You are on page 1of 35

Formatted: Tab stops: Not at 6.

5"

Saudi Commission for Health Specialties

Professional Classification and Registration of Health Practitioners


Manual

1430 A.H. 2009 A.D.


5th Edition
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Commission for Health Specialties

Professional Classification and Registration of Health Practitioners


Manual

1430 AH 2009 A.D.


5th Edition
Contents

No. Subject Page


Introduction
I General Definitions
II Principles and Standards
III Degrees and Certificates That Are Not Professionally Classified
IV Health Related Courses and Changing Specialties
4-1 Health-related courses
4-2 Changing specialty
V Classification of Health Assistants, technicians and Health Specialists
5-1 Optometry
5-2 Medical Laboratories
5-3 Nutrition
5-4 Psychology
5-5 Sociology
VI Pharmacology
6-1 Classification of pharmacists
6-2 Pharm.D.
VII Acupuncture
VIII Spinal Adjustment
IX Naturopathy
X Medicine, Dentistry and Podiatry
XI Post-Graduate Specialty Certificates/Degrees in Medicine
11-1 Examples of certificates equivalent to the Saudi Specialty Certificate
XII Subspecialty and Non-certified Subspecialty Training
XIII Additional Specialties
XIV Definitions of Some Special Certificates
14-1 Field Epidemiology Diploma
14-2 Degrees/certificates from the Russian Federation and Ukraine
14-3 Degrees/certificates from Poland
14-4 Degrees/certificates from the Czech Republic
14-5 Bachelors of nursing, applied medical sciences and equivalents from the
Philippines and India
XV Visiting Doctors
XVI General Terms
XVII Professional Classification and Registration Fees
XVIII Certificate Attestation
XIX Continuous Medical Education
Saudi Commission

for Health Specialties

Resolution

The Chairman of the Board of Trustees,

by virtue of the powers vested in him and as decided in the first meeting of the Board of Trustees
on 29 April 2008, during which the memo submitted to the Board requesting the approval of the
Professional Classification and Registration Manual was discussed,

hereby decides to:

1. approve the 4th edition of the Professional Classification and Registration Manual, issued in
2005.

2. authorize the Executive Board to approve any future amendments in order to keep up with
new developments relating to professional classification or registration.

Minister of Health

Chairman of the Board of Trustees

Dr. Hamad bin Abdullah al-Mani


Introduction:

The Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCHS), based on the belief in the important role it
was assigned in the field of health professions and in order to accomplish the tasks it was
entrusted with carefully and honestly, appreciates the trust granted by our prudent government
pursuant to Royal Decree No. M/2, dated 6/2/1413 AH. Accordingly, the Commission believes
that it should start off with addressing the goals related to establishing the proper standards and
criteria for the practice of health professions and classification of health-related degree holders
into the appropriate professional levels according to their academic qualifications and practical
skills, as it is axiomatic that any shortcoming in professional practice would endanger a human
life in our dear country.

The Commission, in an effort to put things into perspective and establish general rules for
dealing with practitioners according to their qualifications and experience, set the required
criteria and procedures for the equivalency of health-related degrees as well as the subsequent
professional evaluation and classification of degree holders. Therefore, the Commission
established several, accurate and objective criteria for assessing pre-graduation (training) and
post-graduation (actual) experience and certifying practitioners. Essentially, the minimum
requirements for qualifying to any professional level are the requirements for the programs
approved by the Kingdom, which are used as benchmarks for all degrees that need to be
classified. It should be noted, and stressed, that the Commission does not mean to belittle or
question the academic competence of any institution whatsoever; the purpose is to put everyone
in the place they deserve due to the great disparity in training methods and periods across
countries, distinguish those who are competent and up-to-date with the latest developments in the
field, and nominate strong and honest practitioners who can be entrusted with human lives in the
healthcare sector to assume roles that correspond to their abilities. Moreover, we would like to
note that the ad hoc committees responsible for the assessment of professional abilities and
capacities, as well as assessment tests and professional classification, aim to ensure the required
basis for safe practice, away from verbal complexity and sheer academics.

HE the Minister of Health, Chairman of the Commissions Board of Trustees, issued decision
No. 9A/28, dated 12/4/1428, adopting the Professional Classification and Registration Guide and
authorizing the Commissions Executive Council to approve any future amendments, in order to
keep up with new developments relating to professional classification or registration.

