The marketing industry can now be measured in terms of classical professional standards as the Chartered Marketer SA (CMSA) programme now falls under the auspices of the Marketing Association of South Africa. Discussions with the Services SETA and other stakeholders, including the Services Seta Chartered Marketer Advisory Committee, have resulted in an agreement that the Chartered Marketer and Marketing Practitioner designations will, with immediate effect, be hosted and managed by the Marketing Association – MA(SA).
Senior marketers with a recognised degree in marketing plus at least five years experience in marketing (3 years at senior level) are invited to apply to be assessed in terms of SAQA-registered criteria. Senior marketers who do not have a degree but who have at least 10 years experience, five of which are at senior level, are also eligible to apply for assessment. The assessment is based on proven experience supported by a portfolio of evidence, the results of a three-day workshop and the final board assessment which involves applied case-studies.
The Marketing Practitioner (MPSA) assessment process and procedures are being finalised and information is expected to be available in the next few weeks. “The King 3 report, together with international developments in corporate governance, now place significant emphasis on the value of brand and the consequent imperative to protect reputation value. Brand and reputation have been recognised as significant risk factors that affect the sustainability of any organisation and the Marketing Director is the person responsible for managing this risk”, said the Executive Director of the Marketing Association, Chris de Villiers (FCIS).
De Villiers maintains that these developments now require Marketing Directors and the marketing personnel within organisations to be professionals who are accountable – just as Chartered Accountants and Chartered Secretaries are accountable to their respective professional bodies for conduct that is ethical, and that their competence and knowledge meet minimum prescribed standards.
“The Chartered Marketer designation (pegged at NQF level 7) and the Marketing Practitioner designation (NQF level 5) go a long way to promote a professional environment in which marketers operate”, says de Villiers. “The risk of placing competent professionals becomes more manageable when they are professionals accountable to an independent body – namely the Marketing Association of SA”. This accountability is achieved through the establishment of minimum barriers to entry with regard to formal qualifications and specified levels of competence and experience. Knowledge and skills are maintained through a compulsory programme of continuing professional development (CPD) and ethical standards are upheld and supported by a disciplinary structure that carries sanctions, penalties and in the case of gross misconduct, withdrawal of the designations from the offending individual.
Wits Business School (WBS) is currently the main provider of the designation assessment. The next assessment programmes to be hosted by Wits, will take place in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban towards the middle of 2011.