Chapter 12



12.20.1Legislative and Policy Framework


  • The South African Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996 [SASA]
  • South African Council for Educators Act 31 of 2000 [SACE]
  • The National Education Policy Act, 1996 (Act No. 27 of 1996) [NEPA]
  • Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998 [EEA]


  • Personnel Administration Measures [PAM]
  • Code of Professional Ethics [SACE Ethics]
  • SACE Registration Requirements 2022 [SACE Reg]

12.20.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on Educators: SACE Registration, Misconduct and Teacher Development

  1. SACE registration
    In terms of the South African Council for Educators Act, it is compulsory for all qualified educators to register with SACE.  No educator may be employed as an educator unless the person is registered with SACE. An applicant must apply for registration in the manner and form determined by the council.

      • Criteria for registration
        An educator who applies to register with the council, must:

        • Satisfy the ethical standards contemplated in the Code of Professional Ethics for Educators; and
        • Have obtained a minimum post professional matric teacher education qualification of 4 years (M + 4 or REQV 14), or any other qualification recognised by the Council for purposes of registration

    If an applicant does not satisfy all the requirements but the council is of the opinion that the requirements will be satisfied within a reasonable time, the council may register the applicant provisionally on such conditions as the council may determine.

  2. SACE certificates
    A registration certificate must be issued and sent to the educator upon registration by the council. If the chief executive officer is satisfied, on proof submitted by a registered educator, that a registration certificate has been destroyed or lost, a duplicate registration certificate must be issued to that educator upon payment of the fee prescribed by the council.
  3. Removal of name from register
    SACE may remove the name of an educator from the register if:

    • after having been registered, the relevant qualification of the educator is withdrawn or cancelled by the higher education institution which issued it;
    • the educator was registered by error or by means of fraud;
    • the educator was found guilty of a breach of the Code of Professional Ethics;
    • the educator requests deregistration, permanently or for a specified period;
    • the educator fails to pay the fees prescribed by the council within a specified period; or
    • the educator dies.
  4. Misconduct: Disciplinary procedures
    Investigation of alleged breaches of the Code of Professional Ethics,( South African Council of Educators (SACE) Act 31 of 2000)

    • Any person who believes that an educator has breached the code may lodge a complaint with the Council.
    • The complaint should preferablv be in writing and clearly disclose the alleged breach of the code.
    • The disciplinary committee may investigate any alleged breach of the code, whether or not a complaint has been lodged.
    • The chief executive officer must, as soon as practicable after receiving a complaint, refer it to the disciplinary committee for consideration.
    • The disciplinary committee must refer an alleged breach to an investigating panel for investigation.
    • An investigating panel may, in investigating any alleged breach of the code:
      • interview complainants and other possible witnesses;
      • interview the educator who is alleged to have breached the code;
      • notify the educator of the alleged breach and give the educator an opportunity to respond within the period specified in that notice;
      • gather evidence relevant to the alleged breach; and
      • if necessary, cause summons to be served on any person who may assist the panel in its investigation.
    • Before interviewing an educator, the investigating panel must warn the educator:
      • of the educator’s right against self-incrimination; and
      • that any admission or explanation given by the educator may be used as evidence against the educator at a disciplinary hearing.
    • The investigating panel must keep a record of the investigation.
    • If an investigating panel is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence of a breach of the code by an educator, the disciplinary committee may refer the matter to a disciplinary panel for hearing.
    • A member of a panel that has investigated an alleged breach of the code cannot serve as a member of the disciplinary panel which hears the matter.
  5. The disciplinary hearing
    In cases of misconduct and a possible disciplinary hearing, Principals and School Governing Bodies are referred to the process as described in the South African Council of Educators Act, No. 31 of 2000
  6. Teacher development
    • Continuing Professional Training and Development (CPTD)
      SACE is a key role player in continuing professional development of teachers and the promotion of professional standards. The CPTD Management System is the way SACE will fulfil its mandate to encourage and help teachers to develop themselves professionally.
    • A new CPTD system
      • The new CPTD system will:
        • Ensure that current initiatives devoted to the professional development of teachers contribute more effectively and directly to the improvement of the quality of teaching;
        • Emphasize and reinforce the professional status of teaching;
        • Provide teachers with clear guidance about which Professional Development (PD) activities will contribute to their professional growth;
        • Protect teachers from fraudulent providers; and
        • Expand the range of activities that contribute to the professional development of teachers.
      • In the new system it is intended that the South African Council for Educators, as the statutory body for professional educators, will have overall responsibility for the implementation and management of the CPTD. The PD points method is an internationally recognised technique used by professional bodies in many fields to acknowledge their members continuing professional development. Each teacher will be expected to earn PD points by choosing professional development activities that suit their own requirements and that have been endorsed by SACE.
      • A teacher will accumulate PD points by engaging in three types of professional development activities:
        • Type 1: Activities initiated by the teacher;
        • Type 2: Activities initiated by the school;
        • Type 3: Activities initiated externally
      • A teacher must get PD points from all three types of activities. A teacher must record a minimum of 150 PD points in a three-year cycle. At the end of the three-year cycle the Personal PD Points Account for each teacher is re-set to zero.
      • Teachers will record Type 1 and Type 2 PD points in the Personal Development Profile according to the PD Points Schedule. The first reporting period will take place in June each year. A principal will request staff members to report their first set of PD activities and points for the year on a form supplied by SAE. Teachers will send their PD activities and points to SACE by uploading them electronically on the CPTD self-service portal ( The second reporting of the remaining PD activities and points to SACE will take place in November of each year.
      • When SACE approves an external service provider and endorses the provider’s professional development activities, SACE will allocate the correct number of points to that activity according to the PD Points Schedule. Type 3 points will be reported online to SACE by each SACE approved provider.
      • Rewards and sanctions
        South African educators are required to be registered with SACE as a condition for them to practise. Registration is their licence to teach. However, it is now increasingly accepted that members of a profession must maintain their professional standing through continuing professional development. With the introduction of the CPTD system in the teaching profession it will be necessary to apply rewards and sanctions.
    • Managing the CPTD system
      As the national body for the education profession it is intended that SACE will be responsible for managing the system, but it is essentially a collaborative undertaking linking a number of sub-systems. Provincial Departments of Educations, district offices, school management teams and teachers’ unions will play an indispensable role in encouraging teachers’ participation in CPTD activities. Providers in all categories will be responsible for designing and delivering focused, appropriate and high quality activities in line with SACE criteria and guidelines. The quality assurers appointed by SACE must protect teachers’ best interests by ensuring that providers and their programmes meet the requisite standards.


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