ETHICS IN THE ETD LANDSCAPE – Part 1


The Education, Training & Development landscape in South Africa is widespread and peopled by a variety of practitioners; from Trainers to Assessors and Moderators, to Coaches and Mentors and Learning Material Developers.  That means thousands of people who practice with varying degrees of success yet there is a small group of Practitioners who have made a name for themselves.  How do they manage it?  Each one has a strong moral compass from which they do not waver.  Each one believes in the success of the Learner and in life-long learning.  Each one considers ‘success’ to be synonymous with ‘quality’ and ‘quality’ to be synonymous with a deep seated belief in ethical practice. 

That notwithstanding – there are some Practitioners who confuse success with ‘quantity’; some Practitioners who delight in circumventing the system by engaging in corrupt practices; some Practitioners who treat the fine art of Assessment as a ticking exercise and some Practitioners who have no respect for the profession.

Corruption – a word that has been much bandied about of late.  A strong word, the meaning of which can be (depending on which dictionary you reference) ‘morally depraved or the state of being so’.  Wow; surely this does not happen in the world of Education & Training?  Surely no ETD Practitioner would stoop so low?

REALITY CHECK 1: There are Developers who assert that their material is aligned and approved.  The material is then found to be so sub-standard that we would be setting Learners up for failure if any Learner tried to use it.

REALITY CHECK 2: ‘For R1,000 I can make sure you get your Certificate of Competence’. 

REALITY CHECK 3: Making fraudulent claims about one’s accomplishments (in a CV or in an email to a prospective client). 

REALITY CHECK 4: ‘If you want to use me as an Assessor then pay me R5,000 and I’ll send you my SETA registration papers’.

Have you encountered any of the aforementioned reality checks?  Do I hear a resounding YES?  What have you done about it?  ‘Nothing’ I hear you say.  What can we do to eradicate this scourge from the ETD landscape?  Do we want to blow the whistle on illicit activities?  Well, I agree it is difficult (and sometimes scary) to blow the proverbial whistle yet we owe it to our Learners, to ourselves and to our noble profession to be brave.  Should a whistle blowing facility be available to us as ETD Practitioners? 

Consider this:

Who benefits from illicit and corrupt activities?

How does unethical practice aid your credibility?

Heidi D Edwards is an independent ETD Practitioner.  She pays her dues to CIMAP & the Ethics Institute of South Africa.  Heidi writes in her capacity as Convener: Ethics & Accountability Sub-Committee at CIMAP.

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