What is a Skills Development Facilitator? 17


As set out in the Organising Framework for Occupations version 12 a Skills Development Facilitator (SDF) is a person who “Analyses the skills requirements within an organisation and coordinates the execution of the personal development plans of employees, monitors the implementation of the workplace skills plan and reports accordingly” (OFO Number:242302)

This would imply that the job profile of the SDF should include the following functions

  • Study and analyse the various jobs performed in an establishment by various means, including interviews with workers, supervisors and management, and writing detailed job or occupation descriptions from information obtained
  • Prepare occupational information or working on occupational classification systems
  • Advise and work on these areas and on other aspects of job and occupation analyses in fields such as personnel administration, workforce research and planning, training and other occupational information and vocational guidance as might be required
  • Study and advise individuals on employment opportunities, career choices and further education or training that may be desirable in terms of the company need and the career path chosen by individual employees.
  • Identify by means of a professional needs analysis the training needs and requirements of individuals within the company

From this it is easy to see that a professionally qualified SDF is responsible for much more than just completing the Annual training report and the Workplace skills plan.

A professionally qualified SDF should be involved in all areas for which they have been trained and HR managers should ensure the SDF is allowed to perform in these areas if the desired company results are to be achieved.

A professional SDF should be qualified as such and should have achieved competency in the following Unit Standards at least    

  • Advising on and implementation of Quality management Systems for skills development
  • Conducting analysis to determine outcomes of training
  • Conducting skills development administration
  • Coordinating skills development interventions
  • Utilise their skills in advising others on outcomes based education within the context of the NQF
  • Developing the organisations training and development plans

Should the SDF be qualified as set out and if their skills and abilities are utilised correctly and constructively then their role will be sustainable and they will be placed in an invaluable position and will most certainly add value to any organisation.

SDF’s who study the six unit standards outlined would be more qualified to complete the functions of a professional SDF. Those who are only qualified to complete the WSP and ATR have a great deal of catching up to do in order to be classified as professional (Sorry about this)

The SDF should work in close association with the skills Development forum as well as the EE forum and should keep the forum members advised and updated on progress made in relation to the training needs of employees and the overall training and progression planning objectives of the company. It stands to reason therefore that the SDF should be a member of these forums.  

© Des Squire (Managing Member) AMSI and Associates cc – des@amsiandassociates.co.za 082 800 9057

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About Des Squire

I specialise in Employment Equity and Skills Development issues. Qualified facilitator, assessor, moderator, verifier and SDF. Available for any related assignments and or freelance work. If ou have a need let's meet to discuss. Quotes for training on request.

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17 thoughts on “What is a Skills Development Facilitator?

  • Lynel Farrell

    Janelle!!  You are a star!!  Thank you so much for this.  I get so excited when professionals help each other.  You made my day!!  You are super cool, thank you!!!!

  • Lynel Farrell

    Hi Des, apparently there is a SDF Roadshow hosted by the TETA Seta tomorrow in Johannesburg somewhere, do you perhaps know what the address is.  Fingers crossed that you have it!!!!!

  • Des Squire Post author

    For those wo might have a renewed interest. This article mentions only six unit standards – some providers suggest seven. The main thrust is the need for professionally qualified SDF’s. In addition SDF’s can register as professionals with the ASDSA. See comments from Gill Connellan in this regard 

  • Gill Connellan

    The Association for Skills Development in South Africa (ASDSA) is now a registered Professional Body with SAQA.  We have registered two professional designations for SDFs.  These two designations are:

    Skills Development Practitioner


    Skills Development Technician

    The ASDSA is currently finalising the requirements for all SDFs to register with the body and be awarded one of the designations as indicated above.   It is clear that the function is far more complex than indicated by the seven unit standards registered for the SDFs and we will have guidelines for the SDFs with experience in a a range areas, on how their qualifications and experience will be recognised for the award.

    The two profiles that were established in the early QCTO development phase are available if you are interested.  They form the basis of the kind of experience and qualifications we will be seeking for the respective designations.   

    I welcome your inputs and comments because we are rescoping the profiles to ensure we remain relevant.  Gill Connellan  Chairperson of the ASDSA – gill@eclipse1.co.za or info@asdsa.org.za

  • Des Squire Post author

    Following the article on the role of the SDF I have had numerous enquiries for training on the six unit standards I mentioned. Since my accreditation does not cover these unit standards I can only offer and RPL option.  if you would like to take advantage of this RPL option please send me an e-mail and I will discuss this further with you off line. I will be happy to consider a one day face to face contact group in Johannesburg to discuss requirements etc. This I will only do on condition there is sufficient interest. Drop me an e-mail to des@amsiandassociates.co.za     

  • Sylvia F. Hammond

    Thanks for a great exposition of the role Des.  On the comment about knowing the industry I absolutely agree and have often wondered when people tell me that they provide SDF services across most or all of the SETAs – do they really have a knowledge of all of those companies and industries.

  • Johan Bouwer

    After years functioning as the SDF and training and development officer of a big company, I can truly say that management does not have a clear understanding regarding the role of the SDF. The only way that I could change this was by holding information sessions with the various groups, and informing them. I would say that they have a better understanding now of what their SDF’s role and functions are.

  • Danie van Heerden

    Ges i agree with you at least we have something in common lolol

    and surely it must be a pre requisite that SDF’s should some knowledge of plant or machinery and is necessary

    Thanks again 


  • Clinton Branders

    Thanks for this Des. I have been come to this conclusion a while ago and I constantly punt the strategic importance of a qualified SDF.

    I see the SDF to be holding the HR, Operational and Executive(Finance included here) structures together and being able to advise on each per your write up

    The role of an SDF does not belong with a Facilitator or Training Manager as many organisations throw it in with but then again it comes to question whether do some SDF’s actually know what their role should be?

  • Des Squire Post author

    Hi Danie and Mashudu

    Yes, we can assume the SDF would have a knowledge of the specific industry or should under go an extensive induction to equip him/her with the relevant product knowledge. It is not however a pre-requisite.

    The position of SDF is becoming more professional daily and just being there to do the WSP and ATR is no longer appropriate. Many HR managers unfortunately do not go along with this and really have an admin person operating as the SDF with no qualifications in the SDF field.

    As for the related salary Mashudu – my response would be how long is a piece of string? There are no benchmark figures to go by and salaries vary from company to company.

  • Danie van Heerden

    Hi Des

    Thank you for this  and i am astounded by the qualifications

    I do believe that an SDF should also know the working of a plant or plants (i refer yo my environment Steel manufacturing)

    Our SDF’s were just appointed by Management and oh boy what a time we had  (will explain later)

    Anyway thanks again i would like to know more