Public emergency medical services colleges to now offer qualifications

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, has published a government gazette giving the green light to public emergency medical services education institutions to offer accredited emergency medical care qualifications.

These include qualifications registered on the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework (HEQSF) of the National Qualification Framework NQF) from January 2022.

The nine institutions, commonly known as emergency medical services colleges, listed in the gazette will be permitted to grant certificates, diplomas and degrees.

These range from Higher Certificates, Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas, and Postgraduate Graduate Diplomas to Bachelor’s Degrees.

According to the department, this is until such a time that these institutions are declared as public higher education colleges in terms of the Higher Education Act.

“In order to offer these qualifications, these colleges should meet the accreditation requirements of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPSCA) and should be registered on the NQF by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA),” explained the department.

Nzimande has described these colleges as the primary platform for emergency medical care education and training in South Africa.

He believes they are pivotal for producing emergency medical care personnel to support the public health sector.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that the public emergency medical services colleges are effectively integrated into the higher education and training landscape, and that they are able to offer their aligned qualifications next year.”

He said both Departments of Higher Education and Training and Health are confident that these public colleges will continue with their important work and admit a new cohort of students from 2022 onwards into their newly accredited HEQSF registered qualifications. –

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