Deadline for registration with the Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa (EAPASA) looms

30 August 2019
 

The deadline for registration as environmental assessment Ppractitioner with the Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa (EAPASA), the sole registration authority in terms of Section 24H of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA), is fast approaching.

All environmental assessment practitioners must submit an application for registration with EAPASA before 12 October 2019, in order to be registered by the statutory deadline of 08 February 2020.

An environmental assessment practitioner is an individual responsible for the planning, management, coordination or review of environmental impact assessments, strategic environmental assessments and environmental management programmes.

Registration with EAPASA will promote ethical conduct by the practitioners and quality assurance of the environmental impact assessment reports. Furthermore, registration with EAPASA will ensure consistency in the application of standards across all the professions involved in this field, and throughout the country. Quality assurance and ethics in environmental assessment practice is thus a recognised prerequisite for effective governance towards sustainable development in South Africa.

Renewal of registrations, after a period of five years, must be supported by the submission of a continuing professional development (CPD) portfolio of evidence, as one of the hallmarks of professionalism.

The effective implementation of the environmental authorisation system for development activities listed in terms of the NEMA relies directly on the competence and ethics of EAPs in government, parastatals and private consulting practice. These practitioners play a pivotal role within the decision-making process which is aimed at promoting sustainable development.

Environmental assessment practitioners are encouraged to register at the link below:

https://registration.eapasa.org/registered-practitioners

For media quires contact:
Snowy Makhudu (Chairperson of EAPASA Board)
Cell: 083 640 8070

 

Editors notes:

 

Who needs to register?

The range of professionals who are practicing as EAPs:

  • EAP consultants preparing environmental impact assessments (EIAs), and
  • EAP officials reviewing EIAs.

As defined in the Section 24H Registration Authority Regulations of the NEMA, there are two categories for registration:

  • Candidate EAP, newly graduated without experience, and
  • Registered EAP with at least three years of relevant experience.

The registration process

On 15 December 2018, the EAPASA online registration system was officially launched. Since then the registration statistics include forty-seven (47) registered EAPs and three (3) candidate EAPs with some 596 draft applicants working on the system and waiting to be submitted (date: 15 August 2019).

EAPASA takes pride in the fact that although a 120-day evaluation timeframe is prescribed from the date of submission until a decision is sent to the applicant, EAPASA continues to streamline internal processes resulting in a shorter turnaround time on applications assessed.

Stakeholders are encouraged to view the live database of registered EAPs at the link provided below –

https://registration.eapasa.org/registered-practitioners-index

In order to meet this deadline, EAPs should aim to submit their applications by latest 12 October 2019 although applications will still be accepted after this date.

As of 08 February 2020, only EAPs listed on this database will be allowed to hold a position of primary responsibility in preparing and reviewing EIAs in South Africa.

Continuing professional development (CPD)

Registration with EAPASA is not a once off obligation. Renewal of registrations after a period of five years is required and must be supported by the submission of a CPD portfolio of evidence.

The EAPASA Professional Development Committee has consulted widely to solicit input from its stakeholders with reference to the structure of the CPD system for EAPs. The draft guidelines were made available for public comment for the period 30 May to 15 July 2019. The comments received were considered and areas of concern were addressed. The revised EAPASA CPD system requires a minimum of 25 credits over five years, similar to other professional bodies.

The EAPASA CPD guideline was presented on 23 August 2019 at the annual conference of The South African Affiliate of the International Association of South Africa (IAIAsa) at Klein Kariba, Bela-Bela in Limpopo, and will be posted on the website www.eapasa.org on 31 August 2019.

The CPD guideline has been developed so as to improve the quality of environmental assessment in South Africa and to contribute to transformation. Transformation is encouraged through the mandatory requirement for Registered EAPs to provide career guidance to aspiring EAPs and mentorship to candidate EAPs as outlined in the CPD guideline.

The Professional Development Committee’s next task is to prepare a CPD Implementation Plan for rolling-out the system. This will involve the development of an online portal linked to the EAPASA online registration system at https://registration.eapasa.org/ to which registered EAPs can upload CPD evidence they have started to collect from the date of their registration.

 

Issued by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries on behalf of the Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa (EAPASA)