CIMS SETA Management System – User support


Post from Scott Womack – TGI

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    Andrew Friedemann
    Participant

    Subject: Tourist Guide Institute – Letter of Concern to all Guide Training providers

    Good day folks

    This has been a rather difficult year, not least of all because of the lack of a CATHSSETA computer system till June 2020, but more so due to the subsequent disastrous and as yet incomplete implementation and rollout of the new CIMS system and database.

    I wish to highlight a number of issues as regards the handling and processing of learner records for Tourist Guide qualifications, by CATHSSETA and their developers of the new CIMS system.
    – This is a long and detailed email but to get the gist of what I am saying, take a look at the headline description of each issue as listed from 1 to 14.
    – Please provide feedback on your thoughts and where anyone, as I understand from Joleen du Plessis, is already addressing these matters with the authorities, please add my list of issue to those already tabled.

    On 15th October 2019, CATHSSETA switched off their computer system (Indicium) without a replacement in place for continued operation. A group of guides and interested parties who had attended a meeting with CATHSSETA on 27th August, at The Dept. of Tourism in Cape Town, were informed that Indicium would be switched off as from 1st September. This however did not happen and I was able to continue using Indicium until 15th October when it became unavailable. Following the meeting of 27th August, I had expected to hear from CATHSSETA as to the procedures and training that would be provided for the implementation of the replacement system. So, when 15th October came and went and we remained in the dark, without a replacement system, I tried to ascertain any information about registering and accessing the new system for the processing of Learner records. I was not responded to nor further advised of the situation, except in a one-liner letter in December 2019, that the replacement system was “still underway”. It was not until 22nd June 2020, eight months later, that I received an email with documentation and instructions on registering for the “E-LEARNING PLATFORM”. As there was no explanation of what this E-Learning platform was for, I understood it to be the registration of our training courses as e-learning or “Online Courses”, motivated by the lockdown and a move towards accommodating online versus face-to-face learning. It did not cross my mind that this was actually CATHSSETA’s new system – an indication as to the lack of any clarification concerning the migration of the system from Indicium to CIMS.

    October 2019 to June 2020 was a long eight-month wait but we are now in November 2020, a further 4.5 months and still struggling with the processing on CIMS of learner, assessor and moderator details and functionality. This is a major concern for me and of particular concern for those learners who attended courses, going back as far as August 2019 and since, whose information needs to be loaded onto CIMS for record purposes and the issuing of certificates, i.e. for TGI this involves a total of almost 100 learners who commenced studies on 19th August and 30th September 2019, 20th January, 17th March and 1st June 2020.

    I have a concern about the almost non-existent communication from CATHSSETA and the apparent lack of proper project management principles and processes in the development and implementation of the new system (CIMS). I list below a number of issues that I have faced and would like to understand if anyone else has encountered these issues and if you have managed to make any headway or found any alternate channels through which we can deal with these matters.

    This letter also serves as a comment on what I perceive to be a badly managed project implementation as well as a deficient system, that does not reflect any consideration of the complications caused by the rigid capture process, for training courses that took place prior to as well as subsequent to October 2019. I do believe that I have some experience in the realm of project management and software implementations, having been an IT Financial Services, Software Development, Project Manager for Old Mutual and Bytes Technology Group for 25 years, prior to going full time with Tourist Guide Institute in March 2015.

