CEPA to become part of SACIA
Thursday, 12 December 2019
kevan-jonesSACIA executive director Kevan Jones
South Africa - The South African Communications Industries Association (SACIA) has announced that the Council of Events Professionals Africa (CEPA) will be reconstituted as a special interest group under the SACIA umbrella.
CEPA was established in 2014 as the events industry’s professional body to develop and award professional designations to individuals working in the events industry. Originally formed as a three-way partnership between the Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa (EXSA), the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) Africa and the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI), the Council (CEPA) has broad buy-in from members of all three associations, and the CEPA Board members appointed by the founding associations will continue to oversee activities through their appointment to a governing council.
SACIA has been instrumental in establishing and implementing professional standards and ethical business practices across the communications industries for the past 10 years. The journey has included the development and roll-out of professional designations for practitioners in the Audio-Visual, Broadcast and Live Events sectors - traditionally areas in which experiential learning is more prevalent than formal qualifications. SACIA’s objective is to provide clearly defined career pathways for individuals working in these areas, to encourage a commitment to lifelong learning, and to protect the public against unethical and/or unprofessional behaviour from certified members.
Along with the professional designations already available, SACIA will now proceed to develop and register new professional designations for the Event Management sector as well. This will provide for a formal recognition of competencies for professionals working as event co-ordinators, event managers and event directors, including related service providers across both small- and large-scale events in southern Africa.
Events practitioners will soon be able apply for a designation to suit their level of expertise by submitting the relevant documentation and undertaking an online competency assessment through SACIA. Demonstrable proof of competency affords their clients’ peace of mind, knowing that they will receive a professional standard of delivery.
“This is a fast-growing industry and we are excited to be moving forward with SACIA’, says Sue Gannon, ex GM of EXSA and now director/treasurer and chair of the skills, certifications, ethics and disciplinary committee for CEPA. “Many of the people working in the events industry do not have a formal qualification but they’ve built up their core knowledge by attending short courses and learning on the job. Why should they not have a formal designation if they have the competencies required? We need to recognise the value of prior learning and provide for career paths within our industry.”
Melanie Sillince, director and chair of marketing & secretariat, CEPA, says: “I believe that joining SACIA will fast track our dream of certifying our industry, offering a platform for creating jobs and providing much needed skills transfer and development without it costing those who wish to professionalise themselves, time and large sums of money.”
“Incorporating CEPA into our existing SACIA structures will allow us to expand our footprint and deliver real value to all stakeholders working in the events industry, from event organisers through to the technical crew responsible for turning dreams into reality,” concludes SACIA executive director Kevan Jones. “It’s about an entire industry sector coming together in the shared pursuit of excellence.”
(Jim Evans)

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