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Continuing professional development (CPD) is the means by which professionals maintain their knowledge and skills related to their professional lives.

There can be few professionals who have been unaffected by the rapid pace of change which has influenced the professions over the past decade. Professionalism relies increasingly on an ability to respond quickly to changing market conditions, to client requirements and to the influences of government policies. We are all being encouraged to embrace change and foster innovation. To adapt to these changes demands new skills. No longer can keeping "up-to-date" be optional; it is increasingly central to professional and organisational success. The response of many professions to this challenge has been to embrace the concept of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

At the last Board meeting in November 2011, the Chartered Secretaries Southern Africa Board took the decision to upgrade and refine the CPD requirements for all Members. In researching the different approaches by the different professional bodies, we have found that ALL professional bodies now embrace compulsory CPD.

It is now compulsory for members to do a minimum of 20 CPD hours per annum, which includes a minimum of 13 hours verifiable CPD. It is also a requirement of the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) that members complete CPD.

CSSA CPD Policy effective from 1 January 2012.

What are the benefits of doing CPD?

You can demonstrate your commitment to ongoing development; proving to current and potential employers that you are serious about your career and about maintaining your knowledge and skills
• Keeping a record of your achievements and skills can help build your confidence, credibility and self-esteem
• You will be able to demonstrate your ability to cope positively with change by constantly updating your skill set
• You should be more productive and efficient by reflecting on your learning and highlighting gaps in your knowledge and experience
• Demonstrating the CPD activities you have undertaken can be a useful tool at appraisals and in helping you to secure a promotion
• By regularly reviewing your knowledge, experience and achievements you can develop your career in the direction you would like it to go

The benefits of CPD are indisputable. Individuals also benefit from the actual process of planning their CPD, as it provides them with an opportunity to take stock of their present career situation and assess the skills they currently possess and those they require to fulfil their career potential.

• Download a sample of a CPD plan/programme which we encourage you to complete at the beginning of each year, however this is not compulsory. Download a blank template

CSSA run a number of seminars and a conference throughout the year. Attendance at these events can help keep you up-to-date with the very latest topics. We offer members discounted rates for these events.

Details of your CPD hours must be recorded on the online log book This is a new requirement and we suggest you regularly log your info. At the end of the year an annual declaration form must be completed and this online logbook will serve as evidence of that declaration.

For a list of FAQs click here.

As an aid to CPD, the comprehensive study guides for the below 4 Board subjects have been developed by world authorities and then adapted for the Southern African context. Each guide runs to an average of 400 pages and comprises the most current information and developments. They are updated on an annual basis. For members that did not complete the Board subjects and wish to update their knowledge we will include the reading of the study material as non-verifiable CPD hours or verifiable CPD hours if you register for the course.

Corporate Governance * Corporate Secretaryship * Corporate Administration * Corporate Financial Management

Non-members may subscribe for access to this material by signing up for the Technical Service Package (TSP) – for further information on this service click here.

If you have any queries regarding the new policy or require assistance with logging your hours email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .