Skills Development Facilitators (SDF)

Who is the best trainer of SDFs?

This topic contains 1 reply, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 2 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #34600

    sylvia hammond

    When asked today for advice on the best trainer of SDFs, I realised that although I have attended a number of SDF training courses – that was many years ago and I really have no idea who are the best trainers of SDFs now.

    As far as I am aware there still isn’t a qualification for SDFs – just a few unit standards.

    Please give me advice to pass on:-

    • who are the best accredited trainers of SDFs, and
    • what are the relevant unit standards?

    Appreciate all your help.

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  • #34621

    Dear Sylvia

    6 Unit Standards as a “qualification”:



    3.       DEVELOP A TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT PLAN                                               (US ID 15217)


    5.       CONDUCT SKILLS DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION                                         (US ID 15227)

    6.       ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN A QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR SKILLS DEVELOPMENT PRACTICES                                                                                          (US ID 15228)

                 Skills Dynamics Africa | Tel: +27.21.556.8112 | Fax: 086.515.8445 – Sakkie Swanepoel

                 I did assessor, moderator and SDF through Skills Dynamics Africa. Quality and integrity at this college.


                Kindest regards          



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  • #34620

    Hi Sylvia

    I did OD ETDP National Diploma through EDUTEL

    7 Unit Standards
    123396 – Define target audients and skills gaps
    15222 – Promote culture of learning
    15221 – Provide information and advice on skills development
    15218 – Conduct an analysis to determine outcomes of learning
    15217 – Develop an organizational training and development plan
    15232 – Coordinate planned skills development intervention in an organization
    15227 – Conduct skills development administration in an organization


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  • #34619

    Hi there,

    7 suggested units, I see already listed.

    Skills programme so flexible and left up to provider to decide.

    Note that Services initiated 2 SDF occupational profiles (OFO) and qualifications for QCTO but it is possible these may be transferred to ETDP.

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  • #34618

    Tom Ventouris






    We have been running the programme with success for our delegates for about 8 years.

    We also found a need for understanding the process of legislation which we included in a module but not in the POE for assessment. We also recommend that SDF’s achieve the Assessor (115753) and Moderator (115759) Standards as well to better deal with providers on delivery and quality issues.

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  • #34617

    Heidi D Edwards

    Hi to this group,

    As a Facilitator of the SDF Skills Programme I am in complete agreement with all the USs mentioned in the different replies to your post.  I would like to add this advice: –

    The person who facilitates this Skills Programme should also be a practicing SDF with a proven track record – we should afford Learners the respect of personal experience.  In my opinion the role of SDF is a highly skilled role where this person needs to be able to navigate and interpret the various Acts pertaining to Skills Development and apply the Acts in a practical and logical manner.  An SDF should also be able to maximise the Grant System and understand how Skills Development and the role of the SDF affects the Scorecard.  Do we want our Learners (and potential SDFs) to be trained by a Facilitator who has not had this experience?

    Heidi D Edwards – Independent ETD Practitioner.

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  • #34616

    Well said Heidi!

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  • #34615

    Tom Ventouris

    Refreshing to see this point of view.

    I believe the “experience requirement” should apply to all programmes. It is also my understanding that some ETQA’s will want to see SME’s facilitating any programmes they accredit. Perhaps the same emphasis they place on Assessor registrations should be mirrored in facilitator requirements.

    Whenever we look for Facilitators, I get recommendations for people who “like talking”. I smile and move on.

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  • #34614

    Dear Sylvia

    We have been presenting an SDF Skills Programme comprising of 7 Unit Standards for about 10 years. 6 of the Unit Standards provide credits towards the NC:ODETD Practices qualification. We present it in 4 modules over 5 days with a further two support days over the next two months whilst learners are applying their learning and gathering evidence.

