What's All the Fuss About?

The ordinary meaning of the word "profession" simply indicates a body of persons engaged in a similar occupation, but in business it actually indicates that those members collectively belong to a professional body, are subject to requirements to enter the "profession" and that they are committed to the betterment of their chosen profession. But even that is not good enough…

Within the South African context, a "profession" has a particular legal connotation. The legal-, medical- and accounting professions each function within their own statutory framework. They have their own controlling bodies and authorities regulating their affairs.

Besides those professions who may have their own specific pieces of legislation regulating their professions, one may only refer to your vocation as a "profession" if you are a member of an organisation accredited as such by the South African Qualifications Authority, simply referred to as SAQA.

Organisations seeking accreditation from SAQA are understandably subject to a long list of requirements and rigorous scrutiny. In 2017 the SARIPA Board resolved to make application to SAQA for its accreditation as a professional body and in February 2018, SARIPA was accredited by SAQA as a professional body.

But being registered as a professional body is only one side of the coin. The other side of the coin implies that the members of such an organisation are "professionals". As part of SARIPA's application to SAQA we also applied for the registration of two separate and distinct professional designations. The one being that of "Insolvency Practitioner" (IP) and the other "Business Restructuring Professional" (BRP).

Both of these professional designations have been registered as part of SARIPA's accreditation as a professional body. Essentially what this means is that any person who wishes to conduct business as an "Insolvency Practitioner" or a "Business Restructuring Professional" will have to be a member of SARIPA in order to then make application for either or both of these designations.

In fact, no person may refer to him/herself as an "Insolvency Practitioner" or a "Business Restructuring Professional" without SARIPA having certified that person as such.

For a member of SARIPA to be granted the professional designation of either IP or BRP, requires a separate application, subject to additional requirements. Most importantly each individual awarded such profession designation/s will have to commit him/herself annually to a stringent continuous professional development programme (CPD).

The two professional designations speak to two very different professions, and SARIPA members may decide to apply for either or both, or in fact neither designation. Some members such as attorneys and academics may find no need to apply for either of these designations and they will continue to be members of SARIPA with the same benefits and standing as before.

Members of SARIPA who are on the panel of the Master of the High Court and take appointments as liquidators and trustees will have to apply to SARIPA for the designation "Insolvency Practitioner", and members who wish to be accredited with CIPC for appointments as business rescue practitioners will have to apply to SARIPA for the designation "Business Restructuring Professional".

So referring to oneself as an "Insolvency Practitioner" or a "Business Restructuring Professional" now has a very particular meaning. It means you are a member of a professionally accredited body, that you in turn are a certified professional with a particular set of skills and most importantly that you conduct your chosen profession within a structured and regulated environment subject to scrutiny and ongoing professional development.

So until we achieve the ultimate goal of statutory regulation of the Insolvency profession, we have now achieved what we consider to be the most important step in that direction… the professionalisation of our organisation and its members.

The requirements (as registered with SAQA) for each of the professional designations are listed below. These requirements have an academic component as well as a practical or workplace component. These requirements are essentially aimed at new entrants into the profession.

Many seasoned members may not qualify on the academic component alone, but for this reason there is also a policy on the recognition of prior learning (RPL) or the so-called "grandfather" clause that is aimed specifically at members with years of practical experience.

Members are invited to acquaint themselves with the various policy documents and what is required for application for either or both designations of IP or BRP.

Completed applications will be considered by the Membership and Education committees of the SARIPA board. Members are requested to submit their applications well in advance as the committees simply cannot consider ad hoc applications done at the last minute.


Requirements for Recognition of Qualifications

Designated Insolvency Practitioner (IP)

Official professional designation, allowing practice as an Insolvency Practitioner)

NQF Registered Qualification/Part Qualification

One of the following qualifications:

  • LLB, Level 7 or 8
  • BCom, Level 7 with Accounting (first year)
  • BA Law, Level 7
  • BProc Level 7
  • BJuris, Level 7
  • Any foreign qualification evaluated by SAQA as equivalent/comparable to a relevant NQF registered Level 7 qualification
  • Any relevant level 7 qualification
Experiential Learning / Practical Experience
  • 5 years' relevant insolvency related service or experience.

Designated Business Restructuring Practitioner (BRP)

Official professional designation, allowing practice as a Business Rescue Practitioner)

NQF Registered Qualification/Part Qualification

One of the following qualifications:

  • LLB, Level 7 or 8
  • BCom, Level 7 with Accounting (first year)
  • BA Law, Level 7
  • BProc Level 7
  • BJuris, Level 7
  • Any foreign qualification evaluated by SAQA as equivalent/comparable to a relevant NQF registered Level 7 qualification
  • Any relevant level 7 qualification
Experiential Learning / Practical Experience
  • 5 years' relevant rescue of business turnaround experience.


Requirements for Recognition of Prior Learning

Designated Insolvency Practitioner (IP)

Official professional designation, allowing practice as an Insolvency Practitioner)

Application of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL is applied in the following cases:

  • Any member or prospective member of SARIPA who does not hold one of the prescribed qualifications, but who is/was registered/licensed as an Insolvency Practitioner on the national panel of the Master; or
  • Any member or prospective member of SARIPA who does not hold one of the prescribed qualifications, but who has been operating as an Insolvency Practitioner for at least 5 years and who has successfully completed an NQF registered part-qualification recognised by SARIPA.

Designated Business Restructuring Practitioner (BRP)

Official professional designation, allowing practice as a Business Restructuring Practitioner)

Application of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL is applied in the following cases:

  • Any member or prospective member of SARIPA who does not hold one of the prescribed qualifications, but who is/was registered/licensed as a BRP by CIPC prior to the implementation of this designation; or
  • Any member or prospective member of SARIPA who does not hold one of the prescribed qualifications, but who has been operating as a BRP or turnaround professional for at least ten years, having regard to the requirements of Section 138 and Regulations 126 and 127 of the Co's Act.

 
Fees per Designation
Once-Off Admin Fee
R500.00 (incl. VAT)
Annual Renewal Fee
R2,000.00 (incl. VAT)
 

The Application Process

1. Apply

Download and then complete the relevant application form/s.

2. Submit

Submit your completed application form to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

3. Review

Your application will be reviewed at the next SARIPA board meeting.

4. Success

If your application is successful you will be notified and requested to pay your fee.

5. Payment

Make the payment for the membership and/or designation fee/s.

6. Certificate

You will be issued the relevant membership and/or designation certificate/s.