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SAIP - Professional Physicist 
592  SAIP - Professional Physicist 
SAIP - South African Institute of Physics  Registered 
SAQA 164/21  2021-07-29  2022-06-30 

Physics is a basic science that is a basis for all science and technology disciplines. This results in its graduates working in every sector imaginable. Therefore Professional Physicist Designation caters for a wide range of industries and economic sectors. Hence the designation caters for any physicists who graduated with a physics related Degree or has relevant required training and experience working in either; industry, commerce, government, academia, research, theoretical physics, experimental physics, and uses physics skills and thought processes in their job/career.

Professional Physicist proves that one has a level of knowledge and experience that can be relied on by employers. Professional Physicists agree to be bound by a code of conduct that reflects best practice and advance their competence through continuous professional development.

The Professional Physicist will have the following skills:
  • Application of general and specialist knowledge of Physics for example:
    > Evaluate data critically, drawing logical conclusions.
    > Apply a logical approach to problem solving.
    > Apply a creative problem-solving approach to physics-related projects.
    > Publish in scientific journals to further the understanding of the physics community.
    > Promote innovation and technology transfer.
    > Supervise undergraduate or postgraduate physics students.
    > Design and deliver training programmes.
    > Contribute to the public understanding of physics.
  • Applying physics to the analysis and solution of problems:
    > Identify potential projects and opportunities using your physics knowledge.
    > Conduct and document appropriate research and design possible solutions.
    > Plan and implement solutions.
    > Evaluate solutions and make improvements.
  • Technical and managerial skills:
    > Plan for effective project implementation.
    > Make effective use of all resources (such as people, time, finance.
    > Physics knowledge) and demonstrate leadership in carrying out tasks.
    > Develop the capabilities of people for whom you are responsible, e.g. students, team members, to meet the demands of changing technical and managerial requirements.
  • Communication and interpersonal skills:
    > Communicate clearly and effectively with others at all levels, by both oral and written methods.
    > Present and discuss concepts, ideas and plans convincingly and objectively with your superiors and others.
    > Participate effectively within a team.
    > Exert appropriate influence and effective leadership qualities. 
    For the Professional Designation to be awarded, professionals must comply with the following minimum requirements: 
    Underlying Registered Qualification or Part Qualification:
  • A 3-year Bachelors or equivalent Degree in Physics or a related field and an additional minimum of six years experience in a Physics-related activity.
  • An Honours or equivalent Degree in Physics or a related field and an additional minimum of five years experience in a Physics-related activity.
  • A Masters or equivalent Degree in Physics or a related field and an additional minimum of three years experience in a Physics-related activity.
  • A Doctorate or equivalent Degree in Physics or a related field. 
  • Experiential Learning or Experience
    Work experience will be considered physics- related if it uses physics directly, or if it significantly utilizes physics modes of thought such as the approach to problem-solving developed in physics education and/or derived from experience in working as a physicist, regardless of whether the experience is in academia, industry, government, or elsewhere. This includes management of physics-related work, supervision of physics-related post graduate student work, and the teaching of physics. Evaluation of physics-related experience shall be based on the following criteria:
  • Practical experience.
  • Management skills, where applicable.
  • Understanding of the social implications of physics and the need for ethical conduct. 
  • Competency Assessment
    Designation RPL Statement
    This Designation may be awarded through Recognition of Prior Learning. 
    In order to ensure the currency of professional knowledge and to retain the Professional Designation, the professional must comply with the following minimum requirements: 
    Code of Conduct
    Members must adhere to the Professional Body Codes of Conduct and Ethics. 
    Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
    Please refer to By-laws Chapter 1 section 1.9 (g) Extension of Certification and Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

    In summary:
  • The Professional Physicist Certification shall be renewed on application every five years.
  • Continuous Professional Development (CPD) shall run in 5-year cycles, during which period each certified physicist shall be required to accumulate a minimum of 25 Credits in order to retain certification.
  • In any one year, the certified physicist shall be required to accumulate a minimum of 5 Credits.

    Professional Physicists shall ensure a balance in their CPD activities between the following three categories:
    Category 1:
  • Developmental Activities, 4 Credits, 40 hours (10 hours/Credit).

    Category 2:
    Work-based activities:
  • Work within Specialty Field, 2 Credits, 800 hours (400 hours/Credit).
  • Mentoring of candidate practitioners, 1Credit, 50 hours (50 hours/Credit).

    Category 3:
    Individual Activities:
  • Membership of a recognised voluntary association, 1 Credit, (not linked to hours).
  • Other activities, 3 Credits, 30 hours (10 hours/Credit). 
  • Fees
    Ensure that the annual membership fee is paid. 

    (The Designation being reported on here is shown in italics.)

    Sequence Designation ID Designation Title
    1592SAIP - Professional Physicist

    For more information on this Professional Designation, please visit