    Module 1 Provide information and advice and promote a culture of Learning (US 15221 & US 252041)

    Module 2 Skills Analysis & Skills Planning (US 15218 & US15217)

    Module 3 Administration & Coordination (US 15227 & US 15232)

    Module 4 Quality Management Systems for Skills Development (US 18228)


    We agree that it is wise for learners to attend the Assessor and Moderator workshops before the SDF programme and it is beneficial if they have had some exposure the the WSP / ATR process in an organisation.

    Our Facilitators have considerable experience in SDF work and QMS systems and have assisted a number of organisations in implementing their skills development strategies.

    Kind Regards

    Russell McDiarmid



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  • #34613


    You can search on and see that majority of the providers only offer these 4 unit standards for SDF.

    US 15218 – 15217 – 15221 and 15232

    Other unit standards like the ones below was dropped by most of the providers the past 2 or 3 years. Feeling is that a SDF wont need these unit standards. I know it form part of the qualification and rather suggest Training Providers to do these additional 2 unit standards. Will also note that none of the SETA mention the required unit standards for SDF’s.

    US 18228 (QMS) + 15227 (Admin)

    Some advice to someone who wants to do this training:

    1) Confirm that the facilitator have the required experience. No one checks this and we have people who come and re-do the course with us on a regular basis because they still don’t have a clue what a SDF is.

    2) Ask for referrals. What support does the provider offer and how many of the learners actually hand in their POE’s.

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  • #34612


    Very good point, and then we still have leading Training Providers who use Facilitators who never even completed a WSP/ATR in the life.

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  • #34611

    Hi Sylvia,

    I agree with much of what has already been said, especially that the facilitator should have some experience in the role. I also feel strongly that the Learning Culture of an organisation should be addressed in the content. This is a requirement of almost every SDF vacancy I’ve come across and when facilitating, I’ve found that many corporate SDFs battle to get the “buy-in” of their organisations and are demotivated by the usual culture of “ticking boxes” for compliance.

    I first attended at Khulisane Academy in Centurion and have since facilitated the programme for them many times. If you are looking for a quality provider at a good price, add them to your recommendation list!


    Kind Regards,


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  • #34610

    Hannes Nel

    Unit standards 115753, 115755, 115759, 123396 have very little to do with the responsibilities of an SDF. Of course they are all worth something, but so are approximately 200 other  ETD related unit standards. Seven unit standards are crucial to an SDF, namely 15217, 15218, 15221, 15227, 15228, 15232 and 252041. US 15222 was also part of he package, but it has been replaced by 252041. I agree that a provider offering SDF must also be involved in the process, so ask ETDP SETA about Mentornet’ s involvement. I stopped counting when we passed the 2 000 SDF’s trained mark, so we’ve been doing it for a while (twelve years). I don’t believe one can offer SDF training in less than five days and we always encourage our clients to rather go for eight days. Dr Hannes Nel, MD Mentornet

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  • #34609

    Des Squire

    Strange how there are so many variations on the unit standards proposed. To me a lot needs to be determined in relation to the ODETD qualifictaion that the Professional SDF should ultimately end up with. When I trained or if I wre to offer training i completed the following 12138, 15217, 15218, 15221, 15222, 15227, 152228 and 15232. (8 unit standards)

    15228 on quality issues is an essential for any SDF and should not be overlooked. The majority of the unit standards come from the Ntional certificate in ODETD. Aspiring SDF’s should make a decision based on a chosen career path. I can recommend INFOMAGE to any learnere in JHB.

    I can assist with RPL for SDF’s based on the above –     

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  • #34608

    sylvia hammond

    Wow – thank you members for such wonderfully useful and informative responses, and much more than I expected.  As usual with skills development, always more complex than anticipated.  Thank you all.

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  • #34607

    Cas Olivier

    Sylvia, your original blog contained 2 questions, i.e.

    • who are the best accredited trainers of SDFs, and
    • what are the relevant unit standards?

    It seems as if the main focus of the  responses focused on the ‘unit standard packaging’.

