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


No Future for Short/Skills Programmes? How will this impact your business?

This topic contains 24 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Lynel Farrell 1 year, 10 months ago.

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  • #63812

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    Information provided by SAQA (extracted from the South African Labour Guide website) reads:

    Short course provisioning is one of the most dynamic features of South Africa’s emerging education and training system. These courses are particularly associated with ‘just in time’, and ‘just enough’ learning to meet specific needs in workplace environments. This approach is a viable and common method for optimal workplace functioning in many contexts. It makes access to learning manageable, and saves the employers and the employees’ money, time, energy and resources.

    In essence, a short course is a type of short learning programme through which a learner may or may not be awarded credits, depending on the purpose of the programme. A Credit-bearing short course is a type of short learning programme for which credits, in relation to the course’s contribution to a particular programme, unit standard and/or (part) qualification, is are awarded. (Paraphrased from CHE, 2001:44). A credit-bearing short course contains less than 120 credits. An example is skills programmes leading to the achievement of credits in relation to a qualification.

    In the new approach to education and training, short course provisioning has a particular place in the system and is important in the development, up-skilling and multi-skilling of human resources. Because short course provisioning occurs in all education and training sectors and bands, it needs to be subject to the same accreditation and quality assurance processes. Quality assured short course providers and programmes will support and enhance the achievement of the NQF objectives. Among the many benefits to be gained from a coherent approach to the quality assurance of short course providers are:

    • Quality assurance will enhance the articulation possibilities and mobility of learners within education and training by ensuring that short learning programmes are credit bearing and that the learning is portable.
    • Quality assured short learning programmes will provide learners with flexible pathways to achieving education and training qualifications
    • Education and Training Quality Assurance Bodies (ETQAs) will quality assure short learning programmes and so protect learners who acquire education and training by these means
    • Short learning programmes will be developed and delivered to enable a ‘seamless’ system of access and articulation with other education and training programmes
    • The dynamic nature of short learning programmes will increasingly support the setting of standards and the development and review of qualifications.

    Short course provisioning is seen as a necessary and flexible tool to support the Human Resource Development (HRDS) and National Skills Development Strategies (NSDS). These have as their objectives the development of people to meet the imperatives of an increasingly globalised society and the demands of the twenty-first century workplace.

    So, why is this being ignored? Did I miss something? Or did someone ignore the importance of short programmes? How will this affect your business?

    Come on, I know you want to give your input, it is time to speak up.

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  • #63816

    Andrew Friedemann
    Participant

    This will impact our industry heavily – 98% of learners only ever do short/skills programmes.

    From a business perspective it will close us down. The industry simply cannot afford full qualifications. Looking at statistics, in our industry we kill on average 10 tourists a year through accidents by unqualified guides.

    In 17 years of offering skills programmes, we have had not even one recorded serious incident with any guide having done these programmes. Removing short.skills programmes would be a very short sighted (and fatal) decision.

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  • #63830

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    Thank you Andrew, for your input. It is highly appreciated!

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  • #63843

    Eduard Rabie
    Participant

    Hi,

    The employer cannot send 20 guys on full qualifications; it’s just not time and cost effective! But here the million dollars question… If a person has done for example first aid through a full qualification – Why does he need to do it every three years? Because the Health and Safety Act demands it!
    There is a definite need for the short courses, but it’s time that Dept. of Higher Frustration and Dept. of Labour sit together. For such a meeting you need skilled and knowledgeable people and I don’t see this going to happen very soon…

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    • #63904

      it is crucial that regular refresher training is done on a first aider as the law regarding compressions and CPR for example changes frequently so therefore you need to be upto date , just like machinery controls are updated so must the learner thereof by taught as such .

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  • #63844

    Tando Qeqe
    Participant

    Kindred spirits

    Skills programme is the most efficient & effective for employers.

    Personally, I would have it in this way:

    1. All register for Qualification(s).
    2. Design Skills Programme(s) selectively
    3. Use Unit Standards.

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  • #63845

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    Note: according to the message I received from Mr Samuels on LinkedIn: “the extract comes from a very old document that we published about 3 years ago”.

