The ethical practice of the health professions requires consistent and ongoing commitment to lifelong learning by all health practitioners, through a process of Continuous Professional Development (CPD). CPD assists healthcare professionals to update and develop the knowledge, skills and ethical attitudes that underpin competent practice. This perspective protects the public interest and promotes the health of all members of the South African society.
Guided by the principle of compassion, healthcare practitioners aspire to standards of excellence in health care provision and delivery. The Health Professions Act, 1974 (Act No. 56 of 1974) (as amended) endorses Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as the means for maintaining and updating professional competence, to ensure that the public interest is always promoted and protected, as well as ensuring the best possible health care service to the community. CPD should address the emerging health needs and be relevant to the health priorities of the country.
In the spirit of commitment to best practice, the desire to act and serve, the following Guidelines for Continuing Professional Development, through engagement with continuing education activities, is presented for all healthcare practitioners who are registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa. The hierarchy of activities detailed include traditional learning experiences such as attendance of conference presentations and workshops, as well as structured courses and quality assurance audits of practices or groups of professionals in their work environments. CPD providers are encouraged to offer learning activities in line with adult education principles and greater learner involvement, with the goal of not only acquiring new or updated knowledge, but also of improving competence and ultimately the performance of the health practitioner with an end benefit to the patient/ client.
The CPD system is based on trust. The HPCSA believes that healthcare practitioners will commit themselves to meeting the requirements for continuing education in the belief that the practitioner and patient/ client will reap the benefits of lifelong learning.
For more information click here for the HPCSA CPD Guidelines.