Occupationally Directed Education, Training and Development Practices


SLA rate, Assessor and moderator rates and related issues

This topic contains 82 replies, has 24 voices, and was last updated by  Skills Universe 2 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #33430

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Over the years since about 2009 there have been many articles and postings related to rates for various services offered by providers in the ODETD field. (Enter Assessor rates in the search box above for more information)

    This arose again recently and I would like to pursue the issue a little further.

    Service level agreements are signed between providers for a range of services where we can be of assistance to each other particularly as assessors and moderators and/or for accreditation purposes.

    What do you suggest as guidelines that might be of benefit to all 

    • Should we charge a fee for entering into such an agreement? How much?
    • Should we waive or refund the fee if we are given some business say within a six month period?
    • Should we as a group try to establish some guidelines for assessor and moderator rates?
    • Should the rates vary based on the level of the unit standards involved?  
    • How much should we charge as assessors for a unit standard assessment?
    • How much should we charge to assess a POE consisting of more than one unit standard?
    • How much do we charge for assessing a full qualification at the various levels?
    • How much should we charge to moderate a unit standard assessment?
    • How much should we charge to moderate POE’s consisting of more than one unit standard?
    • How much do we charge to moderate full qualifications at the various levels?
    • What should we then charge to conduct RPL on single unit standards?
    • What should we be charging to RPL part qualifications?
    • What should we charge to RPL a full qualification?  

    Please note for those who may wish to object to this idea that we do not have the power to enforce anything and I am not suggesting for one minute we even try to. All I am asking for is honest input in the interest of all members. If you are against the ideas then just ignore this and do not even comment. If there are other areas that you feel should be included feel free to add these as my list is not extensive.     

       

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  • #33510

    This is a great idea! I get these offers every so often via the newsletter and apply but never know what payment is being offered or even what I should charge. Some industry consensus would be great – then providers wanting to use our services would also know what more or less to offer.

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  • #33509

    I am in favour of some standardisation of fees: I am, though, conscious of the fact that we need to ascertain whether we are infringing the Competition Act by doing this?

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  • #33508

    Rolf Kühnast
    Participant

    Excellent suggestion!

    I currently charge a fixed rate per credit per US per portfolio assessed. My rates for moderation are normally negotiated with the client

    I particularly like the idea of an initiation fee for SLA’s, as it might reduce the number of “never hear of again”s

    Such a fee would obviously be based on the scope of the SLA. 

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  • #33507

    I am in full agreement with the above suggestions. We need to be able to cost our services according to both the time needed  and the level of skills necessary to train and conduct assessments on specific unit standards.

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  • #33506

    Fiona de Beer Nel
    Participant

    I fully agree with the SLA entering fee, as many providers only require your documents to get their accreditation and then never use you, but use your name without you even knowing it. 

    Should we charge per credit or per NQF level?

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  • #33505

     The standardisation of fees is a norm in any occupation. However, there are a number of variables that must be taken into account, including the Man-hours required to assess or moderate a PoE which is unit standard/s based, which in turn is also credits-based. A scientific formula(a calculator) is required that would set the minimum standards that would, at the end of the day, be legislated as being market related. 

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  • #33504

    It would be a ballpark figure, I think, Joan, negotiable with the provider. But at least we would know whether we are being ripped off, or maybe over-charging.

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  • #33503

    Per credit, I think, since the credits vary so widely, but I would suggest something like 1-10 credits Rx etc and “rise-per-size” so as the NQF Level gets higher, the rate must also go higher since greater expertise would be required. 

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  • #33502

    Ok I am going to stick my neck out and suggest a rate. Please don’t throw rotten tomatoes at me! I value my time at R300 per hour. Am I way out?

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  • #33501

    Hi Des, I prefer self regulation however I believe a framework/guide line in this instance is appropriate. The medical profession through the HPCSA, medical aids etc provide guidelines and the client can then chose their preferred provider/medical service/practitioner.

    Regards

    Kevin Marlow

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  • #33500

    I am in support of the charge on signing the SLA in 6 months and waive if there is business in that period. I have signed an SLA with one FET wherre they have a nominal upfront sign-on fee that is deductible on business conducted with them. The amounts can be negotiated with the client. As for the various charges per package, I have found that they range from reasonable to extreme. 

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  • #33499

    Jacqui, an hourly rate is problematic to some clients as they do not want to be involved in monitoring the amount of time spent on work done for them. Most prefer to charge per volume of work [i.e. number of portfolios and whether it is full qualifications or skills programmes or even single unit standards]. Perhaps we could look at that angle? That is how I structure my work.

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  • #33498

    Des, I am in support of us setting guidelines, such as you have raised in your article. Otherwise we will be running around in circles until some civil servant sets guidelines that may not be suitable. 