    1. First issue: The system is excruciatingly slow:
    – It takes a minimum of 45 seconds to respond to any key stroke and anywhere up to 7 or 8 minutes at the other end of the timescale, to refresh from 1 screen to the next or to save data to a field that has been captured.
    I submitted 3 applications for Declarations of Intent, i.e. for the 3 courses started in 2020, prior to CIMS being released. The first batch of 26 learners took a full day to capture. The second batch of 11 took 3.5 hours and the third batch took me 5.5 hours to capture 13 learners. I was not able to complete the capture of this third batch due to an issues that I will be listing further below. In the case of the 3rd batch, what would have taken 1.5 hours to capture on the previous system, Indicium, took 5.5 hours on CIMS.
    2. Second issue: missing or non-display of learners in the alphabetic search listing on the system:
    – During the period while waiting for a response to my request for training (see Issue 3 below for details) I perused the list of our legacy learners on the new system and found that not all learners are displayed in the alphabetic list of learners. I then did a cross-check between our list of learners whom TGI has trained over the years and found that more than half the learners did not appear in the alphabetical list. This in itself took me 3 days to do, while scrolling through 307 screens of names and ticking off who was listed on CIMS and who not. The reason for taking 3 days was due to the extremely slow system response in scrolling from 1 page to the next. 307 pages of names represented only 35.6% of the total number of learners that TGI had on the Indicium system prior to migration.
    – However, when I entered the missing learners’ ID numbers into the search field, the non-displayed learners were found.
    – There is therefore a discrepancy in the methods of viewing and selecting learners on CIMS and calls into question the reliability of the system.
    3. Third issue: Problems with Role related registration and being given incorrect access and wrong menus:
    – I received the request to register as a CIMS user on 22nd June 2020 and having done so immediately, I waited until 2nd July for a response, at which point I queried the status of my application and also detailed a number of problems I had encountered while registering. Within minutes I received a system email confirming my registration.
    – On receipt of the my access, I logged into CIMS and tried to look around for familiar menus and processes. What I saw prompted me to request training but between 3rd and 22nd July the training was postponed again and again due to CATHSSETA network or other technical issues. I was eventually informed that I would join a group training session set for 31st July. When the training started on the morning of 31st July I realised from what the trainer was showing and talking about that I did not have the same / correct menus and that the trainer was covering ground that was totally unfamiliar to me and not relevant to our “Industry Funded” processes. From 10:29 AM to 11:38 AM I tried to follow what was being covered while trying to piece it together and relate it to the previous system and processes but then logged out, considering the exercise a waste of time. There was no means to interact and orientate myself during the training session, between what I knew from the old system and processes to where we fitted into the new and what we should be doing or not doing as apposed to other providers in the meeting.
    – Then began a process of convincing CATHSSETA that I did not have the correct menus and access: I found out that, unbeknown to me, I had only been given access and menus for a SDP (Skills Development Provider) user and not for a SDF (Skills Development Facilitator) user. After a few failed attempts to explain my story via email, a CATHSSETA staff member connected to my computer on 6th August and saw for himself what the problem was. He then commenced getting me registered as a SDF and I was given further menus.
    – I then encountered another problem in that CIMS’ default assumption, it would seem, is that every learner is studying as part of a Learnership, which involves an Employer / Employee relationship, with an employer who is registered for such learnership, with the relevant government departments. Our learners are all self-funded and there is no employer involved, so over the next few days CATHSSETA had to devise something in the background to grant me employer rights, access and menus.
    – During the registration process I had been forced to create additional “staff” for our company as CIMS requires 2 non-SDF users to be registered for every provider. I tried to determine what a SDF and non-SDF user were and gave up as nobody could explain to me who should fulfil this SDF role or what that role is. We don’t have extra staff, as I do all our admin and finance work myself but I have been forced to allocate my wife and one of our adhoc lecturers / guides into these roles and grant them access because CIMS requires it. I therefore have an unwanted person who has access to CIMS and whom I don’t want accessing and attempting to use the system.
    – During the registration process, it was somehow managed that TGI now has 3 companies linked to our SDP provider access and this confused the CATHSSETA staff member, who had dialled in, as to which company we needed to use when capturing learners. The developers of CIMS were requested on 26th August to delete the excess / duplicate companies – I was informed that only one had been removed as we need 2 companies listed for some or other reason – however, as yet (9th November) there are still 3 companies listed on my screens. Apparently CATHSSETA is pulling their hair out as regards getting the developers to respond to requests and queries.
