End exploitation of new entrants to skills development landscape

Front Page Looking For… Post-school Education & Training – including TVET End exploitation of new entrants to skills development landscape

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    sylvia hammond

    This discussion follows Minister Nzimande’s support to end corruption. I still smile at his response “utter crap”, and wish that we used it more often when politicians take as for fools.

    There is a problem that should probably be called exploitation – rather than corruption, but is also destructive to implementation of skills develpment.

    Everybody will agree that we work in a very complex landscape.

    We constantly see how different bodies & institutions are not understood, or they appear to misunderstand their own landscape, by producing legislation that is inconsistent, or unimplementable.

    We have:
    * the Department of Higher Education & Training (DHET), the
    * structures such as the Sector Education & Training Authority (SETA) x21 with Board members and internal administrators, the
    * various institutions, such as the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), the
    * Quality Councils (QCs), who comprise the Council for Higher Education (CHE), the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), & UMALUSI –
    * and then all of us – as individuals, and companies – trying to practice, to train, to assess, or to implement skills development as Skills Development Facilitators (SDF)s.

    (And of course all the acronyms I left out – NLRD, TVET, NAMB, EISA, etc., and I didn’t even start on provider accreditation.)

    So it is understandable how one of the key areas of exploitation is new-comers into the landscape. Recently Lynell Farrell posted on Facebook about the volume of queries she receives – at all hours of the day or night. I certainly can relate to that because people approach me off-line for advice.

    My response is – it is like driving through a busy intersection, that is a known accident zone – there are always a few bakkies waiting for the work – to tow away and transport the accident vehicles. That is what exists in our skills development landscape (I don’t know whether they drive bakkies), but they certainly wait and prey upon new-comers.

    People who sell material as “accredited training material” – knowing full-well that there is no such thing.

    Providers who train people as assessors – but the newly “qualified” assessors don’t know what a SETA is, or whether they are automatically able to assess, how, where, what, or has absolutely no subject-matter expertise.

    And people who have attended SDF training, but don’t know whether they must register, or whether they can just start, and ask – I am now trained and qualified – how and where can I find work?

    So this is a suggestion that is inspired by Maryna Ritter – an active Board member in Association for Skills Development in South Africa (ASDSA).

    How would it be if ASDSA set up a new sub-section, with registration of new practitioners, for a small fee, where new-comers (new training providers, newly qualified assessors, etc.) could register – maybe like a candidature.

    Over time standard questions would become clear, and could be made freely available, but members of the professional body could serve as mentors in their specific area/speciality – also for an agreed fee.

    By the way – do you see someone as an expert in their area? Have you considered how they became expert? How much have they read, or studied, and how much have they paid to attend training and study programmes? How do they remain up-to-date and current? How much does that cost? So why should you expect to receive the benefit of their advice – for free?

    How do we stop exploitation? How do we improve the quality and professionalism of what we do?

    Welcome your thoughts and suggestions – please post your ideas.

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    Lynel Farrell

    At this stage, it is impossible to stop exploitation with the bogus providers increasing by the day. The increase of these shenanigans have multiplied since the DHET revoked the registration – clearly the bogus shenanigans took this opportunity to penetrate our industry – not caring about quality at all. It’s a money making business. Without any evidence or people coming forward – they will remain in our industry. We are also working on a new Professional Body that will accommodate Assessors, Moderators, Facilitators.

    Nigel Shipston

    Hi Sylvia, This is by no means a new phenomenon, I have been aware of this for the better part of 10 years, and certainly more so since moving up to Gauteng in 2012. These vultures are everywhere and still I encounter these issues on a daily basis. Just recently I discovered a character who is selling my materials but obviously does not have the chain of evidence letters confirming the approval of these materials. When the provider came to me I showed him that the materials were in fact mine, yet this miscreant still insisted that the provider must pay him!

    There is a massive lack of ethics in “consultants” supposedly providing support services to training providers. These support services include assessors and moderators who lately seem to believe they have attained some God-like status by virtue of their qualification/registration. They demand exorbitant fees but add no value in terms of the QA of a provider. As a long standing moderator, I moderate hundreds of PoE’s every month. The levels of expertise, attitude and input from both assessors and moderators, particularly the newer registered practitioners, is nothing short of appalling and clearly demonstrates a minimal knowledge of assessment/moderation processes as well as subject matter expertise.

    The unwitting potential training provider is entering a den of thieves and unfortunately there is nothing at present to prevent them from falling into the hands of the ungodly. In general, SETA’s do not give enough attention to the registration criteria of assessors/moderators, some of whom, with the help of established training providers, have learnt to “pad” CV’s to suit registration criteria. Experiential claims are not verified.

    It would be beneficial to have a central point where potential providers can go to obtain assistance in specific fields. A central point that deals with reputable developers of materials, reputable consultants in specific SETA accreditation processes and verified assessors/moderators.

    I have acted in this capacity for well over 10 years now for TETA providers in the lifting machinery/driver training fields. I would have no problem incorporating these services into a body with the purpose of protecting and supporting potential and existing training providers.

    Percy Manuel

    Good day
    I very healthy discussion.
    When meet or encounter unethical behaviour we must blacklist them.
    We can create a list of these and forward to DHET or SETA for publication along side the registered training providers.
    This could help

    sylvia hammond

    Hi Lynel, thanks for your comments.
    I wonder about the advisability of another professional body. Diluting resources rather than banding together and strengthening ties.

    We know that so many Practitoners cross over the various roles. They then also face the prospect of having to pay more than one membership fee – rather than one if they want to be current in more than one professional body.

    In additional to ASDSA there is also the SABPP and the CIPPT – that is to my knowledge.

    We should look at the membership of each one.

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