The Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ) is a statutory regulatory body established under the Health Professions Act No. 24 of 2009 of the Laws of Zambia.
The functions of HPCZ as enshrined in the Act are as follows:
- Registration of health practitioners and regulation of their professional conduct (except for nurses who are registered and regulated under another Act);
- Licensing and regulation of all health facilities;
- Accreditation of healthcare services provided by health facilities; and the
- Recognition and approval of training programmes for health practitioners.
It is a requirement for every medical practitioner to renew his or her annual practicing licence with HPCZ. To do this, the medical practitioner should have attained a certain number of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points. Currently this is at 100. Practitioners below the rank of registered specialist, consultant, Lecturers and trained tutors complete the current CPD form. The CPD point codes are as follows:
A - Attendance at relevant lectures in your Field 10
B - Attendance at recognise seminar/workshop/symposium 10
C - Giving or organising relevant Lecture 20
D - Attendance at workshop, seminar or symposium given by professor Or recognised Specialist 20
E - Attendance at recognised seminar/workshop/course lasting one week or more 100
F - Personal or Group research or audit 30
G - Grand Round 30
H - Training or Teaching in Health related areas (including public education) 30
The Zambia Medical Association is one of the professional associations accredited by HPCZ to provide Continuous Medical Education (CME). The HPCZ has mandated the ZMA to restructure CMEs for medical doctors.
The ZMA Strategic Plan
To ensure that the association achieves its mission, ZMA has a strategic plan, which spells out how it shall perform. Regarding Continuous medical education, Strategic goal number 4 aims at promoting learning and continuous medical education.
The rationale behind this strategic goal is that for ZMA to fulfil its mission, it must look beyond current events and issues and anticipate future challenges and opportunities.
Strategies to achieving strategic goal number for CMEs:
- Create awareness and understanding of new directions in health care and medicine among members, stakeholders and community at large
- Being engaged with the development and taking advantage of new technologies and innovations
- Developing an adaptive leadership style that responds quickly to challenges and opportunities
The Medical Education and Research Board of ZMA working together with the ZMA HPCZ board will make a CME calendar and strategize on how CMEs will be carried out in all the 10 provinces in the country. All medical doctors will require a certain number of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points in in order to renew their annual practicing licences with the Health Professions Council of Zambia. This means that it will be imperative for all medical doctors to be members of the ZMA in order to ease their licence renewal as regards CPD points. ZMA will also have records of their CPD points.
The CMEs organized by the ZMA will be driven through its committee on CMEs and this will be done at both national and provincial levels. In terms of the credit weight given to CME activities, there are various ratings under HPCZ for lectures/seminars/workshops, etc. However, this will need to be revised by the CME committee in order to expand what is currently prevailing.
Medical doctors are in different categories and these will be considered as CMEs are being designed. The categories include:
- Doctors in clinical Practice
- Doctors in Academia i.e. Lecturers or Researchers with different universities
- Doctors running programs in the health sector who either are working with partners or are in the public sector and not in active clinical practice.
ROLES OF THE CME COMMITTEE
- It shall be responsible for designing the CME programs.
- It shall be responsible for weighing the CMEs.
- The committee, as part of the initial mandate, will agree on the minimum CPD points required for licence renewal which they shall submit to HPCZ
- The committee will work closely with the provincial branches to ensure that activities are held according to schedule
Types of CMEs
CMEs will be both WEB based and face offs.
Web based CMEs, ZMA will invite members to submit web based CMEs. This will be in general medicine as well as the sub specialties. The weight of such CMEs will be no more than 2 CPD points for participant
Mandatory CMEs for non-specialist doctors
For none specialised doctors, the following will be mandatory:
- ALS (APLS or ATLS) – to be renewed depending on the expiry date. Doctors will be required to present a valid certificate of ALS to HPCZ. ZMA therefore shall be responsible for organising such trainings every year to ensure that members are well vest in managing emergencies.
- Professionalisms and Medical ethics- (Preservice and every 5 years)
- Management and care for HIV patients (Basic)
- HIV management updates annually (online)
Mandatory CMEs for specialist doctors
For specialised doctors, the mandatory CMEs will depend on their specialty and the ZMA committee on CMEs will design what would be appropriate to allow renewal of their annual licences with HPCZ. This is important to ensure that excellence is upheld in all areas of practice.