Concerned Providers Interest Group – QCTO/SAQA/SETA/DHET


JC1 Group to the Rescue: applications for registration to the DHET

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  • #58352
    Lynel Farrell
    Keymaster

    Dear Skills Universe Members, concerned Training Providers (SDPs), the JC1 Group Consultants have in fact started with various communications to address all your needs and concerns with regards to the compulsory application to the DHET. Here is a letter that we have sent. We are working on these applications daily (7 days a week) to ensure applications go through without hassles. Compliant, professional, quality checked! The below is one of the emails that we have submitted to the Authorities.

    March 26, 2017
    from: Nigel Shipston
    to: Buthelezi.M@dhet.gov.za
    cc: rvoller@cipc.co.za, lata.t@qcto.org.za, loctober@thedti.gov.za, saqainfo@saqa.org.za september@parliament.gov.za, nbhengu@parliament.gov.za

    Dr Buthelezi,
    I apologise for taking up your valuable time, but this is a serious matter of concern that will affect thousands of people in the training sector.

    In view of previous correspondence regarding the Registration of Private Training Providers with DHET, and the subsequent denial of registration for an accredited training provider as a result of being registered as a Close Corporation, the following is submitted for consideration:
    1. There are many Private Training Providers, possibly up to 50% of the existing accredited Private Training Providers, who are still legally operating as Close Corporations, as recognised by the Companies Act 2008, which was enacted subsequent to the Act and Regulations against which Private Training Providers are now expected to Register.
    2. These Providers have been, in most cases, operating successfully for many years, all of them having been accredited by the relative Quality Assurance Body/Bodies as required in terms of offering Qualifications/Part Qualifications on the NQF, with no restriction regarding the format of Company/Corporation.
    3. The time and costs of Registration with DHET are considerable with regard to the majority of these Private Training Providers who fall in the SMME category, with limited time and resources for aspects outside of their training focus.
    4. Current Registration processes are out-dated and do not recognise the changed environment subsequent to this original legislation. The Application, Guidelines and Regulations refer to non-existent Acts (Companies Act 1973, Act 61 0f 1973), Bodies with whom most Private Training Providers have no relationship (Umalusi), and speaks to “Colleges” where Learners enrol and pay for Qualifications and attend interventions over extended periods on the premises of the College.
    5. The vast majority of the current Private Training Providers do not own premises for training purposes, offering these interventions on employer’s premises, and in addition generally do not offer interventions exceeding a total of 10 days, averaging more in the 1 – 5 day duration courses. Furthermore, most work on a train first then pay principle.
    6. These Private Training Providers have been operating for as long as 17 years under SETA accreditations, some exceeding this period having been operating prior to the introduction of SETA’s and NQF processes.
    7. The Companies Act 2008 acknowledges the existence of Close Corporations, permitting their continued existence under more responsible financial requirements. While new registrations have been discontinued, there is no requirement for these Corporations to discontinue or convert to a Private Company, although this option is available. The format of these Close Corporations is suitable for many Private Training Providers who fall in the SMME category, and their registration is still with the State via CIPC.
    In considering the above, it should be mentioned that there is no objection on the part Private Training Providers in general, to Registering with DHET. Most are only too happy to prove their willingness to comply with legislation, albeit not without some unexpected draining of available resources. Most are subject to unfair competition, in that there are unaccredited Providers, who by virtue of not having incurred the costs of accreditation, are offering services at much lower costs, thus unfairly reducing the market available to compliant accredited Private Training Providers. To this extent, any action to reduce this unfair situation is considered acceptable.

    However, having said that, if these actions are going to result in even more costs and ultimately the demise of many of these Private Training Providers who are registered as Close Corporations, then surely some consideration should be given to not only permitting, but encouraging further participation of those who are willing to comply with Regulations aimed at protecting their market? The context of these Private Training Providers is somewhat disparate from that of a full college, and it is these processes in context that need to be addressed in order to accommodate those wishing to prove compliance.

    The application of out-dated legislation in present circumstances is both unfair and unjust. Effectively, Close Corporation Private Training Providers are being punished, despite their contribution to skills development, while their ever more adventurous non-accredited competitors continue to gain advantage unabated.

    Joint Communique 1 of 2016 refers to the “WHITE PAPER FOR POST-SCHOOL EDUCATION AND TRAINING, BUILDING AN EXPANDED, EFFECTIVE AND INTEGRATED POST-SCHOOL SYSTEM” in addressing the Registration of Private Training Providers. Within this White Paper, I would take the liberty of highlighting some excerpts relating to Private Training Providers:
    • Private institutions play a significant role in providing post-school education to South Africans.
    • A typology of different private institutions will be developed, and the Department will reflect on whether a uniform policy is required for the private sector. The DHET will also undertake a thorough review of the regulation and quality assurance of private providers.
    • The DHET must develop better communication between itself, the CHE, SAQA, Umalusi and the SETAs, as well as clearer processes for private provider registration and accreditation. Ultimately, we will develop a simple and efficient registration, monitoring and regulatory system for dealing with private providers.
    From these excerpts, it is apparent that the context of Private Training Provider conditions should be considered and that these processes should be addressed in handling the Registration of Private Training Providers. The Bill of Rights states under Education:

    29. (3) Everyone has the right to establish and maintain, at their own expense, independent educational institutions that—
    (a) do not discriminate on the basis of race;
    (b) are registered with the state; and
    (c) maintain standards that are not inferior to standards at comparable public educational institutions.

