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

2.2.16 Certified Actor


The “Certified Actor” designation signifies an individual’s professional commitment to the art and craft of acting, both in theatre and more modern media such as film, radio, television and online media.

It also signifies an actor’s commitment to continuing professional development in the acting profession, as well as a commitment to ethical practice in all aspects of the entertainment industry.


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

Offer producers and colleagues assurance of commitment to the acting profession

Be listed on the National Learners’ Record Database

Qualifying criteria

The applicant should hold a relevant NQF-level 7 qualification in drama or performing arts.

The applicant needs to have at least two verifiable acting credits in professional film, radio, theatre or television.

We do not recognise student films, community theatre, commercials, stills photography, music videos, corporate videos, role-play, workshops, events, dance credits, promotional work, modelling, presenting, walk-on or non-speaking work (unless specific to a project such as a silent film where you are credited as an actor) as professional acting credits.


Applicants need to provide a portfolio of evidence supporting their claim of competence. The Portfolio of Evidence is independently assessed by the SACIA certification council with guidance from the South African Guild of Actors (SAGA)

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 performances you have worked on. (or IMDb profile)
  • Testimonials and letters of recommendation supporting an individual’s claim of knowledge, experience and competence.
  • A list of any awards or commendations received.
  • Certificates from training programmes attended.
  • Theatrical or movie reviews that comment on your performance.

We do NOT provide a template for the reference letters because we are looking for an authentic endorsement of your skills and attributes, written by someone familiar with your work, character and accomplishments. We'd suggest their letter cover the values and principles associated with SACIA membership described in the SACIA 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. What we don’t want, is two 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

Both the SA Guild of Actors and 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 and at least four verifiable acting credits in professional film, radio, theatre or television. For more information please visit the RPL page

Designation competencies

An individual applying for recognition as a Certified Actor should be at least 16 years old, and be able to demonstrate a broad range of skills associated with the acting profession, including a well-developed imagination, emotional facility, physical expression, vocal projection, clarity of speech, and the ability to interpret drama.

In defining these competencies, SACIA recognise there are many disabled actors who have overcome their disability to achieve great success. We encourage disabled actors who meet all other criteria to apply for recognition.

A person applying for recognition as a Professional Actor should be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Detailed knowledge of core technologies and performance techniques relevant to the acting profession. The candidate should also demonstrate a detailed understanding of the key terms, rules, concepts, established principles and theories relating to screen and live performance.
  • An detailed knowledge of safety protocols that apply to a theatrical production or film set.
  • An ability to memorise lines, embody a character with voice and movement, and match the requirements of a live performance, radio, television or film production.
  • An informed understanding of the value chain that applies to the acting profession, including an informed understanding of the role and responsibility of all stakeholders involved in a production for screen or live performance.
  • An informed understanding of different forms of knowledge, acting techniques, schools of thought and forms of explanation within the acting profession, and a detailed awareness of how knowledge is created and shared within the production process.
  • The ability to evaluate, select and apply appropriate performance methods, procedures or techniques within a defined context.
  • The ability to understand, draft, evaluate and analyse stories, including written scripts and wordless visual stories.
  • The ability to identify, analyse and solve problems in the working environment. The candidate should also demonstrate a detailed understanding of how to gather evidence and apply solutions based on evidence and procedures appropriate to any production.
  • A detailed understanding of the ethical implications of decisions and actions on a working film or theatrical set based on an awareness of the complexity of ethical dilemmas. This is particularly true when rehearsing or filming scenes of an intimate nature. The candidate should also demonstrate a fundamental understanding of gender-based violence, discrimination, victimisation, sexual harassment, bullying and intimidation that may apply in a screen or live performance environment.
  • A detailed understanding of the business of acting, including the relevant process of taxation, time management and relevant industry marketing skills or knowledge.
  • The ability to evaluate different sources of information, select information appropriate to the task, and apply well-developed processes of analysis, synthesis and evaluation to that information. This would include the ability to read, interpret and perform to a script and other practical documents relating to any production, including schedules and calls sheets.
  •  The ability to present and communicate complex information reliably and coherently using appropriate professional or occupational conventions, formats and technologies for a given context.
  • The ability to make creative decisions and act appropriately in various settings and sets, demonstrating an informed understanding of the relationships between crew and cast members. The candidate should also demonstrate a detailed knowledge of how actions, ideas or developments in one system impact other systems.
  • The candidate should also demonstrate how to resolve dilemmas that complicate their creative vision or overcome obstacles that, if left unresolved, might lead to conflict within a production.
  • The ability to evaluate their performance against given criteria, accurately identify and address task-specific learning needs in a given context, and provide support to the learning needs of others where appropriate.
  •  The ability to work effectively in a team or group, and to take responsibility for their decisions and actions and the decisions and actions of others within well-defined contexts, including the responsibility for the use of resources where appropriate.

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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