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SAAP to become CPSC, a division of ACRP

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An application for recognition as a professional body, was submitted to SAQA on 21 October 2016 by the Association of Christian Religious Practitioners (ACRP). The day was memorable indeed, as SAAP has been trying to find an open door at both the Health Professions Council of SA and the SA Council for Social Services Professions since 1991, unfortunately without success.

The Association of Christian Religious Practitioners (ACRP), is the non-profit company to be recognised as professional body for Christian religious practitioners. Specialist Christian ministries such as Pastoral and Spiritual Counselling, Ministry Training and General Ministry have been identified to be represented on the professional body, as divisions of ACRP.

SAAP will therefore become such a division with the name “Council for Pastoral and Spiritual Counsellors (CPSC)”, as approved by the ACRP Board of Directors on 23 February 2017. Once all legal steps and formalities are in place, SAAP will dissolve to become the mentioned division of ACRP.

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Professionalisation 2016

 The Journey to the Professionalisation of the Pastoral Care and Counselling Dispensation in South Africa

For the past twenty years SAAP envisaged a process of professionalising Pastoral Care and Counselling Practices in South Africa.  After pursuing many avenues inter alia tothe Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and other SA Government Structures to register SAAP as a Statutory Professional Body, without any success, SAAP made a principle decision to register SAAP as a non-statutory Professional Body for Pastoral Care and Counselling of South Africa (PBPCCSA) with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

After consultation with SAAP Members during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Bloemfontein on 25-26 October 2013, the SAAP AGM decided unanimously to mandate SAAP Executive to advance with the process of establishing a Professional Body for Pastoral Care and Counselling of South Africa in order to professionalise the Pastoral Care and Counselling dispensation.

At the SAAP AGM held on 24 Ocotber 2014, it was decided unanimously to disband SAAP and establish the new professional body at a special general meeting, once SAQA recognition has been approved.

The rationale behind the establishment of a Professional Body for Pastoral Care and Counselling is to advance Pastoral Care and Counselling as a science, profession and as a means of promoting spiritual health, education and human wellbeing.

Professionalising Pastoral Care and counselling in South Africa is based on the premise of self-regulating structures to guide the profession and to protect the clients.

In terms of the National Qualification Framework (NQF) the Professional Body for Pastoral Care and Counselling as a non-statutory professional body shall:

  • Co-operate with the relevant quality council(s) in respect of qualifications and quality assurance in its occupational field.
  • Apply in the manner prescribed by SAQA to be recognised as a professional body in terms of the NQF Act.
  • Apply in the manner prescribed by SAQA to register a professional designation (Pastoral Care and Counselling Practitioners) on the NQF.

The objectives of the policies and criteria designed by SAAP Executive to professionalise Pastoral Care and Counselling in South Africa are to:

  • Advance the objectives of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
  • Promote public understanding of a nationally regulated system for recognition of professional bodies and for registration of professional designations.
  • Encourage the social responsibility and accountability within the professions relating to professional services communities and individuals.
  • Promote pride in association for all Pastoral Care and Counselling professions.
  • Promote the protection of the public by professional bodies from malpractice related to the fulfilment of professional duties and responsibilities of professionals registered with them.
  • Encourage international best practice for all Pastoral Care and Counselling professions in South Africa, including continuing professional development.
  • Facilitate access to and analysis of data related to professions as prescribed by the NQF Act.
  • Support the development of a national career plan.

The Professional Body for Pastoral Care and Counselling will be recognised by SAQA if it is constituted to represent and regulate the recognised community of expert  Pastoral Care and Counselling practitioners.

The Professional Body for Pastoral Care and Counselling applying to be recognised by SAQA shall comply with the following criteria:

  • Protect the interest and the professional status of its members.
  • Protect the public interest in relation to services provided by the practitioners and the associated risks.
  • Show evidence of inherent social responsibility and advancing the objectives of the NQF.
  • Be a legally constituted entity with the necessary human and financial resources to undertake its functions, governed either by a statute, charter or a constitution and compliant with good corporate governance practices.
  • Represent, and where applicable, also regulate, a recognised community of expert Pastoral Care and Counselling practitioners.
  • Apply peer judgement in decision making.
  • Develop, award and revoke its professional designations in terms of its own rules, legislation and/or international conventions.
  • Monitor its professional designations in terms of its own rules, legislation and/or international conventions.
  • Manage and revocation of designations, as well as disciplinary matters, appeals and complaints in a transparent manner and in terms of its own rules, legislation and/or international conventions.
  • Set criteria for, promote and monitor continuing professional development (CPD) for its members to meet the relevant professional designation requirements.
  • Show evidence of a fully functional information management system compatible with the National Learners’ Records Database.
  • Monitor compliance with an agreed code of conduct and/or ethics, including criminal record screening where applicable.
  • Co-operate with the relevant Quality Setas (CS’s) in respect of qualifications and quality assurance in its occupational field.
  • Be involved in the development of a body of specialised knowledge taking due cognisance of national and international benchmarks.

On SAQA's recommendation SAAP is in the process of unification with the Association for Ministry Training Practitioners (AMTP) . The  joint organisation aims to submit an application with SAQA  for recognition as a professional body by the middle of 2016.  The proposed name for the professional body is the Association of Christian Religious Practitioners (ACRP).

 
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What is SAAP?

The need for pastoral work

South Africans suffer from spiritual wounds and stress. The causes are many - the lack of reconciliation, poverty, HIV/AIDS, unemployment, ongoing violence, crime and transformation in the workplace. Problems in the family, marriage and relationships are compounded by the issues such as debt and work-related stress.

An overwhelmed society needs trained caregivers to actively become part of the healing process.

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