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  • #33497

    Ok so if I charge R300 per portfolio and then restrict myself to my hour? I’m just trying to find out if this is reasonable or excessive or undercharging

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  • #33496

    Renee’ McGibbon
    Participant

    Great idea! I would like to see comments on daily facilitation and RPL advising rates as well.

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  • #33495

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui

    It’s about time someone suggested some rates as that’s the whole idea. Check out the questions asked to which you are the first to make a suggestion. Come on people stop waiting for others and play some open cards. Some time ago I published my rates for everyone to see and I am attaching them again for your perusal and comment. Thank you Jacqui

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  • #33494

    Eish – your kilometre rates need to be increased! AA Rates are R3.70 per km at present, Des. 

    Thanks for this, though. It helps!

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  • #33493

    Ilana Smit
    Participant

    We generally charge R500 per portfolio to assess and we are paying around R450 per portfolio to moderate, some of my moderators change an additional fee for the report.  It would be beneficial if there was a industry agreed rate as it would help when negotiating with assessors and moderators when services are required.

    Some time ago when needing an assessor for a programme I was requested to pay R2 500.00 for the documentation and to enter into a SLA, I thought this was fair as there are many requests for registration documents and then you never hear from the provider again.

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  • #33492

    This is long overdue.

    I presently charge at the following rates.

    Facilitation fees:

    Facilitation or workshop fees, making use of your company’s material are conducted at a fee of R4750.00 per day.

    Half day facilitation or workshop  are conducted at a fee of R3500 for the half day.

     

    Assessment fees:

    NQF levels 1 to 3 – R12 per credit subject to a minimum of R 50

    NQF levels 4 to 6 – R17.50 per credit subject to a minimum of R75

     

    Travel to client’s venue to conduct assessment is at a rate of R2.50 per km.  for the first 100 km, thereafter R1.80 per km. Travel that involves flying and accommodation will be for the expense of the client plus R100.00 for travelling cost to airport.

     

    Moderation Fees

    Moderation cost will be at the rate set out blow

    NQF levels 1 to 3 at a rate of R27.50 per credit subject to a minimum of R85

    NQF levels 4 to 6 at a rate of R40.00 per credit subject to a minimum of R130

    Moderation of assessment is conducted on the basis of 20% of all assessments carried out.  I  decide on the 20% to be moderated and will not be overruled.

    Travel to client’s venue to conduct assessment is at a rate of R2.50 per km.  for the first 100 km, thereafter R1.80 per km. Travel that involves flying and accommodation will be for the expense of the client plus R100.00 for travelling cost to airport.

     

    Out of country training:

    The same cost apply if based on Unit standards, otherwise R6000.00 per day based on a 9 hour active day.   Travel time is charged at R2000.00 per day.  No driving.

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  • #33491

    I believe it would be worth exploring addressing “rate” issue through a professional body establish guidelines and a form of regulation of minimum standards. One that comes to mind is the Association for Skills Development in South Africa (ASDSA).

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  • #33490

    Des Squire
    Participant

    You are quite right – I just posted and never updated. But thank you kindly my dear.

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  • #33489

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Now we are starting to get some ideas and can possibly do something with them. Thank you Ilana and Tinus in particular.

    Never ceases to amaze me how many people ask for information of this nature but are then not prepared to share their “secrets” when asked for ideas and suggestions. Ideas and suggestions do not have to be factual just share some suggestions with others.   

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  • #33488

    Des Squire
    Participant

    These bodies I feel should have done so already. The problem is that everyone wants to sit back and wait for someone else to do it for them. (not referring to you – a general comment) 

    Just consider the responses to this discussion – how many have offered answers to the questions asked or put forward suggested rates. There are 1200 service providers on this site and les than a dozen have responded – makes me wonder. We have those who are prepared to give and the others !!!!!!!!

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  • #33487

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Hi Tinus

    What do you suggest as a rate for assessing or Moderating a full qualification of 120 credits or more. I notice this is something we have both overlooked. 

    Regarding the 20% of assessments to be moderated I take the same approach as you. I request a schedule of learners assessed and I then decide on which ones I want to moderate. This is the right of the moderator. I also ensure no names can be added to the schedule after the process by drawing a line at the end.

    As  matter of interest, I discovered recently that some providers add learners onto the NLRD after the verification visit has been completed – while the window is open for finalisation of details. Makes one wonder what is actually going on and why providers are given such access following verification of assessment and moderation.            

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  • #33486

    I fully support this. It is about time that some Industry norm was set. Some providers have requested that I Facilitate a Learnersip or them, and then request that I assess my own work (i.e. the PoE’s of that learnership) for free, claiming that the assesment forms part of the failitation contract.

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  • #33485

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Hi Ntokozo, personally I feel you are doing yourself and undercharging your clients. Assessing a POE based on 120 credits for even R500 is far too little.

    Bear in mind of course that some providers expect learners to complete a POE even for 5 credits which is a total waste of time and so unnecessary as a simple summative test  would be sufficient in many instances. So are you going to charge say R300 for all POE’s irrespective of the level and the number of credits. Think about it.

