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?
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.