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Circular 13/2020

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Circular 13/2020

24 December 2020


TO: Heads of Health (Provincial Departments of Health)
Vice-Chancellors (Universities of South Africa)
Chief Nursing Officer (National Department of Health)
Directors of Nursing Services
Directors of Nursing Education
Heads of Nursing Education Institutions
All Stakeholders


Requisites to perform functions relating to the profession of Nursing by Nurse Educators/Lecturers



The purpose of this correspondence is to reiterate:

1.1 pre-requisites for performing functions relating to the profession of nursing by any person responsible for education and training of nurses and midwives; and

1.2 sanctions/ consequences of non-compliance with the provisions of the Nursing Act and its regulations.



The South African Nursing Council (SANC) is a Statutory Health Professional Council that is mandated to regulate the nursing profession by establishing and maintaining standards of nursing education, training and practice in South Africa. It is an autonomous body established by the Nursing Act, 1944 (Act No. 45 of 1944), and currently operating under the Nursing Act, 2005 (Act No. 33 of 2005).

2.2. The SANC, through the provisions of the Nursing Act, 2005 (the Act), is empowered to, among others:

bulletaccredit nursing education institutions, nursing programmes and monitor assessments by nursing education providers in accordance with this Act or any other law; and
bulletwithdraw or suspend accreditation of a nursing education institution, or nursing programme if the education or training provided does not comply with the prescribed requirements and inform the relevant licensing authority.

2.3. Regulations relating to the Accreditation of Institutions as Nursing Education Institutions (Government Notice No. R 173 of 08 March 2013), prescribes the following requirements, among others:

2(1) An institution may be accredited as a nursing education institution if - 

(a) it has a designated person in charge of the nursing education and training institution who - 

(i) is registered with the Council as a professional nurse;
(ii) has an additional qualification in nursing education;
(iii) is in possession of a management qualification;
(iv) holds at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing; and
(v) holds a nursing qualification that is a level higher than the highest qualification
offered by the nursing education institution or, if the highest qualification offered is a doctoral degree, a nursing qualification at an equal level.


2.4 By virtue of the provisions of section 31(3) of the Act, which states that 

“An employer must not employ or keep in his employment a person to perform the functions pertaining to the profession of, other than a person who holds the necessary qualification and who is registered under section (1) or (2)”.



It has come to the attention of the Council of the SANC that some employers, especially in the higher education sector, do not comply with the above prescripts in that they:

bulletemploy and retain in their employ, persons who are not registered with the SANC to perform functions relating to the profession of nursing such as education and training of nurses and midwives; and
bulletappoint persons who do not possess the required qualifications into a position of a Head of Nursing Education Institution or Head of Nursing.

This is in direct violation of the Act and its regulations. Having noted the concern, the Council of the SANC deliberated on the matter at its virtual meeting of 21-22 October 2020 and resolved that communication be sent to relevant persons and authorities to highlight the gravity of the matter.



Non-compliance with the above –mentioned prescripts may result in:

bulletInvalidation of accreditation;
bulletCriminal charges against the person who employed and retained a person that is not registered with the SANC to perform functions relating to the profession of nursing; and 
bulletCriminal charges against a person who performs functions relating to the nursing profession while not registered with the SANC in one of the prescribed categories. 

Employers are therefore urged to comply with the provisions of the Act and its regulations.



For further information in respect of this correspondence you are advised to contact Ms SJ Nxumalo, SANC Senior Manager: Education &Training at (012) 420 1022 or on e-mail at: jnxumalo@sanc.co.za 

Yours sincerely,


Ms SA Mchunu
Registrar and CEO
South African Nursing Council


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