    If you charge R4500 per day to facilitate making use of your material and you train a group of 20 delegates your cost amounts to R225 per person. This is way below the industry average. Obviously its entirely up to you to determine what you charge but be careful of undercharging.

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  • #33484

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Hi Patrick

    I think this is where the MOU is important as it should set out what is agreed to and at what cost.

    I would really love to have some more input on this topic and to get some more examples of current costs. In particular I would love to know how other providers are approaching the issue of assessment and moderation of full qualifications – what should we be charging for example?

      

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  • #33483

    I would like to know why, when approached to facilitate and assess Learnerships, one is expected to work for a very low daily / hourly  rate? I was asked to facilitate five fundamental maths unit standards in five days and  assess them as well. The groups were between  usually 10 – 12 learners so hours to complete assessments alone amount to roughly fifty hours. This on top of thirty hours of facilitation. For a total of eighty hours of work, I was paid R 7500 converting to less than R 95 an hour. Is this the norm?

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  • #33482

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Hi Lynette

    I would say you were taken for a ride in terms of what was paid to you. This is one of the reasons we need to establish up front what our charges are going to be. Have a look at the example I posted as an attachment on page one of this discussion as well as the examples posted by Tinus – these may give you some ideas. For five days work as a facilitator alone you should have been paid a great deal more than the R7500 you were paid.

    This is one of the reasons we have this discussion going but unfortunately providers are reluctant or unwilling to share their ideas on costs.

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  • #33481

    Faith Mncube
    Participant

     

    Hi Des  thank you for the initiative that you have taken this will assit Assessors and moderators to ensure standardised guidelines .In the catering industry Full qualification  moderator fees are as follows  R450 – R500 per POE and moderation is  20% and if moderation is done twice meaning that a moderator would negotiate depending on the number of learners .

    The company seeking services would then cater for travel and accomodation .

    Other companies are not willing to pay and offer between R200 to R250 per Poe.

    We could have a standard Service Level Agreements.

    An important note is that industries differ and hence the fees .Thank Faith

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  • #33480

    Des Squire
    Participant

     I get worried when we speak about POE’s as this could refer to a POE for a full qualification of 120 credits or it might refer to a POE of 10 credits. The cost therefor cannot be the same. Assessors and moderators need to clearly define what they are referring to. That is one of the reasons I refer to a cost per credit and a cost for full qualification POE’s.

    As an assessor I sometimes feel the need for a POE for a 5 or 6 credit unit standard is a bit overboard – my personal opinion only. Every assessment does not require a POE and in many instances it is overdone and becomes a barrier to assessment for the learners. Some course developers when developing the assessment instrument get carried away. It is time providers consulted with Assessors to establish what the assessment requirements are. Some developers are drawing up assessment instruments and they themselves are not registered assessors. Makes one wonder what is going on and who is calling the shots.    

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  • #33479

    Faith Mncube
    Participant

    Hi Des follow up to your conversation i believe there is a serious need as a collective that we are clear on fees per unit standard ,and if it is a full qualification with 148 credits how can we as providers charge for assessments and Moderation.

    recently i chatted to colleagues and some agreed to fee of R150.00 per credit  for an accredited skills programme so the more we look at these fees something does not add up .

     

    I hope colleagues can provide input to this matter as it can assit us all.

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  • #33478

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Have a look at what I attached on page one of this discussion and also read the comments by Tinus on page two. Your comments will be appreciated on this.  

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  • #33477

    Faith Mncube
    Participant

    Thanks Des , i had not seen tha attachment and it does give an indication to what others are charging .I was at one of the Seta workshops and the stipulated charge for a unit standard was R150.00 per credit and this was referring to Level 2 and 3 Skills Programmes .

    thanks very much great help

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  • #33476

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Hi, I definitely stand in agreement that there should be standardized rates as well as e set fee for SLA’s to prevent abuse of skilled and professional individuals that set aside valuable time and effort to participate with organizations and then once your documents are signed, sealed and delivered you never hear from the organization again as they usually just require your individual registrations to get themselves accredited. I firmly feel that any rates between R300-R450 per hour is within a reasonable pricing structure for assessments as well as moderations.

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  • #43020

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Hi, I definitely stand in agreement that there should be standardized rates as well as e set fee for SLA’s to prevent abuse of skilled and professional individuals that set aside valuable time and effort to participate with organizations and then once your documents are signed, sealed and delivered you never hear from the organization again as they usually just require your individual registrations to get themselves accredited. I firmly feel that any rates between R300-R450 per hour is within a reasonable pricing structure for assessments as well as moderations.

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  • #44061

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Hi, I definitely stand in agreement that there should be standardized rates as well as e set fee for SLA’s to prevent abuse of skilled and professional individuals that set aside valuable time and effort to participate with organizations and then once your documents are signed, sealed and delivered you never hear from the organization again as they usually just require your individual registrations to get themselves accredited. I firmly feel that any rates between R300-R450 per hour is within a reasonable pricing structure for assessments as well as moderations.