    4. Fourth issue: CIMS does not allow for the capturing of learner data for courses run prior to current date, i.e. no backdating of information.
    – So, our courses that ran or started in Jan, Feb and June, cannot be handled according to the true course dates. I was instructed to select current dates for the start and end dates, for these 3 previously held courses.
    – On my first attempt to capture our learners, I discovered that an electronic Declaration of Intent (to hold a course) must be created on CIMS, where previously we had provided paper based declarations that were scanned and emailed to CATHSSETA. I proceeded to capture a declaration, using the current date of 28th August as the start date and submitted the declaration for authorisation. When I received authorisation on 31st August, I attempted to capture a learner’s details, only to be barred by the system from capturing the information, as capturing is not allowed after the start date. I contacted CATHSSETA for clarification and it was suggested that I “Withdraw” the DOI and create a new declaration, choosing a future date sufficiently far ahead as to allow the capture of all details prior to this fictitious start date.. I thus chose 15th September as the state date, which in my ignorance and because of no recommendations from CATHSSETA, turned out to be too soon to complete the whole registration process.
    – Having created a second Declaration of Intent, with future dates, I then waited a further day for authorisation of the application.
    5. Fifth issue: rejection of certified documents prepared and used with actual courses run in January, March and June 2020.
    – Following my painstaking capture of the first batch of learners, I submitted these for CATHSSETA authorisation. To my horror, that evening, from 20:37 till 22:02 on 3rd August I received 26 rejection messages. The rejections were due to the certified ID documents being older than 6 months. I also discovered that not only did the emails come to me but an email was sent to each learner, stating that their ID document had been rejected as the certification date was more than 6 months old. I began receiving queries from the learners as to why documents handed in, in January were only being checked now? What an embarrassment to have to explain to 26 students who paid money for the training and expected to receive certificates so as to be able to register as guides, within 6 to 8 weeks of the course end date.
    – Of course the certifications are older than 6 months, seeing as the actual course took place from 20th January to 6th March and the documents had to have been recently certified at that time, not older than 3 months, per CATHSSETA’s standard requirement. However, seeing (i) that the system was released 8 months late and (ii) it does not backdate any course start and end dates and is (iii) forcing a current date to be used for already completed courses, the dates on the certified documents most certainly do not match the course dates on the DOI. CATHSSETA therefore required that each learner provide new certified documents. I objected to this request but it was like speaking to a wall and I had to go back to all our students and request that they prepare new certified documents. During a course, original certified documents and other documents are handed in personally to me for processing. Now that the students had returned to their home towns and countries, they had to go to the expense of couriering the 1 page certified copy of ID at approximately R100 per case. (R1500 for an urgent courier service from the UK in one instance).This was a cost of R5,200.00 for all 52 non-legacy students to send me their ID documents and then I had to courier them to CATHSSETA in Johannesburg at further cost.
    – However, the problem does not end there. Following the uploading of these replacement certified IDs, the next step is that CIMS issues a system generated Learner Agreement form that must be completed by each learner and the provider and then scanned back into the system. The originals are then to be couriered to CATHSSETA in Johannesburg as well. As the two steps, the loading of ID documents and the loading of Learner Agreements are separated by an authorisation step, this means that a further cost of yet another R5200 is incurred to send a second phase of couriered documents, the Learner Agreements, to me and then to Johannesburg. Applied across 52 learners in 3 different courses, what a waste of money. What has happened to the original set of documents, including certified ID and Learner Agreements, that were couriered to CATHSSETA when the courses were actually run? Again, the providers were never informed that a change was going to take place and that duplication of all activities and costs would be necessary.
    – That a certified ID must be couriered, uploaded and authorised before a Learner Agreement can be issued, completed and couriered, means that the system is forcing us to courier 2 sets of documents per student per course group instead of being able to courier all documents in one process and at a lesser cost or at no cost when handed in when they attend the course. I am astounded that government has not thought through the complications and costs of what they are causing and expecting, within an industry that has been amongst the hardest hit by COVID-19, in that there is no work and no income for tourist guides till the foreign visitors return to SA.
    6. Sixth issue: The time taken for processes to be authorised by CATHSSETA:
