Education / Fellowships

Election to Fellowship by Peer Review


Fellowship without examination (by peer review) may be offered by invitation by the Senate of The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA) to carefully selected healthcare professionals.

The Senate may offer Fellowship by peer review only to someone who:

  1. holds a degree or specialist diploma who is registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa as a specialist in the same discipline of medicine or dentistry as that in which he/she has been nominated for Fellowship by peer review.
  2. has been active in the discipline for at least 10 years.
  3. is resident in the Republic of South Africa at the time of the nomination.
  4. has been subjected to peer review by a formally appointed peer review sub-committee (refer Section 3) according to the criteria as laid down below.

The Examinations and Credentials Committee will appoint a The Examinations and Credentials Committee will appoint a peer review sub-committee of not less than 3 senior members of the CMSA.

The process of peer review shall be as follows:

A letter of nomination and motivation must be submitted to the CMSA office in Johannesburg. The nomination must:

be signed

  • by the President, the Secretary and one other Councillor of the constituent College to which the proposed candidate for Fellowship by peer review will belong.
  • If the President or the Secretary of the constituent College is the nominee, then the President or one of the Vice-Presidents of the CMSA shall be asked to sign the nomination in his/her place.

be accompanied by the curriculum vitae of the candidate.

  • The curriculum vitae must have an addendum, drawn up by the nominators, in which the achievements essential for the award of the Fellowship by peer review (Refer Section 9) are listed, and referenced to the curriculum vitae.

The Johannesburg office will send copies of all the documents of the nominated health professional to the Councillors of the constituent College to which the candidate will belong, together with a confidential ballot paper.

  • If fewer than two-thirds of the said Councillors of the constituent college do not vote in favour of the candidate, it shall be the duty of the President of the relevant constituent College to inform the nominee that his/her candidature has been unsuccessful.
  • If at least two thirds of the said Councillors vote in favour of the candidate, then all the results of the vote shall be sent to the Examinations and Credentials Committee for approval.
  • The Examinations and Credentials Committee appoints a subcommittee which should be constituted of at least 3 but not more than 5 members. The sub-committee must include a member from the same constituent college as the nominee. They will report their decision to a full ECC meeting. If successful, the Chairperson of the Examinations and Credentials Committee will then submit the decision to the Senate for ratification.
  • In the event of a candidature being unsuccessful by reason of an unfavourable vote by 3 or more members of the Examinations and Credentials sub-Committee then the If fewer than two-thirds of the said Councillors of the
    constituent college do not vote in favour of the candidate, it shall be the duty of the President of the relevant constituent
    College to inform the nominee that his/her candidature has been unsuccessful.

A successful candidate will receive his/her certificate of Fellowship by peer review from the President of the CMSA and he/she may have the option of selecting the venue and date of the admission ceremony which suits him/her.

Fellowship by peer review may not be awarded posthumously.

Fellows by peer review will be full paying members of the CMSA, with all the rights and privileges of membership.

Fellows by peer review may register their Fellowship with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, but may not use it for purposes of registration as a specialist or practitioner of general medicine (refer Section 2.1); and may use the appropriate letters applicable to the corresponding Fellowship by examination after their names (eg FCP(SA)).

Guidelines for the peer review sub-committee

A detailed record of service to the discipline

  •  As a member or office bearer of a discipline specific organisation and/or
  • as the present or past President, Secretary or executive member of his/her discipline specific organisation and /or
  • as an examiner for the CMSA and/or
  • as a regular contributor to discipline specific or CMSA CPD activities and/or
    as an Associate of the CMSA.

Standing in the profession, as demonstrated by the following:

  • Ten years or more of practice since registration in the discipline and/or
  • Awards received after specialisation, on assessment of merit such as Honorary Fellowship, Awarded Fellowship, Medals, civil decorations, etc. for services related to his/her profession.
  • Honorary Foreign Membership of National Overseas Professional bodies and/or
  • Recognition by peers as an expert in a particular field
    • President /President elect/Chair/Chair elect
    • Vice-President /Vice-President elect/ViceChair/Vice-Chair elect
    • Treasurer/Secretary/Councillor
    • Board/Committee/subcommittee Chair
    • Founding member
  • Recognition by peers as an expert in a particular field
  • Exceptional contribution to the South African health system as judged by
    • Service to the health system eg member of national advisory panel
    • Publications which have been translated into policy/legislation
    • Formulation of national/international practice guidelines/policies/legislation
    • Founding member

Academic achievement in the following:

  • Honorary doctorate or Doctorate degree or equivalent qualification in his/her discipline.
  • At least 20 or more papers/publications published in national or international scientific or professional high impact journals /reports/publications as first or senior author.
  • At least 20 or more discipline specific presentations or papers presented at national/international conferences or meetings.
  • Academic contribution to a university/ academic department in the discipline concerned. In the case of private
    practitioners, contribution/membership of a university department/contribution to health promotion in the discipline

Adopted by Senate in October 2018
October 2018