Teacher Professionalisation

  • Home /
  • About Us /
  • FAQ /
  • Teacher Professionalisation
1.  Professionalisation defined:

Professionalisation: ‘the process of improving the status and standing of teaching and includes four key professionalising processes of (i) initial teacher training (ITE), (ii) induction, (iii) registration of teachers, (iv) continuing professional development (CPD), and evaluation of teacher performance. Final Report of the Human Resource Development Council of South Africa. (2014:21)

2.  Why do we need to professionalise the teaching profession?

SACE Act mandates the Council to set and maintain the ethical and professional standards and advise the Minister of Standards for entry into all levels of the teaching profession. Similarly, Chapter 9 of the National Development Plan indicates that SACE must set the professional standards and play a role in the professional certification of teachers.

3.  Teacher professionalisation programme involves the development of the professional practice standards for teaching, guiding the implementation of the teacher professionalisation path and regulating access into the teaching profession.

The development of professional standards for teachers constitutes an integral component of SACE’s mandate and is clearly articulated in the SACE Act and the organisation’s Annual Performance Plan for the 2018/19 financial year.

4.  Define an Occupational qualification?

A qualification associated with a trade, occupation or profession resulting in learning in and for the workplace.

5.  What is a Professional body?

Anybody of expert practitioners in an occupational field and includes an occupational body.

6.  Define a Professional designation?

A professional designation means a title or status conferred by a professional body in recognition of a person’s expertise and/or right to practice in an occupational field.

7.  Define a Qualification?

A qualification means a qualification or part-qualification registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

8.  Why do teachers need a professional designation?

A professional designation indicates registration of the individual with a professional body, and, where relevant, the right to practice in the particular field of expertise governed by the professional body. Retention of the status is dependent upon compliance with the stated requirements of the professional body concerned.

9.  In order for a professional designation to be registered on the NQF it must:
  1. Be submitted to SAQA by a recognised professional body in accordance with an application process determined by SAQA
  2. Be developed, conferred and subject to being revoked in terms of the rules, legislation and/or international conventions applicable to the recognised professional body
  3.  Be monitored in terms of the rules, legislation and/or international conventions applicable to the recognised professional body
  4. Be part of a progression pathway which may include an occupational pathwa
  5. Be linked to a validated database of the names of individuals conferred the professional designation
  6. Include, as an initial requirement, an underlying qualification(s), which may include an occupational qualification(s)
  7. In the case of an individual’s qualification having been obtained at an institution not registered in South Africa, the individual applying to a professional body for a professional designation, must ensure that the      qualification has been evaluated by SAQA and found to be comparable to the South African underlying qualification
  8. Include as general requirements, experiential learning, recognition of prior learning and/or practical experience
  9. Include as retention requirements continuing professional development (CPD) and adherence to a code of professional ethics/conduct.


Proposed Teacher Professionalisation Path

1.            Recruitment

Criteria for recruitment and selection into Initial Teacher Education (ITE)

One way of improving teaching effectiveness is to improve the quality of applicants to the profession. Therefore, SACE, together with all relevant stakeholders, determine criteria for Entry into Initial Teacher Education, as a student teacher.

2.            ITE Programmes

Standards for provisional registration (student teachers)

Provisional Registration of Student Teachers, in line with the professional practice standards, from the first year of study.

3.            Final student year and graduate

Provisional registration with SACE Newly Qualified Teachers (NQT)

4.            Beginner teacher

Induction programmes in probation period

Newly Qualified and Provisionally Registered Teachers participate in a one-year mandatory induction programme provided by various employers (Provincial Education Departments, School Governing Bodies, Independent Schools).

5.            Submission of Electronic NQT Professional Development Portfolio (PDP)

Review of NQT PDP against professional standards

Newly Qualified Teachers submit an online Professional Development Portfolio to SACE for assessment prior to full admission into the teaching profession.

6.            Review of the Electronic NQT PDP

Development of the Induction Programme and its alignment to the PTS will form part of the NQT PDP which will be submitted electronically to SACE.

7.            Professional teacher: occupational designations awarded

Full registration with SACE

Professional Certification through the Awarding of Professional Designation

8.            Continuous Professional Teacher Development CPTD (3-year cycle)

Standards for CPTD programmes

Teachers then participate in the three-year CPTD system cycle and earn a minimum of 150 Professional Development points.

For the first six years (from 2014-19) SACE will not impose a penalty on teachers who don’t achieve the PD points target within their three-year cycle. After six years (in 2019) SACE will review the situation and make a decision about sanctions for non-compliance. However, educators who decide not to engage in the CPTD system deliberately will be dealt with through section 7 of the SACE Code of Professional Ethics.


An educator:

  1. acknowledges that the exercising of his or her professional duties occurs within a context requiring co-operation with and support of colleagues;
  2. behaves in a way that enhances the dignity and status of the teaching profession and that does not bring the profession into disrepute;
  3. keeps abreast of educational trends and developments;
  4. promotes the ongoing development of teaching as a profession;
  5. accepts that he or she has a professional obligation towards the education and induction into the profession of new members of the teaching profession.
  6. refrains from any contravention of the statutes and regulations of the Republic of South Africa, relevant to the Code;
  7. refrains from indulging and/or being in possession of intoxicating, illegal, and/or unauthorised substances including alcohol and drugs within the school premises and/or whilst on duty;
    1. refrains from carrying and/or keeping dangerous weapons in the school premises without any prior written authorisation by the employer; and
    2. refrains from engaging in illegal activities.
9.            Periodic renewal of registration

Full registration with SACE retained

CPTD System and Professional Re-Certification: CPTD National Seminars and Training Sessions are addressing the Initial thinking Around the Three-year CPTD Cycle and Professional Re-Certification Link. The Data of the Principals and Deputy Principals of the Pilot Study will be drawn on 30 June 2018, the identified principals and Deputy principals will be informed via email that they are required to submit all their Qualifications to SACE by end for Verification and Police Clearance for Vetting Fitness to Practice, as part of the pilot study.

Kindly address your Queries to Vanencia Chiloane via email at vanenciac@sace.org.za