Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
The purpose of CPD is to assist practitioners to maintain and acquire new and updated levels of knowledge, skills and ethical attitudes that will be of measurable benefit in professional practice and enhance and promote professional integrity. The beneficiary will ultimately be the patient/client. All registered Health Care Professionals are required to complete a series of accredited continuing education activities each year. The activities are clustered together to represent a hierarchy of learning approaches and strategies. Health Care Professionals should select activities from the hierarchy to meet their particular needs or the demands of their practice environments. It is anticipated that the system will also address the unique South African environment by providing a range of activities that will be readily accessible to all.
The HPCSA CPD Committee works with Professional Boards to develop policy proposals for a uniform but flexible system of CPD that will accommodate the diversity amongst health professions; facilitate continuing assessment of all practitioners registered with the HPCSA and the Professional Boards; deal with all CPD related issues, within the existing policy parameters of Council and the Professional Boards; and report thereon to Council and the Professional Boards. All Professional Boards will approve and appoint Accreditors. Professional Boards may designate the function of approving applications for accredited Service Providers to its Accreditor/s. After the election of new board members, Professional Boards will, within the first year, review the existing Accreditors and appoint new Accreditors or re-appoint the existing Accreditors for a further period of five years.
In terms of Section 26 of the Health Professions Act, 1974 (Act No. 56 of 1974) the Council may from time to time make rules which prescribe:
(a) conditions relating to continuing education and training to be undergone by persons registered in terms of this Act in order to retain such registration;
(b) the nature and extent of continuing education and training to be undergone by persons registered in terms of this Act; and
(c) the criteria for recognition by the Council of continuing education and training courses and education institutions offering such courses.
Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
Each registered Health Professional is required to accumulate the required number of CEUs per year. Accrued CEUs for CPD activities will be valid for a period of 24 months.
The purpose of the new approach to CPD is to reach and MAINTAIN a level of CEUs at all times and in any level. The system operates on a basis of trust. Where applicable, Professional Boards will determine the CEUs required of practitioners who are on the assistant or supplementary registers. CEUs are linked to a hierarchy of learning activities based on whether the outcome is measurable or not, or is a structured learning programme.
Medical Technologists – 30 CEUs per year of which 5 are Ethics (60/10 over 2 years);
Medical Technicians – 15 CEUs per year of which 2 are Ethics (30/4 over 2 years);
Lab assistant – 10 CEUs per year of which 1 is for Ethics (20/2 over 2 years).
Supplementary Lab assistant – 10 CEUs per year of which 1 is for Ethics
(20/2 over 2 years).
The CEUs will be valid (have a ‘shelf life’) for 24 months from the date that the activity took place or ended (in the event of post graduate studies). The implication of this decision is that practitioners should aim to accumulate a required number of CEUs by the end of the second year and thereafter top up the balance as the ‘sell by date’ (24 month validity period) expires.
In those instances where practitioners are registered in two professions they are required to obtain 30 CEUs per profession per 12 month period. Practitioners registered in more than one category within the same Professional Board should accrue only 30 CEUs per 12 month period. Any person who registers for the first time as a Health Care Professional after 1st January of a particular year will commence with his or her CPD programme immediately. Health administrators who are not in clinical practice are required to comply with CPD requirements, unless they are registered in the non-clinical register.
There are three levels of activities, those with non-measurable outcomes, those with measurable outcomes and those associated with formally structured learning programmes.
A Practitioner may obtain all of the CEUs in one level or the number of CEUs across different levels depending on personal circumstances and individual learning needs.
These are activities that do not have a clearly measurable outcome and are presented on a once off non-continuous basis. CEUs are allocated according to time, 1 CEU per hour to a maximum of 8 CEUs per day.
When an event is presented by a non-accredited organisation or individual, the application for accreditation of the single event/activity is submitted to an Accreditor for approval and allocation of an activity number.
Presenters of such activities can be allocated double CEUs, eg. if attendee receives one CEU, presenters can get two CEUs excluding presenters at large group activities who would be allocated CEUs from level 2.
