Working in South Africa: an overview

This information paper lists relevant organisations, websites, contacts, references, and other useful information about physiotherapy in South Africa.



The equivalent of the CSP in South Africa is the South African Society of Physiotherapy (SASP).

The SASP provide professional liability insurance at reduced rates, deal with ethics issues, and represent the profession in negotiations with the South African National Department of Health and the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

There are also a number of special interest groups, both clinical and professional, available to SASP members. There are ten provincial branches of the Society.

Eligibility to work as a physiotherapist in South Africa

The South African Department of Health has a formal written policy on employing foreign health professionals, particularly to work in remote or under-served areas. As general principles:

  • The employment of a foreign health professional is only permitted if the post was open to competition and no suitable South African candidate could be found
  • A foreign health professional may only work under a fixed term, non-renewable contract of no longer than three years
  • Foreign health professionals are subject to the same regulations as South African nationals, including HPCSA registration and level of qualification
  • Foreign health professionals may only be recruited into the public sector in under-served or rural areas

Registration of health professionals in South Africa is compulsory. All physiotherapists working in South Africa must by law register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), the equivalent of the UK Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

This is the coordinating body for all the Professional Boards representing the individual health professions. The Board regulates not just physiotherapists, but also physiotherapy assistants, student physiotherapists/ student physiotherapy assistants and supplementary physiotherapists.

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