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Continuing Professional Development for Nurses and Midwives/Accouchers in South Africa


The development of a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) System for nurses and midwives in South Africa has been a growing priority for the South African nursing and midwifery profession. The process of developing a CPD System has commenced.


The South African Nursing Council (SANC), in terms of the Nursing Act, 2005 (Act No. 33 of 2005), has the responsibility to serve and protect the Public in matters involving nursing and midwifery services, and to uphold and maintain professional conduct, ethics, and practice standards. Within this mandate SANC has established a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Framework for all practitioners registered with the Council.

The CPD System will be implemented in a phased manner and a wide range of formal and informal learning activities will generate CPD points. Each practitioner will be expected to accrue 15 CPD points annually.

Definition of CPD

CPD means a “purposeful statutory process whereby practitioners registered with SANC, through personal commitment, engage in a range of learning activities to maintain and improve their knowledge, skills, attitudes and professional integrity to keep up to date with new science, innovation and health care developments; to enable them to practise safely, ethically, competently, and legally within their evolving scope of practice; and to provide quality care to the South African community.”


  • The purpose of CPD is to promote and maintain professional standards of excellence, and ensure that the practice of nurses and midwives remains up to date and relevant to the constantly changing health needs of the South African community
  • CPD promotes life-long learning as well as safe, ethical, competent and evidence-based practice; and also provides opportunities for practitioners to pursue and achieve professional growth throughout their careers
  • CPD strengthens the accountability of practitioners to themselves, their profession, their employer, their patients, clients, and communities; to promote health, protect the Public interest, and deliver quality nursing care to the South African community.


CPD documents

SANC CPD Framework

Roles and responsibilities of CPD evaluation structures

Criteria and process for recognition of CPD providers