The generation of competencies and standards for planning in South Africa: Differing views

  • Mfaniseni Sihlongonyane University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Keywords: Competencies and standards, professional planning development, planning education and transformation, SACPLAN


Since the founding of planning in South Africa fifty-two years ago, the statutory bodies governing the profession have not set the competencies and standards in order to create a framework for curriculum development, the accreditation of schools, as well as the registration of planners and their professional practice. In 2010, the South African Council for Planners, a statutory body responsible for the regulation and quality assurance of the planning profession, initiated a process of generating Competencies and Standards to deal with the many challenges that had arisen as a result of the lack of the framework. The generation of a set of Competencies and Standards has stimulated much debate in the corridors of higher learning and between the Council and other related professional bodies in the built environment. This article first traces the motivating factors for the initiation of the Competencies and Standards process; secondly, it examines the history of this process; thirdly, it discusses the debatable issues raised in the various interactive workshops during the process and. lastly, it identifies the achievements of the process. The thrust of argument in the article is that the Competencies and Standards process marks a significant step towards curriculum reform, but more engagement will be required to facilitate transformation in the planning profession.


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