Circular 2/2007 Discontinuation of listing of short courses by SANC


6 March 2007



Discontinuation of Listing of Short Courses by the South African Nursing Council


  1. The South African Nursing Council (SANC) had previously approved short courses for registered nurses which were governed by the following regulations:

GG Notice R238 of 13 February 1981

GG Notice R237 of 13 February 1981

GG Notice R670 of 31March 1983


These provided for offering of

Renal Nursing and Stoma Care Nursing
Occupational Health Nursing and
Spinal Injury Nursing Science


  1. In August 1984 the above regulations were repealed as the Council took a resolution that it would no longer regulate short courses that were less than one academic year.

Recognizing the need for short courses, the Council further resolved that short courses could still be offered under certain circumstances. These included the following, inter alia:

a need identified by the National and / or Regional level departments health
examinations will be conducted by the educational institution
the qualification would be listed by the Council only for statistical purposes
a certificate will be issued by the approved school offering the short course

NB:    Listing of a course only implies that the course appears on the council’s database, it does not entitle the person to register to practice in a particular capacity or a registration certificate. A listed qualification has no status attached to it by virtue of it appearing on the SANC database. 

This resolution was communicated by Circular 30/84 in October 1984


  1. The SANC has also experienced several challenges over the years in respect of listing of short courses in accordance with the above resolution:
the focus has shifted from that of the initial intent and these courses are no longer based on national and regional health care needs, the need for short courses is driven by providers and individuals
short courses are not regulated and therefore there are no prescribed standards that the SANC can use to quality assure these courses. Providers have also not complied with the SANC guidelines for the listing of short courses which has resulted in a great deal of variation and inconsistencies in the courses listed.
some listed “short courses” are a duplication of regulated advanced qualifications. This causes confusion for the students, providers, and health facilities especially as these listed courses do not entitle a person to be registered to practice in an advanced area of nursing.


  1. Accreditation Requirements

4.1 The SANC is accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) as an Education and Training Quality Assurance Body (ETQA) for the nursing qualifications.

 4.2 The qualifications within the scope of the SANC are stipulated by SAQA (Annexure A).

4.3 SANC’s is required as an ETQA to accredit and quality assure qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) that fall within its scope.

4.4 Currently none of the listed courses on the SANC database are registered on the NQF. The SANC as an ETQA therefore cannot continue to recognize courses for listing that are not accredited and quality assured by the Council.

4.5 Furthermore neither the Nursing Act 50 of 1978 nor Nursing Act 33 of 2005 makes provision for the registration of short courses.


  1. You are therefore hereby notified that the Council took the following resolution
discontinue listing of short courses by the Council, and to close the list
no new short courses for listing will be accredited
SANC will accredit only those short courses that comply with the requirements for registration on the NQF and fall within the scope of the SANC as an ETQA.
  1. Implications of this resolution:
Nursing Education Institutions may continue to provide the short courses, conduct examination and issue certificates in accordance with their status or provide these courses as skills programmes or in-service education
Institutions that are already approved by the SANC to offer short courses will remain in the SANC database (for information only)
Candidates completing these courses may not apply to the SANC to have the listed course appear before their names
The annual licence to practice will no longer contain details of previously listed qualification with effect from 2008 licence.
An institution may apply to the SANC for the accreditation of a previously listed course only if the qualification complies with a registered qualification on the NQF and falls within the scope of the SANC and/or meets the prescribed requirements of a qualification for registration with the SANC (meets the requirements of a Regulation for a specific qualification).



Any further enquiry regarding this matter may be referred to Ms Mchunu: Deputy Registrar Professional Affairs
(Tel: 012 420 1000 e-mail:


Your cooperation in this regard will be appreciated.


H Subedar (Ms)


The Scope and primary focus of the South African Nursing Council as an ETQA accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority


The scope and the primary focus area of the South African Nursing Council as accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority cover the following qualifications:

  1. Certificate of Enrolment as Nursing Auxiliary
  2. Certificate of Enrolment as a Nurse
  3. Bridging Course for Enrolled Nurses leading to registration as a general nurse or psychiatric nurse
  4. Diploma in Midwifery
  5. Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing
  6. Diploma in Nursing (General, Psychiatric and Community) and Midwifery (Comprehensive Course)
  7. Degree in Nursing (General, Psychiatric and Community) and Midwifery (Comprehensive Course)
  8. Diploma in Nursing Administration
  9. Diploma in Unit Management for Registered Nurses
  10. Diploma in Nursing Education
  11. Diploma in Clinical Nursing Science, Health Assessment, Treatment and Care
  12. Diploma in Community Health Nursing Science
  13. Post-basic Diploma in Midwifery and Neonatal Nursing Science
  14. Post-basic Diploma in Community Health Nursing Science
  15. Post-basic Diploma in Occupational Health Nursing Science
  16. Post-basic Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing Science (Elective: Adults)
  17. Post-basic Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing Science (Elective: Children)
  18. Post-basic Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing Science (Elective: Adolescents)
  19. Post-basic Diploma in Gerontological Nursing Science
  20. Post-basic Diploma in Child Nursing Science
  21. Post-basic Diploma in Operating Theatre Nursing Science
  22. Post-basic Diploma in Ophthalmological Nursing Science
  23. Post-basic Diploma in Orthopaedic Nursing Science
  24. Post-basic Diploma in Medical and Surgical Nursing Science

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