A registered government auditor (RGA) is a designation of the Southern African Institute of Government Auditors (SAIGA). It is considered the highest professional designation within public sector finance and auditing. It is a professional qualification offered at a post-graduate level at NQF level 8 and accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority. It represents experts with a broad knowledge of public sector regulatory frameworks, accrual and modified cash basis accounting frameworks, compliance auditing, finance audit, audit of performance objectives, and performance information audit.

The name “registered government auditor” may be perceived as a professional who is an auditor, however, an RGA is rigorously assessed in ethics, public sector regulatory frameworks, accounting, and auditing. Amongst others, the RGA curriculum covers principles and ethics of auditing, public financial management, financial accounting, and reporting, modified cash framework, organisational strategy and management, governance, risk management, budgetary management, tax and raising revenue, quality management, fraud & forensic audit, ICT audit and performance auditing.

Apply for a BCom or equivalent degree at a Southern African Institute of Government Auditors (SAIGA) recognised university or a University of Technology.

How do you know if the university programme is recognised by SAIGA?

  1. If the university programme has the following modules:
  2. Financial Accounting – 3rd Level
  3. Auditing – 3rd Year
  4. Management Accounting/ Financial Management
  5. Taxation
  6. Contact SAIGA via email: admin@saiga.co.za to confirm if the programme is recognised.
  7. Successfully complete a SAIGA-recognised postgraduate professional programme, Public Sector Auditor (PSA) with its accredited training provider, Public Sector Accounting and Audit Academy (PSAAA).
  8. Alternatively, if you already have a NQF level 8 qualification in Accounting, Auditing, or equivalent, email admin@saiga.co.za to determine credits for certain modules to enrol for or be excepted  from the PSA qualification.
  1.  Three years of articleship at a public sector institution, department, local municipality, or an accounting or audit firm exposed to public sector projects with SAIGA-accredited training offices.
  2. SAIGA-accredited training offices include but not limited to Auditor-General of South Africa, Government departments, public entities, metro and local municipalities, small, medium, and large Accounting and Auditing firms exposed to the Public Sector.
  3. Consider completing the SAIGA postgraduate professional programme during the first 12 months of your training contract.

Equipping you with practical experience whilst you apply everything you have learned at the university.

RGA key competencies for practical experience include the following:





Professional competencies of an RGA need to demonstrate ethical, accountability, integrity, cognisant and lifelong learning capabilities.

RGA Competencies RGA include being effective,  adding value, communicating effectively, and providing strategic direction to the client.

Management competencies of an RGA require ability to effectively manage personnel, processes, and the audit function.

Technical competencies of an RGA requires to planning and performing audit engagements in accordance with auditing and accounting standards.

Prospective RGAs must pass a Qualifying Examination and meet certain practical experience requirements before they can register as RGAs.

Once you have successfully completed your training contract and passed RGA Qualifying Exams, you can upgrade your membership with SAIGA to fellow member and start  enjoying the benefits and recognition that  come with the RGA designation.

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All prospective RGAs must pass the Registered Government Auditor Qualifying Examination (RGA-QE) with a minimum aggregate pass rate of 50%. The RGA-QE consists of three four-hour written examinations which are set by the Southern African Institute of Government Auditors’ Examination Board (EB).

After passing the RGA-QE and completing three years of articles, the candidate must apply to the Southern African Institute of Government Auditors for registration as an RGA and pay the annual registration fees.  By becoming a member of SAIGA, the RGA has a professional obligation/duty to maintain his/her competence levels and to stay informed of current developments and trends. This is achieved through a system of a continuous professional development (CPD) programme.


  1. Organisational Strategy and Management
  2. Good Governance in the Public Sector
  3. Risk Management in the Public Sector
  4. Ethics
  5. Public Financial Management Regulatory Framework and legislation
  1. Tax and Raising Revenue
  2. Financial Accounting in the Public Sector
  3. Reporting Framework: Modified Cash Standard and supporting Accounting Manual for Departments – issued by National Treasury
  4. Annual Financial Statements in terms of GRAP and IFRS
  1. Public Sector Auditing
  2. Financial Auditing
  3. Performance Auditing
  4. Auditing of Performance Information
  5. Using Information Technology in Audits (ICT Audit)
  6. Compliance Auditing
  7. Fraud Auditing
  8. Forensic Auditing
  9. Quality Management


Business Opportunities

RGAs benefit from business opportunities in the public sector where they provide audit, accounting, and advisory services. 

Private Sector Opportunities

Holding The RGA qualification does not limit you  to working in the public sector . The Public Audit Act allows SAIGA RGAs to use private sector audit firms to assist the Auditor-General in performing audits. SAIGA works with small, medium, and big accounting and audit firms annually to place  RGA trainees.

Public Sector Opportunities

RGAs’ careers are not limited to the AGSA.  Many SAIGA RGAs are employed in senior positions in Public Sector Organisations such as Chief Financial Officers due to their extensive competencies in public sector financial management. This position is equivalent to that of a financial director in the private sector. RGAs are employed in public entities, local government such as metro and local municipalities and government departments both at the provincial and national government levels.

International Opportunities 

Working as an RGA is not only limited to South Africa. RGAs are also internationally recognised and work at audit supreme institutions around the world , including Asia and Europe. 

The South African Auditor-General has been awarded the audit of several international organisations, including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations (UN). Appointments such as these provide an opportunity for an RGA employed by AGSA to also work both locally and abroad.

Trainee Opportunities

SAIGA provides exciting training opportunities for university graduates through its accredited training offices both in the private and public sector. SAIGA maintains a list of accredited audit and accounting firms that includes  small, medium, and big firms. Additionally, RGA trainees can also complete their articles or training programmes at public entities such as AGSA, National Treasury, government departments and municipalities.