    My intension with the extract, was not to make, as if this was a new document, but the importance of the message within the document, which is more relevant today than 3 years ago. It speaks to how important short/skills programmes are.

    I trust that more input will be given, and a favorable outcome for all.

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  • #63872

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Huge negative impact – those who are supposed to benefit from Skills Development would again miss out – More SMME’s will be out of business – more unemployment – End of pivotal grants – and so on.

    However QCTO says we need to stop speculating and wait for official information to be released – if anything has to be released.

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  • #63874

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    Speculating? Wow! It is either a yes or a no. Surely each and every provider whom have been in business upskilling learners, have a right to information? If this is going to have a negative impact on business, surely they need to be informed with factual information, and not hearing/reading about what’s to come. Is this a secret? If there is hope, then they need to at least say something. When will something be published? If anything MIGHT be released. The questions are still there, and no one can give us an answer. Industry is in distress, which is uncalled for.

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  • #63881

    Steve Andrews
    Participant

    I echo above and I’d like to add my own perspective.

    I fully support the development of Trade qualifications like ‘Boat Builder & Repairer” or ‘Carpenter’ as already approved as part of the QTCO registered qualifications.

    But this needs to be an AND – we still need unit standard based qualifications.

    For example:

    1) What happens when the Carpenter needs Conflict Management or Communications Skills training. Without Unit Standards like 114226 (Interpret and manage conflicts within the workplace) and 12433 (Use communication techniques effectively) how will that be implemented to give recognition of learning?

    2) As an Assessor, I completed US 115753 (Conduct outcomes-based assessment). What’s going to happen to Assessor and Moderator certification?

    3) For corporates it’s a nightmare. No flexibility, no short courses to meet specific needs (e.g. conflict and communication skills again).

    I’ve spent the last year developing a Leadership Development programme based on Unit Standards (from the same qualification of course). As a modular programme it’s cool – US can be used as and when needed in the development of individuals or teams. As a complete qualification it’d be a nightmare.

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    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by  Steve Andrews.
  • #63905

    Carl Roodnick
    Participant

    A storm in a tea-cup if Samuels concedes the issue is passe’ some three years hence.

    I, as a freelance learning designer and training course materials developer, am wholly dependent on short/skills programme content research, analysis, design, iteration and development; as I do not have the capacity to take on full qualification work.

    I say rather let sleeping dogs lie – we have our hands full with other rigorous registration, admin, compliance, alignment, and accreditation issues as it is.

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  • #63908

    Melanie Harvard
    Participant

    I am still busy researching the latest developments – so please correct me if I’m wrong, but won’t short programmes be covered under ‘part qualifications”?

    I agree that after very many years of having the QCTO lurking on the horison doing very little – and also with very little information available about future trends – and then to have us hit with all these decisions this year AND with such little clarity around such vital questions as the future of skills programmes, how FSas will work for the non-trade qualifications etc it is once again almost IMPOSSIBLE to strategically plan. I have been asking setas/qcto for years about what we can expect – and the info they could give was along the lines of us all continuing business as usual – under the etqas(now qaps) who would report to the qcto – and yes occupational quals – but definitely NO heads-up about doing away with single standards, no accredited short courses, and re-accreditation ultimately being required directly with QCTO.

    Each time we have these policy changes I feel like it sets back providers and industry while everyone tries to muddle through and get clarity. Not to mention the impact on providers, learners, organisations and our economy.

    1. Learners being unable to access learning in manageable chunks or to meet specific needs (not everyone wants a full qual every time)
    2. Short courses devolving to attendance certificates – no credits, no funding subsidies and no BEE points either.
    3. Companies unable to target just-in-time, specific skills needs linked to their growth strategies.
    4. Skills programme providers losing all the business previously awarded for accredited training.
    5. Assessors and assessment centres becoming what? as now no assessment being finalised until the external FSA.
    6. An extra step being added to non-trade quals when we ALREADY experience such ridiculous delays in certification . . .

    the list goes on . . .

