The Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa

ensuring quality complementary and alternative healthcare of choice

FAQs Advertising

Please see the Unprofessional Conduct Notice under Tab> Legislation, regarding Facebook and other media interaction.

Am I allowed to advertise?

No. The Regulations provide that a practitioner may display a sign on the premises of the practice which sign may state the following:

  • name,
  • profession,
  • registered qualifications in abbreviated form,
  • awards and honorary degrees in abbreviated form,
  • addresses, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address,
  • hours of consultation,
  • AHPCSA registration number,
  • BHF practise number,
  • as well as your VAT registration number (if applicable).
  • You may however not advertise non-registered qualifications together with registered qualifications, and you may not make unlawful health or curative claims of any kind.

    May I advertise being a member of Council if I am a registered practitioner?

    No, Council is not an Association or Society, and hence registered practitioners may not claim to be “members”. Council registration is a legal requisite to practice any of the 11 registered disciplines and does not confer “membership” on practitioners. The only members of Council are the elected and appointed representatives.

    FAQs Advertising

    Please see the Unprofessional Conduct Notice under Tab> Legislation, regarding Facebook and other media interaction.


    Am I allowed to advertise?
    No. The Regulations provide that a practitioner may display a sign on the premises of the practice which sign may state the following:

  • name,
  • profession,
  • registered qualifications in abbreviated form,
  • awards and honorary degrees in abbreviated form;
  • addresses, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address,
  • hours of consultation,
  • AHPCSA registration number,
  • BHF practise number,
  • as well as your VAT registration number (if applicable).
  • You may however not advertise non-registered qualifications together with registered qualifications, and you may not make unlawful health or curative claims of any kind.


    May I advertise being a member of Council if I am a registered practitioner?
    No, Council is not an Association or Society, and hence registered practitioners may not claim to be “members”. Council registration is a legal requisite to practice any of the 11 registered disciplines and does not confer “membership” on practitioners. The only members of Council are the elected and appointed representatives.

    FAQs Councils

    What is the purpose of a statutory health council?
    The key purpose of a statutory health council is the protection and promotion of public interest, which includes ensuring that all services provided by health practitioners meet the responsibility of delivering quality affordable health care to the citizens of the country.


    What are the roles of statutory health councils and to whom are they accountable?
    The primary role of Statutory Councils is the responsibility of governance of the health sector in South Africa. This mandate is affected by the operational management and regulation of health professionals, medical schemes, medicines control, medical research, and laboratory services. Councils that fall within the health sector are accountability to the Health Department, but operate independently. They are however accountable for fulfilling the functions entrusted in them through the Acts that established them.


    Who or what is the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa?
    The Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa [Council] is a statutory Council for allied health professions established by way of the Allied Health Professions Act 63 of 1982 [as amended] in order to provide for the control of the practice of all allied health professions, which professions include Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Osteopathy, Phytotherapy, Therapeutic Aromatherapy, Therapeutic Massage Therapy, Therapeutic Reflexology and Unani-Tibb.


    What is the purpose of the Allied Health Professions Act and the Regulations?
    The Act and the Regulations provides for the control, governance and practice of allied health professions.


    Does this mean that the Council is there to serve the registered health practitioners? And if not, who does serve the interests of the practitioners?
    No, the Council is not there to serve the individual practitioners, nor specific health professions, nor medical schemes, not the pharmaceutical, cosmetic or such-related industries. It is vitally important that practitioners realise that registration with Council is not voluntary, as law prescribes registration. Council is accountable to the public, as opposed to serving the interests of the practitioners. Professional associations or societies serve the collective interests of registered practitioners and other stakeholders. [refer to the individual professional pages for links to the Associations]
    What are the Council’s functions?
    The primary mandate of the Council is public protection, as per the responsibility of all statutory councils, however it is relative to the governance of the 11 professions registered under Council. Council carries out its functions in various ways for these 11 professions within its jurisdiction, whilst striving to provide affordable, accessible, integrated and professional holistic healthcare to all people of South Africa. Council’s functions are inter alia:

  • to assist in the promotion and protection of the health of the population of the Republic;
  • to govern, administer and set policy relating to the professions registered with the Council;
  • to control the practice of the professions and ensure that Scopes of Practice are observed;
  • to investigate in accordance with the provisions of the Allied Health Professions Act complaints relating to the affairs of practitioners and students; and to attend to other judicial matters as per the Act;
  • to control the registration of persons in respect of any profession,
  • to regulate and set standards for the training of intending practitioners [which functions include registration of students and interns of the professions registered with the Council];

  • What is the structure of Council?
    The Council consists of the following 10 elected members and 6 representative members appointed by the Minister of Health;

  • 11 persons elected by the registered practitioners – one each for each of the allied health professions
  • 1 person representing the Department of Health;
  • 1 person elected by the Minister of Health on account of his/her knowledge of the law; and
  • 4 community representatives, who are not registered practitioners with the Council, but who do have expertise in the fields of health, education and welfare.

