Chapter Focus: Western Cape Chapter | EAPA-SA

The Western Cape Chapter is a small modest EAPA-SA chapter nestled in Cape Town.  The Chapter, while primarily being Cape Town-based, has members and visitors from as far as George and Piketberg.

Like the Mother City the chapter is relaxed, friendly and moves at its own pace while maintaining professionalism and focus.  The Chapter’s fifteen members and an equal number of visitors regularly attend the activities and events, benefitting from development and exposure within the EAP industry.   The Western Cape Chapter predated the formation of EAPA-SA when it had links to the IPM as an EWP forum. Over the years, since the 1990’s, the Chapter has grown and become very focused in the provision of developmental programmes to its members. This serves as both an attraction, due the SACSSP CPD which has been awarded for more than five years (the Chapter being the pioneer in this matter), as well as a place for members to meet and interact.

The Western Cape Chapter offers its members and friends (who REGULARLY become members) the opportunity to meet and interact on a regular basis. This provides both networking and personal support to its members, many who are isolated in organisations or who are in private practice. The time allowed to share ideas, successes, concerns and struggles in the industry has been found most valuable to many. The providers who support us gain business exposure, and it is a common occurrence for initial contacts to form strategic alliances.

The Western Cape Chapter provides regular CPD (SACSSP) accredited developmental sessions where CDP can be earned.  As an example, last year over the five sessions conducted, 20 CPD points could be accumulated. This provides a valuable resource to those unable to attend conferences or get their CPD in alternate ways.

The multiple highlights last year are embodied and clear to see in the calibre of speakers we attracted and the relevance of the topics covered.  Topics covered over the year included self-care and resilience, diversity, anger management and were presented by either expert guest or conducted as group discussions.  The issues raised from these discussions inspired members to look critically at themselves, their work and organisation.  The building of strong thinking members is a value which the Western Cape has pursued and continues to see as a priority in the future.

The next year of developmental meetings is planned with a possible six sessions being arranged. Topics will vary from legal matters to personal fatigue and self-care. This year is an election year of office bearers for the Western Cape Chapter, a task which members need to give due consideration.  To financially sustain itself further (the Chapter does not charge its members for developmental programmes) a possible day conference is being considered for later in the year. It is hoped that we can attract some interesting speakers and have members and friends, and more new friends, join for this activity.

The Western Cape Chapter recognises the ongoing changes occurring in the EAP field and seeks to embrace these changes. In the past the EAP has developed from a client-focussed field to incorporating organisational needs and is now technologically driven; and for its part the Western Cape Chapter has attracted a broad variety of non-traditional and alternate areas of discussion and will grow and develop as the inevitable wave of change billows through the industry.

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