The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA) was founded and financed in 1954 by members of the medical profession and was registered as a non-profit making company in 1955. It is the custodian of the quality of medical care in South Africa and embraces 28 constituent Colleges representing all the disciplines of medicine and dentistry. Because the CMSA has the unique structure of containing all medical and dental specialities within a single framework, it has the potential to foster aspects of medical education and medical professionalism which are common to all disciplines. 

Since 2011 all registrars who enter a specialist programme with a single exit examination which is organized by the relevant College for their discipline.  They also are required to complete a research component before they are eligible for registration as a specialist with the HPCSA.  This is supervised within the Health Science Faculty in which they receive their training.