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  • #33475

    Des Squire
    Participant

    The SETA spokesperson is out of his/her cotton picking mind. Like everything else at the SETAS they have lost touch with reality 

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  • #33474

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Hi Johan, thanks for the input

    So how would you differentiate between a 130 credit qualification and a 10 credit unit standard in terms of assessment costs?

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  • #33473

    I’m with you on proposing a standard charge for services – this prevents other services providers under-cutting the market.

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  • #33472

    Hi Des et al, To put everything into perspective and to take stock of all the input received, maybe we should consolidate the  various inputs into a grid or a framework that would highlight the various variables to be explored and researched. The very first questions that you have poised in the beginning of this discussion should be guiding us on the way forward. For instance, on the question of how much we should be charging as facilitators, assessors or moderators, there has to be a standard benchmark that we could use to calculate the manhours required. We consolidate what other contributors have indicated and request maybe a justification of how they came up with the figures or were they just thumb-sucking. We find ourselves in situation where we under-charged or over-charged our services. In most cases, sometimes our clients dictate to us how much they are willing to pay. In my area of work, I work with various service providers charging between R9500 and R16000 per day for facilitation only.  For more specialised training, the rate seems to escalate to R30 000. This seems to be the current market rate within the industry I ma at. Assessment is currently charged between R500 and R1500 per individual. However, these providers cannot justify on how they came up to that rate, and I am saying we should have a way at which we could. For the good of the profession, we have to professionalise our services and work a bit smarter. 

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  • #33471

    Des Squire
    Participant

    I posted a guideline by means of the attachment on page one of this discussion.

    Please see this and then the contribution from Tinus on page two.

    The rates you mention above would put me out of business if I even contemplated charging them. They are well outside of market rates. Be very careful about what you agree to pay as some facilitators really try their luck.     

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  • #33470

    HI all

    I think that rates should always be commensurate with the amount of work and expertise required. I believe that R300 – R400 per hour for facilitation is fair – for a 7 hour day that works out at about R2100 – R2800 per day plus expenses (e.g. travelling costs, materials). For assessment of portfolios, if the assessment task and marking guidelines have been well set up from the start, then I would charge R30 per credit. One cannot equate a 10 credit unit standard with a 120 credit whole qualification. The work involved for a whole qualification is much more extensive. I would also build in a discounted rate for 10 or more portfolios of say 10% of the total cost if they came from one provider. I do not believe we should be exploiting providers by charging exorbitant rates as it is the learner who will suffer in the end. 

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  • #33469

    Tass Schwab
    Participant
    • Should we charge a fee for entering into such an agreement? How much?

    To clarify as I understand it – a fee for the entire body of work should be included in the SLA so that this is clear from the start what the material to be developed would cost or what the off the shelf material would cost.

    • Should we waive or refund the fee if we are given some business say within a six month period?

    This can be on a discount basis for any other material that they might purchase, say if you bought for X amount referred X amount of clients to me then your discount would be X amount.

    • Should we as a group try to establish some guidelines for assessor and moderator rates?

    This would seem a fair thing to do, however the sticky issue is those who are new in the business to those who are expert level moderators and assessors. I propose a scale based on experience.

    • Should the rates vary based on the level of the unit standards involved?  

    Yes – higher NQF levels should have a higher rate.

    • How much should we charge as assessors for a unit standard assessment?

    As someone who rarely does this – I cannot even comment – however if assessments are involved should I be facilitating a programme I usually charge this as part of my facilitation fee.

     

    The below questions are all also dependant on a scale of the experience of the assessor, the NQF level of the Us/Qualification.

     

    • How much should we charge to assess a POE consisting of more than one unit standard?
    • How much do we charge for assessing a full qualification at the various levels?
    • How much should we charge to moderate a unit standard assessment?
    • How much should we charge to moderate POE’s consisting of more than one unit standard?
    • How much do we charge to moderate full qualifications at the various levels?

    The material that I currently market has RPL rates dependent on the following:

    The development of an RPL documentation set for a qualifications is priced individually according to the NQF level with the following provisions:

    Qualification RPL tool set:

    Pricing
    where the training company provides all the “normal classroom training material” – specifically model answers for formative and summative assessments

    Pricing
    where the training company provides the “normal classroom training material”- without model answers for formative and summative assessments

    Pricing
    where the training company does not provide the “normal classroom training material”- specifically model answers for formative and summative assessments

     

    The development of an RPL documentation set for an individual unit standard is priced individually according to the NQF level and the number of credits in the Unit Standard:

     

    Unit Standard RPL tool set:

    Pricing
    where the training company provides all the “normal classroom training material” – specifically model answers for formative and summative assessments

    Cost per credit

    Pricing
    where the training company provides the “normal classroom training material”- without model answers for formative and summative assessments

    Cost per credit

    Pricing
    where the training company does not provide the “normal classroom training material”- specifically model answers for formative and summative assessments

    Cost per credit

     

    • What should we then charge to conduct RPL on single unit standards?
    • What should we be charging to RPL part qualifications?
    • What should we charge to RPL a full qualification?  

