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SACAP achieves full Canberra Accord signatory status

Now a full signatory of the Canberra Accord (CA), all those on the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) register, as well as all architectural students from local Architectural Learning Sites (which it validates), have the opportunity to register to undertake architectural work in countries represented by the accord. These countries presently include Canada, China, South Korea, Mexico, the USA and a further 35 countries represented by the Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA) which sits alongside SACAP as one of the seven full signatories.
Signing the accord, registrar/CEO of SACAP, Marella O' Reilly.
Signing the accord, registrar/CEO of SACAP, Marella O' Reilly.

In May, SACAP became one of seven full signatories current to the CA, during the CA’s sixth General Meeting in Sri Lanka. The CA facilitates the portability of educational credentials amongst participating member countries by recognising the similarity of professional architecture degrees between accreditation agencies.

Thorough inspection


SACAP was the only applicant to achieve new full signatory status to the accord at its recent meeting. This followed a thorough inspection visit by a CA board to SACAP which established that SACAP’s validation requirements and processes with regard to Architectural Learning Sites, as well its organisational systems, records, information systems and registration processes meet the highest international standards.

Signing the accord: SACAP president, Dr Yashaen Luckan.
Signing the accord: SACAP president, Dr Yashaen Luckan.
SACAP has a long standing relationship with the CAA, whose members include those of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Architectural practitioners from eastern and southern Africa registered with accrediting bodies that are governed by the CAA can therefore also still apply to SACAP for registration in South Africa. Following the positive outcome in Sri Lanka, SACAP joined the CAA visiting validation panel at Namibia University of Science and Technology. The growing intra-regional and south-south agreements have great potential to foster innovation and new knowledge generation, while promulgating practice excellence in these regions.

SACAP falls under the purview of the Department of Public Works and is mandated by an Act of Parliament, The Architectural Profession Act, 2000 (Act No.44 of 2000) to, amongst other things, fulfil the function of controlling the standards of architectural education at tertiary institutions for the purposes of professional registration. It does so through visiting validation boards.

Piggybacking not allowed


Marella O’Reilly, SACAP’s registrar/CEO explains, “Straight ‘piggybacking’ of qualifications is not allowed. CA signatories recognise the substantial equivalency of fellow signatories’ validation systems in architectural education. For instance, architectural graduates wishing to register for accreditation in the United States of America, with its regulatory body, called the National Council for Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), will find that it automatically gives those registered with a CA signatory a substantial number of equivalent credits required to pass the NCARB’s Education Evaluation Services for Architects (EESA).

It is the first time that SACAP sits at an equal level with all signatories at the CA. Dr Yashaen Luckan, president of SACAP, explains, “We’re proud that the council’s committed efforts to promote high quality professional qualifications criteria and national syllabi, based on international standards, has been recognised. It follows our achievement last year of entering a Memorandum of Understanding with the Architects’ Council of Europe. Ultimately, the CA full signatory status has positioned the South African profession in a place where it is able to contribute to, and benefit from, the global conversations on architectural education in different and diverse contexts."
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