Frequently Asked Questions

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Through the Optical Assistant it is possible to obtain your full quota of CEUs (Continuing Education Units) for the year. The Optical Assistant is an accredited CPD provider of level 2 activities. We provide written articles with questionnaires to complete.

Continuing professional development (CPD) was introduced by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) to ensure that health care professionals continually update their professional knowledge and skills, for the end benefit of the patient.

All health care professionals who register with HPCSA for the first time after 1st January of a particular year need to commence with CPD immediately, by completing a series of accredited activities.

CPD accredited activities include attending accredited lectures, conferences, journal clubs, or reading and answering questions on accredited topics. CPD activities may be selected at any level that meets the particular needs of the health care professional. The Optical Assistant CPD programme meets these criteria, and provides the full quota of CEUs per year.

Each CPD activity is allocated a certain number of points or CEUs, depending on the nature of the activity, which may be level 1, 2 or 3. Each health care professional is required to obtain 30 CEUs per 12 month period. Five of these CEUs must be on ethics. Each CEU is valid for 24 months from the date of the CPD activity.

Certain groups or institutions are appointed by the Professional Board on the basis of certain criteria set out by the HPCSA CPD Committee. All activities in the Optical Assistant are accredited by the University of Johannesburg.

Mandatory random audits are conducted by the HPCSA. It is important that each health care professional keeps a personal record of his/her CPD activities. The HPCSA Individual CPD Activity Record (Form CPD1IAR) is available on the HPCSA website for this purpose. All activities done through the Optical Assistant are stored on the SB Media website, and may be accessed at any time.

If a health care professional is selected for a random audit, he/she is required to submit a portfolio of CPD activity within 21 days. If he/she is non-compliant (i.e. does not have the required number of CEUs), he/she is given 6 months to obtain the CEUs. If there is still non-compliance after this 6 month period, the Professional Board will consider appropriate action.

The Board may request a letter giving reasons for non-compliance. If the reasons are acceptable, the health care professional is given 6 months to obtain the necessary CEUs. Under certain circumstances the Committee of Preliminary Enquiry may decide to grant a final additional 6 months. If there is still non-compliance, one of the following actions may be taken:

  • the health care professional may be required to work under supervision for a certain period of time
  • a remedial programme of CPD may be required
  • the professional may be required to write an examination
  • he/she may be suspended from practice for a time period determined by the Professional Board
  • OR any other action may be recommended by the Board.

Health care professionals working abroad should comply with the CPD requirements of the country in which they are practising. For re-registration in South Africa, proof of CPD compliance abroad must be submitted.

You may either read the articles in the Optical Assistant or on our website, and then send us your answer sheet. Answer sheets can be submitted by email, fax, post or online.

Payment may be made by credit card, cheque or EFT. Please remember to use your OP number as a reference.

First National Bank
Branch: Balfour Park
Branch Code: 212217
Account Number: 6202 151 8818
Reference Number: Your OP number

As soon as your EFT payment is reflected on our bank statement or your credit card put through, we will invoice you and send your test for marking and processing. Please allow 2-3 weeks for this process.

If your email address is supplied, we will email your certificates to you. Alternatively, they will be posted. Certificates will also be available on our website.