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CPD Policy

Plumbing Industry Registration Board Policy on Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

Date of issue: October 2012

Updated: September 2017

C O N T E N T S

SECTION 1   BACKGROUND
SECTION 2   OBJECTIVE OF THE CPD SYSTEM
SECTION 3   WHAT IS CPD
SECTION 4   ADMINISTRATION
SECTION 5   ROLE OF EMPLOYERS OF REGISTERED ENGINEERING PERSONS
SECTION 6   APPLICATION OF POLICY FOR VARIOUS CATEGORIES OF REGISTRATION
SECTION 7   POSSIBLE EXEMPTIONS FROM CPD REQUIREMENTS
SECTION 8   CPD REQUIREMENTS
SECTION 9   CATAGORIES OF ACTIVITIES FOR CPD CREDITS
SECTION 10  ROLE OF RECOGNISED VOLUNTARY ASSOCIATIONS AND ACCREDITED TERTIARY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
SECTION 11   APPROVAL OF PROVIDERS OF CPD ACTIVITIES
SECTION 12   PROCESS OF RENEWAL OF REGISTRATION
SECTION 13   AUDIT
SECTION 14   NON COMPLIANCE
SECTION 15   RE-INSTATEMENT OF SUSPENDED PLUMBERS

1. BACKGROUND

The Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB) is responsible to maintain and effectively administrate a live and updated registration system and database of all active plumbing practitioners within South African

PIRB registered persons are required to acquire new and updated levels of knowledge and skills that will not only add measurable benefits to the practice of plumbing, compliant with mandatory national standards and regulations, but also enhance and promote professional integrity of the plumbing industry.

In addition to maintaining their own competence, the registered person should strive to contribute to the advancement and promotion of the plumbing industry, and to the profession in general and holistically.

In terms of the National Qualifications Framework Act (Act 67 of 2008) the PIRB is charged to Promote the protection of the public from malpractice related to the fulfilment of the professional duties and responsibilities of professionals registered with them as well as encourage social responsibility and accountability within the professions relating to professional services communities and individuals

Section 42 (ix) of the Act confers the power on to the PIRB to determine conditions for renewal of registration. Section 28 (V) of the Act further impose a duty on a professional body to set criteria for promoting and monitor continuing professional development for its registering persons. The discretion provided for in the Act to make use of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as a mechanism to determine renewal of registration, gives the PIRB the opportunity to comply with both the renewal of registration and CPD requirements.

It is not PIRB’s intention to “police” each and every registered person’s career and the PIRB’s point of departure is to assist with the creation of a culture of CPD for the South African plumbing profession.

The PIRB will therefore institute a system of CPD, starting in January 2014, which will be linked to renewal of registration effective from 1 Jan 2015 for all PIRB registered persons according to the policy set out in this Document. This document may be updated from time to time.

 

2. OBJECTIVE OF THE CPD SYSTEM

CPD is to be introduced for all registered plumbers in order to:

  • Promote, enhance and maintain a level of plumbing technical knowledge and skills in the plumbing industry;
  • Promotes adherence and compliance to the standards;
  • Develop new areas of plumbing expertise;
  • Liaise with and understand the plumbing industry better;
  • Increases personal confidence and development;
  • Meet the requirements of the NQF Act.

 

3.  WHAT IS CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (CPD)

CPD can be defined as the systematic maintenance, improvement and broadening of knowledge and skills, and the development of personal qualities necessary for the execution of professional and technical duties throughout a person’s plumbing career. CPD plays a vital role in helping Plumbing professionals acquire new and updated levels of knowledge and skills that will not only add measureable benefits to practice of plumbing, but also enhance and promote professional integrity of the plumbing industry – to ultimately benefit promote plumbing practices that protect the health and safety of the community and the integrity of water supply and wastewater systems.

The emphasis for meeting CPD requirements is not on the acquisition of points for the attendance of academic or theoretical courses alone, but has been spread over three categories of activities, which would contribute to meeting the minimum CPD credits needed for renewal of registration. The categories are fully described in Section 8.

 

4.  ADMINISTRATION

The CPD system is administered by the PIRB in conjunction with the registered PIRB plumber through a manual and or online CPD system.

The responsibility to provide accredited CPD activities according to specific criteria and guidelines is outsourced to recognised voluntary associations, accredited tertiary1 educational institutions and other recognized providers.

PIRB is responsible to ensure that the responsibilities outsourced are carried out in a fair, equitable and responsible manner and therefore retains the right to review or withdraw any outsourced responsibilities to recognised voluntary associations, accredited tertiary educational institutions and other recognised providers, should the circumstances so require.

 

5. ROLE OF EMPLOYERS OF REGISTERED PIRB PERSONS 

Employers are responsible for creating a suitable work environment, which supports and promotes the participation of registered PIRB persons in plumbing activities that maintain their competence. Employers also share a responsibility to maintain a work environment in which the continued plumbing development of registered PIRB persons is assured.

