Clinical Skills Unit: adressing the need for continued professional development (CPD) in allied health professions

Santie van Vuuren




Introduction The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) monitors compulsory continued professional development (CPD) to ensure that healthcare professionals update their knowledge and skills to the benefit of their clients. On completion of the Clinical Skills Unit for the School for Allied Health Professions, one of the objectives was to use it for CPD as part of a responsibility towards alumni. We investigated the needs of qualified dieticians, occupational therapists and physiotherapists for a unit providing CPD.

Methods A descriptive, comparative study was conducted. Two hundred and fifty-eight questionnaires were distributed in the Free State and Northern Cape provinces. To ensure reliability, 10% of the sample was tested after one month.

Results One hundred and twenty-seven professionals responded to the questionnaire, with 55.6% being from the Free State. CPD activities were attended in Bloemfontein by 65.9%. Most previous CPD activities (70.6%) were theoretical and 85% of respondents would prefer to observe experts and learn by doing. Most respondents agreed that the CSU could address their CPD needs. No significant differences occurred between professional groups.

Conclusions Developing the CSU at the UFS will adress the CPD needs of allied health professionals in the Free State and Northern Cape.


Key words clinical skills unit; continued professional development; CPD; allied health professions

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ISSN 0038-2337 (print), ISSN 2310-3833 (online)

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