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  • #63919

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    Thank you so much for the feedback and input given thus far. There are loads of questions and concerns. We can only request clarity and solutions, however we do need to get more input from providers here. Unfortunately this is something that we need to discuss, give input and possible solutions. Perhaps there is space for short courses/skills programmes. I have not seen this in black and white as yet (if anyone have more information, please do share this with the members) or send it to me, and we will post it. My email address have not changed, it is still: Lynel.farrell@gmail.com – should you not want to post your feedback or comments in the public domain, you are most welcome to email it to us.

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  • #63957

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    CHAPTER 5 of the Skills Development Act:

    SKILLS PROGRAMMES
    20. Skills programmes.
    (1) For the purposes of this Chapter, a “skills programme” means a skills programme that–
    a. is occupationally based;
    b. when completed, will constitute a credit towards a qualification registered in terms of the National Qualifications Framework as defined in section 1 of the South African Qualifications Authority Act;
    c. uses training providers referred to in section 17 (1) (c); or
    d. complies with the prescribed requirements.

    (2) Any person that has developed a skills programme may apply to–
    a. a SETA with jurisdiction for a grant; or
    b. the Director-General for a subsidy.

    (3) The SETA or the Director-General may fund the skills programme if–
    a. it complies with–
    i. subsection (1);
    ii. any requirements imposed by the SETA or the Director-General; and
    iii. any prescribed requirements; and
    b. it is in accordance with–
    i. the sector skills development plan of the SETA; or
    ii. the national skills development strategy; and
    c. there are funds available.

    (4) A SETA or the Director-General may set any terms and conditions for funding in terms of subsection (3) that the SETA or the Director-General, as the case may be, considers necessary.

    (5) The SETA or the Director-General must monitor the skills programmes funded by the SETA or the Director-General, as the case may be.

    (6) A SETA or the Director-General that has made funds available for a skills programme may withhold funds or recover any funds paid if the SETA or the Director-General, as the case may be, is of the opinion that–
    a. the funds are not being used for the purpose for which they were made available;
    b. any term or condition of the funding is not complied with; or
    c. the SETA or the Director-General, as the case may be, is not satisfied that the training is up to standard.

    21. Disputes.–Any party to a dispute about the application or interpretation of–

    a. any term or condition of funding referred to in section 20 (4); or
    b. any provision of this Chapter,
    may refer the dispute to the Labour Court for adjudication.

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  • #63974

    Janelle Gravett
    Participant

    Morning Lynel
    Please see the attached “Updated First Aid Notice” and in particular the section written in red.
    I would be very interested as to how this is going to be handled by QCTO et al!

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    • #63977

      Lynel Farrell
      Participant

      Hi Janelle, any short course/skills programme at this moment is hanging in the air. We are trying our best to get answers from SAQA, but this could take some time. Thousands of Providers as well as Employers are asking the same question. The problem here is, that there is no documented guideline or factual paper published that gives direction nor clarification. This is a HUGE issue.

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  • #63982

    Tass Schwab
    Participant

    I watch this with great interest. I have a large market for short skills programmes for the small businesses. We really need the QCTO to SEE that this is a very necessary arena of skills training. Thus far there has been dead silence.

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  • #63983

    Melanie Harvard
    Participant

    I have completed a request for renewal of historic qualification form (downloadable off the QCTO website) and on there motivated for the part-qualifications i need . . . it is at least a step in some direction

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  • #63995

    Marlie Spencer
    Participant

    Hi Melanie,
    The form you are referring to is for realignment, not for renewal. It is used by the QAPs to apply for realignment of the ‘old’ qualifications to curriculum-based qualifications. In other words, a unit standards-based qualification can be realigned to be modular and meet the requirements of having the three components (knowledge, practical and work experience). The majority of QAPs are in the process of realigning ‘old’ qualifications to ensure that there are programmes ready once the others expire. The part qualifications must still meet the current criteria of minimum 24 credits and must constitute a set of employable skills. It, however, seems that the QCTO is open to negotiation around part qualifications, but this is not currently reflecting in any policy documents. Part qualifications can also be added to occupational qualifications in future. I do believe they should consider adding another category of programme such as ‘critical skills’ which can include things like computer literacy, financial literacy, office etiquette, first aid, health and safety, and so forth.

