In EAPA-SA’s first EduWeb seminar of 2022, hosted by Andiswa Lefakane, Memberships Portfolio Holder and featuring a panel made up of several members of the EAPASA Board, (President Thiloshni Govender, Vice-President Radhi Vandayar and Education Portfolio Holder Dr Pravesh Bhoodram) and Egoli Chapter Chairperson, Smangele Simelane, participants were introduced to the contents, benefits and industry ramifications of EAPASA’s ground-breaking Service Providers’ Guide.

First up, EAPASA President, Thiloshni Govender, kicked off by introducing EAPASA and what roles the Association fulfils, as the appointed guardian in the EAP industry in South Africa. These include consumer protection as well as ensuring fair competition and high standards of practice. Reflecting on the need for a Service Provider Guide (SPG) that defines and differentiates service providers (SPs), Thiloshni highlighted how grouping all SPs together on one level no longer made sense and fails to assist organisations in articulating what they need and competently finding a suitable match in the marketplace. 

Service Provider differentiators are now based on the following SPG criteria:

  • Applicable EAP core mandate 
  • Scope/range of services linked to EAP core technologies and standards
  • Dimensions of wellness serviced – physical, financial, spiritual, psychological, social etc.
  • Capacity  
  • Staffing – number of employees and affiliates 
  • Proof of good standing – SARS Tax Clearance Certificates, AFS 
  • Professional representation in multiple disciplines
  • Number of clients/ lives served
  • Experience in the EAP field
  • Contribution to the EA Field through research, publications, sponsorship, CPD activities
  • Chapter meetings /support

 

Thiloshni said, “The SPG is the result of extensive research, benchmarking, consultation and debate… It’s a work in progress, but it is a start for us in South Africa, so please be patient if we’ve overlooked anything…As we move forward, time and experience will help us improve the guide. For SPs, creating these categories gives them a starting point. It makes direction and milestones visible and provides a clear picture of what progression looks like, while providing recognition along the way.”

Dr Pravesh Bhoodram followed by unpacking some of the benefits to be derived by service providers and individuals working in EAP brought by being a member of EAPASA. These are numerous and include:

  • Industry recognition
  • Access to vetting and validation
  • Protection, mediation and quality assurance
  • Professional development
  • Networking opportunities
  • Earning CPD points
  • Profile on website
  • Access to annual EduWeek 
  • Access to Eduweb seminars 
  • Opportunity for advertising

Vice President, Radhi Vandayar, presented next, providing attendees with a roadmap showing EAPASA growth and development over 25 years toward becoming the future EAP industry statutory body in South Africa. One key element is member growth and to show a consistent membership of above 300 members. This is to prove the industry has a significant population working in the field. It means that EAPASA accreditation through recurring membership registration with an allocated designation is of vital importance to the legitimacy and professionalism of the EA industry. 

Egoli Chapter Chairperson, Smangele Simelane, presented on the SPG benefit to be obtained by the EAP Buyer as follows:

  • The SPG will help EAP Buyers through offering an opportunity to assess their needs prior to approaching the market.
  • The Guide provides a centralised platform through which service providers will be scrutinised, monitored and quality managed.
  • The Guide also provides a transparent platform for EAP providers and helps to eliminate the number of rapidly increasing service providers that cannot be measured and held to professional standards.
  • It will assist in providing a process that will be consistent with the following outcomes:
    • reinforcing compliance in procurement of EAP services
    • enforcing efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery
    • reducing risks in provision of EAP services
  • The Guide provides an opportunity to strengthen professional EAP Services Providers

If you have any membership questions, get in touch with EAPASA Office Manager, Theresa Vika at officemanager@eapasa.co.za and she will be happy to assist you. 

If you missed this very significant EduWeb seminar and would like to get a comprehensive overview –  to understand more about the SP categories that define different service providers in the EA industry in South Africa – be sure to watch it on EAPASA’s Facebook page. Click here to benefit from this valuable education.