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Why Belong to Project Management South Africa (PMSA)?

PMSA is the not-for-gain, voluntary professional association representing the interests of project, programme and portfolio management practitioners in South Africa and Southern Africa.

The most established and esteemed professions available to career-minded people have bodies and associations designed to promote that profession, represent its practitioners, prescribe a desirable code of conduct and develop a sense of community. A professional body exists to further the particular profession and in doing so consider the interests of the stakeholders in that industry, and the professionals that comprise their membership. Since 2013, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) has called upon professional bodies to assist it in realising the objectives of the National Qualifications Framework Act (Act 67 of 2008).The Act calls for SAQA to manage the environment towards qualifications, part-qualifications and designations. It is the 'designations' that are the responsibility of the professional bodies, and SAQA awards professional body status to bodies across a vast range of disciplines, according to set criteria. This recognition is given both to statutory / legislated professional bodies, and non-statutory professional bodies. PMSA falls in the latter category, thus has some autonomy in how it recognises professional competencies and awards professional designations.

While it is a relatively new and growing profession, project management is becoming increasingly popular as a discipline applied to many aspects of an organisation’s strategic delivery. Project management is emerging as a desirable, profitable profession, but with all this opportunity, comes the challenge of differentiating between real project management that follows an acceptable standard or methodology, and a buzz-term adopted by individuals and companies wanting to capitalise on the demand for project managers.

By aligning with a recognised professional association like PMSA, project managers show that they are aware of what constitutes legitimate practices based on particular standards, methodologies and guidelines widely supported by project managers around the world and are committed to a code of conduct and ethical practice; and ongoing professional development.

The pathway to attaining a professional designation as a project manager is detailed elsewhere on this site, as is ordinary membership. The difference between the two is that designations follow a comprehensive process utilising various assessment instruments for competency review, according to the SAQA-specified requirements for knowledge and experience and ongoing professional development. Designation holders are listed on a national register, under the auspices of SAQA. Ordinary PMSA membership, in turn, is a starting point towards professional designations, and while it requires that applicants possess certain qualifications and experience when applying as full or professional members, their competencies are not assessed until the candidate makes an application for a designation.

Aspiring project managers can this become associate members and be exposed to the professional community at the start of their careers, and use this as a solid foundation towards becoming professionals in their own right; while practicing project managers may sign up as full or professional members and later apply for a professional designation.

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