Applied Psychology

What are HPCSA CPD Points in South Africa?

Mar 14, 2023 | By Jenna Van Schoor

As a healthcare professional, it’s important to be able to offer clients and patients the highest standard of care possible. In South Africa, this means healthcare practitioners need to get a certain number of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points every year. Professionals in the field of psychology are included in the list of practitioners. Practitioners then submit these CPD points to the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

But what exactly are CPD points and how do you go about getting them? In this blog post, we’ll discuss what these points are and the different levels of Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

What are HPCSA CPD points?

The HPCSA’s mandate is to ensure competent practice throughout the healthcare industry. One way to do this is to ensure that practitioners take courses and learn new industry-specific skills regularly. This means that each practitioner needs to adopt a lifelong learning approach to maintaining and acquiring new and updated skills, knowledge and ethics. 

For new practitioners, being required to get a certain amount of CPD points per year ensures that they immediately gain hands-on knowledge in their chosen field. Overall, this approach also encourages everyone in the healthcare industry to share their knowledge and keep industry standards high. 

The HPCSA also makes sure that practitioners are compliant by conducting random audits. Therefore, it’s necessary to keep a record of all learning activities and keep these on file for at least 2 years to demonstrate proof of compliance.

Why do I need CPD points?

As members of society, we all expect people working in professional fields to be competent. In the healthcare industry, this is even more critical, as the health of society, both mental and physical, is paramount. For this reason, the Health Professions Act, 1974 (Act No. 56 of 1974) puts CPD forward as a way to protect the public interest, and to make sure that all of the healthcare needs of the country can be met. 

This approach to lifelong learning also benefits a practitioner on an individual level. It encourages you to interact with other professionals in your field, and can enrich your career. Earning CEUs can also expose you to different areas within your profession that you might not have known about, and which can help you to offer the most comprehensive services possible to your patients or clients.

In the field of psychology, in particular, there are always new studies being done, and new research being published, so mandatory CEUs offer a way to stay on top of current trends and maintain your level of expertise.

How can I earn CPD points?

CPD points are required in many different professions but registered psychologists need to get a minimum of 30 CEUs per year, which works out to about 10 courses annually.

However, not all CEUs are created equal. There is a hierarchy of CEU’s which is categorised into two different levels. The first level includes once-off activities, which offer points according to time. For example, attending a three-hour course will give you three CEU’s (i.e. one per hour). If you are presenting a course, you will earn more points, but you can only claim points once, even if you present the course more than once.

Other first-level activities include breakfast meetings and presentations, case study discussions, conferences, workshops and lectures. You will also be able to claim points if you:

  • Publish your research in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Supervise training at an accredited institution.
  • Attend Professional Interest Group meetings. 

The second level of CEUs includes more structured learning activities and programmes, such as short courses that are a minimum of 25 hours with additional clinical hands-on training and formal assessment, and courses that are less than 25 hours with a measurable outcome.

Earn CPD points this year with SACAP Global

SACAP Global offers online workshops  that can help you earn points as a registered counsellor or psychologist. On completion of the workshop, you will receive a digital certificate of completion. You can use this certificate to claim your 3 CEU’s if you are a registered professional with the HPCSA .

SACAP Global will be offering several different workshops in 2023, including the following:

  1. Childhood Disorders: Causes, Symptoms, Misdiagnosis and Psychotherapeutic Treatment Modalities
  2. The Long-Term Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health – Where to From Here?
  3. Trauma-sensitive Mindfulness for the Treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

These on-demand workshops develop and enhance the abilities of industry professionals.

If you’re interested in completing a CPD workshop, please visit our website for more information on how to register. Get in touch with us for further details on upcoming workshops that can help you to fulfil your CPD requirements for 2023.  

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