Prof. Hussein Mohammad al-Freihi

Secretary General
I. General Definitions

No. Word/Phrase Definition


1-1 The Commission Saudi Commission for Health Specialties
1-2 Practitioner One who holds the required academic qualifications and has
the experience to safely hold a specific job in the Kingdoms
healthcare sector.
1-3 Professional Creating a record for the health practitioner in the
registration Commissions database in order to keep track of his
professional development and acquaint him with the Saudi
Medical Code of Ethics.
1-3-1 Professional Updating the practitioners data and his commitment to
re-registration continuous training and education programs after the
registration period expires. The registration period is no more
than three years for non-Saudis and no more than five years for
Saudis, while practitioners over 60 must provide proof of their
physical fitness for practice.
1-4 Professional is a sequential process starting with the verification and
classification authentication of qualifications and experiences and their
relevance, and ending with a professional assessment is
conducted to ensure that the minimum standards for safe
practice are met regarding practical, clinical and theoretic
practice; and accordingly, determining the professional level
based on degrees, experience and assessment.
1-5 Professional A procedure performed by the Commission to determine the
assessment competence as well as the academic and professional level of
the applicant, it includes either one or more of the following:
1. A consultant studies the application to decide the
appropriate level.
2. Written examination.
3. Academic, practical and clinical assessment by a specialist
committee.
1-6 Hospital A hospital that accommodates the primary specialties and has
at least one consultant or specialist registrar in each specialty.
1-7 Specialty center A facility specialized in one medical specialty or medical
support science where consultants work.
1-8 On-the-job training The qualified practitioners attendance of a training program to
learn a new technology pertaining to his specialty. The training
course is not considered a qualification and half of its actual
hours are counted as credit hours.
1-9 Training center A hospital or specialty center recognized by the official
authorities for training purposes.
1-10 Experience Ongoing practice in the specialty field. Experience is counted
as follows:
A. Each year of service at a hospital or a specialty center is
equivalent to one year of experience.
B. Each year of service at a health center or an equivalent
facility is equivalent to six months of experience.
C. If the practitioner does not practice his specialty, his
experience is not counted and he is considered non-practicing.
1-11 Experience The required experience to qualify for a higher level or for
acquisition those who demonstrate professional shortcomings, either by
failing the professional assessments administered by the
Commission or by non-practicing.
1-12 Non-practicing Not practicing the specialty field for two or more years.
1-13 General practitioner Holder of a bachelors degree in general medicine or dentistry
/General dental who has at least completed the internship year.
practitioner
1-14 Resident A. Holder of a bachelors degree in general medicine or
dentistry who has completed the internship year and has at
least one year of experience in the specialty field.
B. Holder of a diploma (one year) in a medical specialty.
C. Holder of a diploma/masters degree (no less than two
years) in a medical specialty, but does not yet have the
required experience to qualify as a senior house officer.
1-15 Senior house officer Holder of a specialty degree (no less than two years) who has
the required experience. The total period of training to receive
the degree as well as the actual experience must be four years.

1-16 Specialist registrar Holder of the Saudi specialty certificate (or equivalent).
1-17 Consultant Holder of the Saudi specialty certificate (or equivalent) who
has at least three years of experience in the specialty field at a
recognized hospital or center.
1-18 General specialty Major specialty in one field of medicine, such as internal
medicine and surgery. Training is carried out within a specific
method at recognized center after receiving a bachelor of
medicine. The practitioner must practice in the same specialty
field.
1-19 Subspecialty Specializing in a subspecialty of general medicine. Training is
carried out through the acquisition of practical and theoretical
experience after receiving a post graduate degree in a general
specialty, e.g. specializing in cardiology after specializing in
internal medicine.
1-20 Non-certified Specializing in a medical subspecialty (cardiology, neurology,
subspecialty endocrinology, etc), without receiving a post graduate degree
in general specialty. Training is carried out after receiving a
bachelor of medicine. The practitioner must practice in the
same specialty field.
1-21 Non-practitioner Holder of medical or health qualification who is not entitled to
practice in the specialty because of non-practicing for two
years.
1-22 Saudi Specialty The highest professional certificate the Commission awards
Certificate physicians. It is awarded after completing standardized clinical
training and passing the required assessments. It is equivalent
to a PhD.
II: Principles and Standards of Professional Registration and Classification:

2- 1) In principle, the Commission recognizes all certificates issued by recognized and


internationally renowned universities, authorities and equivalent institutions. However, it
preserves the right to reject any certificate that contravenes the regulations and standards
applicable in the Kingdom.

2-2) Saudis who receive their degrees (bachelors, masters or PhD) from abroad must get a
certificate of equivalency from the Ministry of Higher Education.

2-3) The Commission recognizes all domestic health training programs supervised by Saudi
universities and similar institutions which comply with the requirements set by the Commission.
However, the Commission preserves the right to exclude any program that fails to meet the
requirements and to subject its graduates to professional classification as required.

2-4) The Commission recognizes certificates issued by private health institutes and community
colleges that are licensed by the relevant authorities in the Kingdom, provided that their
graduates pass the Commissions classification examinations.

2-5) All applicants for professional classification must pass the professional assessment
procedures enforced by the Commission.

2-6) The Commission is aware of the difference between the certificate and its holder; therefore,
it recognizes professional classification as a way to classify practitioners based on their abilities
and experience at the time of assessment.

2-7) Whereas professional classification aims to qualify candidates for professional practice, the
time acknowledged for classifying certificates in clinical specialties is the same as the actual time
spent in practical training in the specialty field.

2-8) The health training and educational programs accepted by the Commission are standardized
programs which practitioners join and gradually advance both in terms of level and
responsibilities according to specific standards, and provided at competent training centers,
provided that they meet the minimum limits of training set by the Commission.

2-9) Health certificates and qualifications are classified according to the programs minimum
admission requirements.

2-10) Adding the hours of different courses together and decreasing the required period of
experience is not allowed for qualification purposes in the healthcare sector.

2-11) In classifying practitioners, the Commission observes the regulations and statutes effective
in the Kingdom, including the Health Professions Statute, Practice of Health Professions
Regulations and Private Health Institutions Regulations, in addition to the Commissions training
regulations and statutes.
2-12) Overlapping training periods to obtain different qualifications are counted only once.

2-13) If a preliminary decision assigns a lower qualification level based on the applicants score
in the examination, reclassification is not allowed before the elapse of one year as from the date
of decision or assessment.

2-14) Holders of degrees equivalent to the Saudi Specialty Certificate who are, in accordance
with Saudi universities regulations, promoted to associate professors while working at their
universities, may be classified as consultants upon the Professional Classification Committees
recommendation.

2-15) Certificates that are not included in this manual shall be classified in accordance with the
applicable training regulations in the Kingdom.

2-16) Classification applications submitted by non-Saudis who do not have the required
experience shall not be accepted, unless they are born in the Kingdom or regular residents who
have at least finished high school in the Kingdom. In such cases, they must work under the
supervision of a specialist until they complete the required (two) years of experience.

III: Degrees and Certificates That Are Not Professionally Classified:

3-1) Purely academic programs in nature that do not include patient care, clinical practice or
practical training in the field.

3-2) Health Certificates acquired through honorary training programs, as a visiting physician or a
non-practicing attach, or those acquired through correspondence and the like.

3-3) Certificates related to folk medicine which is not acknowledged in the Kingdom.