    – I submitted my 3rd application for a Declaration of Intent, on CIMS, at 13:55 on Friday, 4th September. This authorisation took until 13:40 on Wed, 9th September, only after I had written emails on Tues and Wed and followed up with CATHSSETA staff, who kept maintaining that they had “approved everything” on their side.
    – Excluding the weekend, this authorisation took 3 days. How are we going to get through the whole process in future when the starters gun takes 3 days to go off.
    – How do we trust and use a system where CATHSSETA staff do not see the items requiring authorisation because the system workflow is problematic? This happened to another provider whose submission of 59 learners was not processed for 4 weeks because 60 learners had been stated on the DOI and the submissions drifted in limbo, out of sight of any user, till the developers were asked to investigate.
    7. Seventh issue: Relevance and difficulty of using the User Guides provided within CIMS:
    – In my viewing attempts to use these manual, they contain information and are formatted as System Manuals, that provide no indication of the process into which these functional details fit, i.e. the “How to” of end to end processing.
    – These are not User Manuals and should not just show you how to follow a menu and what fields need to be filled in. A User Manual explains how each segment fits into the larger Process and as this is missing, once the system does not do what it is supposed to do and does not guide you or explain what is happening, when and why, the user is left in the dark. These System Manuals are like having a manual on how to fix a carburettor or a fuel pump on a car but if you have never seen the car before and don’t know whether the part fits in the front of the car or at the back, the mechanic or user cannot do the job. There is no explanation of the rationale behind the “parts” so as to provide insight on how it all hangs together. This is like dumping a box of Lego on the floor without a picture of what the structure looks like and where the starting point is and so forth.
    – Also, the menu structure and access to the manuals does not allow for the user to open a manual and keep it open while they progress and work through the system and screens. In CIMS’ case the manual has to be closed when the user goes back to the menu and screens that they had been reading up about. With the system response being so wickedly slow it is a major nightmare and a real frustration trying to flit between manual and functional screens as one tries to compare and sync what is being read with what the user sees on each screen.
    – As there is no overarching or Big Picture guide, I have found it very difficult to find which manual applies to which components of the process that I have been dealing with. There is no self-evident and intuitive process or workflow that can be followed.
    – The only way to make the User Guides work for me was to download them to my computer so that I could view then independently of being inside CIMS itself.
    8. Eighth issue: CATHSSETA has designated learners who were captured onto Indicium prior to 15th October 2019, as Legacy Learners and treating them separately:
    – These legacy records are available in CIMS for VIEW access but cannot be updated.
    – As Indicium was closed before the learners had completed their course assessments, their US assessment records still need to be completed and made ready for certification by CATHSSETA. However, there is no user access to do this and it must be done by the developers via a backdoor update. So, we have a new system but it cannot provide certificates for these legacy learners.
    – I have 2 batches of such legacy learners and had to submit an Excel spreadsheet, with format dictated by CATHSSETA, with the relevant learners details. These spreadsheets will, apparently be used to upload and process the learner via a backdoor method. (These latest formats are almost identical to spreadsheet that we had already submitted in January to CATHSSETA when manual Letters of Competence were produced as an interim substitute for the standard certificates).
    – What happens to the 1000s of learners across South Africa, in all lines of culture, arts, tourism, hospitality and sports training, who still don’t have certificates? How can the new system have been accepted without a plan to accommodate, update and complete the processing for all learners migrated from Indicium?
    9. Ninth issue: field-based validation of data captured and use of drop-down lists for all fields which have multiple options:
    – Every keystroke with validation behind it takes, as I mentioned, a minimum of 45 seconds to respond. This means that the user sits waiting for every field to respond and cannot proceed to the next field, as anything captured to a field “downstream” from the field being validated is deleted and must be typed in again. This resulted in me taking 5.5 hrs to capture 13 learners’ details.
    – Further, the validation against the drop-down lists is not dynamic, i.e. I cannot type in Cape Town and have the system give me all the “……Cape Town….” options. If Cape Town is the first 2 words in a field, then the system provides a list of all available options starting with Cape Town, I assume, because it only displays the top 10 items and won’t allow the user to scroll down the list to search further down. No, I have to type in the exact spelling / format of the item or else it does not find it in the list.
