Requirements for Registration

The Natural Scientific Professions Act (Act 27 of 2003) mandates The South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP) to register scientists in various categories and fields of practice. Each application for registration is an application in a specific category for a specific field of practice. The three categories mandated by the Act are Professional Natural Scientist, Certificated Natural Scientist and Candidate Natural Scientist. The requirements for registration are slightly different for each of these categories. You can read more about the currently gazetted
fields of practice here.

The requirements for registration in each category are outlined below. Each category requires certain minimum qualifications and the Certificated Natural Scientist and Professional Natural Scientist categories require a certain amount of relevant work experience which depends on the level of qualifications held by the individual.

Professional Natural Scientist

In order to register as a Professional Natural Scientist, an individual will require one of the following qualification and experience combinations:

A recognised 4-year Bachelor of Science degree; Bachelor of Technology or Bachelor of Science (Hons); or Postgraduate Diploma; or Equivalent Qualification at NQF level 8 AND Three years appropriate work experience in the field of practice applied for.

OR

A recognised Masters of Science; Master of Technology; Master of Agricultural Science; Master of Applied Sciences; Or Equivalent Qualification at NQF level 9 AND Two years of appropriate work experience in the field of practice applied for.

OR

A recognised Doctoral Qualification at NQF Level 10 AND One year of appropriate work experience in the field of practice applied for.

In the qualifications referred to above, at least 70% of the required credits obtained during the first year of study should be in a spectrum of natural scientific disciplines. At least 80% of the required credits obtained during the second and third year of study should include a spectrum of natural scientific disciplines and for the fourth / honours year it should be 100%. The majority of these modules should be in the respective field of practice or directly supportive of the field of practice. There should be a clear progression in breadth and depth in the field of practice applied for. In addition, there should be a broad base of basic science modules taken at first-year level to ensure a firm bases in the natural sciences.

The duration of work experience is calculated from the date the highest qualification was conferred. Only work experience of scientific nature in the field of practice applied for will be considered. Teaching experience at any level, including tertiary, is not considered. Some experience in a position of responsibility is a requirement.

Persons with at least 10 years of natural science experience in the field of practice they are applying for and unable to qualify for registration in terms of SACNASP requirements due to lack of or insufficient formal qualifications can apply for registration through the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) route. Individuals applying via this route will be required to submit some additional documentation and will be expected to attend an interview with the Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) for the field of practice they are applying for.

Certificated Natural Scientist

In order to register as a Certificated Natural Scientist, an individual will require one of the following qualification and experience combinations:

A recognised 3-year National Diploma; 3-year Diploma; 3-year Bachelor of Science Degree ; Advanced Diploma; or Equivalent Qualification at NQF Level 7AND one year of appropriate work experience in the field of practice applied for.

OR

A two-year diploma or equivalent qualification at NQF level 6 AND five years of appropriate work experience in the field of practice applied for.

In the qualifications referred to above, at least 50% of the required credits obtained during each year of study should be in a spectrum of natural scientific disciplines. The majority of these modules should be in the respective field of practice or directly supportive of the field of practice. There should be a clear progression in breadth and depth in the field of practice applied for.

The duration of work experience is calculated from the date the highest qualification was conferred. Only work experience of scientific nature in the field of practice applied for will be considered. Teaching experience at any level, including tertiary, is not considered.

Persons with at least 10 years of natural science experience in the field of practice they are applying for and unable to qualify for registration in terms of SACNASP requirements due to lack of or insufficient formal qualifications can apply for registration through the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) route. Individuals applying via this route will be required to submit some additional documentation and will be expected to attend an interview with the Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) for the field of practice they are applying for.

Candidate Natural Scientist

In order to register as a Candidate Natural Scientist an individual would meet the qualification requirements for either Certificated Natural Scientist or Professional Natural Scientist whilst not yet meeting the work experience requirements for such a registration.

In order to assess whether their qualifications meet the requirements, individuals can download this spreadsheet and complete it with their own information. When read along with the information on this page it should provide a clearer picture of which category of registration would be most appropriate.