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Special Instructions and FAQs for Applicants to the Health Professions Council of South Africa

Special Instructions

ECFMG partners with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) to primary-source verify medical credentials of internationally educated physicians who are applying for registration to practice medicine in South Africa. If you are applying for registration with the HPCSA and you obtained your basic medical qualification in a country other than South Africa, you must have certain required medical credentials verified through EPIC.

To have your credentials verified through EPIC, complete the following steps:

  • Step 1 – Confirm that your medical school is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools.

    To be eligible for registration with the Council, your medical school should be listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools, available at www.wdoms.org.
  • Step 2 – Establish an EPIC Account.

    See Getting Started for complete instructions. Once ECFMG has processed your request and established your EPIC Account, ECFMG will e-mail you login information so you can access your EPIC Account.
  • Step 3 – Confirm your identity with EPIC.

    See Confirming Your Identity with EPIC for detailed information. Confirming your identity with EPIC requires you to submit an EPIC Identification Form (EIF). Once this form has been accepted by ECFMG, you will be able to upload credentials required by the HPCSA to EPIC for primary-source verification.
  • Step 4 – Upload each credential required by the HPCSA and select the Health Professions Council of South Africa to receive an EPIC Report once the credential is verified.

    Log in to your EPIC Account and upload the required credentials for primary-source verification. See Credentials Required by the HPCSA below to determine which credentials you need to upload. As you upload each credential, be sure to select the Health Professions Council of South Africa to receive an EPIC Report once the credential is verified. Because the HPCSA has requested to be notified when their applicants' credentials have been sent for verification through EPIC, a notification will be provided to the HPCSA when your credential is sent for verification. This notification will include a copy of the credential that you have submitted for verification.

    Please note: It is very important that you select the HPCSA to receive an EPIC Report for each required qualification, as you upload it. If you do, the HPCSA will be notified when your credential is sent for verification and an EPIC Report on that credential will be automatically sent to the HPCSA when the credential is verified. If you do not select the HPCSA to receive an EPIC Report on a credential at the time you upload it, you will be required to send an EPIC Report to the HPCSA once your credential is verified.

    If your credentials have already been primary-source verified by ECFMG for ECFMG Certification or through ECFMG’s International Credentials Services (EICS), you do not need to upload the credentials that were previously verified by ECFMG. These credentials will be added to your EPIC Portfolio at no cost. Simply provide your ECFMG/USMLE ID and/or EICS ID when you establish your EPIC Account. ECFMG will review your file typically within 10 business days; if your file is acceptable, ECFMG will add your previously verified credentials to your EPIC Portfolio.
  • Step 5 – Ensure reports on all required, verified credentials have been sent to the HPCSA.

    If you selected the HPCSA to receive an EPIC Report when a credential was uploaded, that report will be sent to the HPCSA automatically when the credential is verified.

    If you did not select the HPCSA to receive an EPIC Report at the time you uploaded a credential, you must go to the “My Reports” tab in your EPIC Account and request an EPIC Report for the HPCSA. Be sure to select Health Professions Council of South Africa from the drop-down list when sending your report or your request will be rejected.
  • Step 6 – After all required credentials have been verified, and EPIC Reports for those credentials have been sent to the HPCSA, submit your application to the HPCSA.

    Once reports on all of your required credentials have been sent to the HPCSA, you can submit your application to the HPCSA. You should not submit your application to the HPCSA until all of your required credentials have been verified and EPIC verification reports on those credentials have been sent to the HPCSA. The HPCSA will not consider your application until all required credentials have been verified and all EPIC Reports on your verified credentials have been sent to the HPCSA.

    For more information on applying to the HPCSA for registration to practice medicine in South Africa, please visit the Registrations section of the HPCSA website or contact the HPCSA.

Credentials Required by the HPCSA

Credentials required in support of your application to the HPCSA depend on whether you are applying for registration as a General Practitioner or a Specialist, as outlined below:

  • For Physicians Applying for Registration as a General Practitioner:
    • Medical School Diploma
    • Medical School Transcript
    • Intern Duty Certificate
      • If your internship was completed prior to medical school graduation, please upload as a Pregraduate Internship Credential.
      • If your internship was completed after medical school graduation, please upload as a Postgraduate Medical Education Credential.
    • Medical Licensure/Registration Certificates in other jurisdictions with which you have been licensed/registered

  • For Physicians Applying for Registration as a Specialist:
    • Medical School Diploma
    • Medical School Transcript
    • Intern Duty Certificate
      • If your internship was completed prior to medical school graduation, please upload as a Pregraduate Internship Credential.
      • If your internship was completed after medical school graduation, please upload as a Postgraduate Medical Education Credential.
    • Medical Licensure/Registration Certificates in other jurisdictions with which you have been licensed/registered
    • Specialist qualification obtained for registration of specialty
    • Registration Certificate as specialist issued by regulatory/registration authority (upload as a Medical Registration Certificate/License to Practice Medicine in EPIC)

For a full accounting of EPIC Fees and Payment methods, please visit the Fees page

If you have any questions regarding EPIC and the EPIC verification process, please contact EPIC at info@ecfmgepic.org or +1 (215) 966-3900. Telephone assistance is available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time in the United States.

If you have questions regarding the HPCSA’s application processes, please contact the HPCSA.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please also read the general Frequently Asked Questions in the For Physicians section of the website.

About Applying to the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA)

I am applying to the HPCSA for registration; do I need to use EPIC?

