Are SETAs deliberately delaying the accreditation process?

Front Page Looking For… Accreditation Processes Are SETAs deliberately delaying the accreditation process?

This topic contains 2 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Lynel Farrell 2 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #23981

    Andrea Mammes

    I assist companies to apply for accreditations and have done so for years, but lately it has turned into hell!

    Apparently a SETA that I deal with mostly literally receive dozens (hundreds?) of accreditation applications monthly. As site visits were done away with, boxes and boxes of application documentation was submitted until they finally had to concede to defeat when space (s) filled up to the point of chaos. Therefore they now require new applicants to submit CD’s for evaluation.

    They are incredibly behind with evaluations and some applications are running into 3 years now.

    One of the problems with the old applications seem to be that Remedial submissions are not treated as such but the COMPLETE APPLICATION is evaluated AGAIN, resulting in almost a new application as was originally done. I do not know whether it is the new evaluators that have been trained to do new applications and they cannot distinguish between remedial or not?

    Then of course the reports compliant or not, take months to reach the applicant provider. the evaluation might have been completed Late October but the report is only sent to the applicant maybe if they are lucky, in December.

    I had a dispute with the SETA for one application where blatant mistakes were made by the evaluator, and the fact came out that the “QUALITY ASSURANCE” that is one of the steps that has to be signed off, was NOT checking the FACTS or FINDINGS, but merely an AESTHETIC overview to confirm all the t’s were crossed and i’s were dotted.

    We are given a checklist for the documentation that need to be submitted, but apparently they don’t even look at it??? Just follow their own????

    Every remedial seems to unearth new non-compliances.. i.e. one was because there was no OSH act submitted. 

    When any original application is submitted, the QMS dates are current, and so is the ETDP staff’s Qualification and ID certifications. But with all these non-compliances being pulled out of a hat, some assessors/moderators have had to renew their certifications up to 3 times because the SETA can only accept current ones, and dates on numerous documents have to be updated… very time consuming.

    Now assessors and moderators are demanding up to a thousand rand for their credentials, as they keep on signing SLA’s with no work coming in.

     The potential provider ( who sometimes have good training contracts in the pipeline) cannot start training, earning money and create jobs because of this unnecessary lengthy processes.               And of course my income is also directly impacted on because under NORMAL circumstances, a consultant like me do not stipulate payment for remedial work.                                                    

    This has now reached the point of absoluut ridiculousness, and one of the evaluators assure me I am not the only consultant experiencing this.

    My question……. is this a deliberate tactic of the SETAs to delay/discourage/put off/ take out of the market/ ruin potential providers?

    (Apologies to the wonderful staff at some SETAs that are very helpful but prevented at assisting because “RULES is RULES”) 

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  • #23982

    Marie Smith

    Andrea, I have been experiencing exactly the same type of problems with the relevant SETA. It is a contracted training provider that does the evaluations. Last year I was called three times to ask for remediation documents (that resulted because they had lost documents) after I had received an e-mail to confirm that the evaluation had been finalised and that the letter was with QA – took more than 4 months and an expression of intent to approach the QCTO for  resolution to get the letter as the evaluation process had been taking around 12 months. Telephone communication with the ETQA department is impossible and even e-mails to the CEO are merely referred back down in the line. Apparently, somewhere along the line one evaluator’s laptop had crashed (no backups) and they could not retrieve any records of the evaluations, so they wanted us to start from scratch, more than 12 months after the initial submission… It seems that they could also not find the hard copies. Horror stories.

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  • #42880

    Tando Qeqe

    Hi Andrea

    Yes, lot of people have raised that concerns and is starting to become factual. For instance, the same SETA Assessors doing verifications are competitors. Now they compromised, I’m battling with that at the moment.

    However, when the Verifiers are nor responding,I copy the CEO and thereafter, how quickly things move.

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  • #42879

    Francois Meyer

    Hi I have also worked with the seta’s for a couple of years and yes, I agree, they are delaying the accreditation process. Some excuses are the same at most of them, we have lost your documentation, or a new person is working with it and then you have to start all over again. I have found that by copying in the CEO, like Tando mentioned, or ETQA manager it  sometimes help to speed up the process.

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  • #42878

    Lynel Farrell

    At times, you need to be cruel to be kind!  As long as it works, go for it!!

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  • #42877

    Jabu Mdhluli

    Andrea,  What you’ve raised is true – I have been struggling to get approval on our extension of scope and your concerns is similar to mine in many respect.  I think we need to establish a forum to deal with this matter – I smell corruption and abuse of powers.  I will try suggestion by Francois.

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  • #42876

    Lynel Farrell

    Interesting discussions going on here!  May I please request that you note down these issues and please could you forward them to me.  This will be included in the response the QCTO after the KZN QCTO Information session.

    We are very active in getting solutions and addressing issues and concerns directly to the Chief Directors of the QCTO.  Thus far, the QCTO have seriously stepped up their processes and engaging with the SETAs that are conducing poor service delivery.  Your input is important for sure.

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  • #42875

    Lynel Farrell

    I think I have missed some of these comments, it has now come to my attention.  I really need to ask questions here, so please except my apologies for being delayed in this conversation.

    Am I understanding this correctly?  Seta Assessors are being used to conduct Verifications but are also actively a competitor in the same field?

