Will merging of poor-performing Setas just bring the standards down? 7


What will happen to the Setas?

Every five years the training authorities, the Setas, come up for renewal. In 2004 there was talk of radical changes but in the end only two Setas were merged with others.

In October this year we will hear if the Seta system is to be adjusted slightly, or in for a major overhaul.

The Setas representing the financial, banking and insurance sectors were considered for a merger in the last shake-up and this possibility has been discussed this year as well.

But as far as the financial Seta Fasset is concerned, both management and stakeholders are happy with their Seta as it is.

Will it simplify the system to merger the Setas into a fewer, larger organisations? Or will mergers lead to lowering of standards and the loss of centres of excellence, as Fasset CEO Cheryl James argues?

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7 thoughts on “Will merging of poor-performing Setas just bring the standards down?

  • Linda Ingram

    Many of us have similar thoughts on the SETAs. Firstly, in my view the SETAs were created with the view that service providers would be delivering programmes in one area of specialisation. Secondly, each of the SETAs have developed their own management information systems – some work and others don’t. It takes no genius to calculate the development of these systems. Thirdly, I must agree that the service levels of most SETAs left much to be desired. I guess the most worrisome fact though is the hidden agendas of those in senior positions within the SETAs. Integrity of many people are questionable. Herby has stated: “don’t re-invent the wheel again”. Exactly – so why do we find it acceptable when each SETA is a replication of the other, managed by yet another team of people at yet another cost? Why not just suggest that Raymond and Cheryl form a coallision and show everyone else how it should be done!!!

  • Catherine Martin

    SETAs were a great invention and in principle have an important role to play. However, they need to be smarter about the way they run their organizations. They need to (1) outsource what is not core business (e.g. certification); (2) decentralize. Regions should play a bigger role in gathering SSP info; (3) Practice what they preach. Very little skill exists in SETAs. Staff members lose credibility when dealing with stakeholders who are often more knowledgeable; (4) train every member of every SETA on the importance of customer service, and let the penny drop that stakeholders actually pay their salaries! Where bureaucracy and inconsistency in quality assurance practices are concerned, hopefully the QCTO will play a huge role in simplifying, simplifying, simplifying! Mergers? It would be great for every SETA to be led by visionaries like Cheryl and Raymond Patel. However extra large SETAs should be avoided because delivery is compromised. So I say merge the poorer SETAs with medium sized ones who are rich (e.g. Energy with CHIETA) but let’s not try to re-create mini governments.

  • Kobus Verreynne

    I am involved in the standard generating process at SAQA for OHS. What we experience is that due to financial pressure, some employers tend to present “inhouse” training that is not based on Unit Standards. The facilitators is not knowledgeable to add more value than what is written in the text books. I am questioning the concept of life long learning and value adding in a scenario like this. I do believe this kind of activities do more harm than good to the industry as well as the individual. How can you expect a person to perform a task if the training was not presented in a continual improvement manner. Based on this, I am concerned about the SETAs as well as the standard generating process under Department of Labour and Quality management by SAQA. There are to many role players with no one to control of the full process.

  • mamello mahomed

    all seta’s have the same intentions- to grow our economy and contribute positively to the lifes of the citizens of SA- and if this calls for improving performance through synergising activities- why not – after all seta’s are a replica of one another- why the other can succeed and the other fail is a matter of getting the formula wrong- where the formula is undoubtedly not working and not yielding the intended results- it would make business sense that corrective measures are taken , and where there is comonalities more than differences- it is only logical that there is a merger – and the results should be growth rather than the opposite-unless we believe that we can grow one part of the economy and not the others and still hope to have a succesfull story.

  • Rahman Murtuza

    I believe that progress are good if it is well implemented and effective. If the process has been well thought and documented and above all the staff have been part of the process then it should be implemented. Most of the time either the staff are not aware of the new changes or the clients are confused on which system to use. SETA, THETA and any other SETA have not had a good reputation due to the complexity of their administartion or even the quality of the personnel , hence even though they have been productive, eager to help and accommodating, we have not felt the warmth. It would be advisable to consult the key people who have been in the training institutions for years to provide direction and assistance rather than forcing change that will irritate the masses. We have been talking about skills shortages, skill development for the past decade, so it is time that we start implementing the process that will eventually make these changes happen. Thanks

  • Des Squire

    Cheryl is to be complimented on how she has, as one of the few, conducted her business affairs and ensured the development of Fasset. It has most certainly become a centre of excellece. Unfortunately other SETAS, and I migh add, the CEO’s of such, have failed to recognise their responsibilities to their customers.
    The merging of some SETAS, who are currently under performing will not, I believe, have a negative impact. If the system is working then leave it alone but if it is not then change it. If elements within the system need to be removed, then remove them.
    I am certain many of the CEO’s will object to the idea of merging SETAS but what will their constituent customers and providers have to say?

  • Katherine De Exclana-Denton

    Dear Alan

    As a quality person, I deal with Seta’s on a regular base. I have experienced it all. It is inevitable that change will come about with the QCTO. We need to standardise certain aspects of external moderation, certification, assessor and moderator registration etc across Seta’s.

    With that being said, I believe that we need to acknowledge good people within the Seta’s. They really make a difference in assisting training providers.

    Services Seta has Mabataung Mpofu is an absolute blessing. She has always assisted me with such efficiency.

    ETDP Seta has Jaysen Marriemuthu who is always friendly, happy and willing to answer questions. Teta has a very knowledgeble Shantal Ramawtar who takes the time and patience to provide clear explanations.

    There are many more great individuals within the various Setas. Even though there will be change; these are definitely the individuals that have made a positive difference when dealing with Seta’s.