Understanding the process of release from community service
The community service requirement on newly qualified pharmacists is implemented through a multi-stakeholder process involving the National Department of Health (NDoH), the health authorities directly responsible for community service pharmacists (comprising the Heads of Pharmaceutical Services (HOPS) in host provinces and other NDoH offices placed in other approved sites for community services), and the South African Pharmacy Council.
All newly registered pharmacists are expected to serve a year (365 days) of community service after successfully completing an internship programme. On completion of community service, and once the South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC) has been notified by the province’s Head of Pharmaceutical Services or the NDoH, the SAPC will issue a certificate confirming release of the pharmacist from their community service obligation within 14 days of receiving such notification.
CSPs with queries relating to their release from community service should direct these to the relevant HOPS in their province/site of service.