The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA), in its prime role of fostering postgraduate education in the medical and dental fields, is greatly dependant upon its constituent College Councils and their representatives on Senate.

The members of the CMSA are responsible for electing their own constituent College Councils and these Councils elect the required number of representatives on the CMSA Senate. The College Councils, through their Presidents and Secretaries, have the task of supporting the interests of the CMSA and their own disciplines.

The College Councils act as advisory bodies to the CMSA Senate, the Board of Directors and the three Standing Committees of the CMSA (the Finance and General Purposes Committee in Cape Town, the Examinations and Credentials Committee in Johannesburg and the Education Committee in Durban).

The business of the CMSA is handled by a permanent staff assisted by Honorary Officers of Senate. Decisions taken by the Standing Committees are ultimately discussed and ratified or rejected by the CMSA Senate. The full Senate which is now representative of all the medical and dental disciplines, meets twice a year. The Executive Committee of the CMSA, comprising the President, the Vice President/s, the Chairpersons of the three Standing Committees, the Honorary Treasurer and the Honorary Registrars, meets four times a year and as the need arises. One of these four meetings takes the format of a brainstorming session and another is used for strategic planning.

Election to membership of constituent College Councils and the subsequent election of Presidents, Secretaries and College representatives on Senate and the election of other executive bodies takes place every three years and is governed by the Memorandum of Incorporation and Rules of the CMSA. All the constituent Colleges have two representatives on the CMSA Senate, but the members of the large constituent Colleges (Anaesthetists, Family Physicians, Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Paediatricians, Physicians and Surgeons) have two votes each.

logists, Paediatric Surgeons, Pathologists, Plastic Surgeons, Psychiatrists, Public Health Medicine, Radiation Oncologists, Radiologists and Urologists have one vote each. In order to facilitate the voting process, voting at Senate meetings take place by confidential ballot only and not by a show of hands.

The interests, needs and responsibilities, within the context of the CMSA activities, are protected and fulfilled by constituent Colleges and their Councils and the CMSA Senate refers to these bodies for advice and for agreement on CMSA matters which directly concern the various disciplines.

A major function of the CMSA has been the provision of higher qualifications by examination and accreditation of specialised training as evidence of achievement of acceptable standards of professional competence in the various disciplines registerable with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, recognised by Sister Colleges and similar institutions.

Although the process of CMSA examination is the responsibility of the Examinations and Credentials Committee, the constituent Colleges are closely involved in this. Indeed the CMSA examinations could not be conducted without individual College support, which includes provision of a list of suitable examiners, supervision of satisfactory standards of examinations, consideration of changes in the syllabus and conduct of examinations and advice on accreditation of specialised training in posts which are not in teaching hospitals.

Further information pertaining to academic matters can be obtained from:
Mrs Yolokazi Kanzi
Academic Registrar : CMSA
Private Bag X23
Tel : (011) 726-7037
Fax : (011) 726-4036
E-mail : [email protected]

The CMSA is an approved and acknowledged CPD Accreditor for the Health Professions Council of South Africa and members in good standing enjoy a free accreditation service upon submission of a completed CPD2A form. Members acting as providers are charged a nominal fee per application. 

The continuing professional development activities of the CMSA fall within the ambit of the Education Committee and more information pertaining to CPD accreditation can be obtained from:

Mrs Sharleen Stone
Office Manager
P O Box 59185
Tel : (031) 261-8518
Fax : (086) 502-0879
E-mail : [email protected]

Contact with the CMSA Senate is possible by direct approach to the Chief Executive Officer (Johannesburg). 

It is imperative that constituent College Councils must meet regularly to discuss matters of importance to their College and that resolutions taken at these meetings be brought to the attention of Senate, through the mechanisms outlined. Constituent College examiners have further contact with the CMSA Senate at the meeting of Examination Conveners with Senate (at the conclusion of the CMSA examinations) when they are invited to submit written comments concerning examinations to the Chairperson of the Examinations and Credentials Committee.

The relevant College Councils are also asked to submit recommendations for CMSA Professorships and Lectureships and to provide assistance in hosting official guests of the CMSA.

