Neuropsychology is a highly specialised field, and any person conducting a neuropsychological assessment would need to be a registered Clinical, Counselling or Educational Psychologist, having the necessary additional expertise. This is important for a number of reasons:

  • Psychologists need to be able to distinguish between conditions of a neurogenic and psychogenic origin, requiring specialised training and experience.
  • Psychologists working in the neuro-rehabilitation field need to know when, or when not, to attempt cognitive remediation.
  • In addition, should any psychologist be called to court for having conducted neuropsychological work, the court will expect that psychologist to provide evidence of expertise.


Being a Full member of SACNA is a peer-recognised indication of expertise in clinical neuropsychology above the level normally achieved in basic professional training in Clinical, Counselling and Educational Psychology. The process of becoming a Full Member has the objective of preparing a psychologist to practice neuropsychology in a variety of different clinical and medico-legal contexts.

As yet, there are no officially recognised methods for training that will lead to a person being able to register in the category "Neuropsychologist" with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). This is expected to change in the near future. Some institutions are waiting for approval of Master's degrees in neuropsychology, which would allow successful candidates to register as a Neuropsychologist with the HPCSA. Even when that is in place, Full SACNA membership would be a mark of distinction beyond that qualification.

For a full description of the relationship between statutory registration and SACNA peer credentialing, click here.

1.    Candidates must be registered with the Professional Board of Psychology of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as a Clinical, Counselling or Educational Psychologist, must have been registered as such continuously for at least two years. This might change when the HPCSA allows psychologists to register as neuropsychologists, in which case only those psychologists who are registered as neuropsychologists with the HPCSA will be acceptable candidates.

2.    Applicants are expected to be familiar with the neuropsychological literature and have to write the SACNA knowledge examination. The examination necessarily calls upon a solid base in the area of clinical neuropsychology, and is not easy to pass.

3.     Candidates are expected to know some basic neuroanatomy with regard to the brain, pathological conditions, syndromes related to different lesions, and theories of measuring deficits (Lezak). There are also some questions on neuro-rehabilitation and cross cultural issues. Further reading to broaden your knowledge is recommended.

4.   To download the reading list of core texts pertaining to the examination, click here:  SACNA Exam Reference List_Final_March 2016.pdf.

For assistance in gaining access to the papers, please email Nicky Botha (Admin Assistant) -

5.   Exams are scheduled at the end of March and September each year, with location varying according to demand. Candidates are allowed 3 hours and 15 minutes to answer the multiple choice questions on a single paper. To register, apply to the Chairperson of the Credentialing Committee, giving your category of registration, years of experience, location and email. Applicants must be paid-up Associate members of SACNA in the year they write, and will be required to pay an administration fee of R100.00, each time they sit the examination.

6.   The administration fee can be deposited into the SACNA bank account. Please send proof of payment to

SACNA bank details:
ABSA Bank, Auckland Park branch.
Branch code: 335105
Account number: 4054841000
Account name: SACNA

Report reviews are charged at the nominal rate of R750 per report, with the additional professional time taken for these time-consuming reviews subsidized by SACNA.

1.    Upon successful completion of the examination, the applicant must submit TWO comprehensive neuropsychological reports of a standard acceptable to the SACNA Credentialing Committee. The reports must be on patients of varying age/cultural background/diagnosis.

2.    Reports should only be submitted once candidates have acquired substantial experience in the neuropsychological field under supervision. A motivation document needs to accompany the submission of the reports, indicating the experience achieved, in what settings, and the actual number and type of cases completed under supervision, and by which SACNA has approved the supervisor.

3.    Candidates should have received supervision on at least THREE cases to completion, even if they have been working in neurological settings.  If they have never had experience in neurological contexts, they will normally need more supervised input than in respect of only three cases.  They will need to be guided by their supervisor in terms of readiness to operate independently. Candidates must provide evidence of supervision prior to submission of the reports for evaluation.

4.    IMPORTANT: The reports submitted for credentialing review, and the assessments on which they are based, must have been completed WITHOUT supervision. In other words, the submitted reports themselves must have been completed independently, after completion of the supervision process

5.    Reports should ideally be completed and submitted within a maximum of 12 months after successfully completing the knowledge examination.  However, it will not be unusual for a candidate to require more time to gain the relevant experience, and/or adequate supervision, in which case this should be motivated and will normally be approved by SACNA in the interests of the candidate acquiring the relevant skill prior to submission of an independent report.

6.    Further reports may be requested after feedback has been given.  Based on the candidate’s past record of experience in the field, and supervisory input received, the credentialing committee will provide guidance about what else is probably required of them to try and achieve the level of expertise that is demanded.

7.    The Credentialing Committee can recommend supervisors from among SACNA full members to assist candidates with the interpretation of test findings and report-writing, although candidates may call upon the supervision of someone of their own choice if they believe that person to have sufficient expertise in the area. Payment will need to be negotiated with the supervisor, and is normally in accordance with the hourly recommended rate for professional psychological services.

8.    Once assessment reports have been submitted and any supervision requirements have been fulfilled, candidates may be required to present themselves for an oral examination. This requirement may be requested at the discretion of the examiners.
A series of additional references are strongly recommended for use during the preparation of case reports.Click here

For a detailed summary of report writing guidelines, click here