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2012-07-27

TO ALL: Nursing Education Institutions
Provincial Departments of Health
Stakeholders

Dual Submission of Programmes for Accreditation to South African Nursing Council (SANC) and Council on Higher Education (CHE)

1.    PURPOSE

bulletTo meet requirements for registration of programmes and registration of professional designation
bulletTo guide nursing education institutions (NEI's) when developing curriculum/s for submission to SANC and CHE 

2.    BACKGROUND

The South African Nursing Council as a statutory body and ETQA has responsibility of ensuring compliance by nursing education institutions with the Nursing Act No. 33 of 2005 and other relevant legislation in provisioning of nursing education and training.  The Nursing Act, 2005 (Act No. 33 of 2005), chapter 2, section 42, sub-sections (1), (2), (3) and (4) states that:

"(1)    An institution intending to conduct a nursing education and training programme in order to prepare persons for practice in any one of the categories contemplated in section 31 (of the Act) must firstó

(a)    apply to the Council in writing for accreditation and submit information onó

(i)    the education and training programme to be provided; and

(ii)    how it will meet the prescribed standards and conditions for education and training;

(b)    furnish the Council with any additional information required by the Council for purposes of accreditation of the education and training programme; and

(c)    pay the prescribed fee."

The Higher Education Act of 1997 assigns responsibility for quality assurance in higher education in South Africa to the Council on Higher Education (CHE).  This responsibility is discharged through its permanent sub-committee, the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC).  The mandate of the HEQC includes quality promotion, institutional audit and programme accreditation.  The HEQCís criteria for programme accreditation should be used as the basis for an institutionís self-evaluation of the programme(s) submitted for accreditation, along with additional benchmarks which the institution might set for itself.  The HEQC will use the criteria, the self-evaluation report and supporting evidence provided by the institution, in the evaluation of applications for programme accreditation (new programmes) or reaccreditation (existing programmes).

3.    SCOPE AND PRIMARY FOCUS OF SOUTH AFRICAN NURSING COUNCIL

All providers/applicant provider organizations that fall within the scope of the SANC and which offer education and training programmes which culminate in specified qualifications or who manage the assessment thereof, or both, must be accredited by the South African Nursing Council, as stipulated in the Nursing Act, 2005 (Act No. 33 of 2005), section 42, in order to offer such education and training and assessment.

In this regard, the SANC will only:

bulletaccredit constituent providers that fall within its primary focus area
bulletperform both institutional and learning programme accreditation for constituent providers in co-operation with Higher Education Quality Committee
bulletperform education and training or assessment in terms of specific NQF qualifications that fall within its scope

4.    GENERAL CRITERIA FOR ACCREDITATION OF PROGRAMME

The conformance criteria that are set by SANC are as follows:

bulletProgramme design
bulletStudent recruitment, admission and selection
bulletStaff selection, appraisal and development
bulletTeaching and learning strategy
bulletLearning programmes
bulletStudent assessment and procedures
bulletPhysical, administrative and financial resources
bulletManagement of clinical practice learning
bulletManagement of assessment and moderation
bulletAppeal process
bulletRecord keeping and reporting
bulletQuality management system

HEQC has set the following criteria:

bulletProgramme design
bulletStudent recruitment, admission and selection
bulletStaffing
bulletTeaching and learning strategy
bulletStudent assessment and procedures
bulletInfrastructure and library resources
bulletProgramme administrative services
bulletPost graduate policies, regulations and procedures
bulletProgramme coordination
bulletAcademic development for student success
bulletTeaching and learning interactions
bulletStudent assessment practices
bulletCoordination of work-based learning
bulletDelivery of post basic programmes
bulletStudent retention and throughput rates
bulletProgramme impact

5.    ACCREDITATION PROCESS

All prospective providers will be treated as new applicants as these will be new qualifications.  Approach to accreditation is based on:

bulletSelf-evaluation against general criteria and specific requirements specified in the relevant occupational curriculum components (subjects and or modules)
bulletA culture of self-regulation and strong links to relevant professional, occupational and industry bodies and associations will be encouraged to maintain and raise standards.  The process includes the following steps which can lead to provisional, conditional or full accreditation of the provider:  (See flowcharts below)

 

Click here to see SANC ACCREDITATION PROCESS flowchart

 

Click here to see CHE ACCREDITATION PROCESS flowchart

 

6.    OUTCOMES OF ACCREDITATION

The review panel first evaluates the programme(s) against each individual criterion as set out in the Criteria for Programme Accreditation.  The following categories are used to classify the results in each instance:

a)    Commend/Accredit: the minimum standards specified in the criterion were fully met and, in addition, good practices and innovation were identified in relation to the criterion

b)    Meets minimum standards/Accredit:  Minimum standards as specified in the criteria were met

c)    Needs improvement/ accredit provisionally:  Did not comply with all the minimum standards specified in the criterion.  Problems/weaknesses could be addressed in a short period of time

d)    Does not comply/ Not accredited:  Did not comply with the majority of the minimum standards specified in the criterion

7.    PERIOD OF ACCREDITATION

SANC:  New programmes will be accredited as follows:

bulletNew one and two year programmes may be accredited for a maximum of three years.
bulletNew programmes with a duration of three years and longer may be accredited for a maximum of six years

HEQC:  New programmes will be accredited as follows:

bulletNew one and two year programmes may be accredited for a maximum of three years.
bulletNew programmes with a duration of three years and longer may be accredited for a maximum of six years

8.    HANDLING OF AN APPLICATION THAT DOES NOT MEET ACCREDITATION REQUIREMENTS

Office of the Council sends a letter giving prospective provider another three (3) months to rectify outstanding requirements

Prospective provider may apply for an extension of up to an additional three (3) months

9.    HANDLING OF RE-SUBMISSION OF AN APPLICATION

Office of the Council reviews re-submission and decides on the following:

bulletto send re-submission to Accreditation committee
bulletto schedule further accreditation visit; or
bulletto decline application

10.    APPEALS

Appeals are dealt with in line with the Appeals Policy and Procedure.  An applicant provider or organisation may access the SANC Appeals Policy and Procedure(1) should the organisation be dissatisfied with any of the following during the accreditation process:

bulletthe accreditation decision
bulletthe accreditation process itself; or
bulletthe evidence requirements for accreditation

NB:  The policy stipulates time frames for appeals.  If no appeal is forthcoming within the specified period, the results will be accepted as final and binding.

11.    PROVIDER MONITORING AND AUDITS

Providers will receive a monitoring visit in the first year after accreditation and will be audited at least once per accreditation period.

Additional monitoring and auditing will take place at the discretion of SANC.  Such monitoring and auditing can take place without prior notice.

Any queries regarding above-mentioned circular must be directed to:

Dr. S. W. Mkhize: Senior Manager: Education and Training

Phone: 012  420-1022

E-mail:  smkhize@sanc.co.za

 

Signed
Mr. T. Mabuda
Registrar and CEO
South African Nursing Council

(1)  See SANC Appeals Policy and Procedure


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