     

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  • #33468

    Hannes Nel
    Participant

    Hello Des, I apologise for not responding to your article earlier. It is not clear why you ask the questions, i.e. what you have in mind. You see, Des, the questions might be premature or perhaps even irrelevant if one were to look at the QCTO system. If the QCTO get their act together, most of the functions in your list of questions will become the responsibility of AQPs, and they will need to charge what the QCTO prescribes/approves. I guess future AQPs will be allowed to negotiate this, but providers will not. Furthermore, accredited providers will to a large extent actually pay the AQPs for such services. Currently we do have our fee structure, but it is also irrelenvant if, for example, a private provider plans on providing ETD related services to public learning institutions, especially TVET Colleges. One SETA already claim that private learning institutions must charge their prescribed fees, which, ironically, they refused to give me when I asked! In my mind this creates the impression that they reveal the fee structure to their selected, or preferred, providers only while the rest of us are left out in the cold. I hope this helps. Hannes Nel

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  • #33467

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Thank you for the input Tass

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  • #33466

    Des Squire
    Participant

    You are quite right Hannes but in the meantime we must work as we are presently doing.

    God alone knows how long it will take for the AQP situation to materialise (and put independent assessors and moderators out of business) 

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  • #33465

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thanks Des for a most interesting discussion.  As I’m not actively involved in assessment and moderation I cannot comment directly on those rates but I do have some observations – and some questions:

    starting with the QCTO surely the AQPs will have to employ/contract with a certain amount of people.  So it seems to me unlikely that they would employ assessors for a variable workload, therefore the SLA/a contractual relationship remains key to the relationship – whether the situation now or in the future.

    Question: Assuming that the QCTO does get the AQP situation sorted out and the rates are agreed for the AQPs, does that really mean that there will not be anybody operating outside of that system? May there not still be private companies/providers with their own company-specific training and “qualifications”/certificates?

    My suggestion on SLAs is that they should be far more tightly drawn – with the obligations of both parties much more clearly specified.  Maybe instead of just an SLA – a Service Level and Relationship Governance Contract. 

    Certainly the people with qualifications and experience to provide a service should not be simply allowing their names to be included in documents to be submitted to a SETA.  There should definitely be a charge for the contract with specific time scales for work to be provided and expiry for non-provision of work.  The charge could maybe equate to the value of the expected first work project – there would then be an inducement to actually provide work and gain some value for the money.

    Then on rates there seems to be a very low standard for assessment & moderation & raises the question: how seriously is it really taken?

    With facilitation I have always thought that there is an enormous difference between an experienced subject matter expert with a tertiary qualification and someone who a school level education, and been trained to present certain material. 

    My question then is: is there not a similar advantage of knowledge and experience in the assessor/moderator field?

    Maybe from your original document Des – and the list in the discussion you could develop a listing of all the activities with the different levels for each and from this discussion include the suggested ranges.  

       

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  • #33464

    Pauls Gibbons
    Participant

    Hi Des – sorry, I’ve only just seen this debate.  My feedback:

    > personally, I wouldn’t be against a fee for entering into an SLA with a discount on first work done but this would require a common approach 

    > I support the establishment of guidelines for assessor and moderator rates

    > Yes I believe there should be a differential for the level of the unit standard/no of credits.  I think that both are variables which need to be taken into account as one is time and one complexity

    > Although I am an assessor I don’t do assessment work but do procure the services of assessors and moderators.  I don’t mind sharing the basis of remuneration with you as a further point for discussions.  Current rate we pay is R500 per assessment and R250 for re-assessment. Moderation R1500 minimum fee and if more than 3 then R1000 for first and R250 for subsequent.  This is all for one unit standard, normally level 3 – 5.  

    > We don’t have full qualifications so can’t help you on this one neither RPL but I agree there should be standardisation. 

    Cheers, Pauls

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  • #33463

    Hi Des,

    Regarding assessments, I charge per unit standard using an hourly base rate which is adjusted according to the NQF Level, credits and time taken. Give me your e-mail address and I will e-mail you a copy of the tables (if you are interested)

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  • #33462

    Anonymous

    Des this is an interesting discussion and thanks for inviting me to comment:

    From the other side – I regularly evaluate bids which are responses to tenders issued. You often find that a fair number of the bid responses will have the same CVs on them. Usually the bid awards points for the experience of the team that will run the training project. I assume then that the bidder who wins will then contract the assessor/moderator. It would be very concerning if CVs are attached to bids without the owners permission.

     

    Forums like these are useful and the sharing of fees can only assist members in their benchmarking exercises.  

