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CPD Rules

– Updated 12 September-2017

Certificate of Attendance

All health practitioners shall ensure that they are in possession of a certificate of attendance for every activity they have attended. They shall keep these for at least two years so that their certificates will be available if required for a random compliance check.

CPD Activity Record

Every health practitioner shall maintain a record of their own learning activities and document these on an official HPCSA Individual CPD Activity Record (Form CPD 1 IAR) which includes the following:

  •  the name and registration number of the health practitioner;
  •  the name and number of the Accredited Service Provider or individual activity accreditation number;
  •  the topic of the activity (ethics, human rights and health law must be specified separately);
  •  the number of CEUs; and
  •  the attendance/ completion date.

This record is the only data required of individual health practitioners. It should be duly completed so that it accurately reflects a health practitioner’s CPD activities for the previous 24 months. This record needs to be submitted should the health practitioner be selected randomly for an audit.

An individual drawn in the audit may submit the data and copies of CPD certificates in one of the following three ways:

  • a paper copy of the Excel spreadsheet record of his/ her Individual CPD Activity Record (submitted by post to the CPD Section at HPCSA at PO Box 205, PRETORIA, 0001);
  • an electronic copy of the Excel spreadsheet record of his/ her Individual CPD Activity Record (Form CPD 1 IAR) (submitted electronically to the CPD Section at HPCSA at cpd@hpcsa.co.za); An electronic copy of the Excel spreadsheet that has been captured and held by arrangement between the health practitioner and a relevant individual or business (submitted electronically to the CPD Section at HPCSA at cpd@hpcsa.co.za); or
  • facsimile (012) 328 – 5120

Audit of Health Practitioners

Health practitioners who are non-compliant or who do not submit their CPD records will be given a six months’ extension.

The HPCSA CPD System will be administered and monitored by the Council. The HPCSA will randomly select individual health practitioners for compliance checks every two months. The sample size will depend on the number of health practitioners on the register. Health practitioners are obliged to submit the required documents within 21 working days on receipt of notification of being selected. The results of the compliance check will be submitted to the HPCSA CPD Committee as well as to the relevant professional boards for their further action, if any.

When health practitioners who are actively practising in South Africa attend an accredited professional or academic meeting or activity internationally, it will be recognised for CPD purposes. An accreditor in South Africa should accredit the activity attended internationally if not accredited/ recognised for CEUs equivalent in the country where it was held.

There are two levels of activities, those with non-measurable outcomes, those with outcomes that do not necessarily constitute a full year of earned CEUs, and those associated with formally structured learning programmes.

A health practitioner may obtain CEUs at any level depending on personal circumstances and individual learning needs.

Level 1

Once-off activities

These are once-off activities and CEUs are allocated according to time, one CEU per hour to a maximum of eight CEUs per day. Presenters of such activities can be allocated double CEUs.

Presenters / co-presenters can only claim once for CEUs if the same activity is presented more than once.

These activities include:

  1. breakfast meetings or presentations;
  2. formally arranged hospital or inter-departmental meetings or updates;
  3. case study discussions;
  4. formally organised special purpose teaching/ learning ward rounds (not including routine service ward rounds);
  5. formally organised special purpose lectures that are not part of a business meeting;
  6. mentoring/supervision, peer supervision and activities that are specific to certain professions;
  7. conferences, symposia, refresher courses, short courses without a measurable outcome, international conferences;
  8. interest groups meeting regularly with a minimum of six meetings per year;
  9. morbidity and mortality meetings (one CEU per hour for both presenter and attendee); as well as
  10. Workshops, lectures, seminars on ethics (one CEU per hour)

Activities that are managed within rules of an accredited structure (HEI and/or Professional Organisations)

