For skills-universe members, who are private Skills Development Providers (SDP)s, or private providers of Education & Training.
10th Oct 2012 at 12:01 pm #36799
I see a lot of communication and insults flying around. It is actually rather sad to see how quickly judgments can fly around. On top of which, do we actually hear the whole truth? ONE Franchise or Campus make a mistake and then the WHOLE organisation, DAMELIN, is being dragged into it. Damelin actually have a rather formal annual Quality assurance calender that is distributed to each Damelin Franchise/ Campus which must be adhered to. Should any campus/franchise not adhere to the rules, they have to take the consequences as their are consequences, that you can believe. Each Franchise owner/Campus manager should take responsibility and be accountable for what happens at their sites. Some of us as Franchisees work very hard to promote the name of our franchises, have high intregity and values, and yet we are now being punished for the mistakes of others – where is the justice in that? This scenario can cause franchisees to lose their businesses. Who will take responsibility for that then? The public…..?Share on Social Media10th Oct 2012 at 12:50 pm #36819Anonymous
IAM one of those who understand this whole implications. but one way you would understand public anger is when you put yourself into a child’s’ shoes who could have wasted time thought miss-guidance and ignorance.
The degree of independence of franchise business which is often assumed from the start has collapsed many in the world as i speak and Damelin should ensure revised terms and a control of certain aspects of QA which all mother bodies in the world do. Consequences when young people have lost fortunes of time is just a consolation. No body and not a single franchise is bigger that Demelin and that should be protected.
I think us in the franchise business world more so in here should use this as wake up call otherwise,there is nothing so hard like re-building a brand name.10th Oct 2012 at 1:05 pm #36818Ashwell GlassonParticipant
Elsebie, unfortunately the public do not necessarily understand the nature of these relationships (franchisor and franchisee) and there will be some brand damage along the way. Taking an objective line here, please consider my inputs as such, I certainly hope will not offend anybody, especially the Damelin members of Skills-Universe. Like Sylvia I think it is about getting objective information about the situation at hand and not populist rhetoric. Considering that Damelin Brits was going into liquidation, there may be strong mitigating circumstances around how the situation evolved.
I think for many of us watching from the outside it is easy to cast aspersions in these situations and from my perspective it is not so much about you and the other hard working franchisees, but rather several issues both situational as well as historical when it comes to Damelin as the franchisor. This can and still do colour peoples judgement about Damelin in general. It is often how the problems are detected and managed when they occur, as inevitably they do happen. Which I think many people may feel that Damelin (the franchisor) was just was not truly honest or committed enough in dealing with the Brits situation. I personally think that Damelin does add value positively to many students and communities, but the legacy of it marketing and providing non-accredited programmes that were still termed diplomas, certificates, etc till a few years ago has left some negative impressions. Plus