RPL, the NQF, and Articulation


Unit standard requiremetns – are they met?

This topic contains 48 replies, has 20 voices, and was last updated by  Jenny Mamdoo 4 months ago.

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  • #1996

    Des Squire
    Participant

    All unit standards contain a requirement in terms of existing knowledge which indicate the “entry level requirements” or alternatively the “learning assumed to be in place” 

    The unit standard clearly identifies exactly what is required or what must exist prior to undergoing training on a new unit standard. So for instance some unit standards will state a need for numeracy at say level 3 or communication at say level 3. The learner is going to take part in studies at level four where competency as indicated is important if not vital in order to cope with the new learning.

    My question is – to what extent do providers take notice of these requirements?

    How do providers establish if the requirements are met or have been met by the learner?

    What importance do you personally place on these requirements? 

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  • #2039

    Carl Roodnick
    Participant

    Good question Des, as those prerequisites set the minimum entry levels for learners who are likely to be both frustrated and disadvantaged should they not meet these requirements.

    However, not only such learners, but their fellow learners and indeed the facilitator become impacted as secondary victims should they attempt to accommodate those who do not have the bare minimum competencies in place.

    Failure to heed these must impact the pace, quality, and final results of the learning intervention – any provider attempting to flout such prerequisites, shoots themselves in the foot, while jeopardising the learning experience for all stakeholders – directly or indirectly.

    As an Instructional Learning Designer and Course Developer, I am guided by those entry standards; and I advise and guide my Subject Matter Experts upon whom I rely on for content or content verification, accordingly.

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  • #2038

    Alexander Robertson
    Participant

    As  facilitator, assessor, moderator and training provider, I sometimes pull my hair out when I discover the person about to undergo training is not up to standard.  Remember once I was assessing a US on communication and pointed out to the learner that I realise that English is not their first language but this is a IS on communication and when they write anything on behalf of the company they are writing on behalf of the directors of that company.  I received all hell for saying that as they knew that their first language was not English, how dare I say that!!

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  • #2037

    Vital Question Des and Important input Carl.

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  • #2036

    Valid , Valid , Valid

    Most Machines are on an NQF 2/3 LEVEL IN TERMS OF UNIT STANDARDS. However your good machine operators with 20 plus experience operating a 40 ton excavator or 100 ton ridgid ton Terex , barely have an ABET 1 ,,, let alone will he pass a psychometric assessment such as Vienna Dover …. yet for twenty years he operated your 10 million rand machine in a mine without incident…… do you disqualify a person like this ? Remember Grade 10 and 11 are not national certificates so if a person does not have Grade 12 with maths and literacy ….. you technically may not have him do an NQF2 course on say a front end loader as his highest technical qualification in terms of numerosy is Grade9 school leaving certificate….. I know that you can write a letter on a company letterhead saying xy& z ,,,, however if he makes an accident …. kills someone ….. he will claim that he did not understand as the language of instruction was in English   ….)kwa George…referring to  to king Georges English)… However in 2011 we were 89 employees …. we are now 946 employees of which  more than 400 are heavy machine operators. This implies we have a workforce of ex taxi drivers with less than three years relevant work experience ,,,, having Virtually NO INCIDENTS!….. this is the same community where if you test 156, code 14 horse  drivers with 5 years and a pdp….. fail a simple reverse test … only 32 could reverse and parallel park a golf car….imagine the poor taxi driver whom also tried to reverse,,,, trying to take the passengers home he came with ….I use the following …. advertise as per the norm…. to a first level practical test …. then subject them AME …. Applied Matehematics and English …. plus a Fluid intelligence test battery… then lets say he tests on ABET2/3 …. we appoint him as a learner operator for at least 3 months as per the norm. He is expected to attend Abet classes 3 afternoons a week for two hrs when the machines are serviced plus give up one of his off days…. this means ABET 2 … 2 months sometimes they even finish ABET 3 in under three months… then even if he passes AME on ABET 4 NQF 1 level . we will still only appoint him if he signs a contract that he will do a FLC learning programme ….. This year as on 1 August 2015 100 employees and 106 community members have passed an ABET EXAM on various ABET levels …. o yes for the communit members we also N1 – N2 at the Edu centre which we established in the community which house a FET college….,,, I am confident that most of my ABET 3 students will out perform a grade 10 or 11 school leaver ito numerousy and literacy ,,,, FOR THESE I HAVE NO PROBLEM IN GIVING THEM a letter to do a NQF2/3 intervention …. Next year when the University moves onto our Edu centre campus we will be able to house from Pre ABET to NQF 5…. who knows … in the future we might even do Masters and Doctorates …. but for now it will only be from Pre ABET to NQF5 in one centre….. this solves our entry requirements,,,,, Hope I helped….

