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Higher Certificate in Health Care Services Management 
79315  Higher Certificate in Health Care Services Management 
Regent Business School (Pty) Ltd t/a Regent Business School 
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
Higher Certificate  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Generic Management 
Undefined  120  Not Applicable  NQF Level 05  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
Reregistered  SAQA 091/21  2021-07-01  2023-06-30 
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 


This qualification will develop management and leadership skills and competencies in persons involved in or wanting to make a career in the management of healthcare services. Healthcare services management is a field where there has been a historically severe shortage of management skills. This has been aggravated by the so-called brain drain to other countries.

The Higher Certificate: Healthcare Services and Management (HCHSM) will empower healthcare practitioners and related professionals, such as medical practitioners, nurses, physiotherapists and optometrists, as well as non-medical persons interested in pursuing management careers in healthcare services. The programme will serve a dual purpose in that school leavers can obtain initial management training and professionals in healthcare who occupy managerial positions but have no management skills and competencies, will have the opportunity to obtain elementary managerial skills.

By increasing the supply of management skills at the entry level the programme will address regional and national human resources problems.


Over the past decade there has been great emphasis globally on good corporate governance and the publication of the King I and King II reports on corporate governance hastened the transformation of corporate governance and management of organisations in South Africa.

With this increased emphasis on efficient management and good governance the healthcare sector has come under pressure to improve the management competence of its managers. The need for sector specific healthcare management training has become paramount. This Higher Certificate: Healthcare Services Management is an attempt to develop management skills, improve the delivery of healthcare services and foster good governance.

Central to this programme is the development of management skills and competencies to ensure effective delivery of healthcare services in both the public and private sectors. In the past several healthcare practitioners were put into management positions in the public sector without adequate training. At the same time, private sector practitioners need to develop the management skills to adequately manage their practices. Therefore, the Higher Certificate in Healthcare Services Management is aimed at new entrants who wish to develop careers in healthcare services management as well as existing persons in management positions who do not have adequate management skills and competence. 

This qualification assumes that the students taking this programme are:
  • Competent in the language of instruction of the programme.
  • Able to work effectively both independently and in a group.
  • Have obtained the general theoretical, practical, professional and academic knowledge and understanding required at NQF Level 4.

    Recognition of Prior Learning

    Access to this qualification may be obtained through the Recognition of Prior Learning. Also credit towards modules in the programme may be obtained by assessing the competence the student gained from work experience.

    In the cases where prior learning is to be recognised for purposes of access to the qualification:
  • It is assumed that the learning derived from work or life experience will be a major element in the profiles of prospective students primarily by means of an examination of their curriculum vitae (CV) against the learning in place requirements for entry into the programme.
  • Such candidates will be selected on the recommendation of a senior manager from their organisations/companies.
  • Where appropriate, interviews will also be conducted to assess the competence of applicants.
  • Some of the key criteria that will be used in evaluating applicants include:
    > The applicants' motivation, maturity and realistic approach to their studies.
    > Job description, covering relevant area of work, giving examples of tasks carried out, possibly supplying references.
    > The nature and level of life/work experience and prior study, and the learning which has resulted from such experience.
    > Details of in-company short courses such as length of the course, content of material covered, standard achieved.
    > The clarity of the applicant's educational goals and objectives.
    > The extent to which the applicant can provide evidence of the threshold skills and knowledge for the programme.

    Where prior learning is recognized for credit towards the programme, credit will be given for prior certificated learning in accordance with established practice at South African higher education institutions. The amount of 'specific' credit granted is dependent on the match between prior learning and award towards which the intended programme leads, i.e., outcomes achieved through Recognition of Prior Learning versus the outcomes of the programme Credits may only be accumulated for modules, which are prescribed for this programme subject to the RBS policy and general higher education practices in South Africa higher education institutions.

    Access to the Qualification:

    The minimum Level of attainment required for entry into this programme is:
  • Senior Certificate or an equivalent NQF Level 4 qualification.
  • For students who do not qualify using the above programme entry criteria, the Recognition of Prior Learning route will be available. This will include assessing:
    > Work experience of the candidate relevant to the level of the programme.
    > A detailed CV of overall experience and training of the candidate in the field of learning (formal, informal and non-formal).
    > A detailed letter motivating why the student wants to attempt the programme. 


    The qualification consists of the following Fundamental and Core Components which are compulsory:

    Fundamental Component:
  • Health Economics, NQF Level 5, 20 credits.
  • Healthcare Services Environment, NQF Level 5, 20 credits.
  • Principles of Management, NQF Level 5, 20 credits.

    Core Component:
  • Practice Management, NQF Level 5, 20 credits.
  • Services Delivery and Quality Management, NQF Level 5, 20 credits.
  • Healthcare Services Planning and Policy, NQF Level 5, 20 credits.

    Total 120 credits all at NQF Level 5. 

  • Understand and work in the healthcare services environment.
  • Use Economic principles to understand, explain and discuss allocation of resources in healthcare services.
  • Analyse healthcare services phenomena using economic analysis tools.
  • Apply management principles (general, financial and human resources) in the healthcare services management.
  • Manage a healthcare service practice.
  • Understand, monitor, review and implement quality improvement in this industry.
  • Understand planning and policy making, monitoring, review and implementation in the healthcare services sector. 

