The Professional Board for Occupational Therapy, Medical Orthotics and Prosthetics and Arts Therapy of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) has a legislative mandate in terms of the Health Professions Act 1974 (Act no 56 of 1974) to ensure the registration of adequately educated and trained as well as appropriately qualified Occupational Therapy, Medical Orthotics and Prosthetics and Arts Therapy practitioners for the rendering of quality and safe healthcare services to the public of South Africa.
Registration with the HPCSA is a pre-requisite for professional practice and practicing as a health care practitioner without registration constitutes a criminal offence in terms of Section 39 of the Health Professions Act, 56 of 1974 as amended.
The Board is concerned that there are institutions training students as Arts Therapists under the false pretence that they can practise as healthcare practitioners in South Africa while the programmes offered are not accredited by the HPCSA. The Board has not accredited any training provider in South Africa to offer training in Arts Therapy in the category of Art, or related professions.
Parents and prospective students are urged not be misled to register at any non -accredited institution offering training in Arts Therapy in South Africa. Furthermore, employers are advised to ensure that they employ properly qualified and registered practitioners in the health care industry in order to ensure the safety of patients.