Government Notice No. R. 254
14 February 1975
as amended by
No. R. 479
10 March 1978
No. R. 2212
31 October 1980
No. R. 1424
1 July 1983
No. R. 2553
15 November 1985
No. R. 1141
29 May 1987
No. R. 2180
19 November 1993
No. R. 55
17 January 1997
South African Nursing Council
Regulations for the Course for the Diploma in Midwifery for Registration as a
The Minister of Health, in terms of
section 11 (1) of the Nursing Act, 1957 (Act 69 of 1957), as amended, has
approved of the following regulations for the course for the diploma in
midwifery for registration as a midwife, made by the South African Nursing
Council in substitution for the regulations published under Government Notice R.
84 of 16 January 1970, as amended by Notices R. 1379 of 13 August 1971 and R.
1739 of 29 September 1972:
Conditions for the approval of schools
1. (1) A
school may be approved if-
(a) the organisational
structure and the facilities for the conduct of the teaching programme are
satisfactory in the opinion of the Council;
educational programme is satisfactory in the opinion of the Council;
(c) a person who is registered both as a general nurse and as a midwife
and against whose name an additional qualification in nursing education and an
additional qualification in nursing administration are registered, is designated
to the Council as the person in charge of the school;
(d) facilities for clinical practica are satisfactory in the opinion of
(e) facilities for practica in preventive and
promotive health care are satisfactory in the opinion of the Council.
(2) Notwithstanding the conditions prescribed in this regulation, the
Council may approve a school even if all the conditions cannot be complied with.
Approval may be granted upon such conditions as the Council may determine.
Admission to the course
2. A candidate shall submit to the person
in charge of the school proof of current registration as a general nurse or as a
psychiatric nurse, or proof of current enrolment as a nurse. This registration
or enrolment shall be maintained throughout the course and until the results of
the final examination are published, failing which the period of the course
undergone from the date of removal from the register or roll to the date of
restoration, shall be forfeited.
Registration, restoration, termination and completion of the
3. In terms of the regulations regarding the registers for
(a) a student shall apply for registration
or for restoration to the register;
(b) the person in charge
of a school shall notify the Council if a student terminates the course for any
reason before completion, including a transfer to another school;
(c) the person in charge of a school shall notify the Council when a
student completes the course. With this notice a record of the theoretical and
clinical instruction undergone by the student shall be lodged.
Duration of the course
4. (1) Except as otherwise
prescribed in regulation 7, the duration of the course shall be two (2) years.
The leave of absence which may be granted in terms of paragraph (2) and the sick
leave which may be granted in terms of paragraph (3)(a) are included in this
period (not additional sick leave which may be granted in terms of paragraph (3)(b)).
(2) A student may be granted leave of absence as follows at such
times during the prescribed course as the person in charge of the school may
(a) If the prescribed course extends over less
than one (1) year - nil;
(b) if the prescribed course
extends over at least one (1) year but over less than two (2)
years - not more than thirty (30) days in all;
the prescribed course extends over at least two (2) years but over less than
three (3) years - not more than sixty (60) days in all.
(3) (a) A student may be granted sick leave calculated at the
rate of twelve (12) days for each year of the course and a proportionate number
of days in a lesser period. Sick leave maybe granted at any time during the
(b) Additional sick leave may be granted, but this
sick leave shall be made up so that the prescribed period for the course is
(4) (a) The course shall be commenced de novo
if a break occurs before the completion of six (6) months of the prescribed
course, unless the Council determines otherwise.
(b) The period of any
break shall be made up so that the prescribed period for the course is
(c) For the purpose of this regulations the expression "break" means-
(i) any absence
which is not authorised in this regulation;
(ii) a transfer
from one school to another.
(The curriculum must be read in
the directive obtainable from the Council)
(i) All the subjects of the curriculum shall
be taught at an applied level throughout the course;
ethical foundations of midwifery shall be emphasised throughout the course;
(iii) the law governing the practice of midwifery, including
the regulations regarding the conduct of registered midwives which shall
constitute improper or disgraceful conduct and the conditions under which they
may carry on their profession, shall be taught at an applied level throughout
(iv) medico-legal risks shall be emphasised
throughout the course;
(v) the science principles underlying
midwifery shall be emphasised throughout the course;
(vi) Microbiology, Parasitology and Pharmacology shall be emphasised
throughout the course.
(1) Basic sciences:
(a) Social Sciences, Social Care and Mental Health Care.
(b) Natural sciences. - Applied Medical Biophysics and Applied Chemistry.
(c) Biological sciences. - Anatomy, Physiology and Microbiology, Parasitology and Pharmacology.
(2) Science and Art of Midwifery, Neo-natal Care and Mothercraft (from infancy to
the pre-school child).
(3) Preventive and Promotive Health Care and Family Planning.
(4) Principles of Professional Practice.
(5) Ward Administration and Clinical Instruction.
Lectures, clinical instruction and practica
6. (1) Except as otherwise prescribed in regulation 7, a student
shall throughout the course receive instruction both theoretically and
clinically in the subjects prescribed in the curriculum in regulation 5.