    As my passion is “Great Teaching” it could be to the benefit of all if members could indicate: What made the best accredited trainers best.

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  • #34606

    Hannes Nel

    Hello Cas, I am sure all learning institutions offering SDF would like to claim that they are the best. Then again, South Africans are by nature not boastful people, so one will not be able to determine who is best by just asking private providers. The issue of what the training consists of is important and can give one a good idea of who is best. The SABPP compiled the unit standards that replaced the old four (each worth 20 credits, would you believe it!). The SABPP became really quiet in the field of SDF training since they had the unit standards registered, so I am not sure if they are still involved, or to what extent. Providers claiming that unit standards on facilitation and assessment, etc. should form part of the SDF learning programme might not understand that an SDF is a manager, not a learning practitioner. Remember, the primary task of the SDF is to manage training, not offer it. Even so, experienced and well qualified educators often make the best SDF’s, because they understand the learning environment. One last issue – one can offer SDF training, consisting of six, seven or even eight unit standards because of the substantial overlap between them. However, I still feel that offering it in five days is really pushing it. Offering it in anything less than five days is ridiculous.

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  • #34605

    In my humble opinion – having practiced SDF for many years, attended a few SDF training workshops, designed SDF programmes and facilitated SDF training for a variety of providers, I’d say Thrive Learning Facilitation is the one to beat!

    Their programme is cleverly designed to include interactive learning which sufficiently addresses the outcomes in a fun way and ensures that the learner gets enough practice during learning to ensure a transfer of learning back in the workplace.

    Contact details:
    Carmen Meyer
    Thrive Learning Facilitation
    0861 (THRIVE)

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  • #34604

    Hannes Nel

    Hello Sylvia, I am actually responding to your notes on the new PIVOTAL report format. Could not find the time to read the new document yet and would like to respond before the novelty wears off. Linking it to your question on who the best provider of SDF training is – I think it might well be you. You clearly keep up-to-date with new developments in the SDF field and you inform others about it. This is commendable and much appreciated. If you don’t offer SDF training, then you should. Hannes Nel, MD Mentornet

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  • #34603

    sylvia hammond

    Hello Hannes – thank you – you have quite made my day 🙂 I don’t do much training anymore – but have done a few skills development law lectures at UCT.  I do find the complexity of skills development law completely fascinating. Have a great Mandela Day

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  • #34602

    The problem I have with traditional SDF training is that most providers do it mechanic style – compliance driven. Actually it is not about the WSP or ATR, people – it is about understanding the strategic role of the SDF – And no, this is not about training everybody of about BEE or redress, it is about how we crete a meaningful future via the empowerment of people so that all can benefit. It is about looking at the strategic plan of an organisation and developing a plan to up skills staff to achieve strategic objectives. Look at how you can align your JOb Descriptions to your strategy. THen, measure your performance according to that. In the process, show your staff how to gather and keep the evidence they have of such growth. Later, they can use this as part of their RPL poe. Thus, the business grows, the individual grows. That means the tax base grows, and we might get better roads (hopefully no tolls ). The organisation that does this needs to encourage staff to have a lessons learnt approach. Celebrate the fixing of your mistakes. It is part of the journey. Imagine how the business can grow. 

    No why does it sound so easy. Cause it is. Problem is, we in this Country, dont really want to do it. Why? So many reasons!!

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  • #34601


    Well said – you hit the nail right on the top.

    SDF training seems like more a money making process with adding unit standards and days to the training. That’s why I said in my first post that people actually come and re-do the course with us. They received their certificate with other providers but still don’t have a clue how to do the job. (Referring to providers with 6 unit standards = 5 days long and triple our fees).
    I know what I’m taking about because I had 3 learners who re-done the course with us the past 3 months that done in with these “National” Training companies that employ cheap facilitators to present their course who never even completed a WSP or ATR before.

    I’m not promoting my company, I simply say that you should ask about the facilitator’s experience including the Training Companies reputation.

    Its about results, not making money out of the client.

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