I have noted that a lot of providers are not aware about the different between a qualification and skills programmes.
Skills programmes tend to be short courses (1 day, a week, a month, etc.), consisting of either one or more unit standards, which when added together can eventually lead to a qualification.
With a Skills programme, a learner can learn a specific amount of work, which consists of a group of unit standards, instead of having to complete an entire qualification as in the case of a Learnership.The exit points of skills programmes are in most instances prescribed by the needs of the learners. This simply means that a skills programmes or unit standards makes a qualification and a qualification must have a minimum of 120 credits.
Well explained. These of course apply to the legacy/historical qualifications on the NQF. The new QCTO qualifications refer to modules, rather than unit standards – and part qualifications rather than skills programmes. It is also worth clarifying that the unit standards in the skills programme should all come from the same qualification (as if the skills programme is a sub-set of the qualification): skills programmes using unit standards from qualification A can never achieve qualificaton B.
Just to emphasise that a Skills programme need not lead to a single qualification on the NQF – thus the difference between a Skills Programme and a Part Qualification. A skills programme can consist of unit standards drawn from a variety of qualifications (as it is tailored to the workplace need). Thus, depending upon the composition of the Skills Programme a learner may end up with 2 credits towards one qualification, 6 credits towards another, etc.