Is membership of the Association voluntary or regulated?
The SAACPP is a voluntary organisation. A firm of planners wishing to become a member may do so at its own discretion. There are no mandatory requirements to belong to the Association stipulated in any legislation.
Is the Association affiliated with the South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN)?
Yes. The SAACPP is a Recognised Voluntary Association with direct links to SACPLAN as stipulated in the Planning Professions Act, 2002 (Act 36 of 2002).
Can an individual planner (a single person) become a member of the Association?
No. Only a firm or company or partnership offering professional planning services is eligible for membership of the SAACPP. It follows that a firm/company/partnership run by a sole proprietor offering professional planning services, may be eligible for membership of the SAACPP. Any such firm/partnership/company must have at least one person in its employ (as a Principal) who is a Registered Professional Planner in terms of the Planning Professions Act, 2002 (Act 36 of 2002) and who meets the other membership requirements of the SAACPP (see Application for Membership on this website).
What is the single greatest advantage for a planning firm to become a member of the Association?
The greatest advantage is collective bargaining and a platform from which to deal with the peculiarities of planners in private practice as opposed to the needs and requirements of planners employed elsewhere (Central Government, Provincial Government, Municipalities, Academia, Research Institutions, etc.). Planners in private practice have very specific and peculiar needs. Hence the formation of an Association focusing specifically on planners in private practice.
How does a planning firm qualify for membership of the Association?
Any firm/company/partnership offering professional planning services in the open market may apply for membership. However, such firm/company/partnership must have in its employ at least one principal who is registered as a Professional Planner with SACPLAN in terms of the Planning Professions Act, 2002 (Act 36 of 2002). Also, such Principal Planner must prove to have at least 3 x years of in practice experience (in the private sector). The forms to be completed and the required documentation to be submitted by an applicant firm are listed in the application details on this website.
Does the Association ascribe to a Code of Conduct?
Yes. All member firms (represented by Registered Professional Planners) are, by implication, subject to the Code of Conduct, Rules and Regulations of SACPLAN in terms of the Planning Professions Act, 2002 (Act 36 of 2002). In addition the Association has instituted its own Code of Conduct as part of the Constitution of the SAACPP (See Constitution as part of this website). A breach of the Code of Conduct may result in a member firm being expelled or membership being suspended for a period of time. Also, any such breach may result in an individual planner, having committed a contravention, being disciplined by SACPLAN in terms of the Planning Professions Act, 2002 (Act 36 of 2002). Any Professional Planner found guilty of misconduct may be struck from the record of registered persons with SACPLAN or his/her registration may be suspended. Visit the SACPLAN website (Code of Conduct and Rules).
How does a member firm calculate professional fees to charge a client for work done?
From time to time, SACPLAN publishes a Guideline Tariff of Professional Fees (in the Government Gazette), listing the various categories of work typically attended to by Professional Planners in private practice. The guideline offers a suggested method of calculation for each category of work. The method of calculation is based on an average number of hours to be dedicated to a typical task by a Registered Professional Planner, taking into consideration levels of complexity and listing a number of exclusions which may have to be considered in such calculation. The hourly tariff to be charged by Professional Planners (various categories) will also be published by SACPLAN from time to time (Government Gazette), based on which the aforesaid calculations for specific tasks may be attended to. (See SACPLAN Professional Fees and SAACPP Professional Fees and Guidelines for calculation on this website). It remains important for any member firm to reach agreement with an instructing client on payment of a professional fee (and the calculation thereof) prior to any instruction being confirmed.
Is there a standard Memorandum of Agreement which may be used by the client and planner in confirming the instructions of the planner and agreeing on the professional fee to be paid?
Yes. Two pro forma agreements are posted on this website which may be used for this purpose. For more complicated tasks the Full Agreement may be used. Alternatively, for less complicated tasks the Abridged Agreement may be used.
When a dispute arises between client and planner with regard to professional fees or the interpretation of the planner's instructions, how is such dispute resolved (other than through the system of courts)?
The SAACPP may be approached by the disputing parties to act as "Arbitrator". The guideline on the calculation of professional fees and the specific circumstances surrounding the instructions to the planner will be used to offer an opinion on the dispute. Alternatively the matter may be referred to SACPLAN.
Is it obligatory for a member firm to purchase Professional Indemnity Insurance and, if so how?