3-4) Certificates issued by non-health colleges and institutes.

3-5) Bachelors degrees in education, such as domestic economy and special education.

3-6) Bachelors degrees and diplomas granted by non-medical laboratories, such as chemistry,
biology or zoology labs.

3-7) Certificates that are not subject to recognized training programs or those are acquired while
working for non-recognized training centers.

3-8) Registration certificates that are considered as practice licenses or membership certificates
of certain associations which are granted after passing the licensing examination in some
countries such as the United Stated of America.
3-9) Certificates obtained or granted through distance education or correspondence study which
contravene the regulations of higher education.

3-10) Bridge programs provided by some universities to graduates of institutions abroad, such as
bridge program in radiology at Sudan University for Science and Technology.

3-11) Diploma of Psychiatric Practice (DPP); issued by Ain Shams University in cooperation
with Kings College London.

3-12) Dermatology diploma or PhD granted by Boston University, USA, and similar certificates
in the field of human medicine.

3-13) Certificates issued by the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of the United States.

IV: Health-Related Courses and Changing Specialties

4-1 Health-related Courses:

4-1-1) Full time health-related qualification courses that need full devotion and provided by
a specialized body, which have standardized programs that are approved by the
Commission. The credit hours of such courses are fully counted.

4-1-2) Courses provided by none-academic institutions, which the trainee finishes without
having to be fully devoted to or to join one of the institutions departments, which are
compliant with cooperative training regulations and after which the trainee is granted the
certificate without taking an exam. Half of such courses actual hours are counted as credit
hours.

4-2 Changing specialty

4-2-1) A specialty may be changed if the following conditions are met:

A. Current specialty and desired specialty must be in the same field of practice and on the
same professional level.

B. The applicant must have at least two years of experience in the new specialty field.

C. The applicant must take an assessment in the new specialty field.


V: Classification of Health Assistants, technicians and Health Specialists:

Level Basic qualification for Required studying and Remarks


admission training period for the
certificate after the basic
qualification
Medical Assistant Elementary education 1-3 years
Intermediate proficiency 1-2 years
Technician Intermediate proficiency 3 years min
High school 1-3 years
Senior Technician High school Community college
(3 years min)
Specialist Bachelors degree or equivalent Experience
in a recognized health field from + studying
a recognized university or - period = 4
college years
Senior Specialist Masters degree or equivalent Studying period is
from a recognized university or counted as 2 year max
specialized scientific body
PhD or equivalent
Consultant PhD or equivalent from a Min 3 years
recognized university or - of
specialized scientific body experience
in the
specialty
field

Remarks:

1. Admission of Medical Assistant categories shall be limited to the fields of nursing, midwifery
and first aid only.

2. The professional classification certificates of specialist and consultant medical assistants shall
be as follows:

A. Laboratory Specialist (specialty ..)

B. Laboratory Specialist (senior specialist, specialty..)

C. Laboratory Specialist (consultant, specialty..)


5-1 Optometry:

5-1-1) Optometrist: holder of a bachelor of optometry who has the necessary experience. An
optometrist must have good knowledge of the eye, its different parts and the function of each
part, in addition to being capable of examining the eye, fitting lenses, diagnosing and treating
diseases of the eye.

5-1-2) Optometric Technician: holder of a diploma in optometry (two years min) or equivalent
from a recognized institute or college obtained after graduation from high school. An optometric
technician must have good knowledge of the eye, its different parts and the function of each part,
in addition to being capable of examining the eye, under the supervision of an ophthalmologist or
optometrist.

5-1-3) Dispensing Optician: holder of a Diploma in Optical Dispensing (two years min) or
equivalent from a specialized institute. A dispensing opticians job is limited to eyeglass and lens
sales and fitting. He must be familiar with all types of medical eyeglasses, sunglasses, frames
and contact lenses, as well as their pros and cons.

5-2 Medical Laboratories:

In addition to the provisions of Article 5, the categories below in the area of medical laboratories
may be classified as follows:

5-2-1) Holders of bachelors degrees in specialties indirectly related to medical laboratories, such
as biochemistry or general microbiology are classified as a laboratory technicians, provided that
they attend a one-year qualification course in the specialty field or have a minimum experience
of two years in the specialty field at specialized medical laboratories.

5-2-2) Holders of masters degrees in medical laboratories or equivalents, obtained after a


bachelors degree in biochemistry or general microbiology, are classified as specialists, provided
that at least 50% of the program is practical training.

5-3 Nutrition:

Given the provisions of Article 5, categories in the nutrition field are classified on the following
basis:

5-3-1) Holders of diplomas in clinical/therapeutic nutrition (two years min), obtained after
graduation from high school or recognized community college, are classified as dietetic
technicians. A dietetic nutrition must work under the supervision of a clinical nutrition specialist.

5-3-2) Holders of bachelors degrees in (clinical/therapeutic) nutrition from health faculties are
classified as (clinical/therapeutic) nutrition specialists after a one-year internship.
5-3-3) Holders of masters degrees or equivalents in (clinical/therapeutic) nutrition obtained after
a bachelors in nutritional sciences, provided that the practical training program in
(clinical/therapeutic) nutrition is no less than two years, are classified as specialists in
(clinical/therapeutic) nutrition or as senior specialists after gaining the required experience.

5-3-4) Holders of bachelors degrees in nutritional sciences from faculties of science, agriculture,
&c. are classified as specialists in clinical nutrition, provided that they successfully complete a
qualification program approved by the Commission in (clinical/therapeutic) nutrition; and
accordingly, their professional level is decided based on their performance in the qualification
program.

5-3-5) Staff members working currently in nutritional sciences who are included in the health list
are classified and registered according to their current positions in coordination with their
employers. They are considered exceptional cases that future cases should not be benchmarked
against.

5-3-6) Holders of bachelors degrees in nutritional sciences from faculties of science, agriculture,
&c. are classified as non-clinical food services technicians and must work exclusively in
supervising food services.