 

6. EXEMPTIONS FROM CPD REQUIREMENTS 

Registered Persons Abroad
Registered persons who are practicing abroad should meet the same requirements as those in South Africa and will not be granted exemption. However, documentary proof of compliance with CPD requirements in any particular country, where such requirements apply, will be accepted for CPD purposes in South Africa. In the absence of such proof of compliance with CPD requirements, documentation on activities attended outside South Africa will have to be submitted to the PIRB for evaluation and if approved, the registered person will qualify for the specified CPD credits

Postponement
Registered PIRB persons may apply for postponement of CPD. PIRB Registration Committee will review such applications individually and if the reasons given are acceptable to the PIRB, postponement of CPD may be granted. Registered PIRB persons experiencing physical disability, illness or other extenuating circumstances as reviewed and approved by PIRB may be exempt. Documentation and/or evidence in support of the request for postponement must be furnished to the PIRB with the application of postponement of CPD.

 

7. CPD REQUIREMENTS

After the initial phasing in for the first renewal of registration, CPD will run within a registered persons annual 12 month registration cycle, during which period every registered PIRB person will be required to accumulate the minimum points required according to the Plumbers Designation, in order to retain their PIRB registration when renewing their annual registration.

The CPD points required per designation is defined as follows, however the PIRB reserves the right to review these on an annual basis and adjust these requirements:

 

Director Plumber 45 CPD POINTS
Master Plumber 35 CPD POINTS
Licensed Plumber 25 CPD POINTS
Technical Operator Practitioner 10 CPD POINTS
Technical Assistant Practitioner 10 CPD POINTS
Learner Plumber 10 CPD POINTS

33% of any additional CPD points achieved over and above the minimum annual CPD requirement in a one-year registration cycle of any registered plumber will be carried over to his/her next registration cycle. For example: if a registered licensed plumber requires 25 CPD points but achieves 45 points in their registration cycle, he/she will be allowed to carry over 5 points into their next registration cycle.

Details of the different categories of CPD activities are given in Section 8.

With the exception of persons covered by possible exemptions (Section 6), all registered persons will be required to record their CPD activities annually by:

  • Manually by completing and signing the CPD Activity Register form and returning it to; fax to 086 6927 230 or email to cpd@pirb.co.za.,

                           OR

  • Electronically on the PIRB CPD system,

                           OR

  • Plumbers App

It is recommended that all CPD activities that have taken place; be registered as soon as possible after the relevant activity has taken place but not later than 30 (thirty) days prior to completion of their annual registration cycle.

The number of credits accumulated in respect of each category of CPD activity during the specific annual cycle will be electronically recorded. Registered PIRB persons may access their personal CPD records by going to the PIRB website and following the relevant prompts. In view of the possibility for audit (Section 13), registered persons should keep verifiable evidence of all their CPD activities for at least 2 years.

 

Each registered PIRB person will have their own CPD cycle, the start date of which is their annual renewed registered period with the PIRB.

 

8. CATEGORIES OF ACTIVITIES FOR CPD CREDITS

CPD credits can be obtained with in each of the following categories.

Category 1: Developmental Activities:
Development CPD Activities are activities that are related to structured, educational and developmental meetings, seminars and training programs. All development activities must be approved and accredited by the PIRB before a CPD credit(s) may be allocated to the relevant activities and be awarded to the relevant registered person.

A list of the PIRB’s CPD approved Development Activities with the relevant CPD point allocation can be found on the PIRB’s CPD Plumber Credits Activities list.

Category 2: Work-based Activities:
Work-based CPD Activities are activities that are related to any work-based related plumbing activities. These activities may include but not be limited to, learner mentorship programs and issuing of plumbing certificates of compliance. All work-based activities must be approved and accredited by the PIRB before a CPD credit(s) may be allocated to the relevant activities and be awarded to the relevant registered person.

A list of the PIRB’s CPD approved Development Activities with the relevant CPD point allocation can be found on the PIRB’s CPD Plumber Credits Activities list.

Category 3: Individual Activities:
As the name implies individual CPD Activities are activities that are related to activities under taken by the each relevant individual. These activities may include but not be limited to serving on a voluntary association related to the plumbing and or building industry, writing a technical article and or part-time lecturing/training. All persons’ activities must be approved and accredited by the PIRB before a CPD credit(s) may be allocated to the relevant activities and be awarded to the relevant registered person.

 

9. CPD CREDIT CATEGORY ALLOCATION

PIRB expects that when registered persons are deciding on the contents and value of their CPD activities, they will ensure a balance in their CPD activities between the three categories.

