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TMA SA Designation Process

An overview of the key components of the designation process is described below. Thereafter a process diagram that covers the entire designation process is provided.


The TMA-SA acknowledges that at this stage no specific degree in turnaround management is offered by a South African registered and accredited higher education institution. As a result, the TMA-SA accepts a South African NQF registered cognate Bachelor’s degree, or duly recognised equivalent, as the underlying qualification required by a designation applicant.

Where an applicant does not have a cognate degree, the candidate can follow an RPL route as set out in the TMA-SA RPL policy. This is RPL for equivalence and not RPL for credit.


The Companies Act refers to three levels of experience, namely Junior, Experienced and Senior. The Act further stipulates the experience requirement as less than 5 years [Junior], more than 5 but less 10 [Experienced] and 10 or more years [Senior]. TMA-SA has set its requirement for Associate, Certified and Professional designations to align with these stipulated levels.

TMA-SA requires the candidate to provide verifiable evidence or relevant experience in:

  • Accounting, Finance & Tax
  • Legal (Business and Commercial Law)
  • Turnaround Management / Strategy
  • Turnarounds & Business Rescue
  • Professional Skills and ethics

This verifiable evidence is to be backed up by an affidavit attesting to the work completed as a turnaround specialist, along with a reflection on the applicant’s role in the processes described. Applicants who are later found to have presented false evidence will have their designation removed and will thus not be permitted to use any professional designation.


The candidate will be required to submit a declaration of commitment to the approved TMA-SA Code of Conduct annually.

Certified Rescue Analyst (CRA) exam

The CRA certificate is TMA-SA’s applied knowledge keystone assessment. It is currently managed by the University of Pretoria, Economic and Management Science Faculty (UP). UP supports the certificate with an exam readiness programme. The exam applies to candidates at all three designation levels.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Where an applicant does not consider it is necessary to take the CRA exam, the applicant may follow the RPL route as set out in the TMA-SA RPL policy.

The RPL will involve the preparation and assessment of a portfolio of evidence. This is to determine the applicant’s ability to apply theory to a turnaround scenario.


TMA-SA is committed to the responsibilities of a SAQA recognised professional body as specified in the SAQA Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). The policy states that SAQA recognised professional bodies must:

  1. Comply with the national SAQA Policy and Criteria for the Recognition of Professional Bodies and the Registration of Professional Designations (2012). 
  2. Include an RPL route as an integral requirement for attainment of its professional designations as stipulated in the SAQA Policy and Criteria for the Recognition of Professional Bodies and the Registration of Professional Designations (2012).
  3. Collaborate with SAQA, the Quality Councils and the relevant providers to incentivise and advance quality RPL provisioning in the sector.
  4. Progressively develop and enhance its capacity to initiate and support RPL provision in accordance with this policy.

With this in mind , the TMA-SA has adopted an open approach (see below) to new applicants for the TMA-SA designations.

  • RPL Policy - download to the full RPL Policy document

Final Panel Assessment Interview.

The designation Committee will appoint a panel of interviewers (designation Panel). The Assessment Panel will nominate three interviewers from the assessment pool to interview each applicant against the designation competencies. In addition, the panel will also evaluate the softer aspects required of the profession.

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