Announcement from the HPCSA

Please take note: Some employees of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) are on strike.  The strike does not affect all departments of the council and as far as could be ascertained, the CPD section is fully functional. As a result audit deadlines should as far as possible be adhered to. We will keep you updated.

Updated Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG)

Dear Emergency Care Practitioner,

Your scope of practice has changed with the publication of the updated Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). You can now do MORE than a few months ago.

It is now your responsibility to ensure that you know exactly what these changes are and how it effects your work. In other words you must make sure that you are competent to apply these changes because in most cases it requires MORE clinical skills!

The good news is that Focus on Health, in association with Life Occupational Health, now brings you all the changes in an easy-to-read A4 booklet. AND you can achieve 30 CPD points by answering questions on each section.

The cost involved is similar to that of our CPD program and you become a member of Focus on Health. Please note that to take part in the CPG update, you will be required to remain a member for two (2) years.

Complete our Quick Contact form and we will send you an application form.

Workers shut down Department of Health building

Please take note: Proceedings at the the Department of Health building in Pretoria has been shut down, due to a strike by staff members. All communication and applications to the DoH will be delayed until further notice. We will keep you updated as far as possible.

For more information. Click here

How to earn CPD points


It is not difficult to earn points in Continuing Professional Development (CPD), no matter what your profession is. The challenge rather lies in buying into CPD and then understanding how the system works. Hereafter you must find and place your trust in a service provider.

Buying into CPD

Buying into the system of earning CPD points means that you support the principles underlying CPD – namely that you as a registered healthcare practitioner have a responsibility to continually update your professional knowledge and skills for the end benefit of the patient or client.

How many CPD points should be earned?

To this end the HPCSA has implemented a Continuing Professional Development programme. Every practitioner, depending on his / her profession is required to earn 30 or 15 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) per twelve-month period and 5 or 3 of the units must be on ethics, human rights, and medical law [see our website under the heading CPD, membership to identify how many CEU’s you need]. Each credit you earn equal a CPD point.

Each CEU will be valid for 24 months from the date on which the activity took place (or ended, in the event of post-graduate studies) after which it would lapse. This means that you should aim to accumulate a balance of 60 CEUs by the end of your second year of practise, and thereafter top-up the balance through additional CPD as each 24 –month validity period expires.

Choosing a provider

Now that you understand what CPD is and how many points or credits you require, you can start looking for a service provider.

To this end you can ask colleagues for their advice and search the Internet. Always remember that you can only earn CPD points if the activity falls within your scope of practice.

The following is a checklist you can use:

  • Are activities accredited? This means that a 3rd party, normally a university of association had a look at the activity and has allocated an accreditation number and a specified number of CEU’s
  • Do activities comply with CPD requirements? Content cannot be older than 5 years, there can only be one TRUE/FALSE question for every five questions, and each question must have at least three options with only one being correct
  • Does the provider seem reputable? Look out for authoritative content on CPD, in other words does the provider organisation know what they are talking about
  • Is the cost per activity of CPD point that you earn fair?
  • Do the activities fall within your scope of practice?
  • Is the mode of delivery effective?
  • Does the online payment portal provide sufficient security for your credit card detail?
  • Does the online system work seamlessly? Is it easy to access the content, and answer the questions?
  • Can you redo an activity for free if you failed it?
  • Are there real people behind the website and online portal? And do they know what they are talking about when it comes to earning CPD points?
  • Is there a help line? Is this line there in theory only, or does someone actually answer when you call?
  • Do you receive a certificate to prove that you have earned CPD points?
  • What value-add’s do the provider offer when you earn your CPD points through them?

It is easier than you think to earn your CPD points, but spend some time in choosing your provider and you will never look back.

Striking workers still bedevil Sapo’s grant payments

Dear Focus on Health members.

Please read the following article about the Post Office strike.

Remember that we also have the following alternative delivering options; email, courier, online, whatsapp and collection form our office which is based in Pretoria.

