Call to identify Legacy Skills Programmes requiring extension past June 2024

By sylviahammond, 2 March, 2024
skills construction

The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) is one of three Quality Councils created by the National Qualifications Framework Act of 2008, and responsible for sub-frameworks of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). The other two Quality Councils are the Council for Higher Education (CHE), responsible for the Higher Education Qualifications sub-framework (HEQSF), and the Quality Council for General and Further Education and Training sub-framework (GFETQSF) - known as Umalusi. 

Amendments in 2008 and 2011 to the Skills Development Act set out the role and funding of the QCTO, as responsible for all Qualifications, Part Qualifications, and Skills Programmes falling under the Occupational Qualification Sub-framework (OQSF) of the NQF. 

Prior to the NQF Act, qualifications were developed by Standards Generating Bodies (SGBs) and the Education and Training Quality Assurance (ETQA) bodies within the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs). The qualifications developed under this regime prior to 2009 are referred to as Legacy qualifications. All Legacy qualifications ended on 30th June, 2023, with a staged teach-out until June 2027 for those learners registered before the end date. 

Consequently, the QCTO is engaged upon a process to convert all Legacy qualifications into Occupational Qualifications or Part Qualifications.  Like the Legacy qualifications, Skills Programmes developed under the SETAs are also unit standard based and referred to as Legacy Skills Programmes, and require conversion to an Occupational Skills Programme format. 

As with Occupational Qualifications, Skills Programmes may also be occupation specific, however, many Skills Programmes provide generic skills required by a range of occupations within the workplace, at a range of Organising Framework of Occupation (OFO) levels.  

The various food safety Skills Programmes, for example, range from hygiene, and Good Manufacturing Practices, which may be widely trained, to the programmes intended for more senior supervisory and management staff, who will provide internal monitoring and auditing of compliance.  Consequently, the OFO levels range from cleaning staff at OFO Level 8, to senior management at OFO level 1.

The food safety programmes differ from Regulatory Skills Programmes, where the Department of Labour has oversight; such as, amongst others: the Lifting Machinery Operators, the various types of Forklifts, to extremely large moving and fixed cranes, and the range of driving and vehicle licensing, including all transport of dangerous chemicals and flammable liquids. 

Many of these Regulatory Skills Programmes, including the various levels of First Aid, are subject to regular refresher training and recertification. This is a fundamental difference to the Occupational Qualifications and Part Qualifications, which remain once achieved.

The challenge for the QCTO is to identify the range of unit standard based Legacy Skills Programmes, across the various divisions of the economy - and SETAs, to ensure that replacement Occupational Skills Programmes are developed.   

If you are a Skills Development Provider, Assessor, Moderator, or Facilitator, of Legacy Skills Programmes, which have not yet been developed into Occupational Skills Programmes, please see the QCTO letter in the Reading Room, and forward details of the outstanding Legacy Skills Programmes to: 

[email protected] and [email protected] and you may copy

[email protected] or [email protected]


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