The SACPCMP is visiting schools and universities to convince learners and students of construction health and safety registration, on the prospect of finding mentors, vacation work, and jobs.
The South African Council for Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP) offers Student Chapter registration to aspirant project managers, and construction health and safety Agents, Managers, and Officers, to students in full-time or part-time courses with a major in business science, or in construction management, and to school learners.
SACPCMP registrar, Nomvula Rakalote, told Sheqafrica.com: “The roadshows are not a recruitment glizt for students to register for CHS, but for the SACPCMP student chapter, aimed at fostering relations with stakeholders, voluntary associations [SAFCEC, Ahcasm, IOSH, Saiosh and others], and registered persons to help students with experiential learning and mentor them accordingly.
“For the learners at school it is meant to cause awareness of built environment careers.”
In a media release about a “massive roadshow”, the SACPCMP said student construction health and safety registration would “create opportunities for vacation work, job shadowing, internships, and mentoring.”
However mentors and ‘registered persons’ are few and far between. The professional bodies have earlier proposed to provide mentors to sign off on the work of registration candidates, that may create a pyramid scheme in health and safety practice.
Grades 10, 11, 12 recruited for CHS registration
“We will also assist learners in Grades 10, 11 and 12 to choose these professions, in the not so distant future.
“The Student Chapter has been positioned such that secondary school learners also benefit from it.” This statement implies industry backing for the disputed requirement in the SACPCMP Act that construction health and safety officers should also register as ‘professionals’.
The requirement for Construction Project Managers to register, is enforced only on state contract projects.
Opposition to the construction health and safety registration scheme is based on functions and liabilities of health and safety officers; and on costs and intensive administration involved; and on methods to gain the required CPD points via the SACPCMP’s contracted training provider, or from memberships and conferences at voluntary bodies.
Health and safety registration could extend to all industries
The Department of Public Works (of which SACPCMP is part), and voluntary health and safety bodies, and the Department of Labour, see construction health and safety registration as a pilot project for general health and safety registration, that could be enforced by changes to the OHS Act.
The construction health and safety registration scheme has the backing of Master Builders Associations.
However the scheme is suffering from some defects, and lack of support among construction health and safety officers and managers, while construction health and safety Agents remain in short supply.
Among the grey areas in the scheme, is the level at which employers or clients may appoint registration applicants while awaiting their designations.
Students who graduate in construction lag behind on the required practical experience, and many would remain candidates for years.
Some experienced construction health and safety agents have been waiting for their registration for two years. The construction industry ‘complies’ with the SACPCMP Act by requiring proof of payment of application for professional registration.
“Some graduates register as candidates with the SACPCMP, but at work they do not get exposure and experience for all the required competencies,” said the SACPCMP.
“This impedes them from becoming professionals, despite having formal qualifications.
“SACPCMP will create linkage, network, and relationships between the industry and students in the built environment disciplines,” said Rakolote.
On the roadshow, the SACPCMP will also guide students on which units to consider at university level, to become professionals in the construction industry.
* Sources; African Reporter. SACPCMP. Sheqafrica.com
* See other reports about opposition and criticism of construction health and safety registration at officer and manager level, on Sheqafrica.com
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