Circular 5/2014 Requirements regarding deferments of candidates to write South African scheduled examinations


5 June 2014

To:Principals of Nursing Education Institutions
 Nursing Stakeholders

Requirements regarding deferments of candidates to write South African Nursing Council scheduled examinations


The Examinations Section is inundated with late applications to defer candidates from one scheduled examination to the following examination – where candidates do not meet the requirements for either theory or clinical assessments.  Such late applications for deferment have huge financial and logistical implications, as capturing of data is closed by then and the materials for the examinations have already been printed and packaged.  This results in SANC incurring a fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

It is also evident (from the number of such candidates who present themselves at the examination centre) that deferred candidates are not informed in advance about the decision to defer their entry into the examination.

Nursing Education Institutions (NEIs) are reminded of the following provisions in Examination Regulations published by Government Notice No. R.7 of 8 January 1983 (as amended):

5.(2)  The person in charge of a nursing school shall notify the Council immediately, giving reasons, if a candidate becomes ineligible for admission to an examination subsequent to the submitting of an application for an admission to an examination.”

7.(1)  A candidate who is absent from an examination on the actual day or days of the examination for a reason acceptable to the Council may apply for admission to the next examination without the payment of the examination fee prescribed by regulation 16(a) or (b).

(2)  In the case of an absence referred to in subregulation (1) proof acceptable to the Council of the reason for the absence shall be submitted to the Council within 21 days of the date of the examination from which the candidate was absent.”

16.  Subject to the provisions of –

(a)  regulation 7, an examination fee per paper for basic courses shall be payable to the Council on application for admission to the examination;

(b)  regulation 7, an examination fee per paper for post-basic courses shall be payable to the Council on application for admission to the examination; 

(c)  regulation 4(2), an application submitted later than the date referred to in regulation 4(1), shall be accepted only on payment of a late entry fee, which shall be payable in addition to the fees prescribed by paragraph (a) or (b);

(d)  regulation 7, a candidate shall forfeit examination fees to the Council if any application is cancelled or if a candidate is absent from an examination or a portion of an examination;”


In order to prevent future problems associated with late deferments, the Council will adhere strictly to the measures described below.

  1. Notices of deferment (in terms of 5.(2) of the Examination Regulations) will only be accepted by the Council if received before the date on which preparations for the dispatching of exam materials commences – that is 35 days prior to the date of the first (or only) examination to be written in a particular week
  2. Any notice for deferment received after the date mentioned in 1. (above) will be treated as a case of cancellation and the candidate shall forfeit the examination fees in terms of 16.(d) of the Examination Regulations
  3. Entry into Council Examinations shall not be used by NEIs as a measure to address the NEIs’ own administrative issues with a candidate (such as non-payment of tuition fees). Any such administrative issues shall be dealt with in terms of the NEIs policies for addressing such issues.


Thank you for your cooperation.


Mr. Tendani. Mabuda 
Registrar and CEO
South African Nursing Council

© 2004 - 2020 South African Nursing Council (Under the provisions of the Nursing Act, 2005)