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  • #2035

    Alexander Robertson
    Participant

    JC Dafel, we need to compare apples with apples.  Doing manual work is not the same as working with the heavy machinery.

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  • #2034

    No , but entry requirements are, with induction on NQF1 . we face similar problems with our semiskilled artisans , cleaners and security guards…… its up to the employee to ensure that he obtains the entry requirements, as a mine we have to provide the avenue/ tools…. Manual workers are even more committed to learning. there is absolutely no excuse for an organisation to have any employee on anything less than an ABET1…

    if a cleaner in the workshop tries to clean brakefluid which leaked out of a truck using amonia . or Jik or worst  still she drinks green engine coolant , as it looks similar to energy drinks they are issued …. believe me the mine will be asked very uncomfortable questions … such as did she know that the cool-drink  she drank was anti freeze….? Was the container marked ….. was there an MSDS? if the answer is yes ….. and she tells the inspector she cannot read…. you will be charged  and a section 54 issued without doubt. 

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  • #2033

    J Davel  . Most impressive, good show.  We in the Lifting arena also experience the same challenges.

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  • #2032

    I work for a university, and the students cannot enroll without meeting the entry requirements on all levels.

    For staff to enroll for their own studies, our staff development unit ensures that entry requirements are met, certified copies of prior learning are in place, etc before we enroll our staff for further studies.  We pay for staff studies and thus want to ensure that staff are equipped to successfully pass their studies.  

    For our learnerships for our lower-level staff, we ensure that all entry requirements are met for successful completion of the learnership.  Again, it is an investment from the institution side and we want to see a 100% pass rate.

    Even for AET training, assessments are being done to ensure we start staff on the correct levels, as we don’t want to set anyone up for failure.

    I think it is important for the institution, the learner and the provider to all cooperate and check that the required knowledge and prior learning are in place.  It cannot become only the provider’s responsibility.

     

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  • #2031

    Dave Riekert
    Participant

    JC and Hilmer, we experience exactly the same problem in agriculture. The literacy levels are low but man, some of these guys farm better than the owners. To award them an official qualification in Animal or Plant Production always poses a problem due to their low ABET qualifications. You may use a same language facilitator and do visual observation as assessment but what do you do with the compulsort fundamental component of a learnership?  

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  • #2030

    Sandra De Leo
    Participant

    I strictley adhere to the US entry level requirements on our prgrammes. I presumed that the SETA would verify this when they look at the learner registrations. I also conduct a pre-training assessment to identify the current level of ability, specifically in maths/ numercy and communication in English.If they do not meet the requirements of the pre-training assessment they do not qualify for the programme. I cannot accept Grade 12 as ultimate proof that the learner is ready for an NQF level three qualification.

    Despite this I still have frustrations when some learners cannot complete written assignments becuase they cannot understand the questions. I have changed some of the knowledge based assessment to oral interviews to compensate for this. This has helped to certain extent, but I often find that those learners who cannot read or write well enough in English do not have the vocabulary to be able to explain simple concepts in English. These same learners have passed Grade 12 with English as a second language.

    I cannot use interpretors because the job requirements are communication skills in English. My opinion is that the standard of High School education is not aligned with the levels on the NQF.

     

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  • #2029

    Carl Roodnick
    Participant

    We encourage life-long, continuous learning and professional development, but lack somewhat when it comes to sensitising and empowering learning stakeholders for critical things like learning prerequisites. Hence learners and providers are tempted to push the envelope by overlooking minimum entry requirements – often to their peril.

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  • #2028

    Dear Mr Squire,

    Your questions tricky indeed.

    Always, would notice before the commencent of the actual programme.

    Therefore prior learning, knowledge and skills are vital.

    And again criterion used to select the candidate would be significant, for instance…us we conduct oral questioning or interview and aptitute test.

    Remember, Agenda is to empower, especially young people with knowledge, skills and be certified and qualified for a certain job or create jobs, not only for themselves, also for others.

     

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  • #2027

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Hi Dave, My understanding is that since it is a requirement then there would be a need to bring the learner up to the required standard. So training on the required fundamentals for entry would need to take place. 

    In many instances this is not happening and it is the learner who then suffers. The entry level requirements are not met so the learner cannot cope with the learning and is then declared “not yet competent”. What a waste of time, energy and money.   

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  • #2026

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Hi Bernard, I like the approach you take and perhaps this is the way to go.

    Maybe (an idea only) all qualifications should have an entry level test or assessment???