    – The system requires that we type in name of “Town” as well as “Municipality” – the “Town” field accepts Cape Town as correct but the Municipality field validation does not recognise “Cape Town”. So it took a bunch of iterations to learn that the Municipality field only accepts “City of Cape Town”. Now try that for Grahamstown, where the Town name has changed (to Makhanda) and is now part of the Makana Local Municipality or any other town with changed names and municipality.
    – The same issue applies to name of Country, because not all our students were born in South Africa. One example: I could not find the country name for a student who comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo. I tried every version of DRC, D.R.C, Congo, Congo Kinshasa, Republic of Congo, etc, to no avail. Someone suggested that I try Zaire and there it was – who still calls the DRC by its old name of Zaire ?? So for other countries.
    – Another field with similar problems, is “Last School Attended”. Finding a school name is a nightmare, as many / a number / some schools simply don’t seem to be listed in the drop-down selection list, but it may be that I just have not managed to come up with the right format and spelling of the school name – for example a learner attended “Dr Malan”. I can disregard any primary schools but can’t find “Dr Malan” in the list, which is blank. So I tried just “Malan”, but the response list is still blank as there is no school with the name, just “Malan”. So I try Dr D F Malan, Dr D.F.Malan, Dr. D.F.Malan, Dr._D.F._Malan, Doctor DF Malan, Doctor D.F.Malan, Doctor D.F. Malan, DF Malan, D F Malan, D.F.Malan, etc, but to no avail. So, just to be able to complete the capture for that learner, I simply substitute Cape Town High School, as the new system did not recognise an “Unable……” to locate in South Africa” option, as was available in Indicium. Further, many of our students are foreigners or foreign born and educated, so they did not attend school in South Africa. No foreign schools are included in the drop-down list but neither is the default alternate option as was in Indicium, i.e. “Unable….” to locate outside South Africa”.
    10. Tenth issue: CIMS or CATHSSETA’s assumption that all learner details and registration documentation are available prior to the start date of a course:
    – This point affects all future processing on CIMS. I have noted in Point 4 (Fourth Issue) above, that CIMS does not allow for (i) capturing of data prior to current date or (ii) after the course start date has passed. Therefore, a training provider has to know well in advance, how many learners they will have for a specified course so as to include this on the Declaration of Intent.
    – However, we and this is also applicable to other providers, never know what our final number of learners on a course is till the start date. So, I either have to guess that number in advance or wait till the start date, to confirm actual numbers and then use a fictitious future date as the course start and end dates. Only by submitting a Declaration in advance and guessing the number of learners can I use the actual and correct dates for a course. Now, that would seem quite acceptable, except that CIMS does not handle deviations from the number specified on the Declaration. Once learners are captured under the Declaration of Intent, the full batch of learners and details are submitted for authorisation as a single unit, with a press of the button. Therefore if I have fewer learners on the course than I guessed, the submission does not execute or in one instance I heard of, the submission was executed on the user end but never arrived in a CATHSSETA staff members workflow in-tray, as the full quota had not been filled. If I guessed fewer learners than what end up on the course, the system does not allow the capture of the “surplus” learners’ details as the batch is closed at the stipulated number and no further learners can be captured.
    – However, on 1 of the DOI, when I captured the learner records something triplicated the 1st learner that I captured. I was informed that I could not delete the duplicates but had to submit the learners and the batch would be rejected and I could then overwrite the 3 duplicates with another 2 person’s details. By the time I was able to go back and edit the rejected batch, I had received a further learner’s registration and wondered if I could somehow get this person included. During the overwrite of the 2 duplicate records I managed to get the 3rd learners record to be captured and now have a DOI with a stated 15 learners but in actual fact it has 16 learners linked. As a Project Manager and system tester in my previous work life, this is the kind of thing that needs to be tested for – you cant test a system with information that you know the system is meant to accept – you test it in a manner and with data that should not be accepted, to prevent just the kind of glitch happening as I have just described. What a programmer thinks is necessary and what the user actually has to contend with are often worlds apart and the system must be tested by a user and not the programmers.
    – Based on current experience, the period from initiating a CIMS Declaration of Intent till the course start date needs to be 3 or 4 weeks, to allow the back and forth, step by step, capture, couriering of documents and authorisation of all details. Except we don’t know how many will start on the day and we don’t have everyone’s original certified and completed documents before the start date. So no course start and end dates that are acceptable to the CIMS process are ever going to reflect reality and this situation will, in any enquiry, bring all the information into question.
    – Also, from which date will such matters as “notional hours” be calculated, or from which point will “currency” of work completed be calculated ?
