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Circular 3/2018
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Circular 3/2018

23 March 2018


TO: Health Regulation and Compliance (National Department of Health)
Office of the Chief Nursing Officer  (National Department of Health)
Directors on Nursing Education (Provincial Department of Health)
Directors on Nursing Services/Practice (Provincial Department of Health)
Nursing Education Institutions
All Relevant Stakeholders




The purpose of this document is to update the Nursing profession and relevant Stakeholders about the Council’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and specifically the planning and implementation progress thereof. 


The South African Nursing Council (SANC), in line with the provisions of the Nursing Act, 2005 (Act No. 33 of 2005), is in the process of developing a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) System. This process commenced in 2013. To ensure reasonable participation in this process, the SANC established a CPD Technical Working Group (TWG) to assist it to drive the project.
The development of the CPD System is a response to the need expressed by the profession and the process of CPD seeks to ensure that Nurse Practitioners remain up-to-date with the required competencies for their specific areas of practice in Nursing. It is also seen as a mechanism that will provide opportunities to practitioners to pursue and achieve professional growth throughout their careers in order to benefit the people of South Africa.


The SANC is indebted to the funders of this project, namely The Atlantic Philanthropies initially and International Training and Education Centre for Health (I-TECH) from 2013 to date.


Lessons learnt from research, literature as well as national and international benchmarking included: 

bulletA need for gradual and ‘staggered’ implementation;
bulletThe development of clear guidelines regarding types of CPD activities and the weighting of activities 
bulletThe need to perform auditing of ‘Portfolios of Evidence’ of at least 10% per annum once the full roll-out has been implemented; 
bulletEstablishing verification and validation strategies to prevent fraud and forgery;
bulletEstablishing a communication strategy with Stakeholders;
bulletEstablishing a dedicated business unit for CPD within the structure of the SANC;
bulletEstablishing a CPD Committee, which will be accountable to Council; and
bulletThe requirement for a “fit for purpose” technology solution.


It is proposed that each practitioner will be required to accrue a minimum of fifteen (15) CPD points over a twelve (12) month period that will eventually be linked to the renewal of the Annual Practice Certificate (APC). It is envisaged that the cycle of accrual will commence in July of each year and end in June of the following year.


The required CPD points will be accrued through activities and events that are offered by CPD Service Providers who are recognised by the SANC. The criteria that will be used to recognise potential CPD Service Providers will be finalised and will be communicated widely, once approved by the Council.



  Ethical and Legal domains
Area of Practice
Leadership and


Total CPD Points
Registered/ Professional Nurse 4 6 3 1 1 15
Midwife 4 6 3 1 1 15
General Nurse 4 6 3 1 1 15
Enrolled Nurse 3 9 1 2 Nil 15
Auxiliary Nurse 3 10 1 1 Nil 15


5.1 Development of a CPD Framework
A CPD Framework was initiated and developed to the current Version 3. This was possible through national and international benchmarking as well as engagement with stakeholders who provided valuable comments and input. 


5.2 Feasibility study
A feasibility study was conducted in November and December 2013. The aim of the study was to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and capacity to establish an effective and sustainable SANC CPD process for Nurses and Midwives within South Africa.


5.3 CPD Pilot study
A CPD Pilot study was conducted in the Gauteng and Mpumalanga provinces from August 2015 to February 2016. The aim of the Pilot study was to explore the feasibility of the CPD project in order to determine the adjustments/adaptations required to facilitate a national roll-out. The findings of the Pilot study confirmed that, although there were barriers that prevented some participants from succeeding in acquiring the required CPD points, nurses expressed their support for and recognised the value of CPD. The study further yielded valuable input as to the relevance of the proposed thematic areas (highlighted in Table 1 above) as well as equitable access to CPD activities and opportunities.


5.4 Consultative Road shows
Road shows were conducted by the Council in all nine provinces during June to December 2016 to disseminate information on the purpose, process and nature of CPD.

The information sessions were attended by representatives from the Public and Private hospitals, the South African Military Health Services, Correctional Services, South African National Blood Services, NGOs, School Health Services, Nursing Education Institutions, Community Healthcare Centres and Clinics, Occupational Health organizations, Hospice Association and Old Age homes; as well as MTN Mobile, Eskom, PIKIT-UP and the Road Accident Fund.


5.5 CPD Stakeholder Forum
SANC established a CPD Stakeholder Forum, comprising of leaders in Nursing and Midwifery from the Public and Private sector, South African Military Health Services, Correctional Services, Private and Public Nursing Education Institutions and Labour organisations. This forum meets twice per annum to share information regarding progress on CPD.


For various reasons, including the need to purchase an ICT application which can be utilised for CPD, the SANC is not yet ready for a full roll-out of CPD. The draft CPD Framework shared at the Stakeholders’ meeting in October 2017 is a ‘baseline’ document that will be amended as necessary. Once all the necessary systems are in place, have been tested and are approved by the Council, the roll-out plan, including the implementation time frames and approach for the implementation of CPD, will be communicated to the profession and related stakeholders.


For further information in respect of this Circular, you are advised to contact The Manager: CPD - Ms A. Mnguni at (012) 426 9576 or on e-mail:

Kind regards,


Ms SA Mchunu
Registrar and CEO
South African Nursing Council


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