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    • #64005

      Lynel Farrell
      Participant

      Hi Marlie, thank you so much for the explanation, it is highly appreciated. I am very interested in the words: part-qualifications can be added in the future …………… so, here my questions would be: how do we motivate this to be implemented now? To whom do we address this? Which Authority makes the final call on this? If you had to motivate that skills programmes (part-qualifications) be implemented with immediate effect, which Authority would you address this to? QCTO or SAQA or DHET or to the new Minister of Higher Education and Training? How do we ensure that skills programmes which are critical continue?

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  • #64001

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    Erm,…………. well. Sometimes, I wish I could get all the answers to questions, and that there is clear guidance and policies in place to guide and educate us accordingly. I don’t mind reading the policies and guidelines and summarizing them, but sometimes there is just no factual documents that gives us some form of clarity. So, what I have done, is put a couple of questions through to Mr Samuels. Perhaps there is an easy explanation or a policy and guidelines which we have missed somewhere. The questions that I have asked is:

    1. Where can I find the document which I extracted from the S.A. Labour Guide? The link where I found this extract is: http://www.labourguide.co.za/most-recent/1589-short-courses-and-skills-programmes
    2. Was this document replaced, and if so, where can I find it on the SAQA website?
    3. What is going to happen to the current skills programmes (part-qualifications) which falls under the “legacy” qualifications?
    4. Is there a current policy/guideline in place to implement (as we know skills programmes/short courses) which is critical skills, which will include important “skills” such as first aiders, lifting machinery operators, computer literacy, office etiquette, conflict management etc?
    5. Let’s take for example: fruit packing and personal hygiene for the food industry. This is not an occupation, but specific skills are required (currently there are skills programmes). The skills are critical to our exports, as it shows international auditors that accredited skills programmes are conducted. If there is no occupational qualification, what is going to be implemented to replace critical skills programmes?
    6. In your opinion: what do you see as the future for private providers offering only skills programmes/short courses which is critical to Employers in South Africa?
    7. Will all SAQA legacy qualifications registration end date be on the 30 June 2018?

    I hope and trust that we might get some clarity. Fingers crossed.

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    • #64029

      Tass Schwab
      Participant

      Thank you for this Lynel. I sometimes wonder where any of us would be without you, Nigel and your warriors!

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      • #64035

        Lynel Farrell
        Participant

        Hi Tass, you are most welcome. We will continue to try and find solutions. It isn’t always that easy, but persistence and not giving up is our reality. There are too many loose ends for sure, and clarity is needed or perhaps more information sessions, whereby we can address our concerns together. There is a lot to be done! thank you once again for your kind words, it is appreciated.

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  • #64019

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    TRAINING PROVIDERS, IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY BUSY WITH EXTENSION OF SCOPE AND YOU ARE BUYING LEARNING MATERIAL?

    NOTICE TO TRAINING PROVIDERS:

    Please, when purchasing learning material, you need to do reference checks from whom ever you are purchasing your learning material. There are cheap offers going the rounds which is extremely inviting for sure. There was an incident today whereby learning material was purchased, the provider paid the full R5999.00. A cloud file was sent to them with the material. The learning material was shocking and not to standard. When they requested a refund, they were told: NO. When the Provider went back to the “cloud file” to complete the learning material downloads, which they purchased, it was deleted. So, out of pocket and 5% of the learning material downloaded. This is a heavy price to pay. When you buy learning material, make sure you do reference checks, ask around before you press the pay button. Be vigilant and insist a sample, and make sure that you have after service support should it be required. These shenanigans are increasing.

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    • #64028

      Tass Schwab
      Participant

      This is a continuous battle for providers. I have been saying for years that you need to be very careful regarding your material. Goedkoop is often Duurkoop

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