The South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions is empowered to accredit project and construction management educational programs within any department, school or faculty in institutions of higher learning. This is in line with Section 13(a)(b)(c) of the Project and Construction Management Act (Act No. 48 of 2000), which mandates the Council to conduct accreditation visits within its term of office.
Programme accreditation refers to the assessment of an academic programme, department or institution against predetermined criteria in order to determine whether the programme meets prescribed standards of educational quality, or specified minimum standards set by the accrediting body.
Institutional accreditation seeks to broadly evaluate the overall instructional operations of an educational institution, while programme accreditation evaluates the programmes that prepare graduates for specific careers or professions. Accreditation aims to ensure, and certify, that graduates from these programmes are qualified and competent.
By assuring prospective students and the public that graduates of an accredited institution or programme have achieved a minimum level of competence in their chosen fields of study, it therefore serves as a form of consumer protection (Prados et al, 2005).
The key principle behind accreditation is therefore to ensure that the educational processes produce graduates who are fit for the purpose, are technically competent, and possess the range of skills required (Institute of Engineers, 1996).
By providing standards by which to judge programmes, accreditation also serves to promote the mobility of graduates and academic staff and increases competitiveness.
In the case of the SACPCMP, which enforces its statutory accreditation mandate, programme accreditation is enforced by government on behalf of the public where the public interest is at stake and needs to be ensured.
In the context of the Act no. 48 of 2000: Project and Construction Management Professions Act ’accreditation’ means recognition by the Council of educational programmes offered by educational institutions relating to the project and construction management professions, and after the process of evaluation.
In a nutshell, accreditation offers the following benefits:
• It ensures the protection of public interest by guaranteeing competent and ethically oriented professionals.
• It acts as a quality assurance tool to programme providers.
• It performs an oversight role to the government.
• It ensures that there a standard benchmark for evaluating similar programmes.
• It secures greater employment mobility for programme graduates.
It should be noted that professionals need to participate in accreditation in order to convey to the institutions that the industry will only allow graduates from accredited programmes to practice professionally.
Y2P STUDENT CHAPTER CAREER GUIDE
The Construction Industry provides a great deal of opportunities for many different professions. You have seen many of these professionals living out their career choices at construction sites all over the country and, indeed, the world.
We know that the Construction Industry, like many other sectors, is plagued with perceptions that might prevent people from pursuing careers in the field. Many think, for example, that construction workers never attended school, while the Construction Industry is a vital employer in the nation’s economy, providing a vast array of much needed jobs.
It offers you the opportunity to create and build. The industry itself is diverse and embraces all kinds of construction projects such as offices, buildings, highways and hospitals.
The purpose of this guide is to give you a clear understanding of what is required of you to embark on a career in the Construction Industry. You are about to enter an exciting and life changing period in your life. Do not rush into decisions about your career without clearly understanding what it is all about.