Regular contact between constituent College Officers and the CMSA Senate is essential for the well-being of the individual Colleges and for the overall good of the CMSA. The representation of the Colleges on Senate also provides an excellent forum for contact, particularly also across the disciplines. 


Duties and Responsibilities of the Presidents and Secretaries

The Senate manages the business and affairs of The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa and is constituted as follows:

  1. Represent their Council and College members in matters relevant to CMSA affairs.
  2. Foster the interests of their specialist discipline within the confines of the¬†CMSA’s involvement in medical and dental affairs.
  3. Liaise with the President CMSA, Senators or CMSA Officers in matters concerning their own College.
  4. Act as advisers to the President CMSA, Senate and CMSA Officers where advice is sought or considered to be necessary to give.
  5. Support the Standing Committees of Senate in their work.
  6. Advise the CMSA of suitable candidates for consideration for the various CMSA professorships and lectureships when called for.
  7. Assist the CMSA in its responsibilities to host invited guests.
  8. Administer, through the CMSA, their College Levy Accounts.
  9. Convene a meeting of their College Council at least once annually.
  10. Convene a General Meeting of their College at least once during the triennium of each Senate, but preferably annually. It works well if the General Meeting is held prior to the Council Meeting of their College.
  11. Provide an annual College Report for publication in the CMSA Transactions together with the annual report of Senate and the reports of other constituent Colleges.
  12. Revise the panel of examiners of their respective College examinations triennially, for the guidance of the Examinations and Credentials Committee.
  13. Ensure active participation of their members in the triennial CMSA Senate and constituent College Council elections.

Administration of all operations of the CMSA

By a ruling of Senate, the Presidents and Secretaries are encouraged to arrange their College meetings (including the typing and distributing of agendas and minutes) through the Administrative Office of the CMSA in Cape Town (Mrs Lizzy Ncala).
This facilitates the CMSA administration and ensures the involvement of all constituent College members and CMSA Officers.

Circulars or correspondence can also be circulated through the Cape Town Office in the same manner if these are received, preferably by e-mail. Using the above method also has the additional advantage that important matters which are referred to either of the three Standing Committees, the Board of Directors or the CMSA Senate receive immediate attention. The mechanism of implementation of this system can be discussed with:

Prof Eric Buch
27 Rhodes Avenue PARKTOWN WEST 2193
Tel:(011)726 7037
Fax:(011) 726 4036
E-mail : [email protected]

Ms Lizzy Ncala at the Cape Town Office is responsible for the constituent College¬†work and it will expedite matters considerably if the draft agendas and minutes, in¬†particular, can be sent to her via e-mail at:¬†[email protected]
and copied to the CEO at the above e-mail address.


The following criteria apply in relation to the attendance of meetings abroad:

  • The CMSA will only contribute if there is an official invitation to the President of the relevant constituent College.
  • The request for funding, accompanied by the official invitation, must be submitted to the CEO timeously to ensure that authorisation is obtained from the Finance and General Purposes Committee prior to the meeting taking place.
  • If authorised, the CMSA will contribute 20% towards the expenses and the relevant constituent College, 80%. The latter will be paid from the constituent College levy account.

To facilitate the correct allocation of expenses between the CMSA or the constituent College levy accounts, details of Councillors who will be attending and travelling to constituent College meetings must be forwarded via e-mail to the Financial Director and CEO before the meetings take place.

Their e-mail addresses are:
Chief Executive Officer: [email protected]
Executive Manager: Finance: [email protected]

In addition, the CMSA makes a sum of money available annually for meetings of constituent Colleges to cover airfares and other incidentals, but the allocated amount is not paid out in a lump sum to each College.

Reimbursements are made upon receipt of an account from the travel agent (bookings to be authorised by the constituent College President) or the receipt of claims from the College President, supported by supporting documentation.

Although the constituent Colleges are encouraged to make use of the CMSA board room facilities in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg for their Council and Annual General meetings, the CMSA does not have the infrastructure to provide any secretarial assistance at these meetings or to transcribe the minutes. Colleges are requested to provide their own secretarial assistance and to pay for this out of their Levy Accounts.