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  • #33461

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Hi Sylvia

    Thank you for the response, questions raised and suggestions. I am training for the next two days so will only be active again from Friday. I will respond at length then.   

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  • #33460

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Sharon you should insist on a MOU or SLA between the Assessor/moderator and provider because yes, that is exactly what is happening in some cases. 

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  • #33459

    Ashwell Glasson
    Participant

    Yet again you have identified and secured a great topic for us Des, thank you for that. One of the key underpinning cost drivers in influencing the above in relation to how much one charges for assessment and moderation is the hourly rates for the staff conducting it. In my case, we have different levels of seniority and expertise within the facilitator (our facilitators have to be registered assessors) and moderator structure, so depending on the proposal or project model we adjust our rates accordingly, also taking the clients-specific needs into account. Please also bear in mind that we do not run public or open courses, ours are all B2B or supporting a larger initiative. Training is not a stand alone service in our case, but part of a larger set of services. 

    In some cases we also look at market expectations around margins, some sectors are quite mature in their understanding of reasonable pricing and margins. For example in the tourism and hospitality sector, high margin tolerance is quite low in the market and quite a few learning programmes are quite competitive in nature. This is also quite similar for the construction industry, which leads me to add that broad guidelines for pricing learning programmes for public course purposes also need to take sector tolerances into the equation. The next dimension in the costing perspective is the nature of the client engagement and where that relationship is at, some clients in the initial conversion or first contact phase are quite cost-conscious , whilst repeat clients are easier to service at a more high yield margin. Having said that not all sectors or industries operate on that basis, with quite a few clients demanding discounts for guaranteed work. Fortunately we view it as ‘trust’ margin, that our repeat and long-term clients (a) acknowledge the quality of our service and (b) are willing to pay a decent margin to ensure the continuation of high-impact services. At present we are fortunate to be operating primarily with long-term clients, but to be honest we are not seeing many new clients at present.

    As the public course or open-enrollment market is coming under more and more pressure from the public FET domain, it is likely that we will see more downward pressure on accredited short courses and unit standard programmes. If one looks at the over-traded OD-ETDP qualification space, you can see median prices sitting at about R 3,600 or even less. Which I would imagine is likely to result in reduced rates for contract assessors and moderators moving forward. 

    On the Service Level Agreement side of things, I think one of the key issues that is underplayed is the Consumer Protection Act and its requirements for fair terms and conditions for all the parties that are signatories to it. We are currently engaging some legal advice around this to embrace the spirit of the Act, but also ensure we are clear on the negotiable parameters.

    Any other thoughts or comments on this would be great from everyone.

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  • #33458

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Hi Sylvia

    The AQP’s will most likely be large training organisation who can afford to pay the registration fees. such organisations will have their own assessors and moderators on boars no doubt so the independents will thus be excluded. Companies who have assessors and Moderators will probably sign MOU with AQP’s but will only assess the Classroom based component. I assume the AQO would then sent in their own assessors to assess the practical and workplace based components. (Just my personal opinion as nothing has been made public or come to light so far) Some SETAS have paid the fees and registered as Development Quality Partners (DQP) and AQP’s but how to register with them as an assessor (in the new environment) is a very closely guarded secret. 

    I agree on the issue of the SLA and MOU’s they need to be guarded and strictly controlled. Assessors and Moderators should be very careful when signing such agreements and must stipulate exactly what the are agreeing to. I also believe we should consider a stand alone “SLA for Accreditation” purposes. 

    Your other  points are noted and form part of the on-going discussion.      

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  • #33457

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Hi Pauls

    Thank you for sharing

    Again I am trying to establish how we might differentiate between a 3 credit unit standard and a 120+ credit qualification for assessment and moderation? At say R250 for one assessment what would you do if there were 15 or 20 assessments in one qualification? 

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  • #33456

    I agree. AQP’s will be able to appoint their own assessors and moderators and I am told that the unit standards will no longer be a requirement. What I think is needed is for the QCTO to be far more transparent about who the AQP’s are so that anyone can apply to them to be appointed as assessor/moderator. This will no longer happen at the individual provider level, in my opinion although there may well be the need to present portfolios of evidence (up to the AQP to determine) so the whole ball game is going to change. The QCTO is currently trying to work through 200 applications for DQP’s and has called a halt to any new applications as they simply do not have the capacity to cope (there are apparently more than 1000 qualifications in the potential pipeline) and if you look at the OFO, there are thousands more occupations. QCTO is taking more than 2 years to get to approving any one qualification – so roll on July 2015 – and we are going to see a reregistration of all existing qualifications that have not yet been redesigned. The Terrible Hulk has been created. 

