PRIORITIES FOR THE NATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS FRAMEWORK (NQF), 2018/19


10 Key priorities

The Director-General of the Department of Higher Education and Training established the Inter-departmental NQF Steering Committee (IDNQFSC) with the agreement of the Director-General of the Department of Basic Education in order to ensure that NQF responsibilities are properly co-ordinated.

A key component of the work of the IDNQFSC, as per the Terms of Reference of the IDNQFSC is to give particular attention to ensure that

  1. SAQA and the QCs implement the NQF Act as prescribed in the respective sections which deal with their roles and responsibilities;
  2. They implement all aspects of the agreed Implementation Plan 2016 to 2020;
  3. They complete the transition from the SAQA Act , 1996 to the NQF Act , 2008; and
  4. Deal with any other matters which arise as a result of government strategies and priorities related to the NQF as a system, and its implementation. SAQA and the QCs are required to work cooperatively and in collaboration with the IDNQFSC to address the following issues:

Priority 1: The current RPL , Credit Accumulation and Transfer, and Assessment Policy of the CHE and the RPL Policy of the QCTO must be aligned to the Minister’s RPL Coordination Policy and to SAQA’s RPL policy. The DHET’s RPL Coordination Unit must be assisted by SAQA to ensure the alignment is done within three (3) months of the publication of these Guidelines. 

Priority 2: SAQA must work collaboratively with the QCTO to ensure that the OQSF is finalised and published by 30 June 2018. 

Priority 3: SAQA and the QCs must work collaboratively to ensure that progress is made in all areas of further development and implementation of the NQF, as set out in the NQF Implementation Plan 2015 to 2020, and report thereon to the Minister by 31 March 2019. 

Priority 4: SAQA and the QCs must work collaboratively to ensure that previously registered skills programmes are converted into part qualifications and registered as such on the NQF. Progress reports must be submitted quarterly to the Minister. 

Priority 5: The QCs must finalise and implement their part qualifications policies and processes, and communicate and advocate their policies and approaches widely to their stakeholders, other relevant constituents (such as the NSA, organised business and organised labour) and the beneficiaries of the NQF system. 

Priority 6: SAQA and the QCs must consult with the relevant branches in the DHET, in order to prepare advice for the Minister about types of qualifications which will be offered in the TVET and CET Colleges. These qualifications must ensure the establishment and implementation of meaningful learning pathways for TVET and CET learners into further and higher education learning pathways. This advice should reach the Minister by 30 September 2018. 

Priority 7: The QCs must upload all data about misrepresented qualifications and providers which misrepresent themselves and their offerings to SAQA with immediate effect. SAQA is to provide data upload requirements. This will ensure that the reports that SAQA sends to the Minister every two months are accurate, honest and reliable, and mitigate the current risks associated with incorrect and incomplete data. 

Priority 8: SAQA must engage with professional bodies, the CHE , the QCTO and the DHET, as a matter of urgency to ensure a process is put in place to eliminate all exclusionary and non-transformational practices of the professional bodies. A report must be provided to the Minister within three (3) months of the publication of this Guideline. 

Priority 9: The QCs should provide SAQA with quarterly reports about accreditation and certification backlogs. SAQA should compile a consolidated report on the status of these elements of the quality assurance system, and compile honest and credible information to the Minister on a quarterly basis. 

Priority 10: A contract between SAQA and Umalusi was signed recently which requires SAQA to pay Umalusi for verification data; and to pay each time for verification data for the same candidate’s information. This must be re-negotiated through DHET mediation, as the system cannot contain such duplication inefficiencies.

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About Des Squire

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