Compiled by The CEO –  Nomvula Rakolote – Adjunct Prof – Built Environment

I believe that the right approach in order to successfully take an organization forward is to build on and strengthen on what is already existing. Only through recognising and appreciating the foundation laid can a sustainable base for way forward be laid that builds on lessons learnt and identifies any gaps that have not yet been not be fully addressed.  

This is critical in order to set realistic goals and build a sustainable future for the CPM discipline. We can only improve the future of the discipline by understanding its very essence and this is what we seek to achieve through this publication.  

This impact report seeks to consolidate inputs from various members of the ACPM especially past and present leadership as a way to document the key events since the inception of the ACPM. It is the first publication of its kind, and as such seeks to serve as a reference point for the future. There is much untapped potential and opportunities to ensure that the CPM discipline’s importance to the industry and the country is understood and appreciated.  

The organisational strategy of the ACPM was reviewed in 2018 and identifies four strategic focus areas in terms of re-igniting the ACPM, namely: building financial sustainability, improving communication & marketing, increasing membership and transformation. All programmes and initiatives that have been implemented since fall under one of these identified pillars. It is in the implementation of the reviewed strategy that the ACPM intends to promote professionalism and ensure that the standards expected of CPM professionals in pursuit of excellence are adhered to. As the custodian of the affairs and interests of CPM professionals it continually strives to improve its offering as outlined in its value preposition.  

  1. The Construction Industry Conversations (CICs) engagement platforms have been identified by the ACPM as a key tool to address the issues affecting the CPM profession. Consequently, in an effort to promote excellence in project delivery through industry leadership, the ACPM in partnership with University of Johannesburg (UJ) Centre for Applied Research and Innovation in the Built Environment (CARINBE) and other Built Environment role-players, have engaged in discourse to provide engagement platforms in order to address the topical issues that advance the CPM profession. In addition, these collaborations will work towards finding solutions to pertinent issues that pose a threat to CPM in South Africa. The CIC’s have participation from a wide range of construction industry role-players, and outputs from the forum include academic research outputs, technical papers for the construction industry as well as continuous professional development material. 
  2. The construction industry is one of the key contributors to the South African economy through employment creation and delivery of social and economic infrastructure. As such, the need to ensure continued development of project management skills cannot be over-emphasized. Partnerships are being pursued with various voluntary associations and industry bodies as part of efforts to reciprocate CPD recognition and validation for the benefit of members. This will be of great assistance to members with dual registration across the Built Environment Council  
  3. The skills pipeline, which is critical to the emergence of new entrants into the construction industry, faces a number of challenges. As part of growing the skills pipeline there is a need to create awareness and involvement in activities that will increase the visibility of the ACPM. This implies that there needs to be concerted effort to facilitate the entry of more new students into the Construction Management professions through changing youth mind sets regarding the Construction Management professions. The Young Professionals was launched specifically to address this challenged. This is being done in partnership with Sanlam and will be rolled out to all institutions of higher learning. This where we call up to our individual and corporate members to participate through guest lectures, serve on advisory committees and offer opportunities for experiential learning and bursaries where possible.
  4. Mentoring is a powerful development and empowerment tool as it helps candidates to progress in their careers, and its potential still needs to be realised. To provide a meaningful platform for development in South Africa we need investment in the facilities and infrastructure, and qualified, competent and experienced professionals to implement this investment. Mentors who guide the development of these professionals are essential to the sustainability of the profession. In addition, the investment in projects across both private and public sector has reduced resulting in downsizing or closure of firms which reduces the opportunity for employment and mentorship. The loss of experienced skills to migration further compounds the problem. There is an urgent need to help build the technical capacity in the public sector and it is in this vein that ACPM is formalising a partnership programme with the National Department of Public Works and all the provincial departments through a MOU and the development of a holistic implementation plan. The ACPM has already participated in various departmental programmes from the EXCO level.
  5. Anecdotal reports and trends from the registration and graduation statistics of accredited institutions indicate that a significant proportion of undergraduate graduates tend to migrate towards Quantity Surveying as opposed to specialising in Construction Management in their postgraduate academic studies. In addition, the Diploma in Building and B. Tech degree, although currently being phased out, currently cater for both quantity surveying and construction management thereby offering a further avenue for students to opt for quantity surveying which is seen as a more marketable and socially acceptable degree. A proactive strategy must be developed in consultation with all the stakeholders to address this exit point from the skills pipeline and ensure that we support the new entrants into the CPM profession. 

In order to achieve the above and other initiatives guided by our strategy, there is a need to improve operational efficiencies within the association. We will therefore be implementing a membership system before the end of the year that has the following features amongst others:  

  • Online membership applications 
  • Member Zone
  • Member billing management
  • Sending of SMSs to distribution lists and
  • Full security of system users  

I want to take the opportunity to thank the leadership of the ACPM and the individual and corporate members as a collective for their teamwork and commitment to build the ACPM. The achievements to date would not have been possible without the sponsorship and partnership agreements with various stakeholders both within the public and private sector, whom we also thank. Our aim is to develop and promote the CPM profession, and work with strategic partners to support the new entrants with professional skills, business and technical acumen. This will help the ACPM to serve a vehicle that ensures a seamless integrated strategy of supporting the CPM professional on the route from learner, student, graduate, candidate and ultimately to professional.