SAQA, NQF & Sub-frameworks

Feedback to SAQA Request for assistance with NLRD application

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    • #75440
      sylvia hammond

      SAQA sent me an email to subscribe to their newsletter, so I was on the site, and I noticed the label marked Feedback – so I thought I’d do that. This is what I posted.

      In response to the question: Please list the steps that you hav already taken and the results/response to these?

      “Applied December 2019. Received documents.
      Waited for holidays and submitted in January 2020. Please confirm my NLRD details.
      No response. No acknowledgement of receipt.
      To my knowledge I have never received a reference number. It certainly isn’t showing in the following email I received.
      4 March Single response – Question Have I changed my ID number?
      Daft question. Clearly a citizen cannot do that.
      Please can I send copy of previous email. No, I do not have a copy of an ID prior to 1994!
      I did respond that I thought after 1994 that there was a change to the last 3 digits. As a State organisation SAQA should have access to that information?
      Anyway, the qualifications registered from UCT would be in the new number anyway.
      Apparently, although I requested equivalence for my foreign qualification it would not be on the record, and the qualifications I am am wanting to confirm, come after that date.
      So the old ID number is moot. i.e. of no relevance.
      I asked Joe Samuels for names to contact.
      13 March email to Mark Strydom & Carina Oelofsen. Sent emails. No response.
      Did receive Out of Office Dirk back on 16 March. Mark/Dirk – I don’t know.
      Posted on skills-universe. Did receive response. Not from department but from Navin Vasudev who apologised on behalf of SAQA & undertakes to forward to correct person.
      Still no further information.
      The qualifications that should be there are from University of Cape Town. I find it hard to believe that UCT would not have done as required to lodge the records.”

      In response to the box “Message”, I entered:
      “I asked for details on my NLRD record in January 2020.
      It is July 2020.
      I am absolutely astounded at this shockingly poor service from SAQA.
      If you have lost the record/ don’t have the record/don’t know what you are doing – then just say so.
      This is not only poor service, and poor manners, but appalling incompetence in a state department.”

      Actually, Navin did follow up again – but I don’t seem to have that date.

      Anyway, I still do not have the information requested in January 2020 – what are the qualifications listed against my name on the NLRD?

      The most important point about this however, is not that I wanted to know – I wanted to know how the system worked so that I could publish it on skills-universe.

      As there were all the indications that employers would need to verify qualifications of their employees.

      So how long would the employer be expected to wait before employing someone – based on my application – more than 6 months. I don’t know an employer who would do that. Certainly, it surely would be extremely unfair to deprive a person of employment because of the incompetent administration of the SAQA NLRD system.

      Which reminds me – as a citizen I have a Constitutional right to Fair Administrative Action ….Eish.

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    • #75444
      Des Squire

      Been there, done that and got the tee shirt, but thats about all.


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    • #75445
      Lynel Farrell

      Hi Sylvia, I did the same exercise and wanted to obtain my Record of Learning from SAQA. This was done as follows:

      1. Request to obtain Record of Learning dated 22 October 2019
      2. SAQA Verifications Team sent me an email with requirements and consent to complete on the same day (22 October 2019) – the email stipulated that once documents are received, Record of Learning will be sent within 14 working days.
      3. On the 23 October 2019, I emailed all my documents and my consent through.
      4. On the 24th November 2019, I followed up regarding the delay of my Record of Learning that I have not received as yet, seeing that it has exceeded the 14 working days.
      5. Within 24 hours of my follow up, I received my Record of Learning from SAQA Verifications Team, and the email also indicated that my records only go up to 2016, and if I achieved anything after 2016 that those results will be be reflecting.

      Going through some of the Enrolment Dates and Achievement Dates, the one unit standard showed that it took 8 years to achieve it (I laughed so loud – how this record can indicate this, was just absolutely shocking). I did not even question this – the record was there, but the achievement details was out with 7 years.

      Although my process was not that long, it is a concern that my records could only go up to 2016. Does this mean that the NLRD is 3 years behind in data?

      This is only on individual records. My concern is then the Accredited Provider uploads that does not reflect against the SAQA Qualifications (this is on both Legacy Qualifications and Occupational Qualifications). The data is not accurate at all, and a huge concern.

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    • #75446
      Bernard Botha


      This is tongue in the cheek. I have always been intrigued by the Information Black Hole to the East of Church Square in Pretoria. If one tries to contact SAQA or the QCTO the information in the form of a telephone call or email goes into this black hole (an astronomical term where no light ever escapes from) and you either hear ‘the person you are trying to contact is not available’ or the email just never gets answered.

      I had a look at Google Maps and think I found the answer – that particular area is chock a block with embassies and secretive organisations – they all have equipment that absorb digital signals and prevent them from leaving the area.

      It had been bad before the lockdown but now it is even worse as all the staff are (supposedly?) working from home.

      Bernard Botha

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      • #75448
        sylvia hammond

        Thanks Des and Lynel and Bernard,
        Bernard, you have caused enormous concern to my Labrador – she is beside herself because I am laughing out loud, giggling and chuckling.

        I wonder whether it is related to that Bermuda Triangle that we always talked about in the 60s/70s? We don’t hear about it anymore – do you supposed it moved to Pretoria?

        I was thinking last night – somewhere someone is saying to themselves – of all the requests in all the world, why did this one concern her? You know that old bird is now really going to make a fuss.

        To be fair, I have been receiving incredibly good responses from senior DHET officials, who respond in the evenings and over weekends. So maybe we should point them in the direction of SAQA NLRD.

