SAQA, NQF & Sub-frameworks


Update on SAQA restructure & appointments

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  • #78453
    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Please scroll down the discussion – SAQA presentation now attached.

    Congratulations to Dr Julie Reddy – the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

    I have long held the view when you need difficult conversations to be held, and difficult decisions to be made – appoint a woman.

    SAQA has two. Board Chairperson Professor Peliwe Lolwana, and now CEO Dr Julie Reddy are certainly two women who have a rocky road ahead of them.

    You will have read the news report posted by Lynel Farrell in the Concerned Providers group – thanks Lynel.

    Now for a further update I suggest that you listen to the presentations to the Higher Education and Training Portfolio Committee, given by these two appointees.

    The presentations give updates on the retrenchment process, the outcome to date, the restructuring of the roles of SAQA, and the new organisation chart. Well worth listening to. Skip past the NSFAS presentation and join in at 1.29.55

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpVsJUOnSCE

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    #78463
    Des Squire
    Participant

    Thank you Sylvia, looking forward to listening later today.

    #78475
    Lynel Farrell
    Keymaster

    Thank you so much Sylvia, I will listen to this now – and if I get time, I will place some points down from the presentation – so interested in how SAQA is going to cope now.

    #78483
    Lynel Farrell
    Keymaster

    SAQA presented to the Higher Education and Training Portfolio Committee on the 5th May 2021.

    The following was noted down, whilst I listened carefully to this sad state of affairs. Clearly SAQA is fragile at this moment, and needed to re-structure in order to remain in operation. This meant that from 197 (some positions were not filled and were vacant – and all adverts on vacancies were halted) SAQA had to reduce their staff to 81. Letters have been issued on the 1 May 2021 and the rest of the letter will be issued on 10 May 2021. The new structure with the 81 staff is implemented as from the 15th May 2021.

    SAQA needs to work with their 81 staff to streamlining automating processes, find alternative funding in order to continue with operations. The structure will be reviewed again in July 2021.

    Focus Areas are: simplifying the NQF, Align relevant legislation, register quality qualifications, coordinate articulation and RPL initiatives. It needs to be noted that SAQA RETURNS about 30% of qualifications recommended by Quality Councils for registration that do NOT meet the SAQA registration process. It was also noted that about 75% of learner achievements verified against the registered qualifications and part-qualifications appear on the NLRD. It is also noted that 25% of records are not available due to institutions that have closed down.

    SAQA Strategic Focus:
    • Alternative revenue streams
    • Streamlined organisation and governance structure
    • Automation (if budget permits) – need more automated services with the reduced number of staff
    NQF Amendment Act of 2019 implementation (if promulgated)
    • Stronger National Leadership
    • Growing International Footprint

    NQF Operations will be attended to by 48 staff (previously, if calculation is correct, it was 141). Registrations, Recognition, Authentication Services, IT, Research, Data Analytics are done by the 48 staff.
    Registration of Qualifications from QCs: Turnaround time for the registration of qualifications and part-qualifications – within 4 months of submission.

    NLRD Registers: electronic process to be developed for MISREPRESENTED Qualifications and FRAUDULENT Qualifications as part of the NLRD (if budget permits) to implement the NQF Amendment Act of 2019 (not promulgated as yet) but needs to be delivered. Registers of Misrepresented and Fraudulent Qualifications have been updated and are submitted to the Minister on a quarterly basis. SAQA to meet the DDG regarding the progress of the NQF Amendment Act of 2019. SAQA have already started working on the functions and re-design to implement the NQF Amendment Act.

    With the new structure, the following needs to be noted:
    1. NQF Advisory Services: CLOSED – re-directed to DHET Call Centre
    2. Foreign Qualifications Walk-In Services: CLOSED
    3. Advocacy, Communication & Advisory Services: Directorate dissolved
    4. NLRD: Directorate dissolved – database managed by IT and MIS unit.
    5. International Relations: Directorate dissolved.
    6. Verifications and Advisory Services and Foreign Qualification Evaluations – combined with less staff and investment is needed for automation (or if funding allows)
    7. SAQA’s building – needs some fixing, which have been put on hold for some time now, the Board is still deliberating this, whether to improve and rent out offices not in use or sell the building and purchase a smaller building.

    SAQA’s revised revenue projection for 2021/22 is in a shortfall of R19M – in order to reduce the shortfall, the number of staff retrenchments were increased. The structure will have 81 staff as from the 15th May 2021.

    HIGH LEVEL RISKS:
    • The new structure may not be adequate to deliver on priorities
    • SAQA may not be able to generate sufficient funding for sustainability in the short term
    • Institutional memory has been lost and may result in legal and other challenges.

    The words: NQF Amendment Act of 2019 was mentioned a couple of times, and this needs to be noted. Perhaps it will be promulgated sooner than we anticipate?

    #78486
    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thanks Lynel,
    That really is a useful overall summary.

    I did receive an external email this morning – the sender said that they had watched the video and were cautiously optimistic – this was my response:

    “I agree. I had the same feeling. We are in difficult times and here we have competent people thinking strategically to reposition the organisation into a sustainable structure.

    Of course it would have been better if we hadn’t lost billions to the Gupta enterprise, sunk billions into SAA & other similar dead end operations, and faced the COVID pandemic but we did, and we have. So crying over spilt milk won’t help.

    They need our support.”

    Presentation now attached.

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