Today’s blog post is written by Sonja van Jaarsveld.  Sonja graduated from University of Pretoria in 2001 and holds the CPD portfolio (as well as others) on the SAISI board.  She is ASI® qualified to FM level, and works at Kwaggasrand Technical Occupational School in Pretoria West.  I hope you enjoy reading her light-hearted and yet informative piece on CPD, especially in the light of the challenges we’ve faced with all the changes at the HPCSA this year.  Thank you Sonja!

We all know that we have to get 30 “CPD points” every year.  Beyond that, most of us are just relieved when our names are not picked for an audit and we can breathe easily again until the following year.

By the way, the points are actually called Continuing Education Units (CEU’s), and a single CEU is representative of one hour of learning. You need 25 clinical and 5 ethical CEUs every year to comply with Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

The sad news is that the days of keeping your fingers crossed that you don’t get picked, are over.  You won’t be able to keep your dwindling stash a secret any more. True to their vision to be a progressive regulator of health professionals aspiring to quality, equitable and accessible healthcare, the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) introduced a new online portal earlier this year. This online platform allows every registered health care worker to verify their compliance by uploading their CPD certificates. High-five on postponing the due date! It took a team effort to crash the site, but we gave it our best shot (said tongue in cheek, of course). Although these are still early days for this new feature, it is here to stay, and those IT guys are getting smarter by the minute! Make sure you stock up and replenish your stash. I’ll give you a few tips on CEU bargains later on.

The good news is that the CPD programme forms part of the HPCSA’s mission to set and maintain the highest standard of ethical and professional practice. The 21st Century marks a time of reinvention and by taking their cues from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the HPCSA is striving to make CPD more accessible and affordable and, even if you live in the Gamkaskloof with dial-up internet, you should have access to CPD learning activities. Change is in the air and SAISI will be there to advocate for you, and to ensure accessibility for all our members.

Yes, you really have to do it! There is no escape clause and your long-term efforts and minimising strategies won’t work – they have the book on excuses. We have sympathy that you are involuntarily forced into this unfortunate situation and we are here to support you in your suffering.

Go to the stationery shop right now and buy yourself a year planner.  Cross out the dates that you will be on maternity leave or recovering from a series of sleepless nights.  Circle your wedding day, honeymoon and anniversary immediately – those days are off-limits. Easter, Eid, Diwali, Rosh Hashanah, Ramadan, Christmas and your birthday should also be reserved as “No CPD” days. Go ahead and cross out the ones I forgot, as well as a couple more just to make sure you cover the basics, like the flu, load shedding, renewing your driver’s license etc. Surprisingly you only need 30 hours. No, not days, hours! I think we can agree that with careful planning this mountain doesn’t seem quite so high.

Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life. The lack of funds in any OT’s bank account is a true testimony to this idealistic quote. We are all broke most of the time, regardless of our employment status and training courses are expensive. A-thousand-and-one ideas with bread is an ideation skill every OT masters while saving up for ASI® training. While you might want to pull the weighted blanket closer after discussing your bank account, there is no need to add CPD to that depressing conversation.

Take a look at these bargains.

  • Join a journal club. They are everywhere, even online. SAISI currently has 54 journal clubs all over South Africa and many of them meet online. Joining is free if you are a SAISI member and you can earn up to 18 CEU’s mahala, not to mention the fresh audience you will have sharing your CPD sorrows.
  • SAISI presented four webinars free of charge in 2020 with a possible 12 CEU’s that could have been earned.  These are still available on our website under online learning for a small fee via cpdsolutions.
  • SAISI publish a newsletter three times a year with interesting articles from an ASI® perspective. As a member of SAISI you can earn 9 CEU’s free of charge if you read these articles and complete the questionnaires.
  • Writing an article for the SAISI newsletter will earn you 5 free CEU’s.
  • ASI® protocol markers earn 5 free CEU’s.
  • Data collectors who participated in the EASI International Normative Data Collection were awarded 20 CEU’s on the house.
  • OTASA publish their newsletter FOCUS as well as the SAJOT three times a year. As a member of OTASA reading the published articles and completing the questionnaires can earn you another 9 to 18 CEU’s free of charge.

You could have earned double the amount of CEU’s you needed in 2020 without spending a cent! It pays to be part of SAISI. Oh wait, there’s a catch. There always is. It starts with you. You have to take a step towards acceptance by embracing CPD, for it will be part of your professional career until the day you decide that you are too old to play anymore. Change your perspective and make a deliberate decision to join in the fun of learning. Be part of SAISI’s movement of sowing sensory seeds for the future.