5-4 Psychology:

This specialty includes: (clinical counseling neurological and forensic/criminal psychology),


which are classified in accordance with the provision of Article 5 of this manual, provided that
bachelors degrees holders are classified as follows:

5-4-1) A holder of bachelors degree in psychology is professionally classified as an assistant


psychology specialist, provided that he works under the supervision of a senior specialist or a
consultant in Psychology.

5-4-2) A holder of bachelors degree in psychology who have a minimum of three years of
experience is classified as a psychology specialist.

5-5 Sociology:

5-5-1) A holder of bachelors degree in sociology is classified as a sociologist.

5-5-2) A holder of bachelors degree in social service or equivalent is classified as a social


specialist.

VI. Pharmacology

6-1) Classification of pharmacists:


Pharmacists are classified and registered as follows:

Level Degree Experience


Pharmacist (Bachelors/masters degree)
from a recognized university
or scientific body
Senior Pharmacist Masters degree or equivalent Program + experience = 4
in pharmacology after gaining years
the required experience
PhD in pharmacology
Consultant Pharmacist PhD or equivalent in min 3 years of experience
pharmacology from a
recognized university

6-2) Pharm.D.

Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) degrees in clinical pharmacology are classified as follows:

A. Pharm.D. that takes at least two years (studying/training) after receiving a bachelors degree
in pharmacology is equivalent to a masters degree.

B. Pharm.D. that takes at least six years (study/training) after finishing high school and a one-
year accredited residency training program are equivalent to masters degree.

C. Pharm.D. that takes at least two years (studying/training) after receiving a bachelors degree
in pharmacy and a two-year accredited residency training program is equivalent to a PhD.

D. Pharm.D. that takes at least three years (studying/training) after receiving a bachelors degree
in pharmacy and a two-year accredited residency training program is equivalent to a PhD.

VII. Acupuncture:

A. In order to be classified for practicing acupuncture the applicant must be at least a specialist
registrar and attend at least (200) training hours or work fulltime in acupuncture for two months
at a recognized center.

B. Graduates of institutions that are specialized in acupuncture following high school who
undergo three years of training are classified as acupuncture technicians.
VIII. Spinal Adjustment:

Holders of bachelors degrees in chiropractic sciences are classified as chiropractic specialists


and must work under the supervision of a senior house officer.

IX. Naturopathy:

Holders of bachelors degrees in naturopathy from recognized centers are classified as


naturopathic specialists and must work under the supervision of a consultant in internal
medicine, family medicine, orthopedics, neurology or neurosurgery. Their practice is limited to
naturopathy and nutrition. However, they may use basic diagnostic methods such as blood tests,
chemistry and x-rays), but may not write prescriptions.

X. Medicine, Dentistry and Podiatry:

10-1) Holders of bachelors degrees or equivalents are classified as general practitioners in the
specialty (general medicine, density or podiatry) after the completion of a one-year internship at
a recognized center in the field of general medicine, dentistry or podiatry.

10-2) Holders of bachelors degrees in podiatry may only practice in the specialty field.
According to their training, they are classified as follows:

A. Surgical specialist.

B. Medical specialist.

10-3) Resident:

To become a resident, the applicant must have at least one year of experience in the specialty
field following the internship year or have one of the following certificates:

Degree Country of Origin Remarks


DCH India Equivalent to a one-year diploma
Specialty/Specialty registrar Pakistan Equivalent to a one-year diploma

MCPS

A.F.S
A.F.S.A
CES (a) France Equivalent to a one-year diploma
CES (b)
DESCHB
DU/CU

Medical Specialty Diploma Egypt Equivalent to a one-year diploma


Other diplomas recognized - -
by the Commission

10-4) Senior House Officer: for a practitioner to become a senior house officer in a field of
medicine, one of the following requirements must be fulfilled:

Qualification Length * Experience


Masters or equivalent Two years min Masters plus experience
should be at least four years
Two diplomas as explained in Two years of experience as of
Article 10-3 which the date the second diploma
complement each other was received
* The length acknowledged is the period estimated by the Commission for the program based on
the level of training.

10-5) Examples of certificates/degrees qualifying for the level of Senior House Officer:
Certificates/degrees which are recognized by the Commission and whose post-graduation
training period is no less than two years, in addition to practical experience in the specialty field,
so that the total period of both the program and acknowledged experience is four years, such as:

No. Certificate/Degree Country of Origin Remarks


1 Sudanese Specialization Certificate Sudan Equivalent to a three-
(Sudanese fellowship) year diploma,
excluding those who
became assistant
professors at
university hospital for
at least three years
2 Clinical MD Sudan Equivalent to two
years of experience in
the specialty field
3 MD India Equivalent to a two-
DNB year diploma
Mch
4 Ph.D Egypt Issued by the
Department of
Optometry at Ain
Shams University,
Egypt
5 Masters degree Egypt Min two-year
masters program
6 Graduate studies Syria Equivalent to a two-
year diploma
7 Specialty certificate Palestine Equivalent to a two-
year diploma
8 FCPS* Pakistan Two-year diploma
9 Completion of training Kingdom of Saudi The training must be
in the Saudi or Arabian Arabia supervised by the
fellowships Commission and the
applicant must pass
the assessment
10 British and Irish UK and Ireland For those who did not
membership and the standardized
fellowship specialty training
course. Equivalent to
a two-year diploma.
11 West Africa medical Nigeria/Africa Equivalent to a two-
college fellowship year diploma if there
was no standardized
program
12 Family medicine Canada Equivalent to a two-
fellowship year diploma.
* See Schedule 11-1 for fellowship certificates issued before 30 June 2008.

XI: Post-Graduate Specialty Certificates/Degrees in Medicine:

Certificates equivalent to the Saudi Specialty Certificate, which, based on experience, qualify the
practitioner to immediately become a specialist registrar or a consultant if he had three years of
experience.