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  • #33455

    Hannes Nel
    Participant

    All right, perhaps this is the right time to inform you what Mentornet is doing, seeing that we will need the support of the private providers currently accredited with the ETDP SETA. We applied to be approved as the AQP for certain qualifications for which curriculums are being developed. I agree with Des that the process of writing new curriculums will take ages, so we also applied to be the AQP for current, unit standard-based qualifications in OD ETD, ECD, YD and CD. You know by now that Mentornet is vehemently against unethical practices in the ETD environment, so that we will not support bribery and unrealistic pricing practices. The good news for private learning institutions is that they will be treated fairly and will not pay unrealistic amounts for assessments, moderation and verification. We will, in fact, deliver a guidance and support service rather than to try to prescribe to anybody how they should run their institutions. In addition, we will negotiate with the QCTO and the ETDP SETA as the DQP to charge realistic fees for their ‘services’ whatever that may be. So, if we are approved as an AQP we will deliver a professional service and see to it that private learning institutions are treated as the assets that they are.

    Hannes Nel, MD Mentornet

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  • #33454

    Ashwell Glasson
    Participant

    Dear Des and team,

    Following my posting yesterday it may be worthwhile to look at a range of acceptable rates per category and the role expectations. I have encountered several providers that break up the role of the facilitator and assessor, having one person just facilitating and another dedicated individual conducting the assessment. Which also has an influence on the costing. We may need to consider looking at a NQF level and credit allocation model for costing purposes? 

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  • #33453

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Thank you for sharing Hannes.

    So what do you see as a fair and realistic cost for assessment and/or Moderation? This after all was the purpose of the discussion – to try to establish some common guidelines. Unfortunately most contributors are “playing their cards close to their chest”.

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  • #33452

    Hannes Nel
    Participant

    I am one of those who are playing my cards close to the chest, Des. You see, we are hoping to negotiate fees that will be realistic for private learning institutions. However, from what I hear the powers in being feel differently, so I need to sort this out with them first. What they charge us will largely determine what we will charge providers. I really hope we can offer a service at a reasonable price. Currently our fees are of the lowest available and I am hoping that we can offer something similar to private providers, should our application to become an AQP be successful. I really don’t want to create unrealistic expectations, though. On the issue of private assessors and moderators losing their business if AQPs come into being, this need not happen and we will definitely see if we can avoid it.

    Hannes Nel

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  • #33451

    Hannes, I think one of the really dark grey areas at present, it whether the QCTO is going to dictate fees. It’s certainly going to demand a cut which will definitely have an impact on the fees the AQP can charge. A second issue is that I think they will also try to institute “marking or assessment centres” like to good old matric exams, and so everyone will have to gather in a central venue for a period of time. The Incredible Hulk and his mates are beginning to walk the streets of educationdom.

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  • #33450

    Pamela Huygen
    Participant

    I’d like to make a suggestion here.  If the client does not want to get involved in monitoring your hours, you could use a free time monitoring program (even Google provides one) to check in every time you start work and log out as soon as you are done.  This way, the time monitoring is easy for both you and the client. 

    It would only work for ethical people though so its not an imperfect system. 

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  • #33449

    Pamela Huygen
    Participant

    Hi Des,

    Thanks for inviting me to comment.  I haven’t been on Skills-Universe for a few days due to work and travel.  Apologies for the late reply.

    I’m not much of an expert in terms of assessment or SLA rates, but we do use moderators from time to time.  Generally speaking, they charge us R4,500 to moderate a full qualification such as 50080 Project Management. 

    This price has gone up significantly over the last two years as we started off at R1,500 per qualification.

    I should also mention that I don’t think this is our moderator’s standard price.  I think it is slightly discounted as we’ve done quite a bit of business over the last few years. 

    Hope this provides some insight on what Learning Material Developers pay for moderation…

    As for standardization, it is a great idea!  Perhaps a scale should be put in place as it is not fair to charge the same price for say a level 1 with 4 credits and level 5 with 12.

    Would be great to see if anything comes from this discussion.  Thank you for posting it.

    Pam

    Smartscript

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  • #33448

    Hannes Nel
    Participant

    Jacqui, I am afraid you are probably right. I had some discussions with Dr Lata today and will speak to them again tomorrow. Unfortunately what I hear is probably rumours, so I don’t want to stick my neck out, and perhaps create unnecessary discomfort if not downright panic, before I have the facts from the horses mouth. Rest assured that we most certainly will fend for the interests of the private providers. We believe that ETD is way too important for the future of our country for any private provide to be selfish. Besides the need for training is huge and it is not necessary for us to work against each other. Hannes Nel

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  • #33447

    Perhaps this group could apply to be a DQP and AQP for ETPD Practice qualifications? That might be a mission in itself but it may be worth thinking about!

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  • #33446

    Des Squire
    Participant

    All I can say it that it appears that “the plot thickens”

    It seems we as assessors and moderators have no say whatsoever in terms of DQP’s and AQP’s and no one seems to want to ask our opinions or for that matter share them. The QCTO have introduced their thinking, certain providers have been kept in the loop but the majority have no idea of what is going on and what is likely to happen.