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  • #2025

    Des Squire
    Participant

    I am re-posting this topic for further discussion as I feel there is now a greater emphasis being placed on the subject.

    I now pose the questions

    1. Should providers include their approach to “entry level requirements” and/or “learning assumed to be in place” in their admissions policy?

    2. Should learners be awarded a competent result who fail to meet the above requirements

       

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  • #2024

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    Hi Des, this is debatable ……….. I will give my input to your questions according to what I have experienced in the past:

    1. Providers normally take the requirements in consideration especially if the learning programme is based on a full qualification (learnership).  When learning is only based on one single unit standard, the words: “learning assumed to be in place” is read as an assumption. 

    2.  Here we get to the debatable section.  An Employer will approach a provider with a number of delegates that needs to attend a specific unit standard (learners get selected by the Employer – at times, this is even forced), the provider will meet the delegates on the day that the learning intervention starts. 

    3.  The requirements on an entry level should actually be within the SLA that the Provider signs with the Employer, and clearly stipulate that should the learner that is selected by the Employer not meet the requirements, that the Provider will not be held liable if the credits are rejected by the SETA.  At least here, the Provider will have some security to fall back to.

    Requirements and Stipulations are always important, as it could have a negative impact to the most important people, which is the learners. 

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  • #2023

    Kate Sani
    Participant

    Absolutely. In cases where a learner meets the entry level requirements for the languages, one can just do a quick assessment to ascertain written and oral comprehension and language level. After all, language is a “gateway” skill to further and lifelong learning. I believe the most important competencies I can assist my learners to develop are the skills to ‘decode” written text (learning and using comprehension strategies), thus enabling them to not only “access” training courseware, and a great deal more, but to build them towards becoming independent learners.   

    In cases where a learner does not meet the entry level requirements for learners, I apply RPL.  

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  • #2022

    Willemien Kleijn
    Participant

    Interesting discussion. The college I work for certainly has incorporated these requirement plus more in our admissions policy. We have a fairly stringent selection process, including 1-2 days of tests (English, computer literacy, interpersonal skills, panel interviews, psychometric testing). But then, we can only take a small number of learners at a time and need to ensure we take the best candidates. We have previously sent an applicant home because her English was inadequate. She reapplied a couple of years later having worked on her English and was accepted.

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  • #2021

    Jaison Sibanda
    Participant

    Good Question Des, most Training providers do not follow the requirements. I once did a learnership for level 4 and most of my learners didn’t even go to school, they cant write their names and used X as their signature, I know it might sound like a joke but believe me its sad when you go for these EPWP learnership where the client wins a govenment tender and is asked to look for learners to do the programme, he just goes out to the community and gets who ever is interested to do the learnership submits the names to the Service provider and commences the training without looking at the credentials of the learners.

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  • #2020

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    Hi Jaison, what you are saying is reality, it is happening.  No wonder the Setas are battling with verifications, validation of learner records and back-logs.  The victims here are the providers and the learners, unfortunately. 

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  • #2019

    Lucky Sibanda
    Participant

    This extremely frustrates as extreme effort would be required from such a scenario. Some providers tend to be business oriented instead of promoting learner development.

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  • #2018

    Des Squire
    Participant

    If the entry level requirements are not adhered to or the learning assumed to be in place is in fact not in place then there may well be problems as described by Jaison Sibanda above.

    The learners may well suffer as they might not be able to cope since the basic essential learning (as set out in the unit standard) is not in place. This then is the fault of the provider as the provider failed to ensure the required competence was verified prior to admission.

    Does the provider have a right to disregard the basic requirements as set out? Education and training should promote “learner ongoing development” as pointed out by Lucky. Ongoing from point “A” – learning that is in place and that has been verified by the provider.     

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  • #2017

    Xolile Hans
    Participant

    Hi everyone. I hope my spanner in the works is the right and properly fitting size because what JC Dafel says might sound impossible but look at some of the train drivers and assistants who would do a written refresher course and fail drastically but when given the practical would achieve flying colours.

    This then points to recognition of prior learning for people in the mines and railways as they do most things practically. Some of the learners that join ABET/AET go through stringent assessments which then points to the level they should be placed at. I also had such challenges but Allas, these candidates really proved their worth by achieving merits and higher certificates.

    Since ABET was introduced as entry requirement to further training within the organisation, this enabled the workers from lower levels to prosper.

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  • #2016

    Ilana Smit
    Participant

    As an Assessor I always check the learner’s CV to see if they comply to the entry level requirements, if not I look to see if the learner shows understanding and the ability to complete the assignments, you can usually quickly see if a learner is out of depth. Often some learners have adapted in the workplace to cope with workplace communication.

