Good day all.

I would like to know what are the down falls/implications of using training providers that are not registered nor accredited with the SETA. Is it advisable to make use of them?

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I disagree.

I am not registered with any SETA and have run my own training courses in 13 countries for the past 16 years.

Whilst SETA registration gives some form of reassurance, it is not the only requirement for a successful training intervention. In the world of business today, it is your Reputation that is the deciding criteria.

In fact, in the past 16 years I have only been asked for SETA registration 3 times.

I facilitate 90% of my workshops and seminars in the public environment. I attract many delegates from the various SETAS and that makes it too difficult and cumbersome to register with various ones.

My programs draw from various fields and is holistic in nature, and that adds to the problem. Take for instance the Reputation Risk Management program that I will be hosting at the end of the month. It contains Crisis Management, Reputation Risk and Crisis & Strategic Communications issue. Under which Seta must I register it? 

Where a client demands registration I can do that with pleasure provided the training will be on-going and over a period of time. The amount of administration involved for once –off interventions is just too much, and after all if it was not up to standard I would no longer be in the marketplace. After all, my reputation matters to me.

However all my training is outcomes based and internationally aligned. (In fact I used to be the Chairman of The Guild of Competency Development Practitioners -a body instrumental in the SETA development). I have done work with many South African companies, including 7 Government Departments, The Industrial Development Corporation and the National Research Foundation.

This is what Dr. Amani Saidi, National Research Foundation said - The course was extremely relevant to the stakeholder function, was well-structured and effectively delivered by the facilitator. The high level of people that attended, and the high level of class discussions enriched the course further, plus the course was competitively priced, such that it is greater value for money.

So just to assume that because a course is not registered that it is of sub-par standard is not correct.

I have a few thoughts (some I guess cynical) about the questions raised about certification and/or accreditation processes. I have studied widely – In fact I have multiskilled in four areas and I now find that much more useful.

- First the humorous. I once read that a PHD is nothing more than the transfer of old bones from one graveyard to another i.e. often very little new groundbreaking research (There is room for specialised knowledge in any profession)

- Secondly. Let me use the example a comedian. Imagine you went to a show tonight and they introduce the main speaker as a comedian with 2 PhD’s. BUT he does not make you laugh. What then? He has the accreditation and the qualifications, but he did not meet your needs and expectations.

So for me proof of educational qualifications and accreditation is context specific.I guess it is very much like an output/input model. As a customer I cannot really care whether you have studied at the best university or alma mater. If I was sick all I want to know is that you can cure me. As a customer what can you do for me and my problems?

This is more a case of personal influence. Sure, qualifications and accreditation counts. It might give me an introduction. Open the doors for me. Boost my own confidence and self-image. Some clients demand that. They measure you by your education, your appearance, your money, car, your image. Others measure you by your ability to get into their representational system (an NLP concept) – and judge you by your ability to relate to them.

It seems to get down to the word Performance. I have always bought into a Japanese psychiatrist Morita’s work. For instance Morita expresses his adverse thoughts about feelings. He describes feelings as clouds – they come and they go, just like your blood sugar. He uses an example that in a relationship people say I love you, but their ACTIONS never match their words, and their feelings. I guess a lot of my thoughts on reputation come from this.

You build your Reputation thoughtfully day by day through the actions you take, the words you use, etc. No certificate on the wall will make me a professional.

Over the past twenty years I must have attended more than 50 short courses and conferences, read hundreds of books on PR and strategy and worked on countless of assignments. BUT I have nothing to show for it from an educational perspective, but that I explained above. However I have also spoken at more than 80 conferences in 13 countries.

So how I do build my reputation? I build it daily through every action. I get and use referrals and references. I use the Media to position myself as an expert and I deliver.

Let’s even go further. Look at MIT’s new model where they give access to University education away – content and knowledge. Why? Because they know that it is a person who makes a difference. Let’s use Nelson Mandela as an example.

So I guess what I am saying in a long – winded way is that qualifications and accreditation are useful parts of the puzzle, the portfolio. BUT they are just that – parts.

No certification, accreditation or professional membership makes you a professional. It all lies in what you say, how you behave and how you act. If those are not in synch your reputation will become a problem. That is what I base my reputation on. Sometimes the standards put forward by many an institution is based on ethical and ideological standards that comply with what is happening at an educational institution.

Having taught Buddy Aid (First Aid without equipment in a military situation) I learned what is important. It is results that count. However those results must be stakeholder based.

Another school of thought says “Caveat Emptor –Let the Buyer beware”

In the Insurance fields this principle applies. By raising the entry level and the bar for actuaries and making qualifications difficult to attain they are virtually making salaries sky high. It is a simple Economics principle – the law of supply and demand.

