Circular 9/2003 Request for comments on draft regulations concerning dress code and distinguishing devices

28 July 2003

TO ALL:    Nursing Education Institutions, Non-Training Institutions and Stakeholders


Draft Regulations Regarding Professional Identification Devices and Dress Code for Nurses and Midwives


The Draft Regulations regarding Professional Identification Devices and Dress Code for Nurses and Midwives was published for public comment in Government Notice No. R.997 on 11 July 2003.

These draft regulations are intended to replace all existing regulations pertaining to distinguishing devices.

The primary objective of these Regulations is to replace the existing distinguishing devices with identification devices that:

Improve the control of nursing practice by preventing unqualified persons from practising as nurses;
Assist employers to access the Council’s database to verify qualifications of nurses; and
Assist health care users to easily identify information regarding the category of nurse providing nursing care.

The draft regulations focus on 2 areas:

1.    Dress Code: the primary focus of the dress code is to:

Maintain the professional image of the nursing profession;
Ensure that the dress code is appropriate for the context within which nursing care is provided;
Ensure that both the health care user and the nurse are protected; and
Grant the employer the responsibility to maintain an appropriate dress code.

2.    Identification devices: 2 identification devices will be issued:

An identification card containing all the relevant details of the nurse (format similar to a driver’s licence). This device will be linked to a database that will provide details regarding the qualifications and registration status of a nurse thereby providing employers with easy access to information to verify the details of a nurse. It will also assist with preventing unlicensed persons from practising the profession of nursing.
The second device is an identification badge that a practitioner will wear at all times while practising as a nurse.

Both of these identification devices are intended to replace the existing distinguishing devices.


Comments or representations must be submitted to the Department of Health, Private Bag X828, Pretoria, 0001 by 10 September 2003.


A copy of the draft regulations can be found on this website. (English / Afrikaans) (This proposal has since been put in abeyance – to be looked at later)


For further information please contact:

South African Nursing Council

Corporate Communications
Telephone: (012) 420 1000/66/16


Hasina Subedar
Registrar and Chief Executive Officer