Continuous Professional Development in South Africa

Continuous Professional Development in South Africa

300 290 Craig Wylie



As healthcare professionals we all have the responsibility to stay up to date with current practices & advancement within our respective medical disciplines. In South Africa the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) requires healthcare professionals to accumulate a total of 60 continuous educational unit (CEU) points over a 2 year period, of which 10 CEU points should be related to ethics. There are some sub-categories that require less points, such as basic ambulance assistants that are only required to obtain 30 CEUs over a 2 year period.

The HPCSA reserves the right to implement mandatory audits on practitioners registered with the board. Once a practitioner is selected he/she has 21 days to submit a summary of points accumulated over the period in question. Failure to provide the summary will lead to a grace period after which the board can take action against the practitioner in question.

So the question on every practitioners mind should be: ‘how do I achieve the 60 CEU points?’

Types of CEUs in the South African setting:

Level 1

These meetings have no measurable outcomes and are allocated CEUs according to time. Most often these activities include:

  • Presentations
  • Organisational meetings
  • Case Study discussions
  • Structured, registered teaching ward rounds
  • Conferences

Participants normally receive 1 CEU for every hour attendance at these events & presenters can receive 2 CEUs. The maximum amount of CEUs per day is 8.

Level 2

These activities include education, training, research & publications with measurable outcomes, but does not constitute a full year of earned CEUs. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Peer reviewed publications or books.
  • Being a reviewer of an article.
  • Presentation at a conference.
  • Presenting a short course
  • Examination of Masters or Doctoral thesis
  • Professional interest groups

CEUs are allocated as per a matrix which is published on the HPCSA website.

Level 3

This level includes formal learning activities that are accredited with the HPCSA & have measurable outcomes.

These include under-graduate and post-graduate degrees. (eg; MBCHB, Bachelors Degree in Emergency Medical Care)

Normally successful completion of a year of study would earn you 30 CEUs.

So, how do we get these points?

CPD activities are normally well attended if word gets out!

We will be posting regular updates on our blog events page regarding CPD activities in South Africa, both free & paid. We invite any & all conveners to get in touch with the badEM crew & inform us of your activities. Email us at

REMEMBER: As healthcare professionals you are responsible to keep yourself up-to-date.

We invite our colleagues from around Africa to provide us input/perspective on their rules & regulations regarding continuous professional development, so we can expand on this post.