  • In addition the Council is assisted by 4 Professional Boards, which serve as advisory bodies to the Council. These Boards comprise of 4 elected members per registered profession, with 2-3 disciplines combining to form 4 separate Boards. In addition to the elected Board members, the relevant Council members for each of the professions comprising a particular Board also serves on these Boards. There is also one Community member per Board. This makes the full Board complement, at present, a total of between 5 and 7 members per Board for the 4 Boards.


    The Boards are grouped as follows:

  • Professional Board for Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture and Unani-Tibb (PBACMU)
  • Professional Board for Chiropractic & Osteopathy (PBCO)
  • Professional Board for Homeopathy, Naturopathy, & Phytotherapy (PBHNP)
  • Professional Board for Therapeutic Aromatherapy, Therapeutic Reflexology, and Therapeutic Massage Therapy. (PBARM)

  • What other formal sub-committees are there?
    Council is served by an elected Executive Committee of 5 registered practitioners. This working group consists of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and 3 other members. In addition, there is the Finance Committee and the Council Education Committee.


    Do Council and Professional Board get salaries?
    No, only the Administration is salaried employees of Council.


    How do I apply for registration as a Practitioner?
    Applications for registration may be directed to:

    The Registrar, 61 Rose Street, Riviera, Pretoria, 0084 – or Private Bag X4, Queenswood, 0121.
    Telephone [012] 329-4001, Fax: [012] 329-2279
    No electronic application forms will be permitted.
    For criteria to register please see the relevant pages.
    Application forms can be down loaded and printed under the Forms page.


    Do students enrolled in professional training for the 11 professions need to be registered?
    Yes, according to the Act all persons enrolled as students in an allied health profession shall apply for registration as a student.


    Do students have to apply for registration immediately after graduation?
    No, but they may not practice without being registered.
    Should a student wish to travel after graduation, can s/he apply for registration on return to the country, and would there by any criteria or conditions needing to be met on return?
    Yes, they may apply, but may not practice until registered.


    Where can information about the Act be obtained?
    The Council’s legislation can be down loaded from the website, or purchased on a CD from Council House. For more information concerning the purchase of a CD please see contact page.

    FAQs Council Registration

    Why do I need to be registered?
    All persons practicing statutorily recognised professions are legally bound to be registered with whichever statutory council governs such professions. Registration with the Council is therefore compulsory in order to practice any of the 11 registered allied health professions within South Africa.

    What are the benefits of registration?

    Some of the benefits include:

  • Statutory and public recognition as a Health Professional;
  • Being able to indicate on his/her nameplate the profession/s for which the practitioner is registered;
  • Being participant in reputable registered discipline/s that contribute towards South Africa’s vast healthcare needs;
  • Being lawfully permitted to practice for gain;
  • Being legally permitted to practice any acts that fall within the Scope of Practice of the profession/s for which a practitioner is registered; and
  • Obtaining of a practice number which facilitates medical aid payments.
  • Why are some practitioners that fall into these 11 professions practicing without being registered?
    Any person who is practising without being registered is practising illegally and criminal charges may be brought against any such person.

    FAQs Education

    What is RPL?
    RPL = Recognition of Prior Learning.

    How does it apply to me should I wish to acquire another qualification?
    RPL Policy is a statute in the Higher Education Act and the principle of recognizing prior learning has been elaborated on in the SAQA Act. Therefore all education and training organisations are compelled to adhere to the RPL principle. This means that you can request to be assessed by the training organisation where you want to continue your studies. Previous training is assessed against the credits required for the envisaged qualification. The prospective learner must meet the standards of the organisation where he/she wants to study. All accredited organisations have RPL policies.

    Can I be registered in more than 1 profession?
    Yes. Registration fees are however due for each registration.

    Can I be registered with more than 1 Health Council?
    Yes.

    Is it acceptable to participate in and offer treatments at health fairs and expos, as many people did prior to the new statutory registers being opened?
    No. Health professionals do not practice in public. Information via brochures and talks may be provided by a professional association about the profession.