11-1) Examples of certificates equivalent to the Saudi Specialty Certificate:

No. Certificate/Degree Country of Origin Remarks


1 Saudi universities Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
fellowships
2 Arab Fellowship Syria Those completing their training
in the Kingdom must obtain a
certificate of completion from
the Commission
3 Specialty from Jordan Jordan (JMC) Those completing their training
Medical Council in the Kingdom must obtain a
certificate of completion from
the Commission
4 Egyptian Fellowship Egypt Those completing their training
in the Kingdom must obtain a
certificate of completion from
the Commission
5 MD Egypt Must be received while training
at a recognized university
hospital
6 Higher Diploma in Algeria Bachelor of Medicine is not
Medical Studies obligatory
from the
Ministry of Higher
Education and Scientific
Research
7 Specialty from Tunisia & Morocco
Tunisia and Morocco
8 British and Irish UK and Ireland The applicant must have 4-5
fellowships years of residency experience at
a recognized center
9 CCST UK and Ireland Qualifies for a consultant
Certificate of
Completion of Specialty
Training
10 Czech Fellowship Czech Republic specialist registrar/written test
consultant/test & assessment
committee
11 PhD UK The applicant must have 4 years
of residency experience at a
recognized center and be
registered with the General
Medical Council
12 German/Austrian Germany & Austria
specialty certificate
(Facharzt)
13 C.E.S France Was awarded to European
(Certificat d Etudes nationals until 1985, when it
Specialisces) was replaced with D.E.S
14 D.I.S Awarded to foreigners
(Diplome
Interuniversitaire de
Specialitie)
15 Specialty from the Belgium
Belgium Ministry of
Health
(Medicin Specialitie)
16 Specialty from Italy Italy
(Diplome di medico
specialists)
17 Specialty from Denmark
Denmark (Speciallaege)
18 Specialty from the Luxemburg Holder must have spent at least
Ministry of Health based 4 years of residency (Registrar
on the recommendation Ship)
of Luxemburg medical
school (diploma di
medico specialists)
19 Specialty from the Netherlands A recognition and registration
Netherlands (SCR) certificate issued by Net do or
de Specialisten
Registraticommissie (SRC)
20 Swiss Specialty Swiss Medical Association
(FMH) or equivalent
21 F.M.H in orthopedic FMH in Switzerland
surgery
22 Specialty from Sweden Sweden
(Certificate of
Specialization Swedish
Board)
23 Specialty (PhD) Spain
from Spain
24 Specialty (PhD) Portugal
from Portugal
25 Australian Fellowship Australia
26 American Board from USA
ABMS
27 The Canadian Canada
Fellowship
From the Royal College
of Physicians and
Surgeons of Canada
28 MD or MS + DNB/MD India
+ DM in internal Pakistan
medicine subspecialties Bangladesh
29 MD + MCH in surgical
specialties
30 FCPS Pakistan The applicant must have worked
as an assistant professor for at
least three years; certificates of
experience must be issued or
attested by College of
Physicians & Surgeons
Pakistan (CPSP) , except for
fellowships issued after 30 June
2008
31 Masters/fellowship South Africa Equivalent training to that
required by the Saudi Specialty
Fellowship is required
32 DEDCHD ( Diplome France Diploma in dental surgery +
DEtat de Docteur en diploma in dental sciences
Chirurgie Dentaire +
DESO ( Diplome Eu
Sciences
Obontologiques) in
dentistry
33 European Board Europe The applicant must have
standardized training at the
country of origin which is
equivalent to the Saudi Specialty
Certificate
34 Lebanese Specialty - The Lebanese University
- American University
- Makassed Hospital - The
Makassed Philanthropic
Islamic Association of
Beirut
35 MD University of Karachi
36 Specialty from Brazil Brazilian Medical
Association, Brazil
37 The Royal College of The Royal College of
Dentists of Canadas Dentists of Canada
fellowship
38 Iraqi Specialty Iraq There must be standardized
training equivalent to the Saudi
Specialty Certificate
39 Kuwaiti Specialty Kuwait There must be standardized
training equivalent to the Saudi
Specialty Certificate
XII: Subspecialty and Uncertified Subspecialty Training:

12-1) A non-certified subspecialty fellowship is a training fellowship for qualification purposes


obtained by a trainee through a standardized training program after passing an examination in the
same subspecialty at a recognized academic institution. It is classified as a non-certified
subspecialty fellowship following a postgraduate degree in general specialty.

12-2) A non-certified subspecialty training course (fellowship) which does not include an
examination at the end and in which the fellow is awarded a certificate of completion by the
academic institution or university hospital is equivalent to a course commensurate with its actual
training period.

12-3) Requirements for granting the title of non-certified Consultant in a subspecialty:

a. Three-year non-certified subspecialty fellowship, preceded by a postgraduate degree


b. Two-year non-certified subspecialty fellowship, preceded by one year of experience in
the same subspecialty
c. Three years of training in the non-certified subspecialty, in addition to one year of
experience in the same subspecialty
d. Two years of training in the non-certified subspecialty in addition to two one years of
experience in the same subspecialty
e. One year of training in the non-certified subspecialty, in addition to four years of
experience in the same subspecialty
or
f. Six years of experience in the subspecialty in specialized units at a recognized center,
preceded by a postgraduate degree.

12-4) The holder of a specialty certificate who completes a three-year training program and has
four years of experience in the same specialty, so that total training and experience are seven
years, is qualified to become a non-certified consultant in the subspecialty. However, the title
shall be limited to the subspecialty.
XIII: Additional Specialties:

Additional specialties is the acquisition of additional skills/techniques related to the main


specialty, the practice of which requires obtaining an additional license; moreover, the holder
must have complete a training course or have sufficient experience at a hospital or a specialty
center in the required field, such as:

1. Infertility and in vitro fertilization (IVF), for gynecologists, obstetricians and senior house
officers in embryology and endocrinology.

