Latest Update from HPCZ concerning Licensure Exams
Its official. The Health Professions Council of Zambia, HPCZ the main regulator of health care workers except nurses in Zambia, announced on the 4th of December 2022 that beginning 5th December, no new Health Professionals would be registered and instead would be the first cohort to write the Licensure Exams (LEX). This announcement did not affect foreign trained doctors who had already undergone assessment or applications from health professions made on or before the 2nd of December 2022. The dates of the first Licensure Exams are slated for the first quarter of 2023 and the cost of the exams have also been released by the HPCZ.
Licensure exams, also known as licensing exams, are tests that are required for professionals in the healthcare field to become licensed to practice in their chosen profession. These exams are designed to ensure that healthcare professionals have the knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary to provide safe and effective care to their patients. There are many different types of licensure exams, including exams for doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, and other healthcare professionals. These exams typically consist of multiple-choice questions, written responses, and clinical simulations that test the knowledge and skills of the candidate.
In Zambia, the HPCZ maintains a register of all health professions except nurses who are regulated by the General Nursing Council. It also provides provisional and permanent licenses to practice for health professions. It is equivalent to the HPCSA in South Africa or the General Medical Council, GMC in the UK.
Several stakeholder meetings were held prior to the introduction of the exams and the general consensus was that there was need to reintroduce these exams. The burgeoning number of schools providing health professions training necessitated a centralized exam to ensure that graduating professionals would be of a standard that would be acceptable for practice in Zambia. Some graduates lamented the additional delays to their introduction to their respective professions as well as the additional fees required to be paid for to take part in the exam.
This will however have a positive effect on the health sector allowing for the public to have renewed confidence in the caliber of health professionals working in Zambia. It will also bring about new opportunities for those with an entrepreneurial spirit who may introduce examination coaching and extra tuition to get the newly graduated health professionals over the line.
The first exams are slated for Monday the 20th of February 2023 to Friday 3rd of March 2023 which will consist of one theory paper and one practical paper for each profession. No further dates have been provided by the council, but are likely to be released soon. These exams will be run simultaneously in Livingstone, Ndola, and Lusaka. The venues for the exams are yet to be released. The fees are as follows:
Licensure Exam Tentative Fees
In other news, the HPCZ appointed a new Chief Executive Officer and Registrar, Prof Faston Goma, who will be charged with steering the reintroduction of these exams. He is a medical doctor and Professor in Physiology and Cardiovascular Medicine with vast academic and administrative experience at university level having provided leadership at the university of Zambia and Eden university to mention but a few.
More information on the exam are available at the HPCZ website and social media pages. Information on exemptions for those who trained in English or are from a predominantly English speaking country can also be obtained from the the HPCZ. You can check out our earlier post on the licensure exams here.