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

Response to QCTO re Distribution of Circulars 1 2 & 3

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    To all members,
    For those who have been following the discussion about future QCTO arrangements to take back responsibilities from the QAPs, and the letter from the QCTO CEO, please see attached the response from Portal Publishing CEO.
    Circulars 1 2 & 3 deal with the arrangements and the ending of accreditation of skills programmes and unit standards.

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    Lynel Farrell

    Thank you Sylvia

    Nigel Shipston

    Hi Sylvia,
    Thank you! While the distribution of these Circulars originated from certain ETQA’s, and it appears these were drafts intended for discussion with QA Managers of SETA’s, the intent and direction are clear. I think that training providers need to be consulted on such sweeping changes that will affect their current and future operations, certainly under rather limited time deadlines. It is these major disruptions that fracture and disturb the focus of training providers, whose focus has already been distracted by DHET Registration and having our Minister replaced.

    This reaction to the distribution of the Circulars is worrying in that clearly the intent and content was reserved for SETA QA Managers. Worrying from the aspect that the existence of training providers is being entrusted to the hands of people who generally have no experience of the issues facing training providers, by intent or otherwise, yet the very people who are going to subject to these changes are not offered any input. Was the final announcement going to be a fait accompli without any participation?


    Yes Nigel one wonders whether in terms of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act whether this would constitute fair administrative action – especially given the potential financial implications for private providers.

    I am also interested in the potential impact upon the national economy with the withdrawal of accreditation of skills programmes – some of which are critical to exports.

    Certainly until the SDA is amended – that is contrary to the SDA.

    Lynel Farrell

    Oh my Goodness me! Financial implications to SMME providers as well as Corporate Employers. National economy, job losses, increased unemployment rate to hit the highest ever, less educated employees, more crime, more poverty – the list just gets bigger.

    Sylvia, who’s clever idea was this in the first place? Do they understand how businesses work in South Africa? Let’s look at the following, just for the sake of reality (or my stupidity kicking in):

    1. First Aider, important skill in the workplace. Could in fact save a life by just having the basic skill set (not a occupation)
    2. Drone pilot, this could be employment, however this is not an occupation.
    3. Computer Skills, specifically for excel, word (this is not an occupation, but the specific skills are required to do whatever the occupation is, just better and quicker.
    4. Basic Fire Fighting, an important skills in the workplace. This is not to become a Fire-fighter at all. A very important skill needed in every single industry in South Africa.
    5. Beauty and Hair Stylist, this is not a hairdresser at all. This person needs skills to style hair and apply make-up for instance to a bride.
    6. Snake Handler – ever heard of this? Nope. But who do you call to remove a snake from your property? The Zoo?
    7. ATM Operator – this person must be able to operate the ATM machine online and offline, replace parts that is vandalized, fix for instance card jams – this is actually an occupation, but it looks like these machines run by themselves, service themselves completely. I guess I am completely outdated here.
    8. Safety Officer – here is a basic generic safety officer needed, I cannot find one on the list of occupations as this is a specific skill per industry. For instance, you cannot employ a safety officer that worked in a bank and place them on a mine.

    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?

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