EAPASA launches online registration process for Environmental Assessment Practitioners in Durban

27 November 2018

The Chairperson and Board of the Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa (EAPASA) are pleased to announce the launch of Online Registration for Environmental Assessment Practitioners (EAPs) in South Africa.

Members of the media are invited to attend the launch as follows:

Date: Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Venue: International Convention Centre, Durban

Time: 09:30

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process is a crucial mechanism used to regulate the impact of development activities. Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) as well as Provincial Environmental departments are responsible for EIA processes and ensuring the timely and accurate execution of EIA’s. Environmental Impact Assessment has been compulsory in South Africa since 1997.

On 03 July 2006, the new EIA regulations, in terms of National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) came into effect. The regulations sought to streamline the process while addressing concerns raised by stakeholders over timeframes, duplication and inter-governmental cooperation.

“The launch of the Online Registration Process for the Environmental Assessment Practitioners is a historic moment that marks the formalisation of a vigorous and growing environmental profession. Since the emergence of environmental assessment (EA) as a distinct discipline in the 1970s, South Africans have earned praise internationally for making significant contributions to EA theory and practice. South Africa is about to embark on an initiative that is - on the available evidence - the first legally-based compulsory EAP Register in the world”, said Chairperson of the EAPASA Snowy Makhudu.

“EAPs will have access to an online registration system for entering their qualifications and work experience to prove competence for registration, at www.eapasa.org

The legal standard against which registrations are assessed - the qualification standard for Environmental Assessment Practice - was re-registered by the Board of the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) on 25 October 2018. This has made it possible for EAPASA to begin fulfilling its legal responsibility as the single Registration Authority for EAPs in South Africa,” added Makhudu.

EAPASA was appointed on 8 February 2018 by the then Minister of Environmental Affairs, the Honourable Dr Edna Molewa. Given the Minister’s untimely passing on 22 September 2018, it is with deep regret that EAPASA will not be able to celebrate the launch with her.

The imminent and enduring registration of EAPs will be one of her many legacies. EAPASA is sincerely grateful to the Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, the Honourable Barbara Thomson, and Director-General Ms Nosipho Ngcaba for their ongoing support, and looks forward to working with the new Minister, the Honourable Ms Nomvula Mokonyane.

The objectives of EAPASA include amongst others, to assure the public, authorities and developers that practitioners are competent and ethical; to promote the progressive transformation and restructuring of the profession such that it is representative of the demographics of the country, focusing specifically on support for candidate black people, women, youth and people with disabilities as well as to promote general awareness of the purpose and practice of environmental assessment in South Africa.

The Board of EAPASA is proud to be the custodian of the first compulsory Register of Environmental Assessment Practitioners in South Africa and the world. Once EAPASA has registered EAPs, their details will be contained in the EAP Register which will be hosted on the EAPASA website.

Detailed information regarding the Association can be accessed at www.eapasa.org and by email sent to registrar@eapasa.org

For media queries:

Albi Modise
Cell: 083 490 2871

Ms Snowy Makhudu
Cell: 083 640 8070
Chairperson of the EAPASA Board

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Editor’s note: Information about EAPASA

EAPASA was established in 2011 by the then Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, the Honourable Rejoice Mabudafhasi, to advance, on a nonprofit basis, the practice of environmental assessment and the quality of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) in the public interest and in the interest of the environment. Initiating organisations included 17 existing professional associations, councils and institutes, and 17 national and provincial government departments. The first Board of EAPASA was appointed in 2012, and since then EAPASA has established the necessary systems and processes required to function as the Registration Authority.

On 1 September 2017, the Minister gazetted her intention to appoint EAPASA and invited comments during a 30 day period of consultation. After considering the comments submitted, the Minister decided to continue with the appointment of EAPASA and to limit the number of registration authorities to EAPASA as the only Registration Authority, in terms of section 24H(6) of the NEMA.

On 8 February 2018, the Minister of Environmental Affairs promulgated (Notice No 41434 in Government Gazette 632 of 8 February 2018) the appointment of EAPASA as the single Registration Authority for EAPs in South Africa. This appointment was made in terms of section 24H (3)(a) of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA), 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998). The appointment of EAPASA is for a period of five years commencing from the date of publication of the Notice in the Gazette.

The objectives of EAPASA are:

  1. To assure the public, authorities and developers that practitioners are competent and ethical, by:
  • Upholding criteria for the registration of EAPs, which include academic knowledge and the skills that are developed from practical experience;
  • Upholding a Code of Ethical Conduct and Practice that directs EAPs to act in the best interest of the environment, sustainable development and the public good, which all practitioners must sign on registration;
  • Promoting continued professional development (CPD) of EAPs, and requiring a thorough CPD record which must be submitted after five years as part of an application for the renewal of registration; and
  • Establishing professional conduct enquiries, including disciplinary procedures and sanction mechanisms.
  1. To promote the progressive transformation and restructuring of the profession such that it is representative of the demographics of the country, focusing specifically on support for candidate black people, women, youth and people with disabilities.
  2. To promote general awareness of the purpose and practice of environmental assessment in South Africa.

How EAPASA will function as Registration Authority

The EAPASA website www.eapasa.org has detailed information about how to register. An ‘Applicant Guideline Manual’ is available on the EAPASA website in the section for ‘Documents’ - https://www.eapasa.org/index.php/documents. This manual specifies six core competencies and a number of associated assessment criteria for each competency. These core competencies have been taken directly from the Qualification Standard for Environmental Assessment Practice mentioned in the Section 24H Registration Authority Regulations (see http://allqs.saqa.org.za/showQualification.php?id=61831).

The Registration Committee of EAPASA will initially use the principles of Recognition of Prior Learning to assess applicants against the six core competencies and associated assessment criteria of the national Qualification Standard. An applicant must submit a comprehensive Portfolio of Evidence outlining their qualification(s) and experience on a web-based application system. For each assessment criterion, applicants are given 350 words in which to provide written evidence that they have met the criterion, and are required to further upload a range of supporting documents.

There are two categories for registration: 

(1) Candidate EAP, newly graduated without experience, and     
(2) Registered EAP with at least three years of relevant experience.       

Acceptable degrees can be based in a range of disciplines. In future such degree programmes will need to be accredited against the Qualification Standard by the statutory Quality Council.

Candidate EAPs need to have an Honours level qualification that focuses on the six core competencies and assessment criteria described in the Manual. In future, any applicant who has obtained an accredited Honours level degree (or higher qualification) that covers these competencies will be automatically accepted as a Candidate EAP. At present, however, given that it is going to take some time for tertiary institutions to be formally accredited against this standard, recent graduates seeking registration as Candidate EAPs will need to fill in the online registration system, providing evidence of having covered, and mastered, the core competencies in their studies.

The Manual indicates that in order to be certified as a Registered EAP one will need to show evidence of having mastered the six core competencies and associated criteria through:

(a) academic study or through Recognition of Prior Learning principles, and&and            
(b) appropriate professional experience gained from having completed or reviewed at least three Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) consistent with the requirements of the EIA Regulations in South Africa, over a period of at least three years.

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