The adoption and application of Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) professionals methodology and tools by South African industry to achieve efficiency, competitiveness and transformation to a low carbon and climate resilient economy has increased exponentially over recent years. Encouraged and enforced by legislative developments, South African industry is expected to prioritise their commitment to RECP. These developments necessitates the establishment of a Peer Recognition Association that could eventually become a Professional Body for RECP Practitioners.
RECP encompass a wide range of scientific and engineering fields covering all of the basic sciences and engineering with many of their applied derivatives.
The mission of this RECP Professional Association is to establish, direct, sustain and ensure a high level of professionalism and ethical conscience amongst RECP professionals. The professional standards, to be recommended by this Association for its recognised members/practitioners, should be internationally acceptable and in the broad interest of the community and economic sectors they serve. The Association will develop a Code of Conduct through a consultative and democratic process, agreed to by a representative group of professional peers and applied to members.
The aim of the RECP Association is to become the Professional Body for RECP practitioners by creating the capacity to execute the following responsibilities:
- Promote best practice of scientists and engineers who are practicing across multiple disciplines relating to RECP and Environmentally Sustainable economic practices in South Africa.
- Ensure and administer the voluntary registration of RECP practitioners.
- Develop and administer standards of practice, as well as a code of conduct for RECP professionals.
- Identify and outline different categories of RECP practitioners, recommend education and training requirements for each and develop a career path for RECP practitioners.
- Recommend and develop proposed professional designations for RECP practitioners.
- Establish a recommended framework for continuous professional development of RECP practitioners.
- Protect the interests of qualified RECP practitioners, industry, as well as the public by building trust in the integrity of members.
The RECP Peer Recognition Association will operate as a voluntary association, governed by elected members from the recognised RECP Professional fraternity and establish itself as a Non-Profit Organisation. The Association will be governed according to the Non-Profit Organisation Act (Act 71 of 1997), the Companies Act (Act 71 of 2008) and the King IV Code.
It is intended to represent the interests of all RECP Professionals and will apply for registration by SAQA as the Professional Body for RECP related professions, as soon as it is sufficiently capacitated.
It will guard and promote the integrity of RECP practitioners and protect the consumers of RECP skills against harmful or unethical practices by individuals who are not qualified to perform the responsibilities associated with or expected from recognised RECP professionals.
The National Cleaner Production Centre – South Africa (NCPC-SA) will provide leadership support as well as administrative, logistical and human resources during the first two years of the process, or until the RECP Peer Recognition Association can function autonomously.
The process has been unfolding as follow, and will continue to do so:
Membership is voluntary and should be promoted amongst all individuals that are building a career by contributing to climate change mitigation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, water efficiency, waste management, environmental sustainable economic practices or a zero carbon economy.
Eligibility of members should be defined in an inclusive manner and the entry requirements must embrace a broad range of skills, experience and levels of education.
The question around membership fees will be decided as soon as possible, but is not intended to be exhaustive at onset.
Participation and activities of members in support of the Peer Recognition Association is expected to be voluntary and no remuneration is offered for the time being. This may change at the discretion of the organisation at a later stage of its existence.
The NCPC-SA is mandated to offer administrative, logistical and manpower support to facilitate the establishment and efficient functioning of the Peer Recognition Association during its inaugural phases.
The Association will be governed by a Board of Directors, elected from amongst registered members, with proficiency in and representing the professional interests of the following identified focus areas, e.g. Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Carbon Management, Water Efficiency, Waste Management, Green Chemistry, Life Cycle Management, Environmental Sustainability Management and Measurement & Verification (M&V). Directors must have proven expertise and substantial experience in one or more of these focus areas. The number of Directors, as well as roles and responsibilities of elected officials will be determined by the constitution, once it has been circulated and approved by members.
A Management Committee will manage the Association’s day-to-day operations and decision-making and will act as the medium of communication and co-ordination between the Members and the Board.
During its inaugural stages, until it is no longer required, the NCPC-SA will continue to provide support. In return, it will be expected that the NCPC-SA has a seat on the Board for as long as its support remains necessary for the effective functioning of the Association.
Revenue and Budget
Amongst one of the first issues to be addressed, will be the potential for revenue generation and the finalisation of an operating budget.