26 -August -2016

Ancillary Health Care

ancillary health carePurpose:

Learners who complete this qualification will possess the competence required to perform community health functions under the supervision of a professional health worker. They will have the fundamental skills required for employment by a range of health, social and other sector employers. They will be in possession of a recognised qualification that will provide a platform for further education and training in a career pathway towards becoming professional health workers.

Qualified learners in this field will provide a service that will assist communities to better manage their own health and wellness. They will have the skills to provide support services within a multidisciplinary health care team.

Recipients of this qualification will be able to:

  • Communicate in a variety of ways.
  • Use mathematics in real life situations.
  • Collect and provide information to support community health.
  • Provide community based care.
  • Develop personal and community skills.

Practitioners will generally carry out their roles within the context of:

  • The client's home.
  • A community care centre.
  • The broader community.


The South African Government is committed to combining the national human resource development strategy with the rapid upgrading of service delivery to all of the nation's communities.

Integral parts of this strategy are initiatives to strengthen the ability of communities to empower themselves to participate in the political, economic, social and development spheres of South African life. Two key components in this empowerment process are the ability of communities to integrate with, and access, state services, and their ability to further the health and wellness of community members.

There is no doubt from the international experience of community health workers (CHW) that they play a role in improving the basic health status of communities. In South Africa, the important supportive role of CHWs in the provision of health care services has been extensively documented. This contribution is further exemplified in those parts of the country where there is a shortage of professional health workers to provide the necessary health care services, based on identified needs.

The focus in this learning field is therefore on primary health care within the framework of community development, with health promotion as a vital aspect. The Ancillary Health Worker (AHW) is required to play a pre-emptive role in the assessment and identification of health needs as well as to intervene in primary health care activities. This takes place in collaboration with, and referral to, the formal health services and other health related systems. Home-based care is also a key function of the AHW. Preventive measures for the management of disasters and accidents also form an important aspect of their activities. In all these activities the AHW observes the ethical codes of practice, norms, values and rights of the community.

This qualification forms the introduction to ancillary health work and will provide the learner with essential skills that will be needed to progress to the national certificates in ancillary health care at Levels 2, 3 and 4.

Minimum Requirements

This qualification is the starting point of a progressive route in ancillary health care and learners starting to learn towards this qualification are assumed to have the following competencies:

  • Communication at ABET level 3.
  • Mathematical Literacy at ABET level 2.
  • Ability to undertake independent learning.

Recognition of prior learning:

This qualification can be achieved wholly or in part through recognition of prior learning in terms of the defined exit level outcomes and/or individual unit standards.

Evidence can be presented in various ways, including international and/or previous local qualifications, products, reports, testimonials mentioning functions performed, work records, portfolios, videos of practice and performance records.

All such evidence will be judged in accordance with the general principles of assessment described above and the requirements for integrated assessment.