Professional Matters


South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP) is the legislated regulatory body for natural scientists. By law SACNASP membership is required to practice in a particular field of natural science. Groundwater science can be registered under:

  • Earth Science
  • Geological Science
  • Water Resources Science

SACNASP’s main objectives are to:

  • Promote the practice of the natural science professions in South Africa.
  • Ensure and administer the mandatory registration of natural scientists as required in terms of The Natural Scientific Professions Act of 2003.
  • Exercise control over the standard of conduct of professional natural scientists.
  • Monitor the standard of education and training of natural scientists.
  • Set standards for the recognition of education and training of natural scientists.
  • Ensure that prospective registrants meet the educational standards required for registration.

From 2017, all registered SACNASP members in Earth Science/ Geological Science and Water Resources Science will require Continuing Professional Development credits (accumulated over a 5-year cycle) to enable renewal of SACNASP membership.

What is required?

Professionals need to accumulate 25 credits per five-year cycle (3 credits annually where 1 credit is 10 hours = 30 hours p/annum). These CPD’s can be issued by educational institutes, training providers and/ or voluntary natural scientific associations.

How can I accumulate credits?

Category 1: Development activities (max 4 credits/year)
Category 1 activities include structured educational or developmental meetings, with 1 credit obtained for a full-day event and half credits for half-day events. This will include conferences, congresses, large group workshops, lectures, seminars, refresher courses and colloquiums.

Category 2: Work-based activities
Natural Scientific Work (max 2 credits/year)
Mentoring of Candidates (max 1 credit/year)
Category 2 includes the pursuit of natural scientific activities in the workplace, limited to 2 credits a year. Mentoring or conducting in-house skills training will attract a maximum of 1 credit a year.

Category 3: Individual activities
Memberships of associations (max 1 credit/year)
Other activities (max 3 credits/year)
Category 3 includes membership to recognised professional bodies (GSSA and SAIEG for example) and other activities which include, but are not limited to, part-time lecturing, oral examinations of students, external examination for university courses, publication of journal articles, technical articles, presentations at technical events, and participation in professional, technical or non-technical committees.

How can the GWD assist?

The GWD, through the GSSA, will endeavour to support its professional GWD membership by:

  • Offer Category 3: 1 x CPD credit for Professional Membership with the GWD for membership.
  • Offer Category 1: CPD accredited courses / lectures for professional development.
  • Offer Category 1/ Category 3: CPD accredited conferences and technical events (attendance and/or presentations).

How do I claim?

You can use the Certificate (for events/ membership) as Portfolio of Evidence when you claim your CPD points with SACNASP.  SACNASP now expect registered Professionals to collect CPD points throughout their careers through prescribed activities, and produce proof of such. They require 25 points in 5 years for membership to remain active. There are more details, terms and conditions in their website.

GSSA/ SACNASP Code of Conduct

All membership subscribe to the GSSA Code of Conduct.
Professional Membership subscribe to both GSSA and SACNASP Code of Conduct.

GSSA-Code-of-Ethics-Disciplinary-Procedure PDF

National Chairperson: Mr Fanus Fourie
Vice-Chairperson: Ms Nicolette Vermaak
National Treasurer: Mr Yazeed van Wyk
National Secretariat: Dr Jaco Nel
National Coordinator: Ms Elanda Schaffner

Please contact this Committee via [email protected]

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