Continuing Professional Development

Ongoing professional development is not only a key requirement of the HPCSA licensure, but also enables practitioners to grow their skills and ability to serve the well being of patients and their professions.

The concept of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), which has been around in some form for centuries, is essentially about learning to earn or maintain a professional’s credentials. This ongoing learning can take many forms, from academic degrees to formal course work, conferences to opportunities within the practice. CPD has been described as intensive and collaborative; ideally, it includes an evaluative stage. The various types of professional development range from consultation, coaching, and communities of practice to study lessons, mentoring, reflective supervision and technical assistance. It is thus a process during which a healthcare professional maintains and continuously improves the standards of healthcare practice through the development of knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviour that will not only add measurable benefits to the professional practice of medicine, but also enhance and promote professional integrity. CPD is not just for the benefit of the practitioner; it also assures the public that their healthcare practitioner is both qualified and up to date with new developments. It is crucial, then, for all healthcare professionals registered in South Africa to comply with the set standard of CPD activities each year, including those of ethics, human rights and medical law.

Basic requirements 

The HPCSA made CPD compulsory for all professionals registered with Council. Every healthcare professional is required to maintain an official HPCSA Individual CPD Activity Record. This comprises the individual’s CPD Portfolio, supported by documentary evidence, such as certificates of attendance. In terms of the Health Professions Act (Act No. 56 of 1974), healthcare professionals are obliged to attend CPD activities. Professionals who do not comply with CPD requirements may be suspended from the register whereafter the same restoration requirements as for non-payment of the annual fees will apply.

Maintaining your licence

To ensure the well-being and in the best interests of patients, practitioners are required to have a HPCSA licence to practise their professions

Maintenance of Licensure help assure the public that healthcare practitioners remain knowledgable of trends and best practices; improve the quality of care; detect under performance , and ensure professional accountability and responsibility.

Licensure requires proof from practitioners that they are compliant with the requirements set by the Professional Boards and/or the HPCSA so that they can to continue to practise. It also allows the HPCSA to maintain jurisdiction over practitioners.

The generic domains in which practitioners should be compliant include are:

  • professionalism
  • safety and quality
  • communication
  • knowledge skills
  • performance

The identified requirements for licensure for practitioners are to determine an individual’s own learning needs; to devise a customised CPD programme that meets learning needs of the individual to improve his or her own practice; and to implement learning programmes.

There are two sets of requirements: annual or every five years. This would be Board specific.

For a list of CPD accreditors, forms, FAQs, guidelines, and service providers visit: www.hpcsa.co.za/CPD