Are SETAs deliberately delaying the accreditation process?

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    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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    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.

    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.

    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.

    Lynel Farrell

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

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