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Circular 9/2003

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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:

bulletImprove the control of nursing practice by preventing unqualified persons from practising as nurses;
bulletAssist employers to access the Council's database to verify qualifications of nurses; and
bulletAssist 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:

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

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

bulletAn 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.
bulletThe 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)

For further information please contact:

South African Nursing Council
Corporate Communications
Telephone: (012) 420 1000/66/16


Hasina Subedar
Registrar and Chief Executive Officer



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