In a bold move to promote excellence and competence in the events industry, three Industry Associations have cooperated to form a Professional Body for Events Practitioners. The Council of Events Professionals Africa (CEPA) was formed by the Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa (EXSA), the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) Africa and the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) and was launched on 16 May 2018 at the Forum in Bryanston.

The body aims to fulfil the need to create recognised standards of competency and experience within the industry. According to CEPA Chairman, Glenn Van Eck, the events industry needs to introduce a standard for certification and competency. “In an industry that includes many inexperienced suppliers it is vital that we give customers a frame of reference that they can use to qualify potential suppliers of event services,” said Van Eck. “They need the assurance that they are contracting an individual or business that brings credibility and the ability to deliver to a high level of quality and professionalism. Certified practitioners will always act with the clients’ best interest at heart and in compliance with all statutory requirements.” Since the Ellis Park stadium disaster in 2001 professionals from across the event industry in South Africa, working in association with industry bodies around the world, have been sharing and combining their knowledge to create a better, more accomplished and more ethical industry with a vision towards creating sustainability, elevating standards and sharing their collective knowledge within the events industry. The launch sees a realisation of the vision and, in association with Tourism HR Canada, CEPA has launched their roadmap to education and growth with the ultimate goal of creating an industry of trusted individuals and businesses who, through skills development, and recognition of the high level of skill which already exists, exhibit their adherence to excellence and competency.

The Government’s promulgation of SASREA in 2010 further necessitates the aspect of certification. The Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act states that a person must have the necessary capacity, resources and experience to
organize an event. The CEPA standards will ensure adherence to the requirements of SASREA and other safety standards. CEPA has initiated engagement with government and business leaders to ensure that there is a commitment to a sustainable events industry that will grow and develop all of its members and ensure that worldwide best practices and standards soon become a standard that is expected in South Africa and in the rest of Africa.

Events are a critical sector of any economy. Not only does this industry employ tens of thousands of people in Africa, but it also provides employment and a living marketplace to many of people working in associated industries. As many of the seasoned professionals within this industry approach the end of their careers there is a need to pass knowledge on in a sense to hand a torch that still burns brightly to a younger, passionate generation who will be able to improve the standard of events in South Africa.

Through mentorship, training and certification programmes, CEPA is committed to awarding certifications that are internationally recognised as benchmarks and symbolise skill, commitment to transformation, and world class service delivery. The Board has extended the launch special on membership costs to the end of June 2018. CEPA represents the trust factor for the events industry and details of personal/individual membership and certification will be carried on the organisation’s website, www.cepa.co.za

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For further information contact:
Council of Events Professionals Africa

Email: melanie@cepafrica.co.za
Tel: +27 83 653 2480
Website: www.cepa.co.za

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