Understanding the “Organising Framework for Occupations” – OFO’s

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    • #62103
      Des Squire

      The NQF provides for a fully integrated and needs driven occupational learning system that will meet the needs of industry. To achieve this, extensive use will be made of an “Organising Framework for Occupations” (OFO). The OFO will set the base for linking various occupations to specific skills and will assist in identifying further training needs. The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) will use OFO’s as the basis for developing occupational qualifications to meet the needs of specific industries.

      The Department of Labour, with the assistance of International organisations introduced an Organising Framework for Occupations in February 2005 to align all skills development activities in South Africa.

      The OFO is a skill-based classification system, which encompasses all occupations in the South African context. The classification of occupations is based on a combination of skills levels and skills specialisation which makes it easy to locate a specific occupation within the framework.

      A job is seen as a set of roles or tasks to be performed by an individual.

      An occupation describes a series of jobs or specialised tasks, performed by an individual, which can be grouped together for the purpose of this classification.

      Identified occupations are classified according to two main criteria – skill level and skill specialisation. The concept of a skill is used in the context of competency rather than a description of a task or function.

      The skill level of a job or occupation is related to competent performance of tasks associated with a job or occupation. Skill level is an attribute of an occupation, not of an individual and can be measured by

      • The level or amount of formal education and/or training (Theory)
      • The amount of previous experience in a related occupation (Work experience)
      • The amount of on-the job training usually required to perform the set of tasks required for that occupation competently (Practical application)

      It is therefore possible to make a comparison between the skill level of an occupation and the required educational level on the National Qualification Framework.

      Formal education is defined in terms of the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED–97) but this is only one of the measures used to determine the skills level.

      With the onset of the QCTO and the use of the OFO it stands to reason that HR departments will need to align or re-design profiles for all positions or occupations in a company as closely as possible to the description given in the OFO.

      This will be to the benefit of all employees in terms of education and training and will add greatly to the ease of achieving a qualification by means of RPL assessment. In addition it will have advantages in terms of competency based recruiting and selection efforts.

      Occupational qualifications will therefore consist of common or core learning and specialised learning components. These components will replace Fundamental, Core and Electives.

      Making use of OFO’s it is possible to make a comparison between the skills level of an occupation and the general education level associated with that occupation on the NQF.

      In addition we can identify with the entry, intermediate and advanced levels referred to in the National Skills Development Strategy.

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    • #66393
      Marianna Bibbey

      Hi Des
      I m all for OFO driven Career relevant training and development. there is clients that are functioning in industry with trades and artisans that has not yet been structured standarised nor formulised – I do not know where to start to get it all started for them since the QCTO route is a very expensive one – is liasion and discussions with the seta to come on their waititng list to get anOFO developed the only option unless you have plenty of funding available? And where do you find the right people to talk to in finding more information?

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    • #66396
      Des Squire

      Hi Marianna
      I think it would be better if you give me a call as I am finding it difficult to understand what you need advice on. Call me on 0116096745 should you wish to chat.

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    • #67352
      Des Squire

      The use of OFO codes is seen to be a pain in the “butt” by most SDF’s however when linked to job profiling they make a lot of sense. The OFO’s can be of great assistance in establishing competencies required to do a job and can also be used effectively in establishing skills gaps following a skills analysis.
      Your Thoughts on this (everyone) would be interesting???
      Contact me if you wish to discuss options and uses.

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      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Des Squire.
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