2. Laser eye surgery (for consultant ophthalmologists).

3. An additional license to use hair removal and excimer laser is granted to a dermatology senior
house officer/consultant who attends a two-hour (min) training course - approved by the
Commission - after having passed the professional assessment administered by the Commission.

4. An additional license to use laser, intense pulse light (IPL) , radio waves and photodynamic
therapy (PDT) is granted to a dermatology (senior house officer/consultant) who attends a four-
hour training course - approved by the Commission - after having passed the professional
assessment administered by the Commission.

5. Endoscopy license for non-gastroenterology consultants, i.e. specialists in internal medicine,


pediatrics and general surgery.

6. Circumcision license (physicians who are not urologists, pediatricians, plastic surgeons or
general surgeons).

7. Analgesia (for consultants in anesthesia or neurosurgery).

8. Endoscopic surgery (for surgical consultants).

9. Ultrasound (for non-radiologists).

10. Hair transplantation (for dermatologists and plastic surgeons).

11. Dental implantology.


A- Additional license for dental implants (prosthodontic component):

The additional license for the prosthodontic component of the implant is granted to a senior
house officer/consultant in oral and maxillofacial surgery or periodontology who completes at
least 100 hours of standardized training on the prosthodontic component in one or more
recognized courses at scientific institutions/commissions recognized by the Commission. After
passing the theoretic and clinical assessment, the trainee must provide proof that he trained on
the prosthodontic component no less than 15 cases issued by the recognized training
institution/commission, not a commercial company.

B- Additional license for dental implants (surgical component):

The additional license for the surgical component of the implant to is granted to a senior house
officer/consultant in oral prosthodontics or restorative dentistry who completes at least 100 hours
of standardized training on the surgical component in one or more recognized courses at
scientific institutions/commissions recognized by the Commission. After passing the theoretic
and clinical assessment, the trainee must provide proof that he trained on the surgical component
no less than 15 cases issued by the recognized training institution/commission, not a
commercial company.

C- Additional license for dental implants (prosthodontic/surgical component) for general


dentists:

The additional license for the prosthodontic/surgical component of the implant to is granted to a
general dentist who has at least four years of experience and standardized training on one or both
components of dental implantology. The dentist must attend at least 200 hours of training one
or more courses on the prosthodontic and surgical components (100 hours each) of the implant
at a scientific institution/commission recognized by the Commission, not a commercial
company. Moreover, the dentist must finish treating 20 cases surgically and prosthodontically
(documented by the recognized training institution/commission. After passing the theoretic and
clinical assessment, the license is given either in the prosthodontic component, the
surgical component or both.

XIV: Definitions of Some Special Certificates:

14-1 Diploma in Field Epidemiology:

A diploma awarded by the School of Medicine at King Saud University in collaboration with the
Ministry of Health. Physicians and non-physician practitioners are eligible for admission. This
diploma is equivalent to a two-year diploma in the same specialty.
14-2 Degrees/certificates from the Russian Federation and Ukraine:

14-2-1) Nursing and technical certificates: less than four years after high school qualifies the
applicant to practice as a (technician) if he passes the assessment, while more than four years
qualifies the applicant to practice as a (specialist).

14-2-2) Bachelor of Pharmacy: duration is five years; equivalent to a bachelor of pharmacy in


the Kingdom.

4-2-3) Dentistry: duration is five years; equivalent to a bachelors degree and a training
(internship) year.

14-2-4) General Medicine: six years plus one year of training (internship year). It is called
Stagior in Russian, i.e. (bachelors/diploma) and it is equivalent to a bachelor of medicine /
bachelor of surgery in the Kingdom.

14-2-5) Specialist Certificate (Clinical Ordinatura): KauhuUeckou opguka type in Russian. At


least three years of training is required to receive the certificate. It is equivalent to a two-year
program: specialist = master = magista and qualifies its holder to practice as a senior house
officer after gaining the required experience.

14-2-6) Fellowship (PhD/MD): Kandidate Nauk in Russian. It requires three to five years of
training after receiving a masters degree. It is equivalent to the Saudi Specialty Certificate
(PhD).

14-3 Degrees/certificates from Poland:

14-3-1) Nursing, including:

A. Nurse: four years of studying at a secondary nursing school after middle school and it is
called Dyplom Pielegniarki/Pielegniarza.

It is equivalent to the diploma granted by secondary health institutes and qualifies its holder to
practice as a nursing technician.

B. Qualified nurse: two years of studying at a nursing institute after high school and it is called
Dyplom dielegniarza, Diplom Pyplomowanego or Pielegniarki Dyplomowanej.

It is equivalent to the diploma granted by advanced secondary health institutes and qualifies its
holder to practice as a nursing technician.

C. Bachelor of Nursing: four years of studying at the school of medicine- nursing department and
it is called Dyplom Magistra Pielegniarstwa.

It is equivalent to a bachelors degree and qualifies its holder to practice as a specialist.


D. Pharmacy: its duration is five years and it is called Dyplom Magistra Farmacji.

It is equivalent to a bachelor of pharmacy.

E. Dentistry: five years plus an internship year. It is called Dyplom Lekarza Stomatologa and it
is equivalent to a bachelor of dentistry.

F. Medicine: six years plus an internship year. It is called Dyplom Lekarza Medyeyny and it is
equivalent to a bachelor of medicine / bachelor of surgery in the Kingdom.

14-3-5) Specialty certificates:

14-3-5-1) Until 1999, specialty programs were divided into two levels and comprised two stages:

A. Level 1: 2-3 years of training; the degree is called Dyplom I Stopnia and it is equivalent to a
masters degree.

B. Level 2: 3-4 years of training in addition to a states examination. The degree is called
Dyplom II Stopnia; it is equivalent to a PhD and qualifies the practitioner to become a
specialist registrar.