  Activity CEUs
1 Principal author of a peer reviewed publication or chapter in a book 15
2 Co-author/ editor of a peer reviewed publication or chapter in a book 5
3 Review of an article/ chapter in a book/ journal 3
4 Evaluation and classification of Psychological Tests 5
5(i) Principal presenter/ author of a paper/ poster at a congress/ symposium/ refresher course 10
5(ii) Co-presenters/ co-authors of a paper/ poster at a congress/ symposium/ course/ refresher course 5
5(iii) Presenters of accredited short courses 10
5(iv) Co-presenters of accredited short courses 5
6 Interactive skills workshop with an evaluation of the outcome 5
7 All learning material (which could include DVD, CD, internet or email activities) with MCQs for evaluation with a pass rate of 70% Refer to Annexure A
8 Guest/ occasional lecturer at an accredited institution 3 per lecture
9 External examiner of a Masters and/ or Doctoral thesis 5 per thesis
10 External (independent) examiners/ moderators of all assessments 2 per appointment
11 Reviewers of practice audit/ CPD learning portfolios 5
12 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 job description) (two per student) (max sixteen CEUs per calendar year).
13 Single modules of Masters degrees with part-time enrolment for study for non-degree purposes 5 CEU’S are given only if the module was completed and passed.
14 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 six meetings per year. These activities have a measurable outcome according to criteria in Annexure A Up to 3 per meeting

 Level 2

This level comprises structured learning, i.e. a formal programme that is planned and offered by an accredited training institution, evaluated by an accredited assessor and has a measurable outcome.

Activities include:

  1. No prior approval by an accreditor necessary

(a) postgraduate degrees, diplomas and certificates 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); thirty CEUs may be claimed upon submitting an academic report on progress, and additional thirty CEUs may be claimed on successful completion of the qualification;

  1. Prior approval by an accreditor necessary

(b)  short courses with a minimum of 25 hours with additional clinical hands-on training, plus a formal assessment of the outcome – successful completion of an activity at this level will earn thirty CEUs; and

(c)  short courses less than 25 hours, with a measurable outcome (1 CEU per hour).

Other Activities:

Guidelines for the latter two activities are available on the HPCSA website. Health practitioners will need to submit documentation/ portfolios to an accreditor to obtain the thirty CEUs for these activities.

(d)  learning portfolios; and

(e)  practice audit.

Activities that do 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;
  •  presentations and publications to the public; and
  •  Mandatory Health and Safety Training at laboratories, which is part of the curriculum (specifically applies to Medical Technology).

Meetings arranged by pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers or importers of products and technical devices (including assistive device technology) or their representatives purely for the purpose of marketing and/ or promoting their products are not eligible for accreditation. Activities for the purpose of training in the use of company products or technological devices may be presented by arrangement with an accreditor or accredited service provider.

The CPD Section will on receipt of a non-compliant audit or request for extension afford the health practitioner a six months’ extension in which they can attempt to be compliant. After the period of six months, if still not compliant, the names of bona fide non-compliant health practitioners will be submitted to the relevant professional boards, which might take any of the following actions:

  •  changing the category of registration to supervised practice; until proof of compliance with the CPD requirements are submitted;
  •  successfully passing a Board Examination;
  •  suspension from the register until submission of proof of compliance with the CPD requirements is submitted; or
  •  any other resolution by the relevant professional board.

1. Non-Compliance

Health practitioners who are not compliant or have requested an extension

  1. The CPD Section will on receipt of a non-compliant audit or request for extension afford the health practitioner a six months’ extension in which they can attempt to be compliant. After the period of six months, if still not compliant, the names of bona fide non-compliant health practitioners will be submitted to the relevant professional boards, which might take any of the following actions:
    •  changing the category of registration to supervised practice; until proof of compliance with the CPD requirements are submitted;
    •  successfully passing a Board Examination;
    •  suspension from the register until submission of proof of compliance with the CPD requirements is submitted; or
    •  any other resolution by the relevant professional board.

 Health practitioners who do not submit their portfolios

The CPD Section will afford the health practitioner a six months’ extension. After the period of six months, if the health practitioners have still not submitted their portfolios, they will be seen to be non-compliant with the requirements. Their names will be submitted to the relevant professional boards and any action as described in 5.1 could be taken.

2. Deferment

Health practitioners may apply for deferment of CPD and the HPCSA CPD Committee will review such applications individually on an ad hoc basis. The application should be strongly motivated with appropriate evidence/ documentation.

