicing of their profession (General Notice 136 of 1991 in Government Gazette 113620 of 15 November 1991)
  • Rules relating to the acts or omissions of a social worker, a social auxiliary worker or a student social worker which shall constitute unprofessional or improper conduct (Government Notice 54 published in Government Gazette 14526 of 15 January 1993)
  • Rules relating to the acts or omissions which constitute unprofessional or improper conduct of child and youth care workers and rules relating to conduct of child and youth care workers practising at professional and auxiliary levels (Government Notice No 833 published in Government Gazette 38128 of 31 October 2014)

PRACTICAL INFORMATION #4: Acknowledge receipt    

The Professional Conduct Division will send the relevant documents regarding the complaint of alleged unprofessional or improper conduct against you with a clear indication what is required from you.

You will be requested to acknowledge that a complaint of alleged unprofessional or improper conduct was lodged against you, by acknowledging receipt of the aforementioned documents. This must be done in writing on the letterhead of your employer, company or private practice.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION #5: Right to reply  

The documents that will be send to you by Professional Conduct Division (see above) will include copies of the documents (a copy of the complaint and all related attachments) received from the complainant, which will provide information on the nature of the complaint. The respondent needs to respond in writing regarding the complaint of alleged unprofessional or improper conduct within 21 calendar days  (to be send to the Professional Conduct Division). The reply (response) needs to be prepared thoroughly and factually, as it may be supplied to the professional conduct committee and the complainant, and that it may be used in evidence during an investigation and a disciplinary inquiry

Practical information #6: Who to inform

The respondent may inform any person that he or she deems necessary, unless in cases where he or she has been advised differently during the investigation. However, it is advisable that the respondent inform his or her supervisor and employer immediately.

Practical information #7: Legal advice and representation  

The respondent may seek legal advice and guidance at any time at his or her own discretion and costs. However, during the preliminary inquiry the respondent is not entitled to have legal representation (neither does the SACSSP).

If the case proceeds to a disciplinary inquiry, the respondent is entitled to legal representation at his or her own costs.

Practical information #8: Costs  

The respondent liable for all costs incurred by him or her during the inquiry into alleged unprofessional or improper conduct. This includes costs related to his or her travel, legal representation, accommodation, or any other related costs. The SACSSP strongly advise all social service professionals to have professional indemnity insurance.

Practical information #9: Professional indemnity insurance

It is always advisable for any professional to obtain professional indemnity insurance. Taking up professional indemnity cover will assist to cover your costs in case of an actual or alleged complaint made against you by a client, the public or third party. The SACSSP does not recommend any specific indemnity insurance provider and recommend that you find one that suits your needs best.

Practical information #10: More information  

If a respondent needs more information about the procedures related to a complaint of alleged unprofessional or improper conduct, he or she may contact the SACSSP’s Professional Conduct Division at the email or telephone number below.

Email: profcond2@sacssp.co.za
Telephone: 012 356 8315

Committee for Preliminary Inquiry (CPI)

The Committee of Preliminary Inquiry is established in terms of section 10 of the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978, and forms part of the professional conduct mandate of the SACSSP. The Committee of Preliminary Inquiry derives its mandate from the Regulations regarding the conducting of inquiries into alleged unprofessional conduct (Government Notice No. R. 917 published in Government Gazette No 25109 of 27 June 2003)*.

In accordance with regulation 2(4) the Regulations* the Committee of Preliminary Inquiry shall consist of maximum of three members, subject to specified conditions related to the membership, with at least one Member of Council and one Member of the Professional Board concerned.

The procedures of the Committee of Preliminary Inquiry with regards to a preliminary inquiry are set out in regulations 5 to 15 of the Regulations*.

The Committee of Preliminary Inquiry may, after having investigated the complaint and after having considered all relevant documentation, in terms of regulation 7:

  • determine that a complaint does not constitute unprofessional or improper conduct
  • determine, with reasons, that a complaint should not be subjected to an inquiry
  • determine that a matter can be resolved amicably and secure a settlement between the complainant, respondent and/or any other parties involved
  • determine that the matter does not fall within the jurisdiction of the SACSSP and refer the matter to an appropriate body
  • determine that a further preliminary inquiry needs to be held and instruct the Registrar to prepare the inquiry in terms of regulation 8
  • determine that a matter needs to be referred for a disciplinary inquiry by the Professional Conduct Committee in terms of regulation 16.

If a further preliminary inquiry is instituted in terms of regulation 8 the respondent will be:

  • Informed of the date, time and place of the preliminary inquiry
  • Informed about his or her right to be present at the preliminary inquiry and to present his or her case to the Committee of Preliminary Inquiry;
  • Informed that he or she is not entitled to legal representation at the preliminary inquiry

receive written exposition containing the nature of the complaint, the consequences of the alleged unprofessional or improper conduct for the complainant, the general public, Council, the respondent, the profession or any other interested party, the severity of the alleged unprofessional or improper conduct, the penalty which the Committee of Preliminary Inquiry anticipates could be imposed by the Professional Conduct Committee, and any other matter in the opinion of the Committee of Preliminary Inquiry that warrants the holding of a preliminary or disciplinary inquiry.

Professional Conduct Committee

The Professional Conduct Committee is established in terms of section 21(7) of the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978, and forms part of the professional conduct mandate of the SACSSP. Council delegated all powers and functions related to inquiries into alleged unprofessional or improper conduct, as contemplated in section 21, to the Professional Conduct Committee, subject to the Regulations regarding the conducting of inquiries into alleged unprofessional conduct (Government Notice No. R. 917 published in Government Gazette No 25109 of 27 June 2003)*.