On Monday, the Communications Workers’ Union declared a national shutdown of Sapo after wage talks broke down.

A number of SA Post Office (Sapo) branches across the country were closed due to a strike yesterday, leaving hundreds of social grant recipients having to find other alternatives.

This is just the latest in a string of events hampering the smooth roll-out of the SA Social Security Agency’s (Sassa) new payment programme, involving the Sapo.

And this comes as Sassa is nearing the end of its grant payout backlog, after 10 days of failing to pay grants to the millions of South African citizens dependent on them, due to a strike by workers at registration and payout points.

As of Monday, Sassa said more than 90% of social grants had been paid.

Sapo took over the contract from Cash Paymaster Services on April 1, to distribute social grants, excluding cash grants.

Last week, the Communications Workers’ Union, SA Customs Union, and the Democratic Postal and Communications Union went on a go-slow to demand higher wages.

On Monday, the Communications Workers Union declared a national shutdown of Sapo after wage talks broke down. Workers were demanding 12% while the employer went from offering 0% to 10% as negotiations intensified at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration offices in Johannesburg.

Sapo argued it could not afford a 12% wage hike, but the workers were digging in their heels after two years without a salary increase.

Sapo spokesperson Johan Kruger said yesterday that the majority of branches across the nation were open for business, adding that other options were available for social grant recipients with the new Sassa cards.

“The new Sassa card does not restrict beneficiaries to using an SA Post Office branch as channel to access their grants,” he said. “The card offers three free withdrawals per month from supermarket tills such as Shoprite, Boxer Stores and Pick n Pay, and one free monthly withdrawal over a Post Office counter.

“The card can also be used at all ATMs.

“Beneficiaries who withdraw from an ATM should select the current account option. Beneficiaries can get the new card at any Sassa office or at special card-swap venues such as community halls. These events are announced locally well in advance.”

CPD: Guidelines for the Health Practitioners


The revised HPCSA CPD guidelines were published in 2017. Did you know that self study articles cannot be older than 5-years from date of publication in the relevant medical journal? And that only 1 in every 5 questions in a multiple choice questionnaire can be of the TRUE/FALSE kind? Focus on Health complies with these and other CPD requirements.

HPCSA has just sent out their 2nd audit for 2017

The HPCSA has just sent out their 2nd audit for 2017 by email. Proof of CPD compliance for the period 1 November 2015 to 31 October 2017 is required.


Dental assistants registration

Any person who worked as a dental assistant prior to 7 April 2017 and who is not registered with the HPCSA, may apply to the Board within six months of the publication of the Regulations, for registration as a dental assistant. Such a dental assistant must pass a Board examination within two years after registration.

Focus on Health will schedule a number of workshops to assist assistants in preparing for the Board examination. Complete our Quick contact form below and we will be in touch.


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To all our Focus on Health members

Please note the progress of CPD activities for 2016:

  1. Radiography: Activities were posted and emailed in January 2016.
    (If your receive your package via email please also consult your spam/junk folder)
  2. Medical Practitioners: Activities were posted and emailed in the week of 7th March 2016.
  3. Emergency Care personnel: Activities will be posted and emailed as from the 18th of March 2016.
  4. Dentistry: Activities will be posted and emailed as from the 2nd of April 2016.
  5. Physiotherapy and Psychology: Activities will be posted and emailed in May 2016.
    (However we have an ethics and general activity ready for completion, if you would like to do this please send us a whatsapp with your Foh No and “YES” to 074 230 3874)

Dental assistants registration

“In order to facilitate the registration of those dental assistants who, as a result of this moratorium, did not register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), the Professional Board for Dental Therapy and Oral Hygiene (PBDOH) is presently instituting measures that would enable unqualified yet experienced dental assistants to be provisionally registered for a period of two years, with the provision that within a period of two years they complete a Board examination”.

If you need to be updated on this issue and hope to provisionally register, please complete the “Quick contact” form on the homepage and indicate that your query concerns the registration of dental assistants.

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