(2) The clinical instruction and practica shall include (the instruction
need not be continuous)-
(a) sixty (60) hours in an
ante-natal department or clinic. The student shall examine and receive
instruction in the supervision of at least thirty (30) pregnant women;
(b) witnessing under instruction of five (5) deliveries before the
student is allowed to do deliveries;
(c) fifteen (15)
deliveries by the student personally. At least the first five (5) deliveries
shall be done in the school;
(d) fifteen (15) internal
examinations by the student personally. The findings shall be checked by a
medical practitioner or a registered midwife;
and relaxation techniques, ante-natal exercises, post-natal exercises;
(f) performance of episiotomies;
(g) suturing of first
and second degree tears of the perineum and of episiotomies and administration
of a local anaesthetic, excluding pudendal block.
(3) During the
instruction, a student-
(a) shall keep records
of ante-natal patients and of the patients personally delivered by the student;
(b) shall nurse ante-natal patients suffering from abnormal
(c) may receive instruction on a district approved
by the Council.
(4) A student shall receive clinical instruction,
including practica in the wards and departments in delivering and nursing
patients at night, for at least a twelfth (1/12) and for not more than a quarter
(1/4) of the prescribed period for the course. These periods need not be
7. (1) Students referred to in this
(a) shall comply with the provisions of
(b) shall not be granted exemption under more
than one of the succeeding paragraphs.
(2) A student who is a registered
general nurse or a registered psychiatric nurse, is exempted-
(a) from one (1) year of the prescribed period for the course; and
(b) from the preliminary examination and the lectures,
demonstrations and clinical instruction prescribed for this examination.
(3) A student not being a registered general nurse or a registered
psychiatric nurse, but who has passed in the common preliminary examination for
general nurses and psychiatric nurses and midwives is exempted from the
preliminary examination, but shall attend the lectures and demonstrations and
undergo the clinical instruction prescribed for this examination.
(5) The Council may grant other exemptions.
(2) The preliminary examination shall consist of
a written portion of one combined paper of three hours on the subjects Natural
Sciences and Biological Sciences.
(3) The final examination shall
consist of two portions, namely-
(a) a written
portion of three papers of three hours each; and
practical portion conducted by the nursing school.
(4) The examinations
shall be conducted in accordance with the regulations relating to examinations
of the council.
(5) The course referred to in these regulations shall,
for the purposes of applying the regulations referred to in subregulation (4),
be called a basic course.
Admission to examinations
9. (1) In order to be admitted to the preliminary examination,
the candidate shall-
(a) complete at least nine
months of the prescribed period for the course by the end of the month in which
the examination is held; and
(b) by the date of the
examination have attended the course of instruction in the subjects prescribed
for the preliminary examination.
(2) A student shall be admitted to the
second year only after he has completed the first year of the course and has
passed the preliminary examination.
(3) In order to be admitted to the
final examination, the candidate shall-
the prescribed period for the course by the end of the month in which the
examination is held;
(b) subject to the provisions of
regulation (7), complete by the end of the month in which the examination is
held at least one year of the prescribed period for the course subsequent to the
date of the preliminary examination which he passed; and
(c) subject to the provisions of regulation 7, comply with the
provisions of regulation 6 by the date of the examination.
candidate who does not comply with the requirements for admission to an
examination because of additional sick leave referred to in regulation 4(3)(b), which has to be made up, may be admitted by the council to the examination
(a) the person in charge of the nursing school
submits a written application for the admission of the candidate to the council
not later than the prescribed closing date; and
(b) it is
possible to make up the additional sick leave not later that the end of the
month in which the examination is held.
10. A candidate who has successfully
completed the course shall be registered without the payment of a fee as a
midwife in terms of the regulations regarding registers; provided the notice and
record prescribed in regulation 3(c) have been lodged.
Application of regulations
11. (1) Subject to the
provisions of regulation 12, these regulations shall apply to all courses in the
Republic leading to registration as a midwife.
12. (1) Subject to the provisions of subregulation (2),
these regulations shall not derogate from the provisions of-
(a) the regulations referred to in section 46(2) of the Nursing
Act, 1978 (Act No. 6 of 1978) (Transkei), and published by Government Notice No.
R. 254 of 14 February 1975, as amended by Government Notice No. R. 479 of 10
March 1978, hereinafter referred to as 'the 1975 regulations', which shall
remain in force until 31 December 1998;
(b) the regulations
published under the Nursing Act, 1984 (Act No. 13 of 1984) (Ciskei), by
Government Notice No. 86 of 1986, hereinafter referred to as 'the 1986
regulations', which shall remain in force until 31 December 1998;
(c) the regulations published under the Health and Related Professions
Act, 1985 (Act No. 33 of 1985) (Bophuthatswana), by Government Notice No. 63 of
23 March 1990, hereinafter referred to as 'the 1990 regulations', which shall
remain in force until 31 December 1998.
(2) Notwithstanding the
provisions of subregulation (1), no person shall be permitted to register for a
course referred to in the 1975, 1986 or 1990 regulations, after 28 February
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