The TPSA was originally established as a stand-alone Association in 1998 as an offshoot from the Southern African Institute of Theatre Technology (SAITT). At that time, corporate theatre, live music and the live-events industry were developing quickly, and industry practitioners recognised the need to develop an Association that existed independently of the traditional theatre community. Two years after the establishment of the TPSA, the SAITT was disbanded and the two groups again merged to form one Association covering both theatre and the technical production of other events.
A highlight of the TPSA’s early efforts was the development of SANS10366, the SA national standard for safety in the events industry. The first version of the standard was published in 2006, with subsequent versions published in 2009, 2012 and 2015. The document established safety standards for the events industry in South Africa, with the work of the TPSA identified in the opening credits for each edition.
Individuals applying for a designation are assessed based on a review of their education, work experience and work ethic. Candidates are also required to write an examination and provide a portfolio of evidence supporting their claim of competence. Members are required to adhere to a code of conduct that guides their actions and are expected to align their professional activities and practices to the legislation, standards and bylaws applicable to the events industry. Members are also required to participate in a programme of continuing professional development (CPD) that keeps them up to date with the trends and technologies shaping the future of event technology.
The TPSA Council is elected from amongst those SACIA members involved in event technica, and each elected member serves for a 2-year period. Current council members include Sharif Baker (chair), Dave Tudor, David Leverington, Grant Faiers, Hendrick Nemalili, Gary Sam, Trevor Mojela and Langa Mancunga. Kevan Jones serves as Executive Director.