CPD Credits cannot be obtained from just one category of activities. CPD credits must at least be obtained from two of the three categories, with at least 50% of the required credits per annum being obtained from Category 1.

 

10. ROLE OF RECOGNISED VOLUNTARY ASSOCIATIONS AND ACCREDITED TERTIARY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

In South Africa the plumbing related voluntary associations and accredited tertiary educational institutions render an invaluable service in offering a wide range of services that can be used by the registered persons to maintain and improve their competence

PIRB expects that the recognized voluntary associations should where possible as part of their activities assist their members in identifying CPD activities which meet their needs, register and approve these activities with the PIRB and then present these CPD activities as described in Category 1, Section 8. Recognized voluntary associations will also be responsible for the validation and monitoring of courses, seminars and conferences offered for CPD credits by other providers.

 

11. APPROVAL OF PROVIDERS OF CPD ACTIVITIES

All voluntary associations recognized by the PIRB, as well as accredited tertiary educational institutions may apply directly to the PIRB to validate application for CPD activity.

All other bodies, such as private companies, private providers or state organizations, would need to have the contents of their CPD activity(s) vetted by a recognized voluntary association or accredited tertiary educational institution before submitting an application to the PIRB for validation of a CPD activity(ies)

The organizers of these courses, conferences or seminars etc. would therefore have to approach the appropriate recognized voluntary association and or accredited tertiary educational institution for vetting of the activity(ies) and may be charged a fee for such evaluation and vetting.

Registered persons, who intend participating in an activity provided by any other bodies should ensure that the activity is approved by the PIRB before the activity is undertaken so that the credits awarded will be recognised by PIRB

In validating a Category 1 CPD activity, the following aspects must be covered:

  • The activity should serve to maintain or enhance the knowledge, skills and competence of all those who participate in it.
  • The activity should meet an educational and developmental need and provide an effective learning experience for the participants.
  • The depth and breadth of the subject matter covered must be appropriate with sufficient time for discussion.
  • The subject covered should provide a balanced view and should not be unduly promotional.
  • The presenters should have proven practical and academic experience and be good communicators.
  • Evaluation forms for obtaining feedback from participants on the activity must be provided for rating of the relevance, quality and effectiveness of the activity.

 

12. PROCESS OF RENEWAL OF REGISTRATION

All registered persons will be required to accumulate the minimum credits required per Plumber Designation (section 7 above) before being allowed to renew their annual PIRB registration. Those registered persons who are identified as having not met the required plumbing credits, will be advised accordingly and maybe referred to the Registration Committee for decision. Possible actions that may be taken by the PIRB are given in Section 14

 

13. AUDIT

PIRB may conduct random audits of the CPD records of all registered persons.

If selected for an audit, registered persons will be required to send, within four weeks of initial notification, verification of their CPD activities in the form of a certificate, list of results, record of attendance, receipt of course payment, or a written verification from the recognized voluntary association or accredited tertiary educational institution, which presented the developmental activity.

Registered persons being audited will be advised of the outcome. Those who do not pass the audit will have their record and verification documentation referred to the Registration Committee decision. Possible actions may be taken by the PIRB are given in Section 14.

 

14. NON-COMPLIANCE 

In the event of a registered person not complying with the requirements of the CPD system, PIRB may impose any one or more of the following conditions:

  • In the case of a Director/Master/Licensed Plumber designated registered person, who fails to achieve the desired CPD requirements with his/her annual registration cycle, will be: automatically re-categorised to the designation of Qualified Plumber;
  • Randomly select registered persons to undertake a written assessment. An assessment fee could be levied for this assessment. Failure of the written assessment could result in suspension of the registered person’s registration with the PIRB.
  • Require the registered person to follow an approved remedial programme of continuing professional development within a period prescribed by PIRB. Suspend the registered person’s from the relevant register.
  • For all other categories of designations other than Director/Master/Licensed Plumber, a 3 Month Grace Period may be imposed on the registered person who has not achieved the required points at the end of their receptive CPD cycle. It will be the responsibility of the registered person to achieve the required points within the 3 Month Grace Period failing which the registered person will be suspended.

If applicable the date on which the respective registered persons is reinstated and or the 3 Month Grace Period is lapsed, this will not supersede that of the respective registration persons annual registration date and in turn the CPD cycle; as an example if the registered persons annual registration date is March to February, and the respective 3 Month Grace Period is lifted in March, the respective CPD cycle will still remain as March to February.

 

15. REINSTATEMENT OF SUSPENDED PLUMBERS

In the event that a suspended PIRB registered person wishes to be reinstated after being suspended for not achieving the desired CPD requirements they will be required to achieve, in full, the current annual individual’s registration cycle CPD requirements for the respective designations. As an example, if the suspended registered person has 2 points and the current annual CPD requirement is 15 points, the suspended registered person must obtain the 13 points before reinstatement will take place.

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