What are the accreditation and registration requirements for safety and occupational health training? 7

To all skills-universe members knowledgeable about accreditation processes – please assist.  

Before the implementation of DHET, the Department of Labour registered/accredited training service providers.  As I recall this was for the safety type training, equipment, fire-fighting, and possibly related occupational health issues of chemical inhalation and so on.

Once again I have been asked for clarification.  

Please will you assist me to respond to the following questions:

  • does DoL still accredit these types of programmes?
  • is it accreditation – as in the skills development manner – or is it registration?
  • what is the purpose of the exercise – is it credit-bearing and registered on the NLRD?
  • what legislation/policy documents cover this – please give references if possible?
  • what section of DoL handles this?
  • do you have contact details: names/job titles and contact numbers with extensions, and email addresses?
  • does the training company still have to be accredited by the QCTO/SETA ETQA?

All information will be helpful and I’ve posted this in the Knowledge Area so that we can keep the information for future referral.

Thank you. 

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7 thoughts on “What are the accreditation and registration requirements for safety and occupational health training?

  • Rudy Maritz

    Firstly, I think it is important to understand the role of the DOL. They “approve” training providers; not the courses.

    The First-Aid courses, levels 1 to 5 has to be on the NQF and the training provider has to be SETA Accredited.

    The Machinery Operator training providers has to prove compliance with the Code of Practice and the courses likewise on the NQF.

    Here are the text extract:



    This Code of Practice is to provide clarity and direction to all stakeholders directly or indirectly related to the accreditation and provision of training to lifting machine/equipment/equipment operators in South Africa.


    The code of practice sets out the requirements to the accreditation criteria of the authorised body, subject to meeting the South African Qualifications Authority: “Criteria and guideline for providers”.


    The Code of Practice requires that all lifting machine/equipment Operators are trained regardless of the capacity of the lifting machine /equipment by accredited providers.


    Further, the code of practice covers the criteria and guidelines for lifting machine/equipment operator facilitators, assessors and providers. Also including the prerequisites for approved learning/training programmes, facilities and equipment to train an operator to a certain level of competence for a specific type of lifting machine/equipment.


    The Authorised Body has been empowered to categorise for purposes of issuing Certificates of Competence, those lifting machine/equipment falling outside the specific codes but within the broad classification of lifting machine/equipment.


    The Code of Practice sets standards of training and operation and provides direction and guidance to achieving accreditation and approval as an Accredited Provider.


    For clarity the relevant extract from regulation 18 (11) of the Driven Machinery Regulations as amended, is appended: Appendix 10.


    Where other Occupational Health and Safety legislation is applicable these must be applied.


    The authorised bodies shall be consulted by the National Standards Bodies prior to approval of unit standards for operators of lifting machine/equipment.

    <End of text extract


    The SACPCMP requirement is this:

    ‘‘actively practise’’ means to practise on an ongoing basis in one of the
    categories contemplated in section 18, and includes a person qualified in the
    project and construction management professions who is employed by any
    sphere of government or an educational institution;

    I am not sure that is intended by “an educational institution” as the term is not defined in this Act (48 of 2000). Also this registration applies to “individuals” and not organisations.


    Having said all of the above, the DOL legislation is rather outdated and pre-dates the NQF Act. I am also not sure if they still actually enforce the “Approval” of training providers. Also keep in mind that the DOL is primarily responsible for HEALTH & SAFETY at work and not for Quality Assurance of training material & courses.

    I suggest contacting Tibor Szana(Chief Inspector) or Phumi Maphaha at the DOL Inspection & Enforcement Services to clarify if needed.

    Sylvia, as to your last question, I do believe these courses must form part of any workplace skills plan, as both forms of training are legally required. In the case of first-aid a company must have 1 qualified first-aider for every 50 employees. The Mines have different requirements, and does not fall under the OHSAct, but the Mine Health & Safety Act administrated by the DMR.(DME). Any skills plan should provide for contingencies as people come and go.

    Lifting Machine operator training by an accredited provider is compulsory for Forklift trucks over 750kg lifting capacity and jib cranes over 5000kg. See regulation 18(11) referred to in the Code above.

  • Sylvia F. Hammond Post author

    Rudy, Sven, Renee, Ilana, thank you all.

    Rudy I love curve balls – that is so useful to know – I will find the documentation.  

    May I ask – the moving equipment:

    forklifts/hysters, reach trucks, etc. – do they fall under the driven equipment operators? 

    So now where would the First Aid and the Hyster Operator training fit in terms of the learning programmes for the Skills Plan? 

  • Rudy Maritz

    I would like to throw a curve-ball into this. As from August any person who “substantially practice” in the field of Health & Safety in the Construction industry will have to register with the SACPCMP.

    In terms of the PCMP Act, 48 of 2000, “substantially practice” also includes mentoring and training.

    However, the Construction regulations only require the registration if practising as H&S officer on site, or as Client appointed Agents. It is rather uncertain how the term “substantially practice” will affect training providers. We will have to wait and see what else the Government can suck out to prevent decent businesses making ends meet.

  • sven abrahamse

    Hi All, We have been trying to extend our scope with the HWSETA and we were told that the CEO has to have an industry specific qualification and 2 years experience. However there is no space on the LPE document for any of this. It does not appear on any of their policy document. Just as a email from their provincial co-ordinator. This just adds to the confusion of the last 2 years to get our health and safety courses accredited. Rudy is correct in his statement about which courses need DOL accreditation. hope you all have better luck

  • Renee' McGibbon

    Hi Sylvia,

    My colleagues and I recently visited the DoL in this regard. We were told that they no longer register these courses. Training providers who wish to offer these types of training need to be accredited with a SETA body. HWSETA is the QA body for health and safety (and even fire fighting training) if the learning programme is quality assured by them. Some of these course also fall under the quality assurance of other SETA’s, depending on the field in which they are to be used and the learning programmes/s from which they are derived.

    Warm Regards 

  • Rudy Maritz

    Hi everyone

    As far as I know, there are only two safety related training companies that is required to be “approved” by the Chief Inspector of the DOL.

    The one is First-aid in General Safety Regulation 3 and the other is training of lifting equipment operators in Driven Machinery Regulation 18.

    All training companies offering unit standards based training (NQF) needs to be registered by the relevant SETA’s.

    Hope this helps. 

  • Ilana Smit

    Hi, a provider can only register with DOL for First Aid 1,2,3. You get a registration number and supply own certificates. Just recently I have enquired with DOL if they register Fire and safety programmes and I was told no. DOL registration is not credit bearing and learners are not registered on NLRD. On registration they do a initial site visit. Our Seta policies and procedures was accepted. We did a drop in at the DOL in Pretoria as it is difficult to get hold of them telephonically. We are a SETA provider but I don’t think you have to be registered with any ETQA.