LIASA Professional Body Status

View the slides: LIASA Professional Body Status – what does it mean? / Annamarie Goosen

What is a ‘Professional Body’?

The NQF Act 67 of 2008 defines a professional body as any body of expert practitioners in an occupational field, and includes an occupational body.

What is the purpose of Professional Bodies?

A professional body serves as the impartial, autonomous representative of its various stakeholders in matters related to the discipline. Further its purpose is to create, promote and encourage …

  • An enabling environment for professional development in a discipline (LIS)
  • Grow maturity of that discipline (LIS) by contributing to its body of knowledge, its relevance, governing principles and accessibility to new and existing practitioners
  • Public understanding of the profession
  • Social responsibility
  • Pride in the association
  • Protection of the public
  • Facilitate access to data related
  • Support the development of a national career advice system
  • Encourage the development and implementation of CPD (Continued Professional Development)

Timeline for LIASA Professional Body Status

Terms of Reference for LIASA Professional Body Advisory Board

Click here to view Terms of Reference.

What is the difference between a Professional Body such as LIASA, and a Statutory Body such as NCLIS?

LIASA is a non-statutory body. Non-statutory means that the body was formed, not through an act of legislation, but in response to a need identified by a collective of practitioners. Membership to LIASA is voluntary – no law compels you to be a member. However, any professional body must fulfil the requirements of being organised according to articles of association, have a constitution and a code of conduct which its members are required to subscribe to and fulfil other guidelines required by the Companies Act in terms of Not for Profit Companies.

In addition to being non-statutory, LIASA is also autonomous, which means it does not have a parent association, nor is it a parent association to another body. As an autonomous entity, LIASA does not enter into any agreements that would compromise its impartiality or objectivity. It reserves the right to accept or decline applications for membership or association.

The National Council for Library and Information Services (NCLIS) is the Statutory Body for the LIS profession, and it is governed by the National Council for Library and Information Services Act (No. 6 of 2001).  However, the NCLIS Act does not make provision for the regulation of the sector, but rather to advice the relevant ministers in terms of the sector.

What is the difference between a Professional Body and a Union?

A union is an organised group of workers who collectively use their strength to have a voice in their workplace. Through a union, workers have a right to impact wages, work hours, benefits, workplace health and safety, job training and other work-related issues. Unions are statutory bodies governed in line with the South African Labour Relations Act and accompanying amendments.

What is a ‘designation’?

Professional designation means a status conferred by a professional body in recognition of a person’s expertise and/or right to practice in an occupational field. LIASA will be conferring the title of Professional Librarian to qualifying members working in the profession.


Which qualification/s are required to be acknowledged as a professional librarian?

To be acknowledged as a professional librarian, you need the following qualifications:

  • SA Library or related Degree (minimum)
  • SA Other Degree + Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Science (LIS)

A Diploma in LIS on its own is insufficient to be acknowledged as a professional librarian. Other inquiries can be directed to the LIASA Professional Body Status Board.

Employer/Prospective Employer Inquiries

Employers/prospective employers may contact the LIASA National Office to confirm the professional status of an employee/prospective employee.

Confirmation of Qualifications

From February 2016, LIASA members are required to submit certified copies of their national ID and all qualifications, which are then verified by SAQA. A full CV also has to be uploaded. Click here to continue uploading your documentation. Please contact the LIASA Office for any further inquiries.

Confirmation of Training/Workshops attended

Proof of attendance will be required at all times. It will be your responsibility to always request the service provider for some proof of attendance e.g. certificate, letter.

Endorsement of Library Schools at Higher Education Institutions

It will be the responsibility of the LIASA Professional Body Status Board to endorse on behalf of SAQA. The endorsement will be done by experts representing the LIS Schools in SA. The LIASA Professional Body Status Board acts as an advisory to SAQA in terms of endorsement. It is a SAQA requirement that any academic programme submitted for approval is first endorsed by the professional body for relevance and appropriateness for practice.

Endorsement of Courses/Workshops/other training

It will be the responsibility of the LIASA Professional Body Status Board to endorse on behalf of LIASA. This includes the attendance of online courses.

Will non-LIASA members also be awarded the designations?

No, only LIASA members will be awarded the applicable designation and will subsequently be listed on the SAQA records database.  SAQA Guidelines stipulated that to be awarded a designation the member must:

  • have the underlying qualification
  • have the required number of years of experience
  • abide by the Professional Body’s Code of Ethics and Conduct
  • engage in Continuing Professional Development and
  • pay the annual membership fees of the Professional Body

Proof of LIASA Membership

LIASA members (of which membership payments are up to date) will be issued with a membership certificate. This certificate will be issued for every new year, once membership is renewed. Below an example. Only the LIASA member and the LNO have access to this certificate, which is stored in a personal vault, protected with a unique username and password which must be kept secure at all times. Members are required to manage their passwords.


Personal Details on LIASA Membership Database

Privacy Statement: LIASA hereby states that the names and email addresses (and other personal information) entered in this LIASA membership database will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this professional body and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party, unless agreed upon with the members. The information will also be used to generate annual member certificates, a SAQA requirement, due to LIASA being registered as a professional body. The Protection of Personal Information Act, No 4 of 2013 promotes the protection of personal information by public and private bodies. Please contact should you have any questions regarding the protection of your personal information by LIASA.

It is the responsibility of individual members to keep their personal information updated on the LIASA membership database at all times. In addition to this, it is the responsibility of all members to keep usernames and passwords to all LIASA systems, secure at all times.

The above is agreed upon by the member when renewing/applying for membership with the organisation.