        Lynel, that is a good point about 2016 – a young person has just qualified and goes off to apply for a position & the company wants to check ????? & receive Bernards’s big hole of lost data. Will the company believe the young person?

        This really is totally unacceptable. It is as bad as the delay in issueing certificates.

        I think it should be brought up at the HE Parliamentary Committee.

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    • #75450
      sylvia hammond

      Tonight I was alerted by Lynel to a release from SAQA on my NLRD feedback.
      It is issued by Wellington Radu, the SAQA Director of Advocacy, Communication, and Support.
      SAQA outlines process-related issues about the information on the NLRD.

      As it is a Jpg I cannot copy it, but I have attached it.
      The first two paragraphs read:

      On 6th July, Sylvia Hammond raised concerns on the skills portal that are valid and that SAQA takes seriously. At the core of the concerns is information about her qualification achievements that she expected to be recorded on the National Learners’ Records Database (NLRD), and her perception of the way SAQA handled or failed to process her request for such information.

      In this regards, SAQA unreservedly apologises for the inconvenience caused and undertakes to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. SAQA also takes to heart the perception about its administrative competence to deliver on the requirements of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Act and wishes to clarify some process-related issues.

      The explanation continues, please see the attached document.

      I will respond to Wellington Radu, accepting his apology.

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    • #75458
      Lynel Farrell

      Hi Sylvia, it is fantastic that SAQA responded and apologized. Communication and engagement with SAQA is extremely important. It would be nice if we could get other issues sorted, which have been a concern for many years. The time of being sent from pillar to post, just causes frustration.

      One issue that many Accredited Providers have, is that once accredited they should reflect against all the Qualifications, Unit Standards and Occupational Qualifications – which they do not. Providers cannot continue to follow up with SETAs and the QCTO – that is where it stops.

      Perhaps the gap is between SAQA and the QC/SETA – we see this, we experience it, and we cannot do anything about it. Perhaps SAQA should do an evaluation/audit against the number of accredited providers that are on their database against the SETAs/QCTO database. That is where the problem is, and we cannot fix it for them, but we are willing to help.

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    • #75463
      sylvia hammond

      Hi Lynel, I will not respond yet – there are some off-site discussions going on about the @SAQAlive Twitter feed.

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      • #75466
        Lynel Farrell

        Thanks Sylvia – I checked on my direct messages go SAQA on Twitter, and see that I have in fact attempted to address inaccurate data, but I did not get a response. Message is dated November 2018!

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    • #75470
      sylvia hammond

      Thanks for the update Lynel.

      I am of the opinion that although the SAQA communication rates 10/10 for quality PR, the focus of the communication upon the process of uploading information to the NLRD, completely distracts from the actual point being made, that is: the administrative incompetence in service delivery – and simply bad manners.

      Whether the correct information is uploaded to SAQA or not – simple procedural correctness in service delivery would require:
      * acknowledgement of receipt of the enquiry (possibly with a lead time of expected delivery of response)
      * a response – whether there were records – or no records
      * if there are records, to respond including the records, with an enquiry on whether the applicant believes that they are complete
      * if there were no records, a request for information on what was expected to be there – in order to enable a follow-up by SAQA with the training/education service provider, and the quality council (QC)- QCTO, CHE, Umalusi, or Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA).

      An extra plus would be to copy the applicant on the enquiry to the relevant bodies, and to copy the responses received.

      In summary, a process of constructive engagement, not only with the applicant, but also with all the QCs, and SETAs.

      That would not only enhance the SAQA reputation for good service, but enable SAQA to take a lead role in the construction of a viable database of national records – and enable SAQA to enhance the quality and completeness of their records.

      We do need an apex body to pull the information together.

      Then of course we can engage on my view that we need to take a more inclusive approach to qualifications gained from foreign countries.

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    • #75472
      Lynel Farrell

      Sylvia, yes, yes and a big YES!

      Skills Development Providers are always excluded. If a SDP is not listed against a qualification that they have obtained accreditation for, then they cannot take this up with SAQA – which I think is one of the biggest problems. What is not understood is, that when tenders come out or contracts with large Corporates to upskill employees on a specific qualification, they check on the specific SAQA Qualification whether the provider is listed to offer the qualification – if the provider is not listed, they might loose the business/proposed contract. Unfortunately the provider looks like they are marketing and offering programmes whereby they are not listed – so automatically corporates think they are bogus. SAQA should have a better system in place, whereby SDPs could notify them that they are not listed, and produce evidence that they are in fact approved and have the accreditation documents (SAQA can confirm this with the SETA/QCTO). Clearly this process is not in place.

      For interest sake: How many SDPs whom have been accredited for Occupational Qualifications have been listed as accredited providers under the Occupational Qualifications?

      The next question then would be: Who checks this?

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    • #75475
      sylvia hammond

      Thanks Lynel,
      Your post adds to the implications of records not being up to date.

      As the SAQA communication makes clear, SAQA is the recipient of the information from a number of sources, but I may be wrong here – I don’t think that the legislation as is – gives SAQA the legal ability to exert authority over those other contributing bodies.
      (Please somebody tell me if that is correct or not.)

      So, I posted previously – we need an apex body. Logic dictates that SAQA is the apex body, but actually isn’t in practice – legally.
      (I suspect possibly also in terms of their available resources.)

      We need an authority that is exactly what that English word means – the authority – in charge – the parent in the room.

      They need to be checking up on each of the QCs, and yes providers, or individuals who know there is a problem with the record, need to be able to say – directly to SAQA – look here is the answer.

      If the QC/other contributing body has failed, then anybody who can put it right, should be able to do so – not have to go through the body that failed.

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