    It seems democracy in education as in government does not exist.  

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  • #33445

    The QCTO needs to publish its list of registered AQPs and the qualifications that would be applicable in each case. Their lack of transparency is patent

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  • #33444

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui, Thank you for all of your comments so far

    I think in general it’s time the QCTO played open cards – Does SAQA and the SETAS support what is going on?

    I understand through the grapevine that all ODETD qualifications have already been dished out to a provider as DQP.  I approached the said provider to register as AQP 3 times now and have just been ignored. (This is a provider who is also registered as an ETQA). It’s all happening behind closed doors.     

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  • #33443

    Name and shame, Des. I have just written to the QCTO to ask them for a list of AQP’s, what they are responsible for etc. If I get the info I’ll share it here

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  • #33442

    Des Squire
    Participant

    The discussion has been very worthwhile and it is great to have so may opinions expressed – I appreciate all. However we are not making any progress in terms of establishing any guidelines. So lets simplify. 

    Please only comment on the following by giving a specific proposed rate

    • How much should we charge for assessment (per credit) at various levels?
    • How much should we charge to assess a full qualification at the various levels?
    • How much should we charge for moderation (per credit) at various levels?
    • How much should we charge to moderate a full qualifications at the various levels?
    • What should we charge to conduct RPL per credit?
    • What should we charge to RPL a full qualification at the various levels?  

    I have provided some guideline on page (attachment) one of this discussion and there are more guidelines contained in the body of the discussion. It is the guideline we are trying to establish as these might be of benefit others.

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  • #33441

    Hi Des

    My view:

    • How much should we charge for assessment (per credit) at various levels?        R30 – R45
    • How much should we charge to assess a full qualification at the various levels? R150 – R300
    • How much should we charge for moderation (per credit) at various levels? R30 –R45
    • How much should we charge to moderate a full qualifications at the various levels? R150
    • What should we charge to conduct RPL per credit? R30 – R45
    • What should we charge to RPL a full qualification at the various levels?  R150 – R300

    With discounts of up to 10% for multiple portfolios from a single provider

    Regards

    Jacqui

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  • #33440

    Fiona de Beer Nel
    Participant

    hi Jacqui 

    Do you not think the pricing for the full qualifications are a bit low?

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  • #33439

    Hi Fiona

    Probably – but I am a newbie to this endeavour and am trying to find the benchmark.

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  • #33438

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Some providers charge more to RPL a full qualification than it would cost to attend training. Reasoning is beyond comprehension in my opinion. I do agree with Fiona that the cost for a full qualification (assessment, moderation and/or RPL) is rather low as this takes a few hours at least.

    What as a matter of interest do you recommend Fiona?

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  • #33437

    The SAQA RPL  guidelines are quite clear in stating that RPL should be affordable and should cost NO MORE than normal assessment. see http://www.saqa.org.za/docs/policy/rpl01.pdf Page 26. Part of the problem with some private providers is that when they “profiteer”, they bring the whole industry into disrepute. 

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  • #33436

    Fiona de Beer Nel
    Participant

    I was under the impression the basic rates for full qualifications is estimated at around R250-300 for assessment (depending on the NQF level), and R350-400 for moderation (again taking into consideration the NQF level). I have also viewed your pricelist that was attached earlier in the discussions and in my opinion I thought your suggested pricing is fair. 

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  • #33434

    I have just been advised the the QCTO website should go live this weekend and will have a list of all DQPs and AQPs on it

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  • #33433

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Hi Fiona

    The price list I attached on page one is what I currently use and find it is acceptable to most companies. There are a few areas that need to be addressed however and these will be changed as I go forward.

    I would like to remind everyone that when I started the discussion I had the independent assessor in mind and my suggestions and personal costing structures applied to me Des Squire as an independent and nothing I attached indicated otherwise. For larger concerns the prices may vary quite dramatically as they have additional overheads. A one cap fits all approach cannot therefore apply in this instance.

    Regarding RPL I consider this also as an independent (individual) assessor and moderator.

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  • #33432

    Fiona de Beer Nel
    Participant

    I totally agree with your statement. As reading the information provided by Hannes, one gets a better view of the costing fluctuations for RPL. I dont specifically work with RPL, but to conduct an RPL for QCTO qualifications VS normal Business Administration qualifications will be an extreme difference. 

    I also just want to clarify my understanding regarding the AQP – will these centres then be the only places to conduct assessments? Will this mean that organisations/training providers will not conduct their own assessments anymore but must use the AQP’s?

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  • #33431

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Thank you all for participating in this discussion.

    Unfortunately there have been very few members of Skills Universe willing to share ideas and suggestions related to the questions posed.

    For this reason I feel it is unnecessary to try to put anything together (in the form of a summary) related to costs as we do not have sufficient consensus of opinion. 

    If anyone would like to discuss this further we can do so off line by contacting me at des@amsiandassociates.co.za

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