According to Printing SA CEO Steve Thobela, the South African Institute of Printing (SAIP) is actively marketing a new product that will significantly improve the quality of printing, packaging and signage produced in South Africa. It is ‘warmware’- a professional designation open to all experienced printers in South Africa.
Thobela pointed out that this is crucial in South Africa, where good governance, ethics and professionalism are increasingly under the spotlight and rooting out corruption and malpractice is becoming almost a daily imperative.
‘Professionalism is a major issue, both in South Africa and worldwide. Ethical conduct is an integral part of being a professional SAIP member. SAIP has approved a protocol of ethics for the printing, packaging and signage profession. Members are required to ensure that their own Codes of Ethics are consistent with those of SAIP.’
It also addresses other critical problems in South Africa: unemployment and skills development.
‘The next time that you have toothache, would you want to visit a dentist who has had no new equipment or training in the last 20 years? I hope not. It’s the same when it comes to the art of printing, packaging and signage. You may be a brilliant technical printing operator, a highly skilled printing technician, a crackerjack print manager, a superb technical or non- technical print director but, if you're unprofessional, your career will fall short or the company that you work for will stumble,’ he said.
The SAIP has been ‘rebooted’ and is in the final throes of being recognised as a professional body. It is inviting all qualified and qualifying professional printers to join. This will enhance their qualifications, careers and future job opportunities and provide a marketable qualification and certificate for job seekers to include in their CVs.
Members, who pay a small annual fee, are required to adhere to a set of professional ethics as well as to earn CPD points by attending shows, exhibitions and seminars.
They are also required to accept and adhere to the following SAIP Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct:
- A member shall conduct himself or herself with integrity and dignity, and act in an ethical manner in his or her dealings with the public, clients, employers, employees, and fellow members.
- A member shall act with proper skill, care and diligence, and exercise independent professional judgement in the conduct of all professional dealings.
- A member shall always provide full and accurate information to clients.
- A member shall act with competence, and shall strive to maintain and improve his or her competence and that of others in the profession.
- A member shall maintain knowledge of and comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations of a government, governmental agency and regulatory organisation governing his or her professional, financial or business activities.
- A member shall not knowingly participate in, assist, or withhold knowledge of any acts in violation of any applicable law, rule or ethical code governing his or her profession, financial or business activities.
- Professional independence is the ability to act, and to be seen to act, with integrity and objectivity.
- Independence is fundamental to the relationship of trust between the member, the client and the public.
- A member may not solicit or accept any gift or inducement (whether by way of direct or indirect benefit) of a kind which is designed to influence his or her actions, or which may cause detriment to a client.
- A member may not offer or give to another any gift or inducement of a kind which is designed to influence the actions of the beneficiary, for personal gain, or which may directly or indirectly detrimental to a client.
- A member’s charges must be fair in their incidence and reasonable in their amount, having regard to all revealed circumstances.
- A member must preserve the confidentiality of information communicated by the client concerning matters within the scope of the confidential relationship, except to disclose information regarding illegal activities.
- A member shall not make any statements, orally or in writing, which misrepresent the services that the member can perform for the clients and/or the qualifications of the member.
- A member must be vigilant in identifying actual or potential conflicts of interest, and may not allow himself or herself to be placed in a position in which his or her obligations to one client are, or are likely to be perceived as conflicting with his or her obligations to another client, or to his or her own personal or professional interests.
- A member may not commit a criminal act that upon conviction materially reflects adversely on his or her honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a member in other respects; or engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud or misrepresentation.
- A member must in all professional dealings exercise care of the standard of a bona fide person dealing with his or her own affairs.
- A member must act promptly in accordance with instructions, unless he or she has discretion as to timing and uses that discretion in a responsible way.
- A member must ensure that he or she maintains adequate financial resources to meet his or her business commitments and to withstand the risks to which his or her profession is subject.