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  • #2015

    Annette Loubser
    Participant

    Another issue that has come up is the number of qualified assessors and moderators who can manage the first language requirements for entry to a qualification. My experience has shown that the number is still not sufficient in the 10 other official languages beyond English.

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  • #2014

    Jaison Sibanda
    Participant

    But It always surprises me at the end of the learnership that all those learners are found competent by the internal assessor, results are sent to relevant SETA and certificates are issued out.I guess its about making Money like what Lucky say”business oriented”. the problem is the agreement set by the client and the Service provider that all learners should be found competent. Are we doing justice in Educating and developing the nation? what will happen when these learners are sent to the workplace? will they deliver accordingly? these are the questions that need to be answered at the end of the day.

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  • #2013

    Lucky Sibanda
    Participant

    In such instances, our education standards are compromised as such achievements questions the credibility of our systems (assessments; moderation; and related verification processes).

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  • #2012

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    Hi Jaison, I agree with you.  At no given time can a Provider sign an agreement with an employer that all learners will be found competent – it just doesn’t make sense.  You can not predict the future of achievements or guarantee that all the learners will complete.  Providers should not sign agreements that stipulate these requirements.  If this is the case, then I question the integrity of the Employer and the Provider.

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  • #2011

    Wilma de Villiers
    Participant

    This is a very interesting discussion/ topic.

    One cannot exclude all learners if they do not meet all the criteria because one can include that basic skills/ knowledge into your training.

     

    For example, we have ladies that maybe do not meet all the entry requirements but we have measures in place to assist them (and we can show it to the external moderator) to reach that level.

     

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  • #2010

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    Des, that is correct.  I guess this gives us the difference between Providers that conduct quality training and adhere to the requirements versus the Providers that are the so called “mince-machines” where quantity is the focus and quality is falls away.

    On point “A” – “learning that is in place and that has been verified by the provider” – In what policy or regulation does it stipulate that the provider must verify the learning that is in place?

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  • #2009

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Agreed, we are setting learners up to fail if the basic knowledge is not there.

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  • #2008

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    Ilana, by reading your comments above, tells me that you have high standards, you conduct your evaluation correctly.  It is always a pleasure working with Assessors that go the extra mile!  Thank you!

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  • #2007

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Hi Wilma – is your approach fair to those who have the required competencies – are you not perhaps holding them back? Would it not be better to conduct separate sessions to bring those who do not meet the entry requirements up to standard first i.e. before admission to the programme?

    Are we as providers permitted to disregard a unit standard or qualification requirement?

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  • #2006

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    Hi Wilma, it is great to read your comments.  To have measures in place to assist learners and not exclude them, is wonderful.  Again, this is going the extra mile for the learners!  Love it!!

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  • #2005

    Jaison Sibanda
    Participant

    Hi Lynel, I think we have shifted our business ethics and put money first. Most providers just want to make money at the expense of learners. i will give an example of occupational health and safety, the employer will push the provider to give employees competence on work safety maybe because the department of safety or Labour is on their case. The employer and the provider will sign the agreement money is paid and both are happy, This is where now we question their integrity.

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  • #2004

    Wilma de Villiers
    Participant

    We have other measures for learners who e.g. do not meet the fundamental requirements.  Maybe I should share another example – Some of our learners do not meet the fundamental requirements for Level 4 ECD because they did not pass fundamentals on that level. We then assess their literacy levels that they need for the qualification and if they meet the criteria we can allow them to enter the qualification.  Our full time ECD learners with grade 12 never learnt anything about ECD at school but the learning assumed to be in place requires previous ECD knowledge.  It is like Piaget’s theory – there will be learners with knowledge and others not but you need to start with the basics when you lecture theories (hope it makes sense). 

    You teach learners and some grasp faster than others but then you can’t ‘move’ faster.  You must take the ‘slower’ ones into consideration.  That is what we do.  (What Ilana explained).  What I am trying to say, we do not hold learners back.  We have a work scheme and keep to it but spend additional time (if necessary) with those that can’t keep up.

     

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  • #2003

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    Jaison, you are correct.  I have seen this in a couple of verifications and audits I conducted.  Unfortunately for the learners, when this is picked up by verifiers, rejection of the qualification is recorded – and again the learners are the victims.  I am not saying that all providers and all employers are doing this – there are employers and providers that do take every precaution to ensure that learning is conducted in an ethical manner and meets all the requirements.  This is why skills universe is so important.  We are here to make a positive difference and assist those that need help. 

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  • #2002

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Learning assumed to be in place is covered in terms of SAQA document – NQF and Standard setting.

    “Learning assumed to be in place

    • There is a clear relationship between the credit value of the standard

    and the learning assumptions.

