The Foreign Workforce Management Programme (FWMP) is a body within the Department of Health that offer endorsements to foreign healthcare professionals in South Africa — so that they are able to register with the Health Council Profession of South Africa (HPCSA), to practice medicine in South Africa. The principal objective of the Foreign Workforce Management Programme is to supervise the recruitment, employment, migration, and assistance of foreign health professionals seeking residency and permits to practice medicine in South Africa. They also help interested foreign healthcare students apply for undergraduate and postgraduate training in South Africa, and participate in exchange programmes as well as internships. The following blog post will discuss in detail what is the Foreign Workforce Management Programme in South Africa? Their purpose, background, legal right, general policy principle, employment contracts, postgraduate training, exchange registrars, education, undergraduate training, internships, community service, and NDOH certification.
Foreign Workforce Management Programme (FWMP)
The FWMP’s purpose is to oversee the migration, employment, recruitment, and support for the resident status of foreign health professionals in South Africa.
They aim to recruit qualified and experienced candidates, with proven skills. They mostly give recruitment preference to candidates from countries whose education and training meet the minimum requirements set by the Health Professionals in South Africa. Their main aim is to deploy healthcare professionals from abroad, with the necessary skills and competencies to work in remote, under-serviced, rural areas of South Africa.
Even though the Foreign Workforce helps with the recruitment of foreign health professionals in South Africa, employment and recruitment is the prerogative and all up to the employer, meaning as an applicant you must meet the necessary requirements set by the employer.
General Policy principle
They have a general Policy which states that you need an endorsement letter from the FWMP before you can leave your home country to practice medicine or seek employment in South Africa. This letter of endorsement can also be seen as a letter of invitation.
Employment contracts last up to three years. Unless you have obtained permanent residency.
They also help foreign national students, who are interested in a career in the healthcare profession gain acceptance into postgraduate training. But even though they help with this, South African citizens and permanent residents are given preference as well as students from SADC countries. If accepted for postgraduate studies you should have a sponsor or be sponsored by your home country’s government or an NDOH-accepted donor. After their post-graduate training, the students should return to their home country.
Foreign students who are interested in the healthcare sector can also participate in exchange programmes in South Africa, with the help of the Foreign Workforce. This exchange programme usually happens amongst SADC countries. The study permit for the exchange programme only lasts for a year, the student should then return to their home country after the year is over.
Education (Academic Appointment at Tertiary Institutions)
The Foreign Workforce also helps with getting appointments as a lecturer in public universities around South Africa, this appointment is on a contractual basis and up to three years. Preference is given to South African citizens and permanent residents.
Just like postgraduate training the foreign workforce also helps in applying for undergraduate training in the healthcare sector though SADC students are given preference. You should have a sponsor for the duration of your studies and return to your home country once you have completed your studies.
Internships are only offered to foreign students from SADC countries for a fixed term of a year. Foreign students who matriculated and graduated in South Africa and have applied for permanent residency and whose parents or guardians are permanent residents or citizens of South Africa can also participate in internships. They are also offered to foreign SADC students, whose home country doesn’t have the necessary accredited academic facilities, for also a fixed term of a year, after the year is over they are to return to their home country.
If you work in the community service sector it means it’s full-time employment meaning to qualify for this you have to have secured permanent residence or citizenship in South Africa.
In accordance with the Immigration Act (all permits), and to every modification or extension thereof, only FWM issues letters of endorsement and certification. Employing Provinces should examine/treaty permits annually and check work permit validity on a quarterly basis. No migration is allowed until the FWM approves the endorsement letter.
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