Education / Fellowships

Election to Honorary Fellowship


Election to Honorary Fellowship is the highest honour The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA) can bestow. Such honour may be bestowed:

  1. To recognise achievement of the highest order in fields of endeavour within the ambit of, and contributory to the objectives of the CMSA.
  2. To honour through the person of a Senior Office Bearer, a foreign Sister College or equivalent institution with which the CMSA has a mutually beneficial association.
  3. To acknowledge services to the CMSA of an exceptionally high order.
  4. To recognise achievement of the highest order in their fields of endeavour by persons in South Africa or globally.

The person nominating a candidate for Honorary Fellowship shall prepare a proposal signed by at least three CMSA Senate members. The proposal shall be accompanied by:

  • A full curriculum vitae of the candidate.
  • A motivation in the form of a citation (800 words) for publication in the admission ceremony programme.
  • A short abstract of the citation (two minutes) which will be read by the President of the relevant constituent College.

As the nomination has to be screened by the Board of Directors before it is submitted for consideration by a full meeting of the Senate, it has to reach the CEO eight weeks prior to the date set for the Senate meeting.

Election shall be by ballot and shall require a majority of two-thirds of those Senators present. Persons elected to Honorary Fellowship of the CMSA shall be so admitted at one of the biannual admission ceremonies of the CMSA excepting in very extraordinary circumstances when a special ceremony may be arranged.

Admission to Honorary Fellowship may not be made in absentia unless approved by the Board of Directors.

When electing an Honorary Fellow, the CMSA Senate may be guided by the following criteria:

Scientific contributions to the advancement of knowledge or to the promotion of national or international welfare and upliftment

  • For election on these grounds candidates shall satisfy criteria similar to those pertaining to conferral by a University of an Honorary Doctorate for scientific achievement and in addition shall have some association with, or have promoted the interests of the CMSA.
  • Be a non-political head of state.
  • Be a person of acknowledged international importance.

The Honouring of foreign Sister Colleges or Equivalent Institutions (Universities are not included)

Candidature for Honorary Fellowship on these grounds shall be confined to Office Bearers of the status of President or Vice President of the College or Institution concerned.

Recognition of Service to the CMSA

Major Donors

  •  Such candidates shall be persons of eminence in their fields of endeavour who have been concerned with the well-being of the CMSA over an extended period of time and have made personally, or been responsible for directing towards the CMSA donations of a substantial order.
  • The Immediate Past President of the CMSA.
  • Service to the CMSA of an order sufficiently substantial and rendered over a long period of time in an honorary
    capacity may warrant recognition by election to Honorary Fellowship of the CMSA.
  • Senior officers of the CMSA may be considered in this capacity (eg. Vice Presidents or Chairmen of Committees).


Persons who are incumbents of political office of any sort shall not be admitted to Honorary Fellowship other than in exceptional circumstances.

status of fellowship

Non-medical Honorary Fellows-elect shall be admitted to Honorary Fellowship of The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (Hon FCMSA).
Medically or dentally qualified Honorary Fellows-elect can be admitted to Honorary Fellowship of The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (Hon FCMSA) or to Honorary Fellowship of the relevant constituent College.
No person shall be admitted to more than one Honorary Fellowship.

Adopted by Senate in May 1984 and revised in February 1999, October 1999 and May 2000 to Effect nomenclature and other relevant changes and in May/October 2004 to introduce additional requirements (nomination process)
Revised by BoD on 12 April 2018 and ratified by Senate 18 May 2018