    • [This is the learning assumed to be in place if the learning required

    to achieve the standard is to be completed in the assigned credit time]

    • The statement captures and reflects the knowledge, skill and

    understanding ‘building blocks’ which are assumed to be in place

    and which support the learning towards the achievement of the unit Standard under consideration”

     

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  • #2001

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    Des, thank you for the input, I am familiar with SAQA documents.  My question was:  In what policy or regulation does it stipulate that the Provider must verify the learning that is in place?  I would like to read this policy, as I have not read this clause – maybe I missed this and need to read this requirement again?  Please send me the link to this regulation or policy.

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  • #2000

    Des Squire
    Participant

    I don’t recall ever having said a policy existed.

    My question was in terms of the unit standard and qualification requirements and whether or not there was a need for providers to comply with the requirements.

    The requirement and the need for compliance would of itself place the onus on providers to ensure the requirements are met.

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  • #1999

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    Des, I thought as much, maybe I read your comments to quickly : “Ongoing from point “A” – learning that is in place and that has been verified by the provider”. 

    Compliance and requirements should not be confused with Learning Assumed to be in Place.  Very often “Learning Assumed to be in Place” gets confused with entry requirements or pre-requisites.  In the SAQA document: The National Qualifications Framework and Standard Setting document on page 44 it reads: 

    Learning assumed to be in place
    This is a statement that captures the learning base required for learning or
    achievement within the parameters of the particular qualification being registered.
    Often confused with prerequisites, ‘learning assumed to be in place’ is
    not meant to fulfil a ‘gate-keeping’ function with regard to programs. Rather it is a mechanism for transparency – allowing learners to know what knowledge, skills and attitudes are reasonably assumed to be in place prior to their embarking on learning programs against particular qualifications. Nothing in this category precludes the recognition of prior learning.

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  • #1998

    Des Squire
    Participant

    “It is a mechanism for transparency – allowing learners to know what knowledge, skills and attitudes are reasonably assumed to be in place prior to their embarking on learning programs against particular qualifications.

    So my question stands -Should providers ensure the learning is in place prior to admission to training and should this be a part of the providers admission policy? It certainly is a requirement at some SETA’s

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  • #1997

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    Des, I think you just answered your question.  If it is a requirement at a Seta, then this must be done and clearly documented.  Learning Assumed to be in place has always been debatable, because it is an assumption and not a direct stipulation/regulation but merely a guideline.  An interesting discussion happened about a year ago by Henk Cloete (June 25, 2015) topic: Learning Assumed to be in Place vs Recognition of Learning.

    Can a Seta have different requirements on the same qualification?  Yes, they can.  Many requirements are actually based on industry requirements, therefor the difference in requirements by various Setas.

    Providers do not always meet the learners in person before the intervention, but are given a list of the learners that will attend.  I prefer looking at the rules of combination and stipulations and not assumptions.  If you look at the definition of assumption: “A thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof”.

    So, if this is a requirement at a Seta, then it must be done accordingly.

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  • #69145

    Jenny Mamdoo
    Participant

    Hi Des,

    I know this is years later, however do you know what the Seta’s stance is on this 1 please? Has there been any changes to this rule?

    I understand that the entry level requirements are absolutely necessary as a pre-requisite as a learner needs to have the fundamentals to be able to cope with a qualification. The question is – are providers adhering to this? Are Assessors and Moderators monitoring this? And most importantly, are Seta’s keeping a close eye on this?

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  • #69147

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Hi jenny, welcome into the discussion even at this late stage. Nothing has changed as far as i know and the rules are there for the reasons as set out in the discussion. In essence we should be conducting some form of pre-entry or diagnostic assessment to ensure the requirements are there.

    We complain about high drop out rates and bad achievement rates in our education system – this is the cause. Entry levels for the various grades are not met. Must be applied to NQF qualifications and/or part qualifications – essential as far as i am concerned. Failure to do so is a disadvantage to the learner.

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  • #69209

    Jenny Mamdoo
    Participant

    Dearest Des,

    Thank you for the reply. Yes indeed, it is sad that the proper measures are not put into place.

    I was asked by a client – does the entry level requirements have to be accredited training, e.g. if the entry level requirement is economics at level 5, is an in-house program acceptable? I am not sure on how to answer this and can’t seem to find sufficient information on saqa’s site. Do you have any thoughts on this please?

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  • #69227

    Des Squire
    Participant

    No jenny, It would have to be related NQF training or alternatively if related to numeracy/literacy then an IEB assessment is commonly used.

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  • #69230

    Jenny Mamdoo
    Participant

    Thanks so much for this.

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