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Healthcare Broker Accreditation – CMS provides clarity about qualification requirements

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (Authority) has recently received numerous queries and complaints from compliance officers, FSPs and medical scheme brokers indicating that the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) refused to renew the accreditation of brokers who are unable to produce a Grade 12 National Certificate or equivalent. Was there a change in the accreditation process?

Background

Section 65 of the Medical Schemes Act (MSA) provides that noperson may act or offer to act as a broker unless the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) has granted accreditation to such a person, and on payment of such fees as may be prescribed. A number of Acts, including the FAIS Act, the Fit and Proper regulations and the Medival Schemes Act contain further requirements.

One of the fit and proper requirements is a Grade 12 education or an equivalent qualification. If an applicant, who seeks accreditation, was unable to produce a Grade 12 National Certificate, the CMS accepted an affidavit confirming that the applicant has a Grade 12 education.

However, in 2014 a decision was taken by the CMS to introduce a process of verifying the qualifications submitted by applicants for authentication purposes. In order to do so, Managed Integrity Evaluation Verification Services (MIE) requires a copy of the qualification and the CMS could therefore no longer accepted these affidavits.

CMS provides clarity

The CMS confirmed that the only change implemented by the CMS is that affidavits are no longer accepted in instances where brokers or applicants are unable to produce the actual certificates.

“The CMS does not accept a registered skills programme of 30/60 credits as an equivalent to a grade 12 education. However, brokers or applicants that only completed a skills programme with no grade 12 education may be exempted for a period of 2 years to allow them time to complete a formal qualification (it does not have to be a Grade 12 National Certificate, it can be any Certificate as long as it is registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF)),” according to FSCA Communication 6 of 2021 (FAIS).

“It should, however, be noted that a formal exemption process applies whereby each application is reviewed on its own merits by the CMS. It is not an automatic exemption. It is advisable that brokers or applicants who were granted exemption enrol as soon as possible to complete a qualification within this 2-year period. Qualifications that is registered on the NQF on an NQF level 4 or higher will be accepted as an equivalent to a grade 12 national senior certificate.”

Click here to download FSCA Communication 6 of 2021 (FAIS)

Also read: Healthcare broker accreditation – CMS announces online portal

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