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Do Universities give credits for CIS courses?

In the current environment of new legislation and the advent of the NQF which is not fully understood by all the role players, it is very difficult to get any blanket ruling by Universities and other providers on their recognition of the CIS and IBS qualifying schemes. It is evident that even diplomas and degrees earned from one University are not always fully recognised by other universities. During 2008, with the new developments regarding the registration of the professional qualifications on the NQF, this will be one of the issues that will be addressed. A Recognition of Prior Learning policy has been instituted and students and Members will be advised of how they can convert their existing qualifications to the new scheme.

Chartered Secretaries Southern Africa is currently in the process of discussing these issues with a number of Universities and other providers, to ensure that the CIS qualifying schemes, whether awarded prior to 2002 or during the intervening period, receive the recognition they deserve. In the meantime, Universities have indicated that each University and each faculty would assess applications from these graduates on a case-by-case basis, applying criteria according to the merit of each individual application.

 

What is a professional body?

A profession is an occupation that is based on a recognised body of learning and requires extensive study, training and mastery of specialised knowledge and skills. A professional body sets professional standards and acts as the authoritative independent voice of the profession to government, industry, other professions and the general public.

The emphasis of individual professional bodies varies but in general they are committed to:

  • Serving the public interest
  • Advancing and extending the knowledge base of their subject
  • Furthering the education, training and professional development of practitioners
  • Establishing and advancing standards of qualification and competence
  • Representing their subject and profession
  • Setting and upholding standards of integrity through an ethical Code of Professional Conduct
  • Attracting and training new entrants to the profession e.g. to ensure there are an adequate number of trained professionals to ensure public safety.

A professional body has wider objectives, obligations and responsibilities than, for example, a learned society and membership has greater significance when it indicates a professional qualification. Utilising its members' knowledge and expertise, a professional body is able to offer objective advice and information, and cooperate with government, industry, academia and consumer organisations without losing its independence.