    If I buy someone else’s practice, am I entitled to the patient records?
    Patients record are usually passed on to the practitioner buying the practice – unless there is particular provision made to the contrary. The selling practitioner should however notify all patients that the practice is being sold and obtain consent to transfer their records to the purchasing practitioner. It is the patient’s prerogative to refuse consent and/or leave the practice.

    Do you have a complaint regarding a practitioner who is registered with this council?
    Any member of the public who has a complaint regarding the professional conduct of a registered practitioner is invited to lodge such complaint in written and affidavit form addressed to the Registrar of Council at the Council’s address. Please include any documentary evidence that you may have. Council address: Private Bag X4, Queenswood, 0121.

    Unregistered persons practicing health professions are a danger to the public!
    Members of the public should take care to only consult registered practitioners. Please contact the Council if you wish to check that a practitioner is registered in the profession concerned or require up to date details of registered practitioners in your area.

    FAQs General

    Can Council-registered practitioners work from their homes?
    Yes, provided you have a separate entrance


    From which other premises can they work?
    A dedicated private practice that is not part of their private residence, and rooms of other AHPCSA registered health professionals e.g. Chiropractor, Naturopath, etc.


    From where can they not work?
    From a bedroom, living room/lounge, etc. or from retail premises with no separate entrance e.g. beauty salons, hairdressing salons etc.


    With whom can Council registered practitioners work?
    According to legislation, they may work with (share premises) other health professionals registered with a statutory health council.


    With whom can Council registered practitioners NOT work?
    They may not work with (share premises) non-registered persons/practitioners.
    eg: Hairdressers, beauty therapists, personal trainers, etc.


    Do practicing Health Professionals have a Code of Ethics and/or Code of Practice that must be upheld?
    The Council is in the process of compiling Ethical Guidelines for Practitioners. This will be distributed to all registered persons once finalised.


    Why is it necessary to have a Code of Ethics and/or Code of Practice?
    Guidelines are necessary to ensure that all practitioners maintain a standard of behaviour that is in keeping with professional status.


    What is the difference between Council, Professional Boards and Associations/Societies?
    Council serves to govern the professions in their entirety, whilst the function of the Professional Boards is to serve as advisory bodies to Council. Professional organisations such as Associations/Societies are private entities that administer their own affairs and serve individual private members.

    The pathway of responsibility/accountability is therefore as follows: Organisations are accountable to members; Professional Boards are accountable to Council, Council is accountable to the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Health is accountable to the public.

    Liaison between Council and professional organisations is encouraged, as organisations serve an important role in keeping their members informed of their professional and statutory responsibilities. Each grouping therefore forms an integral part of the intricate tapestry required to serve the health needs of the South African public


    Do I have to belong to an Association and/or Society?
    Membership to any Association/Society is voluntary.


    If I registered with my Society/Association why must I pay more registration fees?
    Membership to an Association/Society is in addition to, not in place of registration with the Council, since the functions of each are different.


    Are there any benefits to belonging to an Association and/or Society?
    Yes. The primary benefit of belonging to an Association/Society is knowing that there is a powerful, collective and unified voice of a recognised professional association advising, monitoring and negotiating with all parties to ensure that the best interests of its members are considered. Organisations can effectively market and positively promote the professions.


    Now that I am registered do I have to register as a taxpayer?
    Yes. All persons gainfully employed are required by law to be registered taxpayers.


    As a registered practitioner can I practice non-registered professions?
    No.


    Can I employ, or be employed by, a non-registered professional?
    No.


    Do I have to have Professional Indemnity / Malpractice Insurance?
    No, however it is advisable to have such insurance cover.


    Do I have to have Public Liability Insurance?
    Yes. In terms of the National Health Act 61 of 2003 all practitioners are required to have public Liability Insurance for their practice

    FAQs Practice Numbers

    Does a practice number guarantee reimbursement from medical insurance schemes?
    No. A practice number is independent to insured payment for services rendered. It is vitally important that practitioners and patients appreciate that each medical insurance scheme has its own individual policies that decide on reimbursements for services – irrespective of practice numbers. Medical schemes, as private enterprises, have full right to set their own rules and regulations relative to any reimbursements.


    Who sets and approves tariffs for services rendered?
    The National Department of Health in consultation with the Council for Medical Schemes and Council, along with proposals from the Professional Boards and the Professional Associations, makes recommendation about fees for service.


    Are the numbers issued by Council to registered practitioners considered “practice numbers”?
    No, these numbers are Council registration numbers only – not practice numbers. They may therefore not be used to imply the latter. Registered practitioners in active practice may choose to be registered with the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) in order to obtain a practice number.