    The Exit Level Outcomes are assessed in the context of the individual fundamental and core modules as follows:

    Module 1: Management Principles.

    At the end of the module the learner will be able to:
  • Define and understand the concept of management.
  • Appreciate and explain management principles and management by objectives in healthcare services management.
  • Discuss the various forms of management issues (Human Resources, Financial and information Management) in healthcare services management.
  • Understand and explain the regulatory framework in healthcare services management.

    Module 2: The Healthcare Services Environment.

    At the end of the module the learner will be able to:
  • Understand the nature of the healthcare services environment.
  • Distinguish between the characteristics of healthcare services environment.
  • Understand the various forms of Heath Care Systems.
  • Identify the different factors influencing healthcare services management.

    Module 3: Health economics.

    At the end of the module the student will be able to:
  • Understand and use the concepts of scarcity, choice and opportunity cost.
  • Understand and explain the relevance of microeconomic analysis in healthcare services management.
  • Examine and analyse the concepts of risk and uncertainty in healthcare services management.
  • Understand the relevance and need for various forms of health insurance.
  • Analyse healthcare services using normative principles.
  • Explain the Relevance of Private-Public partnerships in healthcare services management.

    Module 4: Practice Management.

    At the end of the module the student will be able to:
  • Understand and start a practice.
  • Explain the need for a feasibility study and planning.
  • Examine and discuss the financial aspects of setting up a practice.
  • Explain the process of practice management.
  • Design and implement policies and procedures for a healthcare services practice.

    Module 5: Services Delivery and Quality Management.

    At the end of the module the student will be able to:
  • Analyse issues in service delivery.
  • Differentiate between public and private provision of services.
  • Understand the Batho Pele Principles.
  • Understand and implement the quality cycle.
  • Explain the importance of monitoring, review and quality improvement.

    Module 6: Healthcare Services Planning and Policy.

    At the end of the module the student will be able to:
  • Appreciate the need for planning.
  • Discuss the planning process.
  • Explain the types of planning.
  • Understand the need for and the planning process for disaster planning and emergency planning.

    Integrated Assessment:

    Assessment is based on:
  • Understanding of the nature and characteristics of the healthcare environment.
  • The use of work based assignments to test the application of management principles in a healthcare services organisation.
  • The use of economic analysis principles in understanding healthcare management.
  • The importance of service delivery and quality management.
  • Planning of healthcare services delivery and related policy.
  • Practice management in a healthcare organisation.

    Assessment focuses on:
  • Understanding of the healthcare services environment.
  • The application of health economics principles to management and decision-making.
  • The extent to which the learner has grasped the basic concepts and principles which form the basics of management of healthcare services delivery.
  • A balance between theory and practice and its relevance to the level of the qualification.
  • The use of management theory in practice management.
  • The quality of service delivery and continuous improvement.
  • Planning and policy making aspects of the healthcare services industry.

    Assessment methods measure the extent to which the learner has achieved competence in the different areas of study delivered through course modules.
    These assessment methods may include:
  • Case studies.
  • Report writing.
  • Interpretative and analytical problem solving in the written examinations.
  • Work based assignments.
  • Self assessment activities in the module study guides and course materials. 

    Between 1998 and 2000 Regent Business School was engaged in providing Private Higher Education to South Africans in association with its former partner the Luton University (currently known as the University of Bedfordshire) in the United Kingdom. This university is listed as an accredited state recognised institution in the United Kingdom. Regent Business School successfully delivered tuition and academic and administrative support to over hundreds of students enrolled on the Luton University programmes. Regent Business School RBS has maintained links with colleagues and academics from the University of Bedfordshire. The exchange of ideas keeps Regent Business School staff informed about recent developments in management education in the various fields.

    One of the University of Bedfordshire programmes delivered is the MSc in healthcare. This qualification while of a shorter duration and at a lower NQF Level contains the essential elements of the University of Bedfordshire qualification particularly as it relates to the management components as the outcomes and assessment criteria, and the degree of complexity of this qualification have been benchmarked against those of the University of Bedfordshire qualification. 

    The qualification articulates with the following Regent Business School qualifications:
  • B Com (where Healthcare Services Management is an elective).
  • MBA (where Healthcare Services Management is an elective).

    And other similar programmes with specialisation in healthcare services management offered at other higher education institutions. 

    External examiners and moderators are appointed to validate the students' examination and final assessments. Nominations of appropriately qualified persons with qualifications one level higher than the level of this qualification are made to the examination Board for appointment. The Examination Board is the final decision making body that is responsible for the appointing external examiners and moderators. 

    Criteria for registration of assessors.

    To qualify as an assessor an individual must:
  • Generally have a Higher Education qualification at least one level higher than the course being assessed.
  • Be appropriately qualified and experienced as assessors.
  • Generally be the tutor responsible for that particular module or specialising in the field.
  • Be in the possession of qualifications that are relevant to the programme.

    The following criteria is used for appointing external examiners and moderators:
  • Their experience of examining this programme or its equivalent.
  • Their independence from Regent Business School and from the programme team.
  • Their expertise in the subject area.
  • Their scholastic contribution to the field. 

    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this qualification was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 



    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
    1. Regent Business School (Pty) Ltd t/a Regent Business School 

    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.