What is regarded as abuse of the skills-universe site?

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    Thank you to everyone for your support. We need to work together and I will definitely respond to all reports that I receive.
    Thanks sylvia

    Abraham Onyemari

    I am going to be very blunt. Some members on this site have taken advantage of me and made me feel very unappreciated. I had no idea that one can receive payment for assistance in accreditation and l feel bad that this information was given to me by a non member who requested that I be compensated for accreditation. Imagine my surprise that it is common place in the industry which one can choose to accept or decline.

    I wrote to the member in Skills Universe to request compensation but got no reply. In fact what makes me upset is that they don’t communicate with me in any way. I was even thinking of exiting the group because I don’t see what gain l have received here.

    Sylvia, thank you for bringing this up. If one isn’t working, helping others getting accredited and earning some little money isn’t a bad thing and members must never abuse this.

    It is sad that as professionals we forget email etiquette. It us extremely rude not to return a member’s email. It shows maturity and l am sorry to state that a lot of us here lack that simple quality of returning messages. If you took the time to request for something, it’s only fair to give feedback to those who have taken it upon themselves to respond to your message.

    Sylvia, l am going to write you personally to mention who it is in this group refuse to honour the invoice l gave.

    Apologies for the long mail. It just had to be written.


    Dear Abraham, I am glad that you bring everything to our attention.
    A few things I can say:
    first, I agree with you about email etiquette. Recently I had reason to send emails asking for assistance and only one person responded to me. Even if one doesn’t know the answer it is so easy to just respond with a short note.

    Second, on accreditation assistance. To my knowledge noone has even issued a code of good practice – not DHET, QCTO or the SETA QAPs. One of the issues that was raised on skills-universe was – if an assessor provides their CV and details to a company seeking accredtation, should they be paid? There are no guidelines and each person needs to negotiate their own position. There must be some arrangements either in payment up front, or in a contract to be part of the work that will arrive after accreditation. (You can find previous discussions if you use the search boxes on the site.)

    If the assistance is more about providing guidance on what is required, how the policies should be put together etc., then that is a consultancy, and should be charged as a consultancy fee. Others who offer the services should be able to indicate what sort of hourly rate that is.

    You are welcome to contact me.

    Nigel Shipston

    Hi Abraham,
    Having been providing various consulting services to providers over the last 10 years, it is imperative that you do not supply any services until an agreement is reached on the services you will be supplying, and a percentage of the total fee is paid up front. Normally I work on a 50% up front fee, which will cover my costs in the event of the remainder not being paid. If you supply anything first, the payment motivation is lost. This is a hard lesson to learn, but probably most of us have experienced something similar.

    Unfortunately there are so many pretenders in the market that providers are cautious when dealing with “consultants”, and in your case, the provider must have thought it was Christmas again! Your time, skills and expertise are of value, and you have every right to expect payment when supplying these to a provider. Equally unfortunate is the fact that while there are a number of suspect “consultants”, there are also providers who lack the common decency to support someone whose services have been used.

    You are most welcome to make use of our experience when embarking on these activities. As Sylvia said, there are no hard and fast rules in terms of these type of services, so you need to get some balance in your charges and the actual service delivered. One of the key factors is to offer a service which you know you can deliver, and to provide the best possible service, which includes support services. This has been a glaring fault with most “consultants” who have an alarming tendency to fade away once the full fee has been paid, leaving the provider with issues and problems which should have been addressed by the “consultant”.

    Do not give up hope, we all have to stand together. With no set guidelines, it is up to us to set the standards, and that we can only do together. When I first began I was also subject to one of these scams that cost me over R10 000.00. Today however, I have between 200 and 300 training providers who continue to be loyal to me, and rely on my services and guidance. My loyalty to them is returned in providing services of value.

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