Level 1 activities include (small groups):
- Breakfast meetings or presentations;
- Formally arranged hospital or inter-departmental meetings or updates;
- Case study discussions;
- Formally organised special purpose teaching/learning ward rounds (not including the routine service ward rounds);
- Formally organised special purpose lectures that are not part of a business meeting;
- Mentoring and supervision activities that are specific to certain professions e.g. psychology;
Education, Training, Research and Publications:-
This includes activities that have an outcome but do not constitute a full year of earned CEUs. (Teaching to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and examining, will not be accredited if these activities fall within a registered Health Care Professional’s job description). Presenters/Co-presenters can only claim once for CEUs if the same presentation is given more than once.
|Principal author of a peer reviewed publication or chapter in a book.||15|
|Co-author of a peer reviewed publication or chapter in a book.||5|
|Review of an article/chapter in a book/journal.||3|
|All presenters/authors of a paper/poster at a congress/refresher course.||10|
|All co-presenters/co-authors of a paper/poster at a congress/refresher course.||5|
|All presenters of accredited short courses.||10|
|All co-presenters of accredited short courses.||5|
|Interactive skills workshop with an evaluation of the outcome.||
|Multiple choice questionnaires (MCQs) in journals, including electronic journals with a pass rate of 70%.||3 per questionnaire|
|Guest/occasional lecturer at an accredited institution.||3 per lecture|
|Health personnel who supervise undergraduates/interns/postgraduates in clinical/technical training in collaboration with an accredited training institution on a regular basis during the academic year (if not in the job description).||
2 per student
|Part time or external examiner of Master and Doctoral thesis on completion.||5 per thesis|
|Dedicated workshops, lectures, seminars on ethics (not including general presentations with a so-called component on ethics).||2 per hour|
|Single modules of Masters degrees with part-time enrolment for study for non degree purposes.||5 on completion of module|
|Professional Interest Groups (this could include Journal Clubs if compliant with the criteria) that are formally constituted and present a regularly recurring programme that extends for one year with a minimum of 6 meetings per year (up to 3 CEUs per attendee per meeting). These activities are ongoing or have a measurable outcome that is assessed according to criteria determined by the group, which may be inter disciplinary.||3 per attendee
This category will earn the required CEUs for a year (i.e. 30).
Level 3 activities include:
- Postgraduate degrees and diplomas that are recognised as additional qualifications by the relevant Professional Board. At the end of each year of study (not exceeding the normal duration of the degree), 30 CEUs may be claimed upon submitting an academic report on progress. An additional 30 CEUs may be claimed on successful completion of the qualification;
- Short courses with a minimum of 25 hours of direct contact time with additional clinical hands-on training, plus a formal assessment of the outcome;
- Learning portfolios;
- Practice audit.
The latter are two new proposals from the HPCSA CPD Committee and it is recommended that individual Professional Boards determine the scope and content of these activities together with the necessary protocols and accompanying documentation.
The following activities will not qualify for CEUs:
- time spent in planning, organising or facilitating any activity;
- published congress proceedings;
- non-referenced letters to the Editor of accredited journals;
- daily ward rounds;
- written assignments;
- compilation of student training manuals for internal use;
- staff and/or administrative meetings;
- tours and/or viewing of exhibits and technological demonstrations;
- membership of professional bodies, Professional Boards or associations;
- holding a portfolio on the professional body’s executive or council structure; and
- presentations and publications to the public.
The CPD Section will investigate the reasons for non-compliance thereafter the names of bona fide non-compliant practitioners will be sent to the Professional Boards for noting. At the same time, those names will be submitted to the HPCSA CPD Committee for action in consultation with the relevant Professional Board.
The following actions may be taken:
- A letter will be sent to the non-compliant practitioner requesting a reason for the non-compliance. A practitioner will be required to furnish the CPD Section with a letter of explanation within two weeks of receipt of the letter of enquiry from the CPD Section.
- Should the explanation be acceptable, the practitioner will be given six months to comply with the CPD requirements. Evidence of such compliance must be received by the CPD Section within two weeks of the end of the six month period.
- Should the practitioner not comply with the requirement, his/her name will be forwarded without delay to the Committee of Preliminary Enquiry. The Committee of Preliminary Enquiry may decide on the basis of evidence to grant a final additional 6 month period to comply with the CPD requirements.
Should the practitioner still not comply with the CPD requirements within the second six month period, one of the following actions will be taken:
- Registration in a category that will provide for supervision as considered appropriate by the relevant Professional Board;
- A remedial programme of continuing education and training as specified by the Professional Board;
- An examination as determined by the Professional Board;
- Suspension from practice for a period of time as determined by the Professional Board; or
- Any other action as recommended by the Professional Board.
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