Controlling an industry can be done either through legal means, religious or governmental control. Free market principles say let the customer decide.




Deon Binneman

Speaker, Facilitator & Adviser


I help organizations & individuals to build, sustain and protect their reputations

P: +27 11 4753515 / M: 83-425-4318 / Johannesburg, South Africa

Reputation…Years to build, Minutes to destroy!



Hi Deon

I hear you but my issue is not the reputation of the facilitator but the contents of course, if your material is not registered how does that influence the person geting the training. again yes it might broaden the individuals knowledge but how does she proof that she gained some knowledge that will help develop her career. Remember interviews has to be accompanied by a cv and verification of that cv.

Hi Deon,

You make some interesting and (dare I say) valid points! You have obviously been in the industry for a long time and your reputation speaks for itself. However, what about those who are passionate about learning and development, and who recently entered the market. How do they prove their credibility? Assessments on NQF aligned unit standards and qualifications are intended to judge applied competence as well as knowledge and behaviours learned. I believe the intention of the National Skills Development strategy and framework is a noble one as it is meant to reddress inefficiencies and the results of the enequalities of past education practices in S.A.

This issue(judging by the responses to Itebogeng's initial question) is a very "hot potato " at the moment. I come from an academic/teaching background and confirm the sentiments as expressed above. Firstly it is virtually impossible for one to get material accredited. Secondly a great deal of "accredited " material is substandard and therefore useless. Thirdly, it has always alarmed me that as long as one is an accredited / registered provider, the actual training/facilitation can be conducted by anyone !! Fourthly in order to become an accredited Training Provider, one is stymied at all turns, personally I have never encountered "red tape " that is so tightly wound that nothing can dislodge it. Finally, certain accredited assessors are not able to train unit standards for which they are accredited assessors.Clients need to be warned that accreditation or the lack thereof is virtually meaningless  due to the very real problems surrounding most of the SETAS.

Lynette - your comments above all ring true!!  Well said.

It depends on the purpose of the training. However, it is recommended that you use registered and accredited providers as you will obtain certificate of competence. However, the quality, relevance, suitability and scope of the material may meet and or even exceed what is prescribed by SETA.  Some of the unaccredited trainers,  

provide broader, better and practical training programs.

I suggest you work with an Accredited Training Provider as there is recourse whenever you are not happy with the service received or content. Accredited training providers are checked upon by SETAs to ensure they are abiding to the Quality Management System that was approved as one of the main requirements for accreditation. Having said this, an accredited Training provider can also providing training that is not SAQA aligned for reasons such as that SAQA doesn't yet have such trainings available but at least you have peace of mind that their operations are guided by a SETA as opposed to  non accredited provider. Hope this helps.

It is fascinating to see how much confusion there still is on the purpose and need for accreditation. To begin with, it is not illegal to offer non-accredited training. There are still employers who need training in areas for which registered standards do not even exist – these are mostly dedicated to a particular occupation or skill, for example some art courses, some courses in soft skills such as management of time, stress, etc. The Constitution provides for this. What would be illegal is if a training institution claims to offer accredited learning and to issue credits when this is not the case. It might also be illegal to claim that the client will be able to claim skills levies back on account of non-accredited learning – this is not always the case. There is in my mind two important reasons why accredited education and training is often better. Firstly, it is only when your credits are read into the NLRD that you can enjoy access and follow further learning, i.e. it supports lifelong learning. Secondly, a learning institution that went through the trouble of obtaining accreditation from a recognised quality assurance body probably offers learning of substance – they have been evaluated even though the evaluation is sometimes not professionally done. At least a learning institution must, in the opinion of the quality assurance body, have the capacity to offer good quality learning before they will be accredited. In addition to accrediting with a SETA ETQA learning institutions should also register with the DHET, and to do this they also need to accredit with either Umalusi or the CHE/HEQC. It is not possible to register with DHET if you are accredited with a SETA or professional Body ETQA only or not accredited at all. It will be possible to register with DHET once you are accredited by the QCTO also, but for the time being this option is not available yet.

Dr Hannes Nel, MD Mentornet   

How would everyone feel if I used this discussion as a kind of "focus group" for my research? It is so incredibly pertinent what everyone is saying. 

Hi Jacqui,

I have no problem with that at all. I would be interested in the results of your research. Kindly keep us updated.



All depends on if you NEED acreditted training or not - There is a LOT of very good training that is not NQ based. Do not believe the lie that ALL training needs to be NQ aligned. SETA acredditation does not necessarily mean good training, just they have jumped through the many hoops.

I offer both NQ and non NQ training and to be honest I feel the non NQ training is better as it is more focussed on what is actually needed then a course based on badly designed entrenched qualifications.

Agreen Andrew!


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