Overview of HCert (Vacc):

The HCert (Vacc) programme is a basic introductory programme for in-service HCWs who work in EPI-SA and private sector clinics offering infant / childhood vaccination services. HCert (Vacc) is designed to equip HCWs with the theoretical knowledge and practical expertise necessary for running an up-to-date clinic offering infant / childhood vaccination services. HCert (Vacc) introduces students to key concepts in vaccinology, and at the end of the programme students will be knowledgeable about vaccine-preventable diseases, vaccines, vaccination and immunisation, and will be able to apply this knowledge in the practice of vaccine delivery and administration within the framework of EPI-SA.

The programme is divided into 2 blocks consisting of 11 modules over 30 weeks. The duration of the first block is 15 weeks, with a draft Portfolio of Vaccinology Theory and Practice being submitted for Mid-Year Formative Assessment at the end of Week 15. The duration of the second block is 15 weeks and includes practical assignments with formative assessments of practice and a certificate of competence being issued when students have mastered all the techniques. During week 30, students finalise and submit their final Portfolio of Vaccinology Theory and Practice which is used for the End of Year Summative Assessment.

Student selection and registration:

Minimum admission requirements: Registered General Nurse and Midwife with the SA Nursing Council, or a 3 year qualification in a relevant health science (i.e. in which training in vaccinating is included) from a tertiary institution registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.

Students must register for the academic year at the beginning of the year before the closing date, as specified in the SMU General Calendar.

To apply, you need access to the internet and a valid email address. Please ensure that you:

  1. Complete the Applicant Information Sheet.
  2. Complete the application accurately and fully.
  3. Write your names the same as they appear in your identity/passport document.
  4. Pay the non-refundable application fee of R200.00 and send proof of payment. Use your ID number as reference when making payment.
  5. To start the application process, CLICK HERE to start the online application process

Please remember to attach the following certified, scanned documents along with your application form:

  1. Applicant Information Sheet.
  2. Copy of your ID/passport document.
  3. Copy of your Matric Certificate.
  4. Tertiary healthcare qualification certificate(s) (Certified Copy) and academic record(s).
  5. Copy of your HPCSA/SANC/SAPC registration receipt
  6. SAQA evaluation of foreign qualification (If applicable)
  7. Copy of your marriage certificate/divorce decree (if applicable).
  8. Curriculum Vitae
  9. Reference Letters x2
  10. Proof of non-refundable application fee payment of R200.

Banking Details are as follows:

Account name: SMU; Bank name: Standard Bank, Account no.: 071244395 Branch no.: 020909; Ref no.: Your ID/ Passport number/ Student number

Please note:

  1. Your application will not be processed if you have not submitted all the required applicable documentation mentioned above.
  2. If you have not submitted the required documentation within a period of two months, unfortunately your application will not be considered.
  3. The University receives more applications than it can accommodate and meeting admissions requirements does not guarantee admission.
  4. Incomplete application forms will not be considered.

Selection criteria: 

Priority will be given to in-service HCWs who are currently working within the field of vaccination, or who are planning to work within this field in the near future. Applicants will be required to write a motivation explaining why they should be accepted for this programme. 5 Recognition of prior learning: Modules 6 to 11 all have practical assignments which are based on vaccination practices. Students who are already competent in vaccination practices and can produce evidence of this competence, will be able to submit this evidence and thus be exempt from completing these assignments. Their supervisor / manager / employer will be required to complete and sign a certificate of practice for each specific task, and these certificates will form part of the Portfolio of Vaccinology Theory and Practice

Duration of study:

The duration of study for the HCert (Vacc) programme is subject to the stipulations under Rules G9 and G10 in the SMU General Calendar. Minimum duration period: 1 year Maximum duration period: 2 years A student who interrupts his/her studies retains credit for modules passed for a maximum period of two years, subject to Rule G10 in the SMU General Calendar

Overview of VSCs

The VSCs are based on the online higher certificate in vaccinology [HCert (Vacc)] programme, which is a basic introductory programme for in-service healthcare workers (HCWs) who work in the Expanded Programme on Immunisation of South Africa (EPI-SA). Throughout the process of developing the HCert (Vaccinology) programme, several stakeholders had pointed out that online programmes may not be accessible to all HCWs, and not all HCWs want to gain a qualification, but they do want to stay up-to-date in the field of vaccinology for continuous professional development (CPD) purposes. Thus, since 2016 SAVIC has been offering all the HCert (Vaccinology) modules in an annual series of three two-day Vaccinology Short Courses (VSCs) for certificates of attendance which are CPD-accredited by the Health Professions Council of South Africa. Each of the VSCs is offered over two days, with VSC1 covering Modules 1-4, VSC2 covering Modules 5, 6 and 8, and VSC3 covering Modules 7 and 9-11.

Teaching material:

On the first day of the course, students are given access to a Dropbox link containing all the teaching materials, which include:

  • A literature review from a variety of sources including journal articles and links to Internet publications
  • Educational videos
  • A summary Power Point presentation with course notes for each module

Teaching methods:

The course is offered face-to-face and uses problem-based formative assessment as a teaching tool. Each VSC is offered over two days. Day one starts with pre-course testing (knowledge testing in 2016-2018; self-confidence testing included in 2019), followed by presenting up-to-date information and discussions, on the three or four modules/sub-modules of each VSC. Homework assignments are given to participants on the first day, which together with the presentations (including transcripts) made on day one, allow for reflection on what they learned and further equip them to participate in group work that takes place on the second day. This group work (ideally 4 participants per group) involves a hypothetical scenario set for each module / sub-module covered on day one (4 modules / sub-modules in total), upon which a different multiple-choice question (MCQ) for each group is based, with each MCQ being designed to assess deep-level learning. This activity allows participants to apply what they have learned, with the basic facts that are needed to formulate the answers to all questions having been covered during day one. After working together to decide which answers are correct / incorrect, a member from each group presents these answers and explains why they are correct / incorrect. Thereafter the lecturer for each module provides formative feedback on all questions and answers, followed by a discussion period, which allows participants to assess their own performance and again deepen their learning.

Who should attend?

  • Registered General Nurse and Midwife with the SA Nursing Council, 
  •  In-service HCWs who work in the Expanded Programme on Immunisation of South Africa (EPI-SA).
  •  In-service HCWs (Medical Doctors, Phamarcists, assistant Pharmacists) and Post-graduates with an interest in vaccinology or vaccine-preventable diseases and registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.


  • Step 1: Send an email request to Ms Varsetile Nkwinika at varsetile@savic.ac.za
  • Step 2: Complete the VSC registration form
  • Step 3: Pay the registration fee of R2 200 per course (*sponsorship to attend the courses for free is available for public sector in-service HCWs)
  • On-campus venue for all VSCs: E-Learning Centre, which is in the basement of the Natural Sciences Building at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

*Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all VSC sessions for 2022 have been postponed until further notice.