    11. Eleventh issue: Linking of a moderator to each Unit Standard assessment:
    – It took from 26th June when we were requested to register, until 28th August to be able to capture my first DOI and then till 2nd October to complete the capture process of all learners.
    – On acknowledgement of all learners being authorised onto CIMS, I then wanted to initiate the Completion of all these learners and request certification but did not get far. While our moderator is listed under the Company details, the moderator dropdown list is empty when attempting to link a moderator to each individual Unit Standard.
    – We were informed that although the moderator completed the Re-registration process and is listed under our Company details, we need to request for an “Extension of Provider” to sort out the problem. Not being able to find any place to initiate this extension process on CIMS, I requested assistance from CATHSSETA and was sent screenprints of where to find the function, only to discover that the relevant fields and buttons do not appear on our moderator screens. We have now been waiting since 21st October for this issue to be resolved so that we can take a next step.
    12. Twelfth issue: Correction or editing of incorrect data:
    – I made the mistake of spelling a learner’s name incorrectly. I spelled the person’s name as McClean instead of McLean. That was in September and I requested if there was some way in which we could correct this during the next steps. I received no response and followed up my request, receiving an email on 27th October from Dajo Technologies, the developers, that a meeting was being held that week to discuss this matter. I subsequently heard via a telephone call that an Edit function had never been developed in CIMS as it was not considered necessary, so there is no current user functionality to correct incorrect data.
    13. Thirteenth Issue: Dashboard workflow items out of sync with the overall processes:
    – When I completed the capture and uploading of all Learner details and received notification that the details had all been authorised, I also received a batch of items in the Dashboard Workflow list.
    – The only update Key linked to these dashboard items was to “Request Certification / Results”. I did not think that this step should be completed at that stage but without a process writeup, I proceeded to upload the relevant Moderation Report and details, as indicated for each learner listed on the Dashboard, for those learners whose moderation had already been completed. There were a number of Learners for whom I could not do this step as I was waiting on the course moderation report. This update process requires that each Learner’s record is updated separately and then the DOI batch is Submitted to CATHSSETA for authorisation and there was one batch I held back.
    – The following day I received a call from a Dajo Technologies developer who asked me not to action any further Dashboard items as I needed to update the Assessments first for each learner. Why send transactions to the Dashboard to be Actioned if there is another prior step that must be completed first, but which is not explained or indicated to the user in any form or communication????
    14. Fourteenth issue: Updated Assessment screens not saved:
    – When I was informed that I had to update the Assessment status for each US for each learner, before addressing the Dashboard items, I was unable to do this as I had no Assessor menu item – a further reason why I had responded to the Dashboard list as there was no alternate route to follow. Once I had requested and was given access to the Assessor menu, I attempted to update each US for each learner with the relevant data, i.e. Name of Assessor, Date of Assessment, Name of Moderator. It was at this point that I discovered that no moderator name appeared in the dropdown list for each US.
    – Not being able to update the moderator name, I decided to pre-empt the future task of updating the Assessor name and Date of Assessment and updated all this info for all my learners. However, after capturing this information for each person, for each US, but not being able to complete the update with the Moderator name, I found that the next time I accessed those screens that the Assessor Name had been saved but the Date of Assessment has not be saved. I will therefore have to do it again once I can link the moderator name at the same time. What a waste of time when some fields are saved but others are not and work is duplicated due to system inconsistencies!!!
    – A further irritation in this regard is that whereas the old system required that the user capture the Name of Assessor, Date of Assessment, name of Moderator and Date of Moderation, once per learner and then apply this info to all USs by one tick in the box, i.e. 5 fields to be actioned to update 1 learner, the new system (CIMS) requires that each field be updated separately per learner per US, i.e. in my case 5 fields per learner has become 15 fields per learner for update. Now, if I am peeved with only having 5 USs, how must anyone else feel if they have to do the same for 30 – 50 USs for some of the more credit heavy programmes and qualifications!!!!!! Where is the option to use a tick in the box to apply the information to all USs in one action.
    15. It is now 20 weeks since I initiated registration as a CIMS user and I have not been able in those 20 weeks to complete the capture and update process of any learners, not one!!!! As the complete process has not be explained or documented, as far as I can see, I am left to wonder when or if we will get to the certification stage before the end of this year, 2020.