14-3-5-2) Starting early 1999, the European Union specialties system was applied and the
specialty was changed into one level. The program is now no less than five years, depending on
the specialty, and the degree is called Dyplom Specjalisty; it is equivalent to a PhD and
qualifies its holder to become a specialist registrar.

14-3-5-3) Sub-specialties (such as heart surgery, neurosurgery and plastic surgery):

- Until 1999: it required 3-4 years of training after completing level 1Dyplom I Stopnia
and passing the states examination; it qualifies its holder to become a subspecialist.

- Since early 1999: requires 2-3 years of training after completing Dyplom Specjalisty and
passing the states examination; it qualifies its holder to become a specialist.

14-4 Degrees/certificates from the Czech Republic:

14-4-1) The specialty certificate Prvniho Stupune qualifies its holder to become a senior house
officer after passing the professional assessment.

14-4-2) The specialty certificate Druheho Stupune qualifies its holder to become a specialist
registrar or consultant, based on experience.
14-5 Bachelors of nursing, applied medical sciences and equivalents from the Philippines
and India:

14-15-1) upon the completion of ten years of general education, holders of bachelor degrees in
nursing and applied medical sciences are classified as specialists in their specialties, provided
that they have a four-year bachelor degree, the Board Certificate in the same specialty and three
years of experience in the whatever specialty stated in the certificate, whether optometry,
physiotherapy, nutrition, respiratory therapy, medical labs, dental technology, radiology, etc.
except for pharmacy.

XV: Visiting Doctors:

1. Pursuant to Ministerial Resolution No. 2118/20, dated Jun 6 1999 AH, the Commission shall
classify visiting doctors according to the following criteria:

1- The visiting doctor must be a consultant in his home country; he must be specialized in
rare specialty and familiar with new techniques not available in the Kingdom.
2- The visiting doctor must have a valid practicing license in his home country.
3- The visiting doctor must have never been convicted of a Sharia violation, a criminal
offence or a medical error, nor deported from the Kingdom for any reason related to the
medical profession.
4- The Commissions recommendation to invite a visiting doctor is not considered as a
permanent classification certificate to work in the Kingdom.

XVI: General Terms:

16-1) Applicants that have health-related certificates from abroad are classified through
professional assessment.

16-2) Those who were not qualified because of failing the assessment may be reclassified after
spending a training period and gaining new experience at a hospital that accommodates the
respective specialty, or after receiving a higher qualification recognized by the Commission. The
application is accepted after one year from the date of the decision.

16-3) Practitioners given exceptions who pass the professional assessment are reassessed one
year after the professional classification decision. However, a final non-qualification decision is
issued for those failing for the second time.

16-3-1) Saudi practitioners who pass on their fourth attempt must be reassessed one year
after the classification decision. The classification decision must state (reassessment after
one year).

16-4) Classification from one level to another requires a new application and a new assessment.
16-5) Government employees may not be classified as consultants without the approval of their
departments.

16-6) Those failing the assessment for a certain professional level may not be classified to a
lower level. However, this does not apply to nurses working at health centers, clinics and clinic
complexes, as they may take the nursing assistant assessment if they fail the nursing assessment,
provided they work exclusively in health centers, clinics and clinic complexes after passing the
nursing assistant assessment.

16-7) An applicant for the level of a specialist registrar/consultant who fails the first attempt may
redo the assessment. If he passes, he is classified to a lower professional level than what he
applied for or to the actual level if it was lower. However, he may submit a new professional
classification request to upgrade his level one year after he passes the assessment or one year
after the classification decision.

16-8) If a non-physician does not practice for 2-5 years, he must go back to training for 2-6
months, based on the time spent without practicing. However, if a practitioner does not practice
for more than five years, he must train for six months if he had previous experience or for one
year if he did not have previous experience, in addition to passing the professional classification
assessment.

16-9) Non-practicing (physician):

A. 2-5 years: the practitioner's experience is evaluated, he must receive 2-6 months of
training in the field of his specialty, based on the time spent without practicing, and he
must pass the professional classification assessment.
B. 5-10 years: the practitioner's experience is evaluated, he must receive six months of
training in the field of his specialty if he had previous practical experience and one year
if he did not practice before, and he must pass the professional classification assessment.
C. Non-practicing for more than ten years: with previous practicing experience must have
their experience evaluated, receive one year of training and pass the professional
classification assessment.
D. Non-practicing for more than ten years: those without previous practicing experience
must train for at least one year at a recognized training center and successfully complete
4 three-month courses in (internal medicine, pediatrics, general surgery and OB/GYN).

16-10) The number of examination attempts shall be as described below.

A. The Commissions examination administered by Prometric: the applicant is allowed two


attempts for the classification examination within three months. If the applicant fails or
does not attend the examination, he is given another opportunity to sit for the
examination within three months from the date of the last attempt and he must pay the
stipulated fees. However, if the applicant fails or does not attend the examination, he will
be automatically declared non-qualified.
B. Scheduled written examinations (committees): the applicant is allowed two attempts in a
row. If the applicant fails or does not attend the examination, he is given another
opportunity to sit for the examination before the next committee and he must pay the
stipulated fees. However, if the applicant fails or does not attend the examination, he will
be automatically declared non-qualified.
C. In case of non-qualification, the applicant may apply again one year after the non-
qualification decision and he must pay the stipulated fees.
D. Graduates of private health institutes, health colleges, and community colleges in the
Kingdom are given two attempts. Those failing the examination must undergo additional
training, and then they are given two additional attempts. Those failing the additional two
attempts will be assessed by a committee until the Commission implements a system of
standardized tests.

16-10-1) The applicant's employer must be notified if the applicant is not qualified.

16-11) The date the board of the college/university adopts the decision is considered the actual
date of the certificate.

16-12) Holders of a bachelor of medicine / bachelor of surgery may be classified as medial


advertising and pharmaceutical marketing representatives if they pass the pharmaceutical
professional classification assessment.

