Professional Body Services
ACRP’s professional services were designed according to the requirements that the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) has set for professional bodies. These are:
- Defining professional designations that are recognised by the professional body and the profession in general. Another word for “designation” is a “professional category”. ACRP has defined four designations or professional categories, namely: religious practitioner, advanced religious practitioner, religious professional, and religious specialist.
Note: ACRP does not define designations by using terms churches use for their church offices (such as pastor, bishop, reverend, etc). The reason is that different churches may have different views of what the relationship between an office and a professional body designation should be. For example: some churches may allow a pastor or bishop to be on the practitioner level, while another church may require a pastor or bishop to be on the professional or specialist level. The relationship between professional body designation and a church’s own offices is a matter to be decided by the church, the professional body does not interfere with the church’s ruling on this.
- Determining the training standards or qualifications required for the different designations. This is done in close cooperation with partnering churches, ministries and training institutions.
Note: The training requirements for the four designations recognised by ACRP are provided below (hyperlink). The professional body sets broad guidelines in terms of framework and good teaching / training practice. Partner institutions (churches, ministries, training institutions) determine the contents of training in terms of their own confessional position, culture, etc.
- Defining professional requirements in terms of good practice, ethical standards and disciplinary practice. This is done in close cooperation with churches and ministries.
- Providing the opportunity to the public to lodge complaints where affiliates / designated persons act in contravention of the ethical codes or codes of good practice, etc. When complaints are received, steps will be taken according to the disciplinary processes as agreed with church and ministry partners.
Note: Where partner churches and ministries do have their internal requirements in terms of good practice, ethical standards and disciplinary practice, these are recognised by ACRP via a memorandum of understanding / agreement. Where this is not in place, ACRP provides the relevant services as a support service to churches or ministries.
- Providing Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) services to affiliates, churches and ministries.
Note: As professional body, ACRP does “RPL into a designation” which differs from “RPL into a qualification”. “RPL into a qualification” is done by training institutions - in this case the result of a successful RPL process leads to access to higher level studies, or the awarding of credits towards a qualification. “RPL into a designation” is done by professional bodies, and leads to the awarding of a designation even if the person does not have the formal qualifications normally required for the designation.
- Providing or facilitating Continued Professional Development (CPD) services to affiliates, churches and ministries.
Note: Persons who are affiliated with ACRP will be required to earn 20 CPD credits every year in order to maintain the status of affiliate (“remain in good standing”). Where a person has been awarded a designation based on the relevant qualification, he or she may select any CPD course of programme, as long as the minimum requirements are met. A person who has been affiliated or who has been awarded a designation through RPL, that is, without the relevant qualification, will be required to enroll for a structured CPD programme as recognised by ACRP.
- Providing or facilitating bridging programmes related to the RPL process to affiliates, churches and ministries.
Note: A bridging programme will be required in cases where the RPL process has revealed an area of the profession where the candidate still has some gaps to cover.