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Promoting professional standards and ethical business practice in the communications industry throughout Southern Africa.

2.2.11 Certified Event Associate


The “Certified Event Associate” designation signifies an individual’s broad commitment to a career in events management. The candidate will generally work under the supervision of an event manager. The candidate will have well-developed interpersonal skills and will have displayed an ability to conduct themselves with professional behaviour. The candidate will be competent in event administration, marketing and event plan implementation. The designation also demonstrates the candidate’s commitment to continuing professional development in the events industry.


Become a member of SACIA and use the designatory letters CEA behind their name

Offer employers and colleagues assurance of commitment to the events industry

Be listed on the National Learners’ Record Database

Qualifying criteria

The candidate should hold a relevant NQF-level 5 qualification in tourism, hospitality, event management or similar. Examples of a relevant qualification might include a Higher Certificate in Event Management (qualification 84686 or 115970) or a National Certificate in Sport Event Management (qualification 60276)

Individuals in full-time employment need to demonstrate at least one year’s relevant work experience, while individual’s working on a freelance basis need to demonstrate at least 1,500 hours of relevant work experience in the events industry.


Applicants must write and pass a qualifying examination, and provide a portfolio of evidence supporting their claim of competence. The Portfolio of Evidence is independently assessed by the SACIA certification council. More information about the exam content is provided at Event Management. The exam can be accessed at Designation Exams. There is no single course or publication that will help you prepare for the examination - nor are you required to attend any SACIA training in preparation for the exam. 

Preparing a portfolio of evidence

There is no definitive list of documents that should appear within the portfolio but generally it would include:

  • A detailed CV including a list of events you have worked on.
  • Testimonials and letters of recommendation supporting your claim of knowledge, experience and competence.
  • A list of any awards or commendations you've received.
  • Any other documents that support your claim of competence.

We don't have a template for the reference letters because we are looking for a positive endorsement written by someone familiar with your work, character, and accomplishments. Anybody you ask to provide a reference letter is going to know more about you than we do. Providing them with a template will only restrict them from providing an endorsement that is authentic.

We’d suggest their letter cover the values and principles associated with SACIA membership described in the Code of Professional Conduct, but even this suggestion is tempered by a greater need for the testimonial to be an authentic endorsement of your skills and attributes.

We’ve asked for more than one reference letter and what we don’t want, is two (or more) identical letters signed by different signatories. We’re looking for authentic inputs – and that’s an inherently personal input from people familiar with your work.

Recognition of Prior Learning

SACIA’s certification council recognise that many of the applicants for this designation will not hold an underlying NQF-level 5 qualification. The Council will encourage individual’s lacking such a qualification to apply for a professional designation if they can demonstrate additional work experience. For more information please visit the RPL page

Designation competencies

Individuals applying for the Certified Event Associate designation should be able to contribute to the broader society by providing sound management for a broad range of events in various industries and sectors. Individuals need to demonstrate a fundamental knowledge base of the most important areas of event management, and demonstrate their competence working across more than one event format. In addition, they should demonstrate a fundamental understanding of the key terms, rules, concepts, established principles and theories in one or more fields of event management.

The candidate should demonstrate:

1. An informed understanding of the processes, logistics and methods used to design, plan, co-ordinate and execute an event to criteria specified in a client brief. The candidate should also demonstrate an informed understanding of health and safety regulations and practices insofar as these relate to the events industry.

2. The ability plan and apply the principles of event management to the logistical design, planning, coordinating and conducting of an event within a
well-defined, familiar and supported environment.

3. The ability to identify, evaluate and solve routine and new problems likely to arise within an event, and to apply solutions appropriate to the events industry, demonstrating an understanding of the consequences of the applied solutions.

4. The ability to take account of, and act in accordance with the SACIA Code of Professional Conduct, and to seek guidance on ethical and professional issues where necessary. The candidate should be able to apply basic project management principles and practices to manage an event.

5. The ability to gather information from a range of sources, both oral and written, to select information appropriate to a particular event, and to apply basic processes of analysis, synthesis and evaluation on that information that will allow the candidate to prepare reports and make recommendations appropriate to the management of an event.

6. The ability to communicate information reliably, accurately and coherently in a variety of contexts. The candidate should also have a basic understanding of public relations in managing an event, as well as demonstrating knowledge of foundational marketing concepts as they apply to the events management sector.

7. Demonstrating an understanding of different kinds of event genres, their constituent parts and the relationships between these parts, and to understand how actions in one area impact on other areas within the same event environment.

8. The ability to account for his or her actions, and to work effectively with colleagues, suppliers, sponsors, contractors, customers and the broad range of stakeholder working in the events industry. The candidate will also demonstrate the ability to take supervisory responsibility for others, and for the responsible use of resources specific to an event.

Application Process

The Application Form is completed and submitted to SACIA for processing, together with the required supporting documentation. This includes the registration fee.

Candidates are notified of outcome of evaluation

Successful candidates are Certified, and their name is added to the National Learners Records Database

Continuing professional development (CPD) requirements

Designated members are required to:

It is important to note that:

  • Professional designations are awarded at the discretion of the SACIA board;
  • SACIA reserves the right to check the records of applicants as part of the application process;
  • Certificates issued by SACIA remain the property of SACIA and must be returned should the individual for any reason lose their status as designee.
  • In instances where a candidate does not hold an appropriate qualification, recognition of workplace learning, and extended work experience will be considered in an evaluation.

Apply now

Contact details

96 The Bridles, 777 Douglas Crescent, Sundowner, 2188

+27 11 083 6418,

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