30 June 2010
Update on the Status of Offering of Legacy Nursing Qualifications and Implementation of the New Nursing Qualifications Registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF)
1. PURPOSE OF THE CIRCULAR
The purpose of this circular is to give an update to Nursing Education Institutions, National Department of Health, Provincial Departments of Health, and other nursing stakeholders on the status of the legacy nursing qualifications that are recorded on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and on the implementation of the NQF-registered (new) nursing qualifications.
2. PHASING OUT OF THE LEGACY NURSING QUALIFICATIONS
In a circular dated 26 March 2009 (Circular 3 of 2009), the South African Nursing Council communicated the expiry date for registration of students for the legacy nursing qualifications as 30 June 2010. Following the promulgation of the National Qualifications Framework Act, 2008 (Act No. 67 of 2008) and its implications on the implementation of the NQF-registered nursing qualifications it became necessary to review this date with South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). The new date for final intake of students for the legacy nursing qualifications is 30 June 2012.
3. PROMULGATION OF THE NATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS FRAMEWORK Act, 2008
The promulgation on 17 February 2009 of the National Qualifications Framework Act, 2008 (Act No. 67 of 2008) brought about changes, including the introduction of a 10-level NQF, among others. Most of the NQF-registered nursing qualifications are not in line with this new framework in terms of credit value and NQF levels. This has made it imperative that the nursing qualifications be aligned to the new National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
4. NURSING EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS
Nursing Education Institutions that are compliant with their approval/accreditation prescripts are granted provisional accreditation until the end of the teach-out period of the last intake for each of the legacy qualifications for which they are accredited.
The teach-out period for a programme is the duration of the programme plus two extra years. Withdrawal of programme accreditation will therefore be in accordance with the teach-out period of each provisionally accredited programme. Nursing Education Institutions will submit confirmation of such cessation of legacy programmes by means of an annual submission using a format that will be provided by South African Nursing Council.
5. INTERIM MANAGEMENT OF APPLICATIONS BEFORE JUNE 2012
In order to ensure that nursing education and training continues uninterrupted, the following measures have been agreed to by South African Nursing Council for implementation.
5.1 Applications for Accreditation of New Institutions as Nursing Education Institutions
Such applications will be considered only if they are linked to or supported by the Provincial Department of Health for training of categories where there is an identified shortage. Suitable evidence must be provided from the health authorities to support the application. This will ensure that nursing education and training is in line with the needs of the health care delivery system of the country and translates into suitable employment for qualified nurses.
5.2 Applications for accreditation of new programmes by accredited Nursing Education Institutions
The condition outlined in 5.1 above is applicable for new programmes.
Please note that accreditation for the current NQF-registered qualifications will not be considered as they are subject to alignment to the new NQF and HEQF.
5.3 Applications to reinstate inactive/dormant Nursing Education Institutions and programmes
This refers to institutions that have not had any intake of students in the past five years and to programmes that have not been offered in the past five years. The conditions outlined in 5.1 and 5.2 above are applicable.
5.4 Application for new campuses
Conditions applicable to new Nursing Education Institutions will apply here. Where there is support for such new campuses, the following must be observed:
5.5 Application for accreditation of new clinical facilities or increase of student numbers
These will be considered in line with requirements to be complied with for such applications.
6. STATUS OF THE NQF-REGISTERED NURSING QUALIFICATIONS
Due to the legislative imperatives referred to in point 2 of this circular, and the need to align the nursing qualifications with the new 10-level National Qualifications Framework (NQF), South African Nursing Council intends inviting expertise from the various nursing constituencies to participate in this project. It is envisaged that South African Nursing Council will be in a position to submit the re-aligned qualifications to South African Qualifications Authority for registration towards the end of 2010.
7. STATUS OF REGULATIONS FOR ACCREDITATION OF INSTITUTIONS AS NURSING EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS AND FOR BASIC NURSING COURSES
Draft regulations for the accreditation of institutions as Nursing Education Institutions as well as regulations relating to minimum requirements for basic nursing courses, will be finalized concurrently with the alignment of the qualifications.
8. STAKEHOLDER COMMUNICATION
Stakeholders will be kept updated throughout the process via updates on the South African Nursing Council website, written communication and stakeholder meetings. Workshops will be held provincially involving Nursing Education Institutions and stakeholders once the alignment of the qualifications is finalized.
It is hoped that this update will assist Nursing Education Institutions and other relevant stakeholders with their own planning
Enquiries on the content of this circular may be directed to:
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South African Nursing Council (Under the provisions of the Nursing Act, 2005)