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Frequently Asked Questions

The ethical practice of the health professions requires consistent and ongoing commitment to lifelong learning by all health practitioners, through a process of Continuous Professional Development (CPD). CPD assists health professionals to update and develop the knowledge, skills and ethical attitudes that underpin competent practice. This perspective protects the public interest and promotes the health of all members of the South African society.

Guided by the principle of compassion, health practitioners aspire to standards of excellence in health care provision and delivery. The Health Professions Act, 1974 (Act No. 56 of 1974) (as amended) endorses Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as the means for maintaining and updating professional competence, to ensure that the public interest is always promoted and protected, as well as ensuring the best possible health care service to the community. CPD should address the emerging health needs and be relevant to the health priorities of the country.

“Continuing education units” means the value attached to a learning activity for continuing professional development. 

A health practitioner is required to engage in CPD and accumulate CEUs per twelve-month period of which a specific number of CEUs should be for ethics, human rights and health law (see table below). All CEUs are valid for a period of 24 months from the date that the activity took place/ ended. CEUs may not to be allocated retrospective. 

Practitioners may obtain their units within their own discipline, speciality or sub-speciality or within another relevant discipline, speciality or sub-speciality that is relevant to their own professional practice.

Issuance of CPD certificate is no longer mandatory. The organiser of a CPD activity will provide attendance information to the HPCSA for every activity they have attended. They shall keep these for at least two years so that their certificates will be available, if required.

Health practitioners who are registered in two different professions or categories must meet the requirements of the boards that are applicable. Health practitioners registered in more than one category within the same professional board should only need to meet requirements for one category.

It refers to the fact that if a CPD activity has been accredited by an Accreditor for a specific Professional Board, all health care professionals may attend that activity if it is relevant to their specific scope of practice. Health practitioners will therefore not need to apply for that activity to be re-accredited by their own Professional Board to claim the CEUs accrued for attending that activity.

When health practitioners who are actively practising in South Africa attend an accredited professional or academic meeting or activity internationally, it will be recognised for CPD purposes. An accreditor in South Africa should accredit the activity attended internationally if not accredited/ recognised for CEUs equivalent in the country where it was held.

The names of bona fide non-compliant health practitioners will be submitted to the relevant professional boards, which might take any of the following actions

  • changing the category of registration to supervised practice; until proof of compliance with the CPD requirements are submitted;
  • successfully passing a Board Examination;
  • suspension from the register until submission of proof of compliance with the CPD requirements is submitted; or
  • any other resolution by the relevant professional board.

Health practitioners who are practising abroad in countries where a continuing professional development system is in place should comply with the requirements in that country and retain documentary proof of attendance at CPD activities for submission and submit a letter from the licensing authority confirming compliance/certificates via the online portal. For re-registration purposes, documentary proof of compliance must be submitted for continuing professional development purposes in South Africa. This proof may be in the form of a letter from the accrediting authority in the country concerned.

Retired health practitioners who are active on the register should be compliant with CPD.

Request for placement on the non-clinical register will only be considered with the relevant application form and affidavit.

Health practitioners in community service do not have to comply with CPD during community service but are encouraged to attend and may accrue CEUs, which will be to their credit for the full 24 months from date of accrual.

International students who decide to discontinue their studies for this semester on or before 30 April 2020 will have their tuition fees credited back onto to their student account at Stellenbosch University. Please click here for a full breakdown of refunds on tuition and accommodation fees.