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

2.2.13 Certified Event Professional


The “Certified Event Professional” designation signifies an individual’s deep commitment to a career in events management. An event professional is responsible for organising, mobilising and/or coordinating the staff, event participants, officials, and administrators for the successful execution of an event. The candidate will have well-developed interpersonal skills and will have displayed an ability to conduct themselves with professional behaviour. The designation demonstrates the candidate’s deep commitment to continuing professional development, and the pursuit of excellence in the events industry.


Become a member of SACIA and use the designatory letters CEPA 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 7 qualification in tourism, hospitality, event management or similar. Examples of a relevant qualification might include an Advanced Diploma in Event Management (qualification 102165) or a Bachelor of Commerce in Event Management (qualification 99647).

Individuals in full-time employment need to demonstrate at least five year’s relevant work experience, while individual’s working on a freelance basis need to demonstrate at least 5,000 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 7 qualification. The Council will encourage individual’s lacking such a qualification to apply for a professional designation if they can demonstrate additional work experience. In the case of individual's working on a freelance basis, they should be able to demonstrate 105 days relevant work in each year. For more information visit the RPL page.

    Designation competencies

    Individuals wanting to earn the Certified Event Professional designation should be able to demonstrate their comprehensive competence working across more than 5 different event formats, or a deep competence working across a specific event genre (such as exhibitions, musical performance, conferences, festivals, community events, etc)

    They should also demonstrate:

    1. An integrated knowledge of the central areas of event management, including an understanding of key terms, concepts, facts, principles, rules and theories applicable to event management. They should also demonstrate detailed knowledge and advanced skills in applying these terms, concepts, facts, principles, rules and theories. They should also demonstrate detailed knowledge of resource management for event projects and event organisations, as well as demonstrate experience in the execution of event management activities in a sustainable manner. The candidate should demonstrate their understanding of the key forces impacting on the strategic management of an event management organisation or Professional Conference Organiser (PCO).

    2. The ability to critically evaluate event project management plans with a sound understanding of the implementation of Event Management Body of Knowledge (EMBOK) key areas.

    3. An understanding of risk management, regulatory policies, legislation and by-laws applicable to event management.

    4. The ability to identify, analyse, evaluate, critically reflect on and address complex problems likely to be experienced within an event environment, applying evidence-based solutions and theory-driven arguments. The candidate should be able to solve problems specifically related to management issues with critical awareness, business ethics and social sensitivity.

    5. The ability to take decisions and act ethically and professionally, and the ability to justify those decisions and actions drawing on the SACIA Code of professional conduct, as well as appropriate ethical values and approaches relevant to the events industry.

    6. The ability to develop appropriate processes of information gathering both before, during and after an event, and ability to independently validate, evaluate and manage the information to enhance the event experience.

    7. The ability to develop and communicate his or her ideas and opinions in well-formed arguments, using appropriate discourse. The candidate should demonstrate the ability to develop a strategic marketing plan for a variety of event projects/ event management organisations by using appropriate research and marketing strategies.

    8. To apply the concepts of entrepreneurial and organisational management in a business environment, and to make decisions and explore the strategic implications of those decisions.

    9. The ability to take full responsibility for his or her work, decision-making and use of resources, and limited accountability for the decisions and actions of others involved in the management of an event. The candidate should demonstrate a deep understanding of strategic leadership in the events industry, relating directly to the size, scale and complexity of the events that have taken place under their direction and control.

    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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