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

Skills Programmes, the future or the end?

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    Lynel Farrell

    Careful reading …….. I requested my learning records from SAQA in 2019, and was so surprised that even my Gr12 (Senior Certificate) was recorded on the NLRD. All the Qualifications and Unit Standards through the years were recorded. Every single one of them. And there are more being added, as they are linked to the NQF, they are registered, recognised and bear credits.

    Then, further research has shown me, that should I now register for an Occupational Skills Programme – no credits will be recorded on SAQA at all, as they are not registered on the NQF (they do not have a unique SAQA ID). Even though we are currently in the process to appeal the 8 credit stipulation of newly registered occupational skills programmes with a minimum duration of 10 days – the future of occupational skills programmes seems to be of no value whatsoever, as it will not be submitted to SAQA, as they are not registered.

    Although, it shows the NQF Level and the number of credits against each occupational skills programme listed/registered under the QCTO, the Skills Programme Code and/or Module Codes (knowledge, practical and workplace) codes are not registered with SAQA. It is noted that: The objective is for certified learners to be more likely to secure employment or be more employable. These Skills Programmes can be provided at entry, intermediate, or advanced levels.

    I look at an occupational skills program that is registered under the QCTO for 93 credits. So, if you calculate the notional hours, they are 930 hours of learning (knowledge, practical and workplace) – duration: 4 months. Once the learner achieves the skills programme, they get issued an occupational skills certificate, but this will not be recognised by SAQA, as it is not registered at all with SAQA or linked to the NQF.

    Although I read in policy, that a Learner Achievement means the meeting of the requirements for the award of a qualification, part-qualification, skills programme or trade by a learner – in fact, a skills programme will not be recognised by SAQA, the credits will not be placed against the learner’s NLRD record.

    In the past (legacy/historical) unit standards could be accumulated towards the credits that the learner has completed throughout the years, were recognised and carried so much weight, building towards a full qualification (legacy). So there will be no way of accumulating credits with a number of skills programmes towards an occupational qualification? Have you looked into all the policies and changes? Where does this place us in the future, how does this help the disadvantaged learners with building credits?

    Am I missing the value, the benefit to the learner, the employer, the provider? Have I missed an important policy, act, regulation that gives me more clarity? Is credit-bearing, still credit-bearing, if this is not recognised by SAQA?

    Chapter 5 of the Skills Development Act defines a skills programme as “a skills programme that is occupationally based and when completed will constitute/contribute a credit towards a qualification registered on the NQF. But, now I am confused – does it really constitute credits if it is not registered on the NQF? Am I reading this wrong, or have I noticed the chaos this is going to create, once Providers conduct their own research?

    I welcome comments, input and any direction where I have gone wrong or misinterpreted any policy. Its been a long 11 days – reading, searching for answers ………… but I am stuck.

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    Lynel Farrell

    And the survey has grown to over 670 submissions – the survey will end on the 18th September at 17:00. For clarity one of the five questions in the survey asks: If short courses – 1 day to 9 days of training get scrapped and no longer approved or accredited, it will ….

    59.8% – stated that they will close down
    36.2% – stated they will downsize and retrench staff

    The results are devastating. Should you support this appeal, please come on board and complete the 5 simple questions, that will take you less than 60 seconds to complete. Every vote, submission needs to be counted for. Thank you, to those that jumped in and completed it. Your participation is appreciated.

    Herewith the link to the survey that will be closing tomorrow 18 September at 17:00. Please come on board if you have not completed it as yet.

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