Deferment may be granted in the case of:

  1. a)  a health practitioner who is outside South Africa for a period of time exceeding twelve months and is not practising his/ her profession; and
  2. b)  a health practitioner who is outside of South Africa and practising in a country where there is no access to CPD activities.

Deferment may be granted for a maximum period of three years. Deferment will not be granted for a period of less than twelve months (in view of the fact that a professional may collect CEUs in a following year).

Any health practitioner mentioned in the above paragraphs wishing to re-enter the system after deferment will be subject to the following conditions:

  •  if deferment was granted for more than twelve months but less than two years, proof of full employment in the profession during that time should be submitted and the health practitioner will, on review by the HPCSA CPD Committee, be allowed to recommence the CPD year immediately;
  •  if deferment was granted for more than two years but less than three years, the health practitioner must submit proof of his/ her employment during that time and the health practitioner will, on the recommendation of the HPCSA CPD Committee, be

required to complete a period of supervised practice as determined by the  professional board in his/ her area of practice, and will recommence the CPD year immediately.

  •  if deferment was granted for longer than twelve months and the health practitioner did not practice his/ her profession during the deferment period, he/she will be required to complete a period of supervised practice as determined by the professional board in his/ her area of practice; or
  •  if deferment was granted because the health practitioner was engaged in formal education and training for an additional qualification, CEUs will not be allocated for obtaining the said additional qualification. Proof of the additional qualification must be supplied to the CPD Section and the health practitioner will recommence the CPD year immediately.

3. Health Practitioners abroad

Health practitioners who are practising abroad in countries where a continuing professional development system is in place should comply with the requirements in that country. They should retain documentary proof of attendance at CPD activities for submission in the event of being drawn in the sample audit. For re-registration purposes, documentary proof of compliance must be submitted for continuing professional development purposes in South Africa. This proof may be in the form of a letter from the accrediting authority in the country concerned.

4. Retirement

Retired health practitioners who are active on the register should be compliant with CPD.

5. Non-clinical register

Request for placement on the non-clinical register will only be considered with the relevant application form and Affidavit.

6. Community service

Health practitioners in community service do not have to comply with CPD during    community service but are encouraged to attend and may accrue CEUs, which will be to their credit for the full 24 months from date of accrual.

Journal, Articles and Online Activities (not older than 5 years)

1. Objectives of this Guideline

This guideline aims to address any matter, which relates to education at online CPD events, as well as the regulation of any CPD activities, both physical and virtual, and should be read in conjunction with the general CPD guidelines.

2. Journals with multiple choice questions (MCQs)

The content can be clinical or ethical in a peer reviewed/ non-peer reviewed journal or stand-alone activity. For every five questions, one CEU may be granted with a maximum of three CEUs per journal volume, regardless of whether the content is clinical or ethical.

3. Pass mark

The mark of 70% is required for the award of MCQs based points.

4. Criteria of content

  •  clear and concise, reflecting understanding;
  •  each MCQ question must contain a minimum of three options, and may be of the

‘single-correct answer’ or ‘single-best‘ formats;

  •  all the questions in the MCQs cannot be true/ false – maximum 20%; and
  •  should contain no commercial product promotion and/ or satire.

5. Online CPD activities

Online CPD activities that can be accredited include Level 1 – 2 as per CPD Guidelines.

6. Other activities held online include but are not limited to:

  •  workshops;
  •  webinars and lectures;
  •  profession related courses; as well as
  •  electronic journals’ articles with measurable outcomes.

7. Provisions regarding the accreditation of online CPD activities

  •  Providers have to substantiate the number of hours and CEUs that they are applying for and provide proof of methods of assessment.
  •  Providers have to describe to the satisfaction of the accreditors the technologies to be employed.
  •  The accreditation is provided on the time allocations substantiated by the provider and not in accordance with the time spent by a specific participant – i.e. if according to the provider it will take one hour to complete a questionnaire/ module, the participant cannot request additional points for time spent longer than one hour.
  •  Activities online for longer than three hours are allocated points according to time – i.e. one CEU per hour, to a maximum of six CEUs per day (clinical content). At least one assessment comprising of MCQs should be completed after six hours of activity and should be completed with a mark of 70% in order to claim CPD accreditation.

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