In accordance with Regulation 2(1) of the Regulations* the Professional Conduct Committee shall consist of minimum of three members and a maximum of five members, subject to specified conditions related to the membership, with at least one Member of Council and one Member of the Professional Board concerned.

The procedures of the Professional Conduct Committee  with regards to a disciplinary inquiry are set out in regulations 16 to 25 of the Regulations.

The Professional Conduct Committee may, after a disciplinary inquiry has been concluded, find a respondent (social service professional) guilty or not guilty of unprofessional or improper conduct.

If a respondent (social service professional) is found guilty of unprofessional or improper conduct, the Professional Conduct Committee may impose any of the following penalties which will be recorded against the name of the person on the Register kept by the SACSSP:

  • a reprimand or a caution;
  • a suspension of his or her registration for a specific period on the conditions determined the Committee. During the period of suspension he or she is not allowed not practise;
  • the cancellation of his or her registration. His or her name will be removed from the Register and he or she may not proceed to practise the profession he or she was registered for; or
  • a fine not exceeding R5,000

Any of the above penalties may postponed for such period and on such conditions as the Professional Conduct Committee may determine.

Also see Outcomes of disciplinary enquiries.

Dispute and Appeal Procedures

There are specific procedures to be followed if a person (complainant or respondent) has a dispute regarding the findings that resulted from procedures followed related to a complaint of alleged unprofessional or improper conduct.

Dispute against a determination made by the Registrar or designated official: In the case where either the complainant and/or respondent lodges a dispute against a finding or determination made by the Registrar or designated official in terms of regulation 4(3)(a); 4(3)(b) and 4(3)(c) of the Regulations, the matter will be referred to the Committee of Preliminary Inquiry for further investigation, in terms of regulation 4(4). Such a dispute or appeal must be lodged in writing within 21 calendar days in the form of FORM C.1.6.

Dispute or appeal against a by the Committee of Preliminary Inquiry.

In the case where either the complainant and/or respondent lodges a dispute against a finding and/or decision made by the Committee of Preliminary Inquiry, other than a finding in terms of regulation 7(4) and 7(5), of the Regulations*, the matter will be referred to the Appeals Committee for review and finalisation. Such a dispute or appeal must be lodged in writing within 21 calendar days in the form of FORM C.1.6.

In the case where either the complainant and/or respondent lodges a dispute against a finding and/or decision made by the Committee of Preliminary Inquiry in terms of regulation 8, other than a finding in terms of regulation 15(1), the matter will be referred to the Appeals Committee for review and finalisation. Such a dispute or appeal must be lodged in writing within 21 calendar days in the form of FORM C.1.7.

Appeal of any finding and/ or penalty of an inquiry the Professional Conduct Committee

An appeal of any finding and/ or penalty of an inquiry of the Professional Conduct Committee shall be dealt with in terms of section 25 of the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978 and must be lodged in writing within 3 months.

Also read the SACSSP’s Professional conduct disputes and appeals policy.

Entry into the Registers

The SACSSP has statutory obligation in terms of regulation 22(10)(b) of the Regulations regarding the conducting of inquiries into alleged unprofessional conduct (Government Notice R 917 in Government Gazette Number 25109 of 27 June 2003) to publish the particulars (including the charges, findings and penalties) of persons were found guilty of unprofessional conduct after a disciplinary inquiry by the Professional Conduct Committee that was instituted in terms of section 21 of the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978.

The finding and the penalty imposed will be entered against the name of the social service professional in the Registers kept by the SACSSP in terms of section 19 of the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978.

Also see Outcomes of disciplinary enquiries

SACSSP

Outcomes

The SACSSP has statutory obligation in terms of regulation 22(10)(b) of the Regulations regarding the conducting of inquiries into alleged unprofessional conduct (Government Notice R 917 in Government Gazette Number 25109 of 27 June 2003) to publish the particulars (including the charges, findings and penalties) of persons were found guilty of unprofessional conduct after a disciplinary inquiry by the Professional Conduct Committee that was instituted in terms of section 21 of the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978.

Outcomes of Disciplinary Enquiries

The SACSSP has statutory obligation in terms of regulation 22(10)(b) of the Regulations regarding the conducting of inquiries into alleged unprofessional conduct (Government Notice R 917 in Government Gazette Number 25109 of 27 June 2003) to publish the particulars (including the charges, findings and penalties) of persons were found guilty of unprofessional conduct after a disciplinary inquiry by the Professional Conduct Committee that was instituted in terms of section 21 of the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978.

The lists below (click on the link) provide the above details. The respondents were duly informed of the finding and penalty as contemplated in regulation 22(10)(a) of the said Regulations and the Registrar has updated the Register for all professions registered with Council, as required in terms of section 22(2) of Act with the details in relation to the charges, findings and the penalties imposed.

July 2018 to June 2020

July to December 2019

January to March 2020

For inquiries, please contact the Professional Conduct Division on telephone 012 3568315 or by email profcond2@sacssp.co.za

SACSSP

Enquiries

Any enquiry regarding professional conduct can be directed to the SACSSP’s Professional Conduct Division

Enquiries: Professional Conduct

Any enquiry regarding professional conduct can be directed to the SACSSP’s Professional Conduct division at:

Email: profcond2@sacssp.co.za
Telephone: 012 356 8315

Write to: The Registrar, South African Council of Social Service Professions,  Private Bag X 12 Gezina, 0031

Address

37 Annie Botha Ave Riviera
Pretoria 0084

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(+27) 012 356 8300

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