The South African Institute of Printing (SAIP) has been rebooted and is in the final throes of being recognised as a Professional Body. A new council has been formed to guide this process, to set standards and to promote membership of the SAIP, which is a nonprofit organisation.
The newly reconstituted SAIP board, which operates under the auspices of Printing SA, is in full swing with Mike Bath as President, Thandi Moyo as Vice President, Mpho Ratlhogo as Treasurer, Steve Thobela as CEO and a number of reputable industry leaders and specialists with a wealth of experience on the board and heading different subcommittees. The board is dedicated to supporting those in the print industry.
Application forms can be found at http://printingsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SAIP-Membership-Application-Form.pdf. You can also contact Printing SA for more information.
Former Antalis South Africa MD Keith Solomon was voted onto the SAIP board and is involved in Ethics, Discipline and Marketing. '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 is likely to fall short or the company that you work for, stumble,' he said.
Solomon also has the following advice on professionalism:
Make expertise your specialty
The very word professional implies that you are an expert. Technical competence is essential in printing.
• Become an expert in the skills and tools necessary to do your job.
• Always perform to the best of your ability.
• Keep your knowledge up to date.
• Join a Professional Body such as the SAIP.
Professionals know their trade
Professionals practice good manners and proper etiquette. They have high ethical, technical and quality standards. They are honest and fair in all of their dealings with others. A professional obeys the law. These may sound like the attributes of a boy scout, but they are basic values that all professionals should follow. Many companies have a document that outlines their operating principles. Have you read yours?
Professionals adhere to high values and principles
Working with professionals is a pleasure, and I have been fortunate to work with some truly exemplary ones. There have been a few who liked to be treated as professionals without having to work and act like one. You don't have to look any further than the medical, finance and auditing professions to see examples of true professionals. Think back upon those doctors you've liked the most and model your professionalism after theirs.
So, how do you measure up? Don't feel bad if you need some work in one or more areas. Demeanour that is less than professional can lead to an image problem for you and your company. Negative images are hard to shake. Recognise any shortcomings you might have and begin working on your professional image and qualifications today.
Not unlike a chartered accountant, a medical professional, a marketing expert or a lawyer, you would be entitled to letters after your name. Initially this will be SAIP. It will enhance your qualifications, career, self-esteem, future job opportunities, your business card and you'll have a certificate to hang on the wall.
'You will be required to keep your knowledge up-to-date and there will be a nominal annual fee (ranging from R50 per annum for a student to R350 for the various categories). For a printing, packaging, or signage company, it would be an excellent marketing tool to boast of Print Professionals in your team setting standards of excellence,' added Solomon.