The administrative professional is constantly evolving. As an OPSA Professional Member, it is important to keep abreast of current trends, technology advancements, and methods to streamline work within the office. Maintaining your OPSA professional designation by earning 20 CPD (Continuous Professional Development) points in a two-year period is an assessment that validates your commitment to the profession, lifelong education, and professional development.
Participating in CPD helps you to reflect, review and document your learning and assists you in developing and updating your professional knowledge and skills. It will give you and your employer the assurance that you have the skills required for the job.
Click on the boxes below to learn more about Maintaining your Professional Designation
Professional members are required to earn 20 CPD points within a two-year period. All points are due two years from the month/year the professional designation was earned, or two years from the month/year last renewed.
Periodic reminders will be sent to remind you of your renewal. Please note that it is your responsibility to make note of the renewal date which is provided on your professional membership letter/certificate). It is important to keep OPSA informed of any changes with your name, company, address, and email.
To keep your professional membership active, the annual professional membership fee of R700.00 must be paid when due. You can choose to pay for one year or for the two-year cycle. You will be notified be email when your membership is due to expire.
The 20 CPD Points can be earned in the following categories:
|Professional Development (PD)
All education submitted under this category must align with your job as an administrative professional. You can earn all 20 CPD points in this category
|Leadership (optional) (LE)
Leadership positions within an association or committee – office bearer (minimum of 12 months) on committees and boards
|Max 5 points|
|Industry specific professional development (optional) (IS)
Education is specific to an industry and transferable within that industry and relevant to the duties of the administrative professional in the office environment.
|Max 5 points|
Once evidence of continuous learning has been submitted to OPSA at firstname.lastname@example.org, the information will be captured by the CPD Coordinator on the OPSA professional member database and an updated schedule will be emailed to you indicating your current status.
Keep track of your points: Once you have achieved your professional designation, keep a spreadsheet (or something similar) to track points as earned. Set a goal to earn at least 10 points per year rather than wait and struggle to gain all the points at the end of the 2 years. Not only will the spreadsheet help you stay on track, it will help you with your personal development planning.
Keep a file of supporting documentation: In addition to your spreadsheet of points earned, keep a file of your supporting documentation (this can be asked for if an audit is required).
For all professional development, your supporting documentation must verify attendance and include:
- the subject and/or description of education
- date of completion
- length of education
For leadership positions and community involvement, attain a letter from the organization that includes:
- the position held
- primary duties of the position, and
- length of term served
Yes, you can. If you would like to attend an event that has not been endorsed by OPSA or you are not sure that the event will earn you CPD points, please forward the program details to email@example.com and the program will be reviewed and allocated CPD points, if applicable. Please note that the event must add value to your role as an administrative professional.
In order to protect the integrity of OPSA professional membership and designations, OPSA will randomly audit a percentage of applications to renew professional membership. It is very important to document your professional development and leadership activities as suggested in point 5. If your application to renew your professional membership is audited, you will be required to verify, with supporting documentation, the activities listed on your spreadsheet. Additionally, you may be asked to submit supporting documentation if it is needed to determine eligibility of an activity.
Members who have missed the date to renew professional membership are given a 30-day grace period in which they can submit a late application. No special permission is necessary if applying within the grace period. It is important to note that the grace period is not extra time to accumulate points, it is additional time to submit the information. All points submitted must be earned within the original 2-year period. Individuals are required to pay the OPSA Professional Membership fee of R700.00, plus a R250 late fee when renewing their professional membership during the grace period. If the application is approved, professional membership will be backdated to the month/year originally due.
Those who are beyond the 30-day grace period must submit an appeal before applying to renew their professional membership. This type of appeal is for those who experienced extenuating circumstances which prevented them from earning points or renewing their professional membership within the 2-year period. Examples include, but are not limited to, serious personal illness, serious illness of a family member, tragic event or long-term unemployment. If the appeal is accepted, the individual may be given additional time to earn points. Letters of appeal may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and should include the circumstances, documentation, and your plan for gaining the required points.
What support will OPSA offer applicants?
- OPSA will host various events throughout the year that will focus on building the skills and knowledge of OPSA members and for which points will be allocated.
- OPSA will partner with training providers and points will be awarded to approved programs.
- OPSA will endorse and allocate points to workshops and conferences for approved programs.
All approved training programs, workshops and conferences will be advertised in Terrific Tuesday as well as on the website.
If you do not earn 20 CPD points in the 2-year period, your professional membership with OPSA falls away. If you wish to re-apply for the designation and professional membership, you will have to start the process from the beginning with an assessment. The onus is on you to ensure that you do continuous learning within the 2-year period and keep up to date with what is happening in the industry.
If you have any queries with regards to CPD or professional designations, please send your query to email@example.com.