The first Compliance Practitioner designations were awarded by the Compliance Institute in August 2014.
“A few years ago, we identified a need to raise the bar in respect of the knowledge and practical skills of compliance officers,” said Julie Methven, CEO of the Compliance Institute SA.
“Courses available at that time were still very theory-based and the challenge for students was translating the theory into practice.
“This also presented a barrier for new entrants into the compliance profession as employers did, and still do, place a great deal of emphasis on work experience.”
Minimum Requirements for the CISA Board Exam include;
 Membersihp of the CISA.
 At least NQF4 qualification, equivalent to a national senior certificate or matric.
 Low academic qualifications are compensated for by higher work experience.
 Exam fee of R3500 plus VAT. If the application to write the exam is unsuccessful, half of the fee is refunded.
 Exam exemption application fee, non-refundable, is R3500 plus VAT.
The University of Johannesburg offers a Compliance Management Certificate level course (at a level lower than a Diploma) at about R11 000. The Certificate is endoreced by the CISA.
Five years ago, the institute developed the Generally Accepted Compliance Practice framework, consisting of principles, standards and guidelines assisting compliance officers in establishing and maintaining a legal compliance risk function.
This was a first of its kind worldwide and was benchmarked against international best practice. To complement this framework, the Institute then undertook the journey towards professional body recognition and registered professional designations.
The CI SA received recognition by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) as the professional body for compliance officers as well as two professional designations being registered on the National Qualification Framework (NQF);
• CPrac(SA) (Compliance Practitioner)
• CProf(SA) (Compliance Professional).
In response to the education and training needs, there was a parallel process by the Institute of developing an occupational curriculum which would serve as the basis for future compliance qualifications as well as a progression path for compliance officers.
The curriculum was approved by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), a quality council in terms of the NQF Act, in 2013. This resulted in an occupational qualification being approved by SAQA and registered on the NQF later that year.
“It’s been an incredibly rewarding journey albeit challenging on occasion. The entire process was brand new so it really was trial and error. We couldn’t learn from anyone else’s mistakes. It was pioneering stuff.” says Methven.
“It has required a change of mind set for our members. No longer can they rely purely on their academic qualifications.
“Compliance is now a recognised profession and compliance officers will have to demonstrate the requisite knowledge, practical skills and relevant work experience in terms of compliance risk management if they wish to obtain a professional designation.”
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