Medical graduates applying for registration to the HPCSA who obtained their basic medical qualification outside of South Africa will need to create an EPIC Account and have their credentials (qualifications) primary-source verified through EPIC.

I already submitted an application to ECFMG’s International Credentials Service (EICS) in support of my application to the HPCSA; do I need to have my credentials (qualifications) primary-source verified through EPIC?

If you submitted your credentials to ECFMG for verification through EICS prior to August 1, 2016, you do not need to create an EPIC Account and have your credentials primary-source verified through EPIC. Your credentials will continue through the EICS process until either they are verified or attempts to have them verified have been exhausted. Verification through EICS includes the initial request for verification and up to three reminders, as needed. If attempts to have your credentials verified through EICS are unsuccessful after all attempts have been exhausted, you will need to create an EPIC Account and upload the unverified credentials to EPIC if you wish to have them verified.

Which credentials (qualifications) do I need to submit to HPCSA through EPIC?

Credentials required in support of your application to the HPCSA depend on whether you are applying for registration as a General Practitioner or a Specialist, as outlined below:

  • For Physicians Applying for Registration as a General Practitioner:
    • Medical School Diploma
    • Medical School Transcript
    • Intern Duty Certificate
      • If your internship was completed prior to medical school graduation, please upload as a Pregraduate Internship Credential.
      • If your internship was completed after medical school graduation, please upload as a Postgraduate Medical Education Credential.
    • Medical Licensure/Registration Certificates in other jurisdictions with which you have been licensed/registered

  • For Physicians Applying for Registration as a Specialist:
    • Medical School Diploma
    • Medical School Transcript
    • Intern Duty Certificate
      • If your internship was completed prior to medical school graduation, please upload as a Pregraduate Internship Credential.
      • If your internship was completed after medical school graduation, please upload as a Postgraduate Medical Education Credential.
    • Medical Licensure/Registration Certificates in other jurisdictions with which you have been licensed/registered
    • Specialist qualification obtained for registration of specialty
    • Registration Certificate as specialist issued by regulatory/registration authority (upload as a Medical Registration Certificate/License to Practice Medicine in EPIC)

If you have questions regarding the credentials you are required to submit, please contact the HPCSA.

How far in advance of applying for registration to the HPCSA do I need to upload my credentials (qualifications) to EPIC?

We recommend that you create an EPIC Account and upload your credentials to EPIC as soon as possible after you have decided to apply to the HPCSA. Through EPIC, your credentials are verified directly with the issuing institution. The time required to complete the verification of credentials varies and depends on a number of factors, including the time it takes for the issuing institution to respond to our verification requests. You should not apply to HPCSA until all of your required credentials have been verified through EPIC.

About Using EPIC

Will I have access to my medical credentials (qualifications) after I apply to the HPCSA?

Yes. The credentials that you upload to EPIC remain available to you as part of your EPIC Portfolio. You can use EPIC to send copies of these credentials along with reports verifying their authenticity to organizations worldwide at any time throughout your career.

Will the HPCSA have access to my EPIC Portfolio?

No. The HPCSA will not have direct access to your EPIC Portfolio. The HPCSA will have access only to the credentials (qualifications), notifications, and verification reports that you make available to them through EPIC.

I need to have my Intern Duty Certificate verified through EPIC but there seems to be no category for this credential. Which category should I select?

Intern Duty Certificates, Certificates of Experience, Attestations of Postgraduate Training, and equivalent documents should be uploaded to EPIC as Postgraduate Medical Education Credentials.

I requested that an EPIC Report be sent to the HPCSA. How do I know that the HPCSA received this report?

When a report is sent to the HPCSA, the HPCSA will have access to the report and a copy of your credential through the EPIC Report Portal. To confirm that the HPCSA has received a report for your credential, you must contact the HPCSA. After a report is sent to the HPCSA, please allow the HPCSA two business days to access your EPIC Report.

Can I select the HPCSA to receive EPIC Reports only once, or should I do it for every credential individually?

An EPIC Report will only be sent for a credential if you indicate a report should be sent to the HPCSA for that credential. You should request an EPIC Report for the HPCSA for each credential required by the HPCSA.

Do I need to use EPIC when applying to the HPCSA if my credentials (qualifications) have already been verified by ECFMG for a purpose other than applying to the HPCSA?

If you are applying to the HPCSA on or after August 1, 2016, and your credentials have already been primary-source verified by ECFMG for ECFMG Certification or through ECFMG’s International Credentials Services (EICS), you will need to create an EPIC Account and use EPIC to provide your credentials and verification reports to the HPCSA. However, you will not need to upload the credentials that were previously verified by ECFMG; they will be added to your EPIC Account at no cost. Simply provide your ECFMG/USMLE ID and/or EICS ID when you establish your EPIC Account. ECFMG will review your file typically within 10 business days; if your file is acceptable, ECFMG will add your previously verified credentials to your EPIC Portfolio.

If I have questions or problems regarding EPIC, should I contact EPIC or the HPCSA?

If you have questions regarding EPIC’s services—such as creating an EPIC Account, uploading your credentials (qualifications), managing your portfolio, the verification process, sending verification reports, or fees—please contact EPIC at info@ecfmgepic.org or +1 (215) 966-3900. Telephone assistance is available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time in the United States.

If you have questions regarding applying to the HPCSA—such as necessary documentation, required qualifications, or registration categories—please contact the HPCSA.

Last updated September 5, 2018