    Close Corporation Private Training Providers cannot afford to discriminate on the basis of race, and are registered with the State. As far as maintaining standards are concerned, these Providers are already accredited with the relevant SETA/s and/or QCTO, and in many cases are also Approved by Dept. of Labour (Lifting Machine Operator Training and First Aid Training) and/or Dept. of Transport (Convey Dangerous Goods by Road).

    There are few if any Public Educational Institutions against which these standards can be compared, considering the diverse offerings and operational aspects of Private Training Providers, which is acknowledged in the White Paper. It is inconceivable then, that under such diverse conditions and purposes, that any accredited Private Training Provider should be disadvantaged in such a comparison. Albert Einstein once quoted “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Are Close Corporation Private Training Providers being disadvantaged because their purpose is not to climb a tree?

    It is interesting that on the CIPC website, under Close Corporations, the following FAQ is noted:

    Can a close corporation be registered as a training institution?
    Yes. However its mere registration as a close corporation does not confer recognition as a training institute. There are other requirements prescribed by the Department of Education and Training, which must be complied with.

    Under the circumstances described above, can you please reconsider acknowledging legally registered Close Corporations for the purposes of DHET Registration as Private Training Providers? Failure to do so would not only cause hardship but possible closure of many of these businesses who have already gone to considerable lengths to comply with requirements. In due time, Close Corporations will run their course and no longer be an issue. However their current contribution is significant and it would be preferable to include their registration in terms of Quality Assurance as required by Joint Communique 1 of 2016.

    It is apparent however that, according to the December 2016 Registered Private Providers list issued by DHET, that some Close Corporations have in fact been registered with DHET, dating back to 2009. The precedent having been created, and maintained for some 8 years by DHET, the question arises as to what criteria were used for this registered Close Corporation against the current applications by Close Corporations? This 2009 Registration was done before the introduction of the new Companies Act in 2011, wherein more responsible financial processes were prescribed for Close Corporations. By proven history and new financial requirements, surely current Close Corporations are better qualified for Registration?

    It would indeed be tragic should Close Corporation Private Training Providers, numbering in the thousands, and having proved compliant with all other requirements to date, have to shut their doors and disadvantage any number of persons whose livelihood depends on these businesses. The White Paper referred to, and new Legislation outside of the Registration Regulations should be sufficient to justify such acknowledgement of Close Corporations for Registration.

    Your considered feedback would be appreciated.

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    #58371
    Lynel Farrell
    Keymaster

    Members, please. I am receiving calls from providers whom have been given the wrong guidance with regards to the application to the DHET. If you are accredited with a SETA then you MUST apply. Apparently there are rumours going around that you must only apply if you are accredited with QCTO or HE – this is absolutely untrue. If you are accredited by any of the 21 SETAs – it is compulsory to apply – don’t take chances – the consequences is severe!

    #59629
    Lynel Farrell
    Keymaster

    Dear Members,
    There are 60 business days left to complete your application for registration to the DHET. Please bear in mind the public holidays that will delay your process. The DHET will start communicating to providers now directly, so please adhere to their requirements.

    #59630
    Lynel Farrell
    Keymaster

    Communications going the rounds to providers accredited with the TETA Seta reads:
    Subject: DHET REGISTRATION
    Importance: High
    Dear Skills Development Providers
    As per the joint communique 1 of August 2016 all Skills Development Providers Accredited that offer Occupational Qualification or Part Qualifications (skills programmes, irrespective of whether is a standalone unit standards) on the Occupational Qualifications Sub framework; by law are required to register with the Depaartment of Higher Education and Training. Please note that this is not negotiable nor optional and people can not plead ignorant to this.

    #59641
    Lynel Farrell
    Keymaster

    Communications going the rounds to providers accredited with the TETA Seta reads:
    Subject: DHET REGISTRATION
    Importance: High

    Dear Skills Development Providers

    As per the joint communique 1 of August 2016 all Skills Development Providers Accredited that offer Occupational Qualification or Part Qualifications (skills programmes, irrespective of whether is a standalone unit standards) on the Occupational Qualifications Sub framework; by law are required to register with the Depaartment of Higher Education and Training. Please note that this is not negotiable nor optional and people can not plead ignorant to this.

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