Professional Bodies and Associations in Kenya 2021-10-25T07:16:24+00:00

Professional Bodies and Associations in Kenya

This information is provided by KNQA regarding professional bodies and associations in Kenya. There are 27 Professional bodies and Associations that operate in the country and regulate the training and conduct of their members. Some have legal mandate (established under Kenyan law), while others are loose associations representing members of the profession. According to the KNQF act section 5 (1), if a professional body or a professional association wishes to be involved in education and training leading to an award of qualifications in the country, it needs to co-operate with the relevant External Quality Assurance agencies (ETQA) such as CUE (for University sector), TVETA (for TVET) and ESQAC (for basic education) to support qualification development, accreditation and quality assurance in order to do so. The KNQA sets national standards for accreditation, Quality Assurance, assessment and examination, to guide all players.

If a professional body is awarding Qualifications, it cannot continue to function without KNQA accreditation and recognition of its qualifications. In Kenya, professional bodies/associations have different powers as set out in the legal instruments establishing them. Some Professional bodies only register their members while others are involved in short term training for continuous professional development (for which they do not require recognition within the KNQF), while others are involved in elaborate accreditation, quality assurance and even awarding of qualifications. The later require accreditation and recognition within the KNQF and must abide by KNQA regulations on Quality assurance, examination and assessment of qualifications. The KNQA also requires that there is enough separation of roles in the training and education arena; and advices that it is not prudent for one institution to develop curricular, teach and/or train, carry out QA, examine/assess and award qualifications. Our advice is that for any professional qualification, those roles need to be properly separated among various institutions.
Because we have not had a coherent evolution of this sector, we have professional bodies that carry out quality assurance of their own training. An additional area of conflict could arise when a professional body, which is also an accredited provider, is required to accredit and/or quality assure other providers (its competitors) for the qualifications it already offers.

KNQA is the only body that recognizes professional bodies and registers professional designations into the KNQF. If a professional body wishes to contribute to qualification development, accreditation and quality assurance it must co-operate with the relevant ETQA. The amount of collaboration between a professional body and ETQA, depends on what is provided for in the law establishing the professional body. Currently the KNQA is working to develop the Kenya National Qualifications Classification Standard (KNQCS). It will be required that all training institutions, professional bodies and ETQAs use this standard when designating names of qualifications under their jurisdiction. A person can hold any number of professional designations, each awarded by a different professional body. The National Learner Records Database will be able to record more than one designation per person.

A professional body which regulates an industry or profession, and which wishes to be involved in the education and/or training and awarding of qualifications can apply for recognition by the KNQA if it adheres to KNQA standards on QA, assessment and examination of qualifications. It is, however, important to demarcate the different roles the professional body will play, so that members and other organizations understand the different roles, by different players in that sector. KNQA will, during the evaluation of an application for recognition and accreditation, assess, amongst other things, the governance structure, the management structure, the sustainability of the professional body and if the professional body is carrying out what is prescribed in the law that established it. Only if an internationally recognized professional designation adheres to the policies and standards set by the KNQA can it be registered on the KNQF by KNQA.

Here below is the list of Professional bodies and/or Associations in Kenya

  1. Architectural Association of Kenya;
  2. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants;
  3. Association of Private Universities in Kenya;
  4. Association of Professional Societies of East Africa;
  5. Association of Public Universities in Kenya;
  6. Board of Registration of Architects and Quantity Surveyors, Kenya;
  7. Chartered Institute of Arbitrators;
  8. Chartered Institute of Management;
  9. Clinical Officers Council;
  10. Council for Legal Education;
  11. Engineers Board of Kenya;
  12. Institute of Certified Public Accountants;
  13. Institute of Certified Public Secretaries;
  14. Institute of Human Resource Management;
  15. Institution of Surveyors of Kenya;
  16. Kenya Association of Technical Training Institutes;
  17. Kenya Medical laboratory Technicians and Technologists;
  18. Kenya National Association of Agricultural Professionals;
  19. Kenya National Association of Private Colleges;
  20. Kenya Nutritionists and Dieticians Institute;
  21. Kenya Engineering Technology Registration Board;
  22. Kenya Veterinary Board;
  23. Media Council of Kenya;
  24. Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board;
  25. Nursing Council of Kenya;
  26. Pharmacy and Poisons Board;
  27. The Marketing Society of Kenya;

There are three External Quality Agencies in Kenya

  1. Commission for University Education (CUE,; for University education.
  2. Educational Standards and Quality Assurance Council (ESQAC); for Basic Education; and
  3. Technical and Vocational Education Training Authority (TVETA,; for TVET level training.

Qualification Framework