16-13) Classified ophthalmology senior house officers who wish to work in optical centers must
apply for an additional license and take a written examination in optometry, provided that they
work exclusively in the field of optometry.

16-14) The physical (hearing, sight, etc.), psychological and neural abilities of professional
classification or registration applicants over (60) years old must be tested. The result is either "fit
for medical practice" or "unfit for medical practice".

16-15) All graduates of government programs below a bachelor's degree must sit for the
professional classification examination.

16-16) In accordance with the Health Professional Practice Act issued pursuant to Royal Decree
No. M/59, dated 15 December 2005, subscription to cooperative insurance against medical errors
is mandatory for all physicians and dentists both in the public and the private sectors.

16-17) Changing professional level:

A. The Commission may change the professional level or revoke the practitioner's classification
and registration certificate by virtue of a court order or due to the request of the competent
authorities for reassessment purposes, or if the practitioner turned out to have received the
certificate by mistake or in an illegal manner.

B. If the practitioner submits a request to upgrade his professional level, the Commission may
either change or revoke the professional classification certificate based on the recommendation
of the assessment committee.

16-18) The Commission may amend any article of this Manual whenever it deems appropriate
without prior notice.

16-19) The Secretary General may chose to make exceptions to any of this Manual's provisions,
if necessary.
XVII: Professional Classification and Registration Fees:

Professional classification and registration fees are paid for with a check written to the order of
the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties, by credit card or by a bank deposit to the
Commission's bank account as described below:

A. Professional classification fees:

Level Fees
Consultant SAR 1800
Physician (senior house officer/ specialist SAR 1500
registrar)
General Doctor/Dentist SAR 1100
Subspecialty Physician (advanced fellowship) SAR 1100 + SAR for each additional
fellowship within the same application
Pharmacist/Health Specialist SAR 1100
(bachelor's/master's)
Pharm.D./Health Specialist SAR 1500
(Technician/Nurse/Health Assistant) SAR 600
Additional specialties (committees) SAR 1500
Bachelor's degrees from Saudi universities SAR 500
(direct decisions/physicians)
Bachelor's degrees from Saudi universities SAR 500
(direct decisions/non-physicians)

B. Professional registration fees:

Professional Professional
Category Level Annual Fees Classification Fees Classification
(3 years) Fees (5 years)*

Consultant SAR 250 SAR 750 SAR 1250

Physicians Senior house Officer +


SAR 200 SAR 600 SAR 1000
Specialist Registrar

Resident + General
SAR 160 SAR 480 SAR 800
Doctor/Dentist

Consultant SAR 200 SAR 600 SAR 1000


Non-
physicians Senior Specialist SAR 160 SAR 480 SAR 800
Specialist/Pharmacist SAR 120 SAR 360 SAR 600

Assistant/Technician/Senior SAR 80
SAR 240 SAR 400
Technician

* The five-year professional registration column is for Saudi practitioners only.

C. Other services' fees:

NO. Document Fees

1 Certificate translation and accreditation SAR 300

2 Reissuance of lost certificate or modification of SAR 300


classification certificate for physicians, pharmacists,
specialists and equivalents

3 Modify or reissue lost registration card SAR 150

4 Certificate of good standing/practice SAR 300

5 Attesting certificates to make sure they fulfill all the SAR 150
Commission's requirements.

XVIII: Certificate Attestation:

Certificates are attested by one of the bodies listed below. The order of the list must be observed,
i.e. you may not go to No. 2 if No. 1 is available.

18-1) Saudi cultural attach in the country of origin.

18-2) Saudi embassy or representative in the country of origin.

18-3) Saudi embassy or representative certification above the certification of the embassy of
another country

18-4) The country of origin's embassy in the Kingdom + Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

18-5) Party recognized and approved by the Commission.


XIX: Required Continuous Medical Education and Professional Development Hours for
Practitioners in Order to Re-register with the Commission:

A- Required continuous medical education hours by practitioners for re-registration:

Category Average Required Hours Details


Hours per
Year

3 Years 5 Years
Physicians 30 90 h 150 h Max (10) hours per year for domestic
and dentist activities.

Max (10) hours per year for general skills


development.

Min (12) hours per year for specialized


seminars, conferences and workshops,
including accredited online activities.

(10) hours for independent activities, such


as specialized reading, writing, and
watching relevant scientific films.
Pharmacists 20 60 h for 100 h for Max (7) hours per year for domestic
pharmacists & pharmacists activities.
consultants and
consultants Max (7) hours per year for general skills
development.

Min (7) hours per year for specialized


seminars, conferences and workshops,
including accredited online activities.

(5) hours for independent activities, such


as specialized reading, writing, and
watching relevant scientific films.
Nurses 15 45 h for specialists 75 h for Max (5) hours per year for domestic
and consultants specialists activities.
and
consultants Max (5) hours per year for general skills
development.

Min (5) hours per year for specialized


seminars, conferences and workshops,
including accredited online activities.

(5) hours for independent activities, such


as specialized reading, writing, and
watching relevant scientific films.
Other applied 2-10 60 h for specialists 100 h for Max (5) hours per year for domestic
medical jobs and consultants specialists
and activities.
consultants
Max (5) hours per year for general skills
development.

Min (5) hours per year for specialized


seminars, conferences and workshops,
including accredited online activities.

(5) hours for independent activities, such


as specialized reading, writing, and
watching relevant scientific films.
Technicians 10 30 h for all 50 h for all
categories categories

B. Categories exempt from continuous medical education are health assistants - regardless of
specialty - and some technicians (optical laboratory technicians, health or hospital management
technicians, medical records technicians, medical secretary technicians, biomedical equipment
technicians, health monitoring technicians and environmental technicians).

C. ICDL is counted as non-mandatory continuous education hours for practitioners as follows:

- ICDL Start: 10 hours of continuous education, counted only once.

- ICDL, 15 hours of continuous education, counted only once.