he initial design and development of the Integrated Continuing Professional Development (CPD) system for customs agents, freight forwarders and warehousing operators in East Africa has been completed.
Internal testing of the key components by system developers has been finalized. Plans are underway for external stakeholders to validate the CPD system. The system has been developed to coordinate and manage the CPD program for practitioners in the customs clearing and freight forwarding industry in East Africa. The system has also been integrated with the FEAFFA website for ease of access.
Use of the CPD system will start by piloting in Uganda and Rwanda. After the pilot phase, it is expected that the system will support the roll out of the CPD program across the entire EAC region.
Practitioners will either register directly on the system using a link or from FEAFFA’s main website. Each partner state will have a database of practitioners, trainers, and a list of freight forwarding firms. Each practitioner will be registered on the system with an individual profile including their personal details, company, country, their CPD activities, and corresponding points awarded within a given year.
The system will also have vital CPD program information for practitioners. This will include: CPD guidelines, FAQs, a yearly calendar of events, a list of facilitators, CPD coordinators, accredited CPD providers and approved training institutions for each country.
The information on CPD points will inform the industry stakeholders on whether a given practitioner is compliant with the requirements of CPD programs each year or not.
Development of the CPD system is part of the larger EAC Logistics Skills enhancement program supported by TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) to enhance the skills and competencies of agents for high quality end to end service provision. This is thus expected to significantly contribute to the reduction in the cost of doing business across the borders of the EAC partner states.
CPD program aims at promoting a professional freight logistics industry for trade facilitation and regional economic growth. This will be achieved by constantly keeping the practitioners abreast with dynamics that constantly occur within the industry.
The program targets customs clearing agents, freight forwarders, warehouse operators and Transporters across the EAC region.
The implementation of CPD program is being done in close collaboration with the East African Revenue Authorities (EARAs), National associations of the Freight Forwarding industry and the EAC Directorate of Customs.