Overview of Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

1. INTRODUCTION

The Library and Information Association of South Africa (herein referred to as LIASA) strives for excellence in Library and Information Services (LIS) practice and high professional standards. The SAQA Professional Body recognition and registration according to the National Qualifications Framework Act 67 of 2008 requires LIASA to introduce and implement a formal CPD system for continued practice as registered Professional Librarians, Library Practitioners and Library Assistants. The CPD committee will be responsible for the application and compliance of the SAQA and LIASA CPD requirements.

2. PURPOSE  OF CPD

The competencies needed to function effectively in the LIS sector, whether in special, higher education, public, school or any other library and information environment, continue to change and expand at a rapid rate. Members face increased expectations to display professional knowledge and skills. These pressures apply to professional librarians, library practitioners and library assistants in all areas. Maintaining and developing professional competence, which is encompassed in the term “lifelong learning”, are critical to meet expectations. CPD ensures that registered members retain and continuously develop their:

• professional knowledge;
• professional skills;
• professional values, ethics and attitudes; and
• competence achieved during years of study.

It enables members to continue to perform competently within their professional environments and chosen roles.

3. SCOPE OF APPLICATION

The CPD programme will apply to registered Professional Librarians. LIS students, exam candidates (NQF Level 5) and retirees are exempt from the CPD activities. The responsibility to engage in professional development activities begins on the date the designation is approved by the LIASA Executive Committee.

4. MEMBER’S RESPONSIBILITY

The responsibility for developing and maintaining competence rests with the member.
The objective of setting minimum CPD requirements for members is to ensure that members –

• commit to and nurture a positive attitude to lifelong learning to develop, enhance and maintain professional competence;
• take responsibility for undertaking relevant CPD activities to remain competent in their roles; and
• take responsibility for recording their CPD activities to demonstrate that they have undertaken relevant appropriate learning activities.

5. BENEFITS OF A CPD PROGRAMME

Having a formal CPD policy has the following benefits:

• To improve the capacity of professionals to develop their technical and professional knowledge;
• To improve the personal and ethical capacities of professionals;
• To ensure that professionals fulfil their responsibilities and tasks or duties competently;
• To allow professionals to improve their performance in their current roles;
• To allow professionals to take on new roles; and
• To improve career prospects and support career progression with current employers or in current business environments.

6. PROFESSIONAL DESIGNATION

It is compulsory for any person registered with LIASA who was awarded a designations to accumulate a total of set number of CPD points over a three (3) year cycle. For the CPD points to be valid for a consecutive 3-year cycle, the member must pay annual membership fees within the first 3 months of the year. Failure to do so will result in the forfeiture of the accumulated points.

Professional Librarian
This category applies to a person who meets the minimum requirements for the Professional Librarian designation. The educational qualifications shall include either the three or four year Bachelor of Library and/or Information Science/Studies degree (NQF 7 or 8) or a Bachelor’s degree plus a post graduate diploma in Library and/or Information Science. This is an entry level into the LIS profession requiring at least one year experiential learning and practical experience in the relevant field. A Professional Librarian must accumulate a total of 20 CPD Points over a three (3) year cycle.

7. REQUIREMENTS

In order to meet the requirements of the Continuing Professional Development programme, a practitioner or professional will be required to:

• Maintain a record of CPD activities within the member’s profile on the LIASA database,
• Upload all supporting documentation of CPD activities in order to comply with Portfolio of Evidence requirements.
• Maintain a detailed activity record at the place of employment

Recording Activities
Every registered member will be required to maintain a detailed record of his/her professional development activities.
A detailed activity record includes the following information:

• the date(s) of the activity
• the title and description of the activity
• the organiser / provider of the activity
• the CPD category in which the activity belongs

Verifying the CPD Activities
In order to ensure application and compliance, the CPD Committee may randomly select profiles for verification purposes. Members are required to retain documents for at least two cycles for verification and audit purposes.

The CPD Committee will report on whether:

• the activities comply with the requirements of the programme,
• modifications are necessary,
• a review of the member’s professional practice should be conducted.

8. DEFERMENT OF CPD POINTS

Registered members who are unemployed, ill or temporarily incapacitated or, on parental / maternity leave may apply for deferment of CPD points by filing a non-practising declaration together with supporting documents for approval by the Executive Committee.

9. NON-COMPLIANCE AT THE END OF A THREE YEAR CYCLE

A registered member is expected to submit a portfolio of evidence of CPD activities on an annual basis. The portfolio shall contain cumulative evidence towards achieving 20 CPD credits over a three year cycle. Failure to comply may result in a member being removed from the membership database after 21 days’ notice to comply with the CPD requirements or payment of annual membership dues.

The following procedure will apply:

  • A written notice to comply will be sent to the practitioner or professional.
  • The member will have the opportunity to respond within 21 days of the written notice.
    • Should the reasons for non-compliance be acceptable, the practitioner / professional will have six months to submit their portfolio of evidence.
    • Should the reasons for non-compliance be unacceptable, the member will be suspended from the LIASA register.
  • The LIS professional or practitioner as well as their employer will be informed of the decision by the CPD Committee to suspend him/her from the LIASA register.

10. RE-REGISTRATION AFTER SUSPENSION

For continued professional practice and growth, a suspended member is encouraged to restore their membership at the earliest. The normal application process, payment of the membership fee and a non-refundable administration fee will apply. Thereafter, the person will be required to accumulate CPD points in the year of re-registration.