The evaluation process

Once you apply for registration your application goes through a rigorous process of verification and evaluation before the final outcome is communicated to you. The process includes the following steps:

STEP 1: Document Verification

Applicable to applications on status: “Paid awaiting verification of documents and submission of referee reports” and “Documents not verified referee reports submitted”.

Explanation: During this step our office staff will look through the information and documents you entered on the online registration portal. They will verify that the documents are clear and legible, validly certified where required and are the correct documents that the system specified you should upload. They will also verify that the information is complete. It is strongly advised that you ensure you upload the requested documents the first time during the process and that scanned copies are clearly legible and the right way up. You can find a list of the documents you'll be required to upload here. Should our office find any errors, illegible documents or missing information they will contact you, explain the shortcomings and ask you to login to the system and rectify them. Your application will be put on one of the statuses “Missing documents awaiting submission of referee reports” or “Missing documents referee reports submitted” and a note indicating what is missing will be visible on the “view details” screen on the portal. NOTHING WILL BE DONE FURTHER WITH YOUR APPLICATION UNTIL YOU LOGIN, MAKE THE CORRECTIONS AND SAVE ALL THE WAY UNTIL STEP 3, WHICH WILL RESULT IN THE STATUS NO LONGER INDICATING MISSING DOCUMENTS.

Time-frame: You should receive feedback on document verification within one week.

STEP 2: Requesting of Referee reports

Applicable to applications on status: “Paid awaiting verification of documents and submission of referee reports” and “Documents verified awaiting submission of referee reports”.

*This step only applies to applications for registration in the categories Certificated or Professional Natural Scientist. It is skipped in the case of an application for registration as Candidate Natural Scientist or if the applicant indicates they are an NRF rated scientist.

Explanation: At the same time that the member of staff first verifies your information, they will request reports from your nominated referees / mentors. You will be able to see on your dashboard on the portal when reports are requested, as well as if a referee declines to submit a report or submits one. It is a good idea to follow up with your nominated referees to ensure they received the request and will give it their urgent attention. Registered referees can access the requests off their own dashboards on the scientists portal. We request that referees return their completed reports to us within 14 days of receiving the request. They should complete the report directly on our system as per the instructions, WE DO NOT ACCEPT EMAILED REFEREE REPORTS.

Time-frame: We request referees to complete reports within 14 days but have no control over this, please follow up with your referees.

STEP 3: Quality Control

Applicable to applications on status: “QC in progress”

Explanation: Once your documents are verified and any reference reports are received your application will go through a final quality control process to double-check it is ready for evaluation. Once it has undergone this it will move to status “Complete and Ready for Evaluation” and be sent to the appropriate committee for evaluation. If any shortcomings are picked up at this stage you may be contacted to rectify them.

Time-frame: If your application passes quality control on the first pass this should only take about a week. However, please allow two weeks to allow for the correction of any shortcomings either by the SACNASP staff or yourself. Please respond promptly if we contact you for more information.

STEP 4: Assessment of foreign qualifications by the Qualifications Assessment Committee (QAC)

Applicable to applications on status: “Sent to QAC”

*This step only applies where applicants hold qualifications obtained outside South Africa.

Explanation: Applications are sent for evaluation by the Qualifications Assessment Committee (QAC). Foreign qualifications should be accompanied by a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) certificate at the time of application. The SAQA certificate in conjunction with the transcript of subjects taken is used by the QAC to assess the suitability of the qualifications for SACNASP registration. The QAC meets approximately every two months and applications need to wait for a sitting of the committee to obtain its final recommendation to the Professional Advisory Committee.

Time-frame: Up to 80 calendar days.

STEP 5: Evaluation by the Professional Advisory Committee (PAC)

Applicable to applications on status: “Being Evaluated”

Explanation: your application is sent for evaluation by the Professional Advisory Committee (PAC). This is a small committee of subject experts in the field of practice in which you have applied. They will evaluate your qualifications and experience against the requirements for registration in the various categories and make a recommendation to the Registrations Committee.

Time-frame: Once your application is sent for evaluation by the PAC the recommendations should be returned to the office within 14 days and the status will move to “Awaiting Committee”.

STEP 6: Final decision by the Registrations Committee (RC)

Applicable to applications on status: “Awaiting Committee”

Explanation: The recommendation of the PAC is then tabled at the Registrations Committee for final decision. The RC meets every month except during December. The final outcome of your application should be available within 14 days post the meeting where it was tabled.

Time-frame: Around six weeks.

STEP 7: Acceptance of the code of conduct and download of certificate

Applicable to applications on status: “Active”

Explanation: If your application for Registration is successful, you will receive an email notification and then be able to login to the portal and accept the SACNASP code of conduct for registered scientists, at which time a link will become available to you to download your registration certificate. Your certificate can be downloaded from the portal at any time, provided you are not in arrears on your account and serves as proof of your registration.

Time-frame: Dependent on the applicant.