Decisions taken at Council Meeting July 2017
Applicants with a qualification obtained outside South Africa
The Office of the Registrar received applications from foreign-qualified candidates who wished to be registered as pharmacists or pharmacy support personnel. Council has previously approved Guidelines for persons who hold qualifications in pharmacy obtained outside the Republic, as well as criteria to be used in the evaluation of these applications. In July 2016, Council resolved that pharmacists with foreign qualifications be granted four attempts in each paper and a maximum of four years from the date of approval to pass the professional examinations. For applicants requiring registration as pharmacy support personnel, that this should include the completion of a module in South African law and ethics. In July 2017, Council resolved that-
- Ms SY Oguntade be registered as a pharmacist intern after successfully completing the professional examinations and be required to complete a minimum of six months internship in an institutional or community pharmacy. The candidate also be required to successfully complete the pre-registration evaluation, i.e. successfully complete the pre-registration examination and all continuing professional development (CPD) requirements or provide documentary evidence of compliance to the CPD requirements in the country of origin and submit one progress report prior to registration as a pharmacist;
- Mr T Sekotlo and Ms A Reji be registered as pharmacist interns after successfully completing the professional examinations and be required to complete a minimum of 12 months internship in an institutional or community pharmacy. The candidates also be required to also successfully complete the pre-registration evaluation, i.e. successfully complete the pre-registration examination and all CPD requirements or provide documentary evidence of compliance with the CPD requirements in their country of origin and submit all progress reports prior to registration as pharmacists;
- Mr MS Gwata be exempted from submitting the registration certificate as a pharmacist due permanent residence status in South Africa, be registered as a pharmacist intern after successfully completing the professional examinations and complete a minimum of 12 months internship in an institutional or community pharmacy. In addition, the candidate be required to complete pre-registration evaluation, i.e. successfully complete the pre-registration examination, all CPD requirements and submit all progress reports prior to registration as a pharmacist; and
- Ms RN Chimbari be registered as a learner post-basic pharmacist’s assistant and be required to complete a module on Pharmacy Law and Ethics with an accredited provider. Further to this, the candidate also required to complete a minimum of 6 months in-service training at a registered training facility under the supervision of an approved tutor who must submit a four months progress report.
Process for registering South Africans currently being trained in India
The Office of the Registrar had a meeting with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health who, as part of their initiative, sent students to India to study pharmacy at the Manipal University. The province was informed of the process for recognition of foreign qualifications by the Council as well as the implications thereof, since the students will come back to South Africa as soon as they complete their qualification. However, since the students would have not practiced in India, they will not be able to produce some of the documents required by Council with the applications for recognition of foreign qualifications, such as proof of registration as a pharmacist and a letter of good standing from the regulatory body. The province requested Council’s assistance and support to ease the registration process.
Council discussed the request and resolved that the Council’s criteria for pharmacists with foreign qualification be applied for the candidates studying pharmacy in India upon their return i.e. each graduate will be required to-
- submit BPharm qualification from Manipal University to the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) for evaluation individually. This evaluation is done in terms of the South African National Qualifications Framework (NQF); and
- submit to Council a duly completed application form for recognition of foreign qualifications together with the required supporting documents and payment of the applicable fee as indicated in the attached Criteria for evaluation of foreign qualifications.
Applications for recognition of foreign qualifications are evaluated by the CPD Committee of Council, which may resolve, after each candidate had passed the professional examination, that he/she be-
- registered as an intern, in an approved pharmacy, under a tutor; and
- competent in all the pre-registration requirements before registration as pharmacist, i.e.
- complete 365 days of practical training under a tutor in a community or institutional pharmacy approved for training;
- submit 8 CPD activities and competent in 6 of them
- write and pass the pre-registration examination; and
- submit progress report by the tutor.
Currently, professional examinations are conducted twice a year in May and October, and consist of four papers written on different days. The dates for the examinations are often confirmed closer to the time.
Therefore for Council to assist, the province will have to inform Council on the anticipated date of return of candidates to South Africa, as well as prepare for bulk submission of required documents to Council for processing.
Timelines for pharmacy support personnel with foreign qualifications to register with Council
Council, from time to time, receives applications from candidates with foreign qualifications who wish to be registered as pharmacists or pharmacy support personnel for evaluation. Candidates who meet the criteria for registration as a pharmacist are expected to pass the professional examinations and meet the internship requirements prior to registration as pharmacists, whereas pharmacy support personnel are allowed to register as pharmacist’s assistant learner post-basic and are required to successfully complete a module in South African law and ethics as well as submit one favourable progress report prior to registering as post-basic pharmacist’s assistants. Council does not currently have a limit on the time it takes for candidates applying to be registered as pharmacy support personnel. In July 2017, Council resolved that candidates with foreign qualifications who apply to be registered as pharmacy support personnel be granted two years to complete registration as pharmacist’s assistants in the category learner post-basic from the date of approval of application by Council.
Submission of inconsistent documents by candidates with foreign qualifications
Council also receives applications from candidates with foreign qualifications who wish to be registered as pharmacists or pharmacy support personnel for evaluation. The Office of the Registrar had previously received inconsistent documents from some applicants and as a result advised the relevant stakeholders such as the Department of Health Foreign Workforce Management Programme, South African Qualifications Authority, Department of Home Affairs and relevant embassies/consulates of the suspicion of the fraudulent actions. In October 2016, Council resolved to amend the Guidelines for persons who hold qualifications in pharmacy obtained outside the Republic to include a statement that reads “SAPC has zero tolerance towards fraud and corruption. If documents are found to be inconsistent, Council will retain the payment and documents, and make the information known to all the relevant authorities about the suspicion. Should Council become aware of the submission of fraudulent documents by foreign qualified applicants already registered, such submission will be referred to the Committee for Preliminary Investigations. Council will draft a policy on handling inconsistent documents submitted for recognition of foreign qualifications to cover all the concerns.”