With the onset of National Skills Development Strategy 3 (NSDS 3) which is currently being discussed and debated it appears obvious that should the proposals contained in the discussion document be implemented, which I believe they will, then there will be a need to take a new look at how we offer our services as providers.
Companies will need to consider what service they require from their potential providers while at the same time learners dealing with Public and Private Providers will have a need for a very different form of advice. Career counselling, career guidance and education counselling will take on a whole new look. Why do I say this?
Very simply – the proposed format or combination of education and training being proposed will require a very definite and specifically defined approach to education and training, whether workplace based or private.
I will try to simplify my understanding of the situation.
The intention of NSDS 3 is to prepare learners for occupation while at the same time preparing them for their role in society and as good citizens. This will be achieved by means of a variety of programmes offered by various providers offering a service at different levels of the NQF.
There will be 4 distinct programme types
- Programmes to facilitate Access, Success and Progression – Foundational
- Pivotal programmes – Professional, vocational, Technical and Academic
- Skills programmes – Developmental and/or complimentary short programmes
- Academic and Professional
Each of the programmes mentioned will be offered to, and will be appropriate for learners at different stages of their career development and/or at different stages of their education and development. In addition the format of delivery and the proposed requirements in terms of assessment will dictate a very new and challenging approach.
With the introduction of the QCTO I believe qualifications and unit standards as we have known them may well, (will most probably), cease to exist.
The QCTO qualifications will incorporate and will include a work experience component to ensure learners are competent to do something related to a specific occupation or “job task”. This will apply to all qualifications whether offered as workplace based learning or by any of the public or private providers or colleges. This will have huge implications for providers and will dictate the way in which we operate in the future.
Qualifications will contain three distinct components
- General and specialised knowledge
- Practical skills
- Work experience
Where assessment is concerned the intention is to raise the level of quality assurance
- There will be an external, nationally standardised assessment for each occupational award putting an end to current variations in interpretation of standards
- In addition the QCTO will make extensive use of statutory bodies appropriate to each group of related occupational qualifications.
- The QCTO will also appoint national moderating bodies with specific QA responsibilities.
So in essence for a learner, either in a private capacity or in a workplace situation there will be an assessment of the “Knowledge and Theory” component and an assessment of the practical and/or workplace component. This will pose a major challenge for non workplace based providers whether public or private.
Taking all of the above into consideration necessitates a new and more hands on approach by providers. HR Personnel at companies are going to be in need of, and will potentially start to rely on the services of professional education and training providers and consultants to assist them in dealing with the new format and the new requirements.
Education and training will take on a whole new meaning and when linked with OFO’s, skills audits, WSP’s and ATR’s there will be a need for a very professional approach in the future. The expertise of the SDF’s will also be called upon and SDF’s will need to be on the ball .
In a nutshell, I believe the end result will be – a need for providers to offer a consultancy based service tailored to the specific needs of the client and specifically related to future trends in education and training.
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