SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Practice in accordance with ethical and legal codes of nursing and the laws of the country 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
252080  Practice in accordance with ethical and legal codes of nursing and the laws of the country 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Nursing 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 09 - Health Sciences and Social Services Preventive Health 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This unit standard will be useful for people working as clinically focused, service orientated, independent, registered staff nurses, who are able to render basic care to persons with stable and uncomplicated general health problems, as determined by the appropriate legislative framework.

This unit standard will recognise the essential knowledge and skills required to practice within ethical codes and legal constraints. The standard will recognise knowledge of the implications of ethical codes and legislation, and their application in own practice.

People credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Demonstrate ethical behaviour in own nursing practice.
  • Maintain patient confidentiality within legal and professional parameters.
  • Develop self as a professional person.
  • Act in an advocacy role to protect human rights. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    The credit calculation is based on the assumption that learners are already competent in terms of the following outcomes or areas of learning when starting to learn towards this unit standard:
  • Knowledge of the provisions of the SA Constitution, and human rights, as they apply to nursing practice. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    Specific range statements are provided in the body of the unit standard where they apply to particular specific outcomes or assessment criteria.

    The following scope and context applies to the whole unit standard:
  • The Nurse functions within the scope of practice of a staff nurse as formulated by the SANC and the Nursing Act. 

  • Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Demonstrate ethical behaviour in own nursing practice. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Own ethical position is clearly articulated in response to ethical dilemmas. Examples provided of personal ethical decisions reflect a sound understanding of own ethical values. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Differences between own ethical values and the ethical codes of nursing are acknowledged, and the need to act within a professional ethical value system is described with reference to scope of professional practice as a nurse. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Responses to a range of ethical dilemmas shows an understanding of the ethical codes of nursing and its origin. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The importance of a professional ethical value system is discussed with reference to the need for accountability and responsibility in response to health care users. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Decisions made during practice are in the best interests of the patient and their current health status, within the limits of own competence and scope of authority. Decisions are consistent with facility policies and current legislation. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Own attitude and actions are consistently directed towards the alleviation of suffering within current constraints and scope of authority. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Attitude includes:
  • Altruism, accountability, excellence, duty, honour, integrity and respect for others.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    Interactions with patients are characterised by active listening and responses which acknowledge them, their health status, and typical anxieties and/or need for information and reassurance. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 8 
    Situations beyond own scope of competence and/or authority are identified, and referral to or consultation with appropriate authorities secures the required expertise in the best interests of the patient. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Consultation includes:
  • Consultation with health professionals for areas beyond scope of nursing.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 9 
    Care is delivered in a manner that preserves and protects patient autonomy, dignity and rights. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Maintain patient confidentiality within legal and professional parameters. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Discussion of patients and/or health status of patients is limited to parties relevant to the health care of the patient, and in the patient's best interests. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Patient information is protected in line with the conditions of the professional care relationship. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Limitations to the patient-care giver confidentiality are outlined and described in terms of current legislative frameworks. The description provides examples with reference to specific legislation which requires or sanctions breaches in confidentiality. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The consequences of breaking patient-nurse confidentiality are explained with reference to institutional disciplinary codes and professional council sanctions. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Own nursing practice is conducted in a manner that supports and promotes the confidentiality of patient information. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Develop self as a professional person. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Responsibility and accountability for own competence is described in relation to the scope of nursing practice, current evidence-based practice, and professional codes of practice. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The importance of maintaining personal wellbeing is discussed with reference to professional responsibility and quality of service delivery, and own professional development. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Opportunities for professional development are identified and accessed to meet personal and professional development goals, and remain abreast of latest developments in the field. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Opportunities include:
  • Structured reading, professional journals, discussion groups, conferences; employer opportunities; case presentations; ward rounds; information releases on new medications.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Information on new developments is critically reviewed and assessed for relevance and applicability in own practice. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The role of the regulatory body in maintaining nursing standards is analysed and supported through adherence to prescribed requirements and/or engagement in organised activities where appropriate. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The role of organised labour is described with respect to own professional development and the development of the profession as a whole. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Act in an advocacy role to protect human rights. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Interaction with the others in the context of nursing practice demonstrates understanding of the consequences of nursing actions in terms of civil, criminal and professional justice. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The rights of patients are monitored and own actions throughout the course of health care consistently protect patient rights. Where rights are endangered by others, own actions and responses advocate on the patient's behalf. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Actions and responses include:
  • Awareness raising; information sharing; assistance in the use of information; identification of appropriate channels.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Interaction with and support of patients empowers to access information with respect to their health status and treatment, and take charge of their health care. Support includes clarification of information patients access, as well as guidance in its use. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Ethical issues in the event of dual loyalties are identified and resolved in terms of professional ethical values and codes of ethics. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Where the requirements of legal nursing practice conflict with own ethical values, own stance is clearly and timeously communicated to minimise the loss of service to institution and/or patients. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
    Accreditation Options:
  • Providers of learning towards this unit standard will need to meet the accreditation requirements of the relevant ETQA.

