SAPC - Interns
South Africa’s unemployment rate has been stubbornly high for several years now, as the economy is not creating enough jobs to meet the demand. Pharmacy graduates are one of the many graduates affected by this phenomenon, with some finding themselves without internship placement on graduation. The South African Pharmacy Council urges pharmacies to use the ‘training delegation regulation’ to employ more interns per approved tutor.

Council urges approved training sites to use Regulation 16(2) to appoint more interns per approved tutor

Since the publication of Health Human Resource Strategy: Vision 2030-aligned increased pharmacy graduate training targets in the Pharmacy Human Resources in South Africa in 2011, South Africa’s pharmacy schools have nearly doubled their output of Bachelor of Pharmacy graduates in line with the training targets. However, the available number of internship places for South African pharmacy graduates has not grown with the same vigour.

Whereas Regulation 16(1) of the Regulations relating to education and training requires that an approved tutor train only one pharmacist intern at a time, Regulation 16(2)(a) provides for an approved tutor to delegate the training and direct supervision of up to four (4) pharmacist interns to other pharmacists employed on a fulltime basis within the same pharmacy approved as a training site. The approved tutor must ensure compliance to the conditions as stated in Regulation 16(2):

“a tutor practising in a pharmacy in which other pharmacists practise on a fulltime basis may act as tutor to more than one pharmacist intern, in which event he or she may delegate the actual practical training of all such additional pharmacist interns to such other pharmacists, provided that-

    1. there must not be less than one pharmacist for each additional pharmacist intern;
    2. the responsibility for the effective practical training of all such pharmacist interns will remain with the tutor;
    3. the tutor informs Council in writing of such delegation or of any changes to such delegation; and
    4. the internship is conducted in accordance with the provisions of these regulations.”

The responsible pharmacist of the pharmacy where delegation is required must have all staff working in his/her pharmacy added on the pharmacy profile before submitting an online application for such delegation and paying an applicable fee as published in the board notice for fees. The nominated delegated pharmacist, who must have completed community service, is required to accept the delegation online before the intern can apply for registration against the delegated pharmacist.

Regulation 16(2)(b) also allows for the appointment and training of second pharmacist intern in the ninth month of the current intern. The regulation states, “a tutor may act as tutor to a second pharmacist intern when a pharmacist intern already under training with such tutor has completed his or her ninth month of internship.” At this point, the intern already under training must have been compliant with all the internship CPD requirements and passed the pre-registration examination, and the tutor must have submitted the required progress reports, which must have been favourable.


As a result of some interns struggling with finding internship positions, the SAPC engaged in discussions with the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA) to consider including the registration fees for premises and tutor approvals in the funding the SETA allocates for pharmacy internships so that more internship sites are available to take pharmacist interns. However, the HWSETA funding may only be accessed by organizations that contribute to the skills development levy. The applications to access this funding will be open on the HWSETA website ( in the first half of 2020. For more information, please contact Ms Luyanda Lokwe at or 011 607 6920.


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