    As a final comment, I have to ask the question about, what I perceive as blind acceptance and adherence to system driven parameters, in spite of those parameters contradicting real world scenarios. How is it that a CATHSSETA staff member, due to being required by the system, can plausibly reject so called “out of date” but totally correctly dated and certified documents, that CATHSSETA themselves accepted at the time that the course actually happened and then enforce arbitrary and fictitious start and end dates along with correspondingly dated certified documents, simply to support a computer system that cannot accommodate reality. The common and usual answer is ”The system just does it that way” as if the system designed and specified itself and there were no business and system analysts involved.
    – Someone might say that in this current case, concerning the fictitious course dates and “out of date” certified documents, that there is no harm to our learners. In my experience with CATHSSETA, where guide training was originally managed by SATOUR, then taken over by THETA, which became CATHSSETA, there have been a number of instances where the migration of data from various processes and systems to the next has caused learner records to become corrupted, missing or incomplete. It is the learner in all these scenarios who suffers and becomes the victim, when they enquire years after the fact and are told they will have to do the course again as CATHSSETA’s records do not support a Completed qualification.
    – In years to come, who will speak up for our current learners when the current CATHSSETA staff are no longer on staff to clarify the issues and the system is deemed to be the correct reflection of what happened, even to the point of the provider not being listened to?

    I am frustrated and sad to hear that another guide training provider in the Western Cape has, due to the issues experienced in the last year with CATHSSETA, closed up shop and is no longer operating. I would seriously hope that we can find a way through this nightmare and bring the current development into line so as to achieve its intended goals or find an alternate route in which to overcome these challenges.

    In closing I do wish to state that while I am frustrated and agitated by the poor to no communication from CATHSSETA, I do know that they have faced huge stresses and frustrations with the developer company and have as far as possible tried to make things work where and when they can. The new system is however the face of CATHSSETA and reflects very badly on this organisation. I would like to encourage and invite CATHSSETA to meet with the training providers and allow us to see a better picture of the issues and challenges being faced and for us to voice our issues and concerns.

    Kind Regards

    Scott Womack
    http://www.touristguideinstitute.co.za

    scott@touristguideinstitute.co.za
    Mobile: 082 445 7625
    Business: 021 685 0299
    Reg. No. 2001/007761/23

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