    Moderation Option:
  • The moderation requirements of the relevant ETQA must be met in order to award credit to learners for this unit standard. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    The following essential embedded knowledge will be assessed through assessment of the specific outcomes in terms of the stipulated assessment criteria. Candidates are unlikely to achieve all the specific outcomes, to the standards described in the assessment criteria, without knowledge of the listed embedded knowledge. This means that for the most part, the possession or lack of the knowledge can be directly inferred from the quality of the candidate's performance. Where direct assessment of knowledge is required, assessment criteria have been included in the body of the unit standard:
  • Models of ethical decision making. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and creative thinking.

    Note: Solving problems related to the ethics of nursing and conflicts with own position. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as members of a team, group, organisation or community.

    Note: Nursing is most often team based; and ethical issues affect all. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and effectively.

    Note: Implied-apply codes to own practice; monitor and review. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.

    Note: Core to the standard-must have the information available. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively, using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentations.

    Note: Ethical use of information in communication. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.

    Note: Ethical use of medicines and equipment. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.

    Note: Core to the standard-interrelationship of ethics, law, and practice. 

    UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Notes to Assessors:

    Assessors should keep the following general principles in mind when designing and conducting assessments against this unit standard:
  • Focus the assessment activities on gathering evidence in terms of the main outcome expressed in the title to ensure assessment is integrated rather than fragmented. Remember we want to declare the person competent in terms of the title. Where assessment at title level is unmanageable, then focus assessment around each specific outcome, or groups of specific outcomes.
  • Make sure that evidence is gathered across the entire range, wherever it applies. Assessment activities should be as close to the real performance as possible, and where simulations or role-plays are used, there should be supporting evidence to show the candidate is able to perform in the real situation.
  • Do not focus the assessment activities on each assessment criterion. Rather make sure the assessment activities focus on outcomes and are sufficient to enable evidence to be gathered around all the assessment criteria.
  • The assessment criteria provide the specifications against which assessment judgements should be made. In most cases, knowledge can be inferred from the quality of the performances, but in other cases, knowledge and understanding will have to be tested through questioning techniques. Where this is required, there will be assessment criteria to specify the standard required.
  • The task of the assessor is to gather sufficient evidence, of the prescribed type and quality, as specified in this unit standard, that the candidate can achieve the outcomes again and again and again. This means assessors will have to judge how many repeat performances are required before they believe the performance is reproducible.
  • All assessments should be conducted in line with the following well documented principles of assessment: appropriateness, fairness, manageability, integration into work or learning, validity, direct, authentic, sufficient, systematic, open and consistent.

    The following particular issues should be taken into consideration when assessing against this unit standard:
  • The SANC guidelines are used as a reference for integrated assessment.
  • Formative Assessment: A variety of assessment strategies and/or approaches integrating theory and practice must be used. These could be tests, assignments, projects, demonstrations or clinical assessments or any other applicable method.
  • Summative: This could take a form of oral, written and/or practical assessments as agreed to with the relevant ETQA.

    Definition of Terms:

    Terms have been clarified as far as possible through the use of range statements. Further clarification of terms is provided as follows:
  • The terms "patient" and "health care user" are used interchangeably in this unit standard. The term patient is used internationally, and the term health care user is used in the Nursing Act 33 of 2005, as well as the National Health Act 61 of 2003.
  • Responsibility means: (Council definitions).
  • Accountability means: (Council definitions).
  • Scope of practice means: scope as regulated by the Nursing Act and regulations. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  59236   National Diploma: Nursing  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Passed the End Date -
    Status was "Reregistered" 
    2020-07-30  As per Learning Programmes recorded against this Qual 
    Fundamental  59257   Bachelor of Nursing  Level 7  NQF Level 08  Reregistered  2023-06-30  As per Learning Programmes recorded against this Qual 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.