    Applications should be looked at from the date of receipt and not the date that the Evaluator eventually gets to look at the application – that is being unfair and frankly speaking nonsense and unacceptable. 

    Accreditation applications should not take longer than 3-6 months – if so, it must be very bad submissions, or there is not sufficient capacity to deal with this.  3 years are unacceptable – this is NOT on.

    Remedial submissions, should be treated as Remedial Submissions – why waste time in starting the process from scratch – oh, unless this is how they are trained to do things – maybe these evaluators are just not educated enough to work smarter not harder – goodness me.  The evaluation report should be sufficient enough and detailed enough to only address the remedial components – as easy as that.

    There is a big difference when you get a Verifier that knows what they are doing, and then you get the “tick-box-exercise” trained verifiers that do not know how to conduct proper evaluations and give development feedback to providers.  Go figure!

    A good application for accreditation should not take longer than 16 hours to approve – that is if the application is evaluated correctly. 

    That’s when they use the saying:  if you want to pay peanuts, then you get monkeys.

    If there is a capacity problem at the SETA, then get in external Evaluators that are professional and know what they are doing – get the backlogs sorted once and for all – this is poor and sub-standard to say the least.

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  • #42874

    Tando Qeqe


    Your last paragraph sums it up,that is happening with me in CHIETA -RPL. CHIETA isn’t building capacity through Verification Assessor, therefore VA are compromised and in between they must do their work. Now bottleneck starts,instead of building internal capacity.

    One burning point, that needs urgent attention under CHIETA,eg, I come from pharmaceutical background and I want to specialise in pharmaceutical industry,however,I must write Assessments on petro-chemical which I’m not experienced on. Now that is another hold up of the process,although, it was under pharmaceutical, that stage wouldn’t be necessary.

    The rumour is, CHIETA systems and processes were/are developed by petro-chemical assessors.Therefore,bulldozing all CHIETA registered irrespective of the sectors. One assessment, expect you to write process flow/machines in free-sketch. What utter nonsense is that? Who has the time to manually draw?

    Lastly, is the “Permit to work procedure”, only applicable to petro-chemical,however,mandatory to CHIETA to an extent that if you not competent on it.Now way you gonna be accredited.

    In a way,i had to write 5 procedures that are not relevant to what i am competent on these processes,ie,filtrations, separation,heat transfer,crystallisations,water treatment & Absorption. All these processes fall under Chemical engineering and I come from Mechanical engineering,with few chemical related subjects.

    Anyway I did just to activate my brain my cells.

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  • #42873

    Lynel Farrell

    Hi Tando, this just doesn’t make sense.  It is a waste of time to complete components which are not relevant to your studies or occupation – I don’t even know what to say. 

    I wonder if these individuals know the difference between Chemical and Mechanical?

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  • #42872

    Tando Qeqe

    Morning Lynel

    During that ordeal, with the RPL Assessor. We had to argue on Chemistry as a subject, as his clueless on the qualification, however,he was trying to be a SME on the subject. Luckily,i had a friend of mine,who is finishing off to be a neuro-surgeon trying to explain to CHIETA RPL Assistant on Chemistry and the accreditation I’m supposed to get.However, he was vehement on want to list my Matric Physical science when I have an NQF Level chemistry.

    What dawned on me, how can you be assisted by someone who clueless on Subject and lack of understanding of NQF Levels. That is what becoming prevalent,worse this gentleman is held in highest regard by CHIETA. 

    Many SETAs need an overhaul of the highest magnitude.

    I’m trying to get to grips with QCTO,one of their SME presented in one forum that I attended. What he was saying was making sense, he said,” All US that are thesame will be given one standard unique number”,meaning you could be able to assess on that US irrespective of the SETA. In that way,it will reduce the number of US in existence,especially in Fundamentals/Core.Therefore,the only difference will be the Electives.In that way 60 % of US will be standardised.

    CHIETA, messed up by allowing SGBs to be Petrol-chemical dominated.Whilst,they claim to be inclusive. In that case,that is why some companies do not see value in being registered because the processes don’t help them in any form.

    Lastly,you using my words when I mentioned the irrelevance of doing this unnecessary. However,because I want the RPL Certificate,forced and bound to do it.As much as,I was unwilling/reluctant.

    Now still awaiting the Assessor,over 3 weeks now,after being promised that the whole process will take 3 weeks and be deemed competency.

    Now I live in apprehension that I get a knowledgeable Assessor or we heading for a fight in disagreement of how things need to be done.

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  • #42871

    Lynel Farrell

    Hi Tando, it really pains me that you have to go through this process.  To argue with the “powrs that be” on subjects that they don’t have a clue about is a waste of time.  The mere fact that they question you on something they have no clue about, is beyond me.

    I agree with you that SETAs need to do a complete overhaul of whom they deem as competent verifiers, assessors and moderators.  In some instances they look at the paperwork, and at times they don’t look at the workplace experience form the individual – this makes a big difference.

    On the bright side of things and this issue, you were able to explore other components, which only increased your knowledge – so there is a bonus (not much, but knowing how motivated you are in your studies, it gives you the upper hand in the end).  You are extremely knowledgable and I take my hat off for you – the subjects you tackled is not joke (I would not be able to understand the first subject, let alone the rest). 

    I do hope that you receive your results, and quickly.  It will give you more motivation to tackle another!!

    Best of luck Tando!!

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