South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions - Continual Professional Development Points

This is mostly aimed at South African users who are also working as natural scientists.

Most government departments and private consultants require that natural scientists are registered with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP) with notable exceptions being SAEON, SANBI and NRF. I don’t know the details of why the Natural Scientific Professions Act of 2003 was gazetted but an important part of maintaining ones status as a Professional Natural Scientist is - as with engineers and medical practitioners - that you have to earn Continual Professional Development (CPD) Points. These can be earned through (1) Developmental activities - courses, training programmes, conferences and workshops; (2) Work based activities and mentoring; and (3) Individual activities and Voluntary Association membership. Current ways of earning points can be viewed at https://www.sacnasp.org.za/overview-cpd.

I feel that it could be easy to motivate that iNatuarlist contributes hugely to the development of the scientists who use it. I have learnt more from iNatulaist than I have from the symposia and workshops I have attended. As an example, I feel that SACNASP could easily contribute 2 CPD points for more than 1000 observations observed in a year and 2 CPD points for more than 2000 improving identifications made in 1 year. This will make iNaturalist more attractive to professionals who would love to participate but currently cannot justify the time which they spend on iNaturalist. I feel that this will attract more natural scientists to iNaturalist - something we are short of in southern Africa. It will also formalize iNaturalist in South Africa as not only a fun hobby but also a recognized scientific platform.

Would this be something that iNaturalist or SANBI might consider approaching SACNASP to consider?

I am keen to hear others thoughts on the topic.

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Do other countries have similar legislated regulatory bodies for natural scientists and, if so, do any of them recognize iNaturalist? If not has iNaturalist considered approaching them?

@tonyrebelo I have posed this question here on the forum as well to see if the community has any comments or suggestions.

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