[OSGeo Africa] Professional GISc registration

Zoltan Szecsei zoltans at geograph.co.za
Fri Jan 17 00:24:24 PST 2014

In an effort to preserve message threads, I have cut and pasted Hanlie's 
issue directly into Gavin's thread.
My comments (bottom-posted below) refer to Hanlie's plight, and not to 
Gavin's post regarding "call for Professional registration", on which I 
have a softer viewpoint.

On 2014/01/16 10:51, Gavin Fleming wrote:
> Hi all
> I'm at the GISSA national council meeting and professional 
> registration is under discussion.
> The message: take professional registration seriously and get 
> registered, no matter what area of GIS you practice in. Ultimately it 
> will become illegal to do paid GIS work without being registered...
> For the Government FOSS policy to happen then, it means that all we 
> FOSS GIS advocates must ensure we're registered so we're not excluded 
> from government work. Professional registration is already required 
> for government tenders and posts.
> For those of you with fifteen years experience up to Dec 2012, the 
> Grandfather clause for Professional GISc Practitioner is opening up 
> again shortly - take this opportunity. Don't ask me for details, keep 
> watching GISSA, PLATO, PositionIT, etc.

On 2014/01/17 09:07, Hanlie Pretorius wrote:
> I would love to register because of the reasons you mentioned, not
> because I believe in the process. But I don't have a full time job and
> I don't have a mentor. I wonder how many people have the kind of job
> that provides all of the topics to be able to register?
> In my opinion South Africa doing its best to become a nanny state with
> all of the disadvantages and none of the advantages.
Hi Hanlie and list.
I would like to clarify a few things about PLATO registration.
Please take note that whilst I have some experience in the PLATO 
academic model and the registration process, _I do NOT speak for PLATO_ 
- direct questions (as opposed to discussions) need to be sent to The 
Registrar at plato at icon.co.za

Aside from special situations like the Grandfather Clause, there are 
basically two ways to get registered:

 1. Study a specific PLATO accredited course at a PLATO accredited
    learning institution
 2. Study relevant courses at any other learning institution and if you
    feel that they match the PLATO academic model, apply for
    registration accordingly.

Regardless of which academic route you took, once qualified (in fact 
even before you are qualified), you need to register in the specific 
category as an "In Training" candidate.
After you have qualified, you need to go through a WIL ("Work integrated 
Learning") period, which is where you need a mentor.
For those who qualified some time back, they can submit their 
registration application with the WIL form already filled in and signed 
off, and bypass the "In Training" phase.

If strict PLATO rules are applied, you mentor needs to have been PLATO 
registered in a suitable category for 5 years before they can mentor 
anyone. Because the Grandfather clause needs some 15 years experience, 
Professionals registered via this clause are (obviously) deemed to have 
 >5 years experience, so can act as mentors.
Furthermore it is acknowledged that the GISc category is newish, and for 
those applying for registration as per (2) above, they can put forward a 
(suitable) non-PLATO registered professional as their mentor. Such 
mentors need to be "approved" by PLATO. Applicants that apply via (2) 
above also sometimes find that their superiors are no longer traceable 
(emigrated etc) and cases can be built to support their WIL claims 
without that mentor's signature.

Now, back to Hanlie:
It is applications via 2 above, that I wish to bring to everyone's 

Start by going to http://www.plato.org.za/4regnotestrain.php and 
clicking on the GISc tab. If relevant, use one of the categories above 
the "In Training" link before clicking the GISc tab.
Download the wealth of documents there  - especially the "GIS Self 
Assessment Tool"
This is a new tool, so please be constructive if you have trouble using it.

Take note of its contents in the definitions tab of the tool 
spreadsheet. This is the Academic model needed for registration.
Obtain a transcript of the courses you have studied.

In order to fill in the self assessment fields on the "Application" 
sheet, you will need to look at the content of your courses passed, vs 
the content of this PLATO academic model. You will then find that your 
undergrad and honours degrees play a role in that you apportion the 
credits in the appropriate PLATO categories.
*Be careful not to use credits more than once:*
ie GIS 101 may be 16 credits but the topics covered in this GIS101 are 
listed in the PLATO Maths, Physics and GIS sections - you must then 
apportion the 16 credits (and no more) accordingly to the PLATO categories.
*Be careful not to use credits that are not relevant, in the wrong PLATO 
knowledge area:*
GIS 102 is 20 credits, but covers topics like algebra, electromagnetic 
waves, and why plants survive in different climates - this last "plant" 
section has nothing to do with the PLATO academic model, which means you 
should downgrade the original 20 credits of this GIS102 as only being 
(say) 16 credits towards PLATO - Note that these 4 downgraded credits 
are filled in under "Further time for electives" (as are other courses 
you did, that turn out to be non-PLATO relevant.)
This is _mostly_ handled under "Category Specific Research Project. "
If however you find that you are (very) slightly short in some of the 
knowledge areas, and you "self taught" yourself those skills _because 
you needed them to do your thesis_, you may allocate some credits away 
from your thesis to those shortfalls - but you MUST make this clear to 
to PLATO that you are using "thesis credits" in these areas, and you 
must provide substantiating evidence that you had to use those skills in 
your thesis.

Along with your submission you must provide support for what you claim - 
eg: Courses passed, course transcripts used for your credit allocations, 
and whatever else you think will make the PLATO assessor's life simpler 
in understanding how you completed your self assessment.

Also take a good look at the WIL (Work Integrated Learning - your 
"articles") - If you are not fresh out of Varsity, make sure you have 
covered the WIL ground needed. If not, you will be headed for an "in 
Training" registration. If your WIL is complete and signed off, you 
might just be headed for a Law Exam and a 3000 word essay on 
"Professionalism and Ethics".

The aim of my post is to encourage you all to see how close you are to 
attaining some form of PLATO (actually, pretty soon, SAGC) registration, 
and to debunk some myths about mentorship and WIL.

If I have made any errors in my text above, please accept my upfront 
apologies - but above all, I do not speak for PLATO, and my post is to 
encourage you to try anyway, via a self assessment.



Zoltan Szecsei PrGISc [PGP0031]
Geograph (Pty) Ltd.
GIS and Photogrammetric Service

P.O. Box 7, Muizenberg 7950, South Africa.

65 Main Road, Muizenberg 7945
Western Cape, South Africa.

34° 6'16.35"S 18°28'5.62"E

Tel: +27-21-7884897  Mobile: +27-83-6004028
Fax: +27-86-6115323     www.geograph.co.za

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