Accreditation

Introduction to the Corporate Legal Counsel Professional Designation Collection

All organizations, including public and private organizations should have a qualified and effective in-house legal team, which provides the organization and its employees with legal service, advice and counsel.

 

CCASA is recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) as the Professional Body which represents the in-house Corporate Legal Counsel profession in South Africa, under registration number:  PB 0000102.  CCASA aims to promote the in-house Corporate Legal Counsel as a profession.

 

Anyone who works in the in-house legal or Corporate Legal Counsel environment should be a CCASA member. This includes lawyers, attorneys, advocates, paralegals, contract managers, compliance officers and company secretaries. 

 

The persons making up this in-house legal team must possess specialist business and legal skills and competencies as well as knowledge and expertise, all of which is exercised in a professional, diligent and ethical manner.  These persons must act as trusted business and legal advisors to their respective organizations.

 

About the CCASA Professional Designations making up the Corporate Legal Counsel Collection

 

In order to act as an ethical and competent member of the in-house legal team, such persons must be able to satisfy and meet the criteria set out in the respective CCASA Corporate Legal Counsel competency frameworks.

 

CCASA, by virtue of it being recognized by the SAQA as the professional body which represents the Corporate Legal Counsel profession in South Africa, is allowed to assess, accredit and award professional designation(s) to its members in the following categories:

  • Corporate Legal Support Practitioner [CLSP ₠ – (SA)];
  • Corporate Legal Counsel [CLC ₠ – (SA)];
  • Corporate Senior Legal Counsel [CSLC ₠ – (SA)];
  • Corporate General Counsel [CGC ₠ – (SA)].

 

Purpose of the designations making up the Corporate Legal Counsel Collection

 

Whilst all professionals comprising an in-house legal team hold certain legal degrees and qualifications, in the past and certainly up and until the formal recognition of CCASA by the SAQA, there were no professional or occupational qualification criteria in South Africa for Corporate Legal Counsel and support staff, which set the standard and benchmark for the in-house profession.
CCASA, in close collaboration with:  

  • the in-house legal profession in South Africa;
  • a variety of international in-house Associations through the CCASA membership with the In-House Counsel World Wide Association (ICW) and the ACCA;
  • its members; and
  • the SAQA,

 

has developed a set of competency frameworks and related assessment tools which set the standard for the Corporate Legal Counsel profession in South Africa.

 

The CCASA collection of designations for Corporate Legal Counsel and support staff comprising and making up the in-house legal team, are designed to enhance the role of Corporate Legal Counsel as a profession in South Africa. This will ultimately not only lend credibility to the Corporate Legal Counsel profession, but will allow accredited Corporate Legal Counsel and Corporate Legal Support Staff to:

  • demonstrate their knowledge, skills, expertise and experience;
  • evidence their commitment to ongoing professional development and learnings;
  • demonstrate their integrity and commitment to moral, ethical and legal duties;
  • determine and establish transitional career paths from Legal Support to General Counsel;
  • evolve from being a lawyer to a competent and trusted business advisor.

 

Principles, criteria and rules relating to the awarding and revoking of professional designations

 

By virtue of the SAQA accreditation and recognition programme, CCASA has been given the right to assess applicants and following a successful assessment programme to award successful applicants, depending on the assessment programme, one of four specific Professional Designations along the Progression Pathway of Corporate Legal Counsel.

 

This will be done in-line with the CCASA Award of Professional Designations Policy.

 

CCASA’s Professional Designations are voluntary and those members or non-members who have no Professional Designation are still entitled to practice as in-house Corporate Legal Counsel in South Africa.

 

The four Professional Designations may only be awarded to members who:

  • is employed either as a Support Function or as Corporate Legal Counsel in a legal department within an organization;
  • is in good standing with CCASA;
  • makes a formal CCASA application to be assessed;
  • submits the required testimonials from his or her line managers and/or peers;
  • meets the criteria for the awarding of the relevant Professional Designation, including the award of a relevant underlying qualification and defined prior learnings;
  • subscribes to the CCASA’s Codes and Policies;
  • has paid the prescribed application fee;
  • undertakes to complete the required CPD over the accreditation period.

 

No person may style himself or herself as holding any CCASA Professional Designation(s), unless they have formally been awarded the CCASA Professional Designation(s) by CCASA.

 

The award of the Professional Designation is for a period of twelve months.  The re-award of the Professional Designation after that period is subject to the accredited person complying with CCASA’s requirements for Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

 

CCASA may revoke an accredited person’s Professional Designation if such person:

  • no longer is a CCASA member; or
  • is not a CCASA Member in good standing; or
  • is found to be in breach of any of CCASA’s Codes and Policies, including the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct;
  • no longer practices as a bona fide Legal Support Function or Corporate Legal Counsel in a legal department within an organization;
  • no longer is active in CCASA’s geographical jurisdiction, being South Africa.

 

Application Procedure Guideline
 
Form A – Request for Tax Invoice
 
Application – Corporate Legal Support Practitioner
 
Application – Corporate Legal Counsel
 
Application – Corporate Senior Legal Counsel
 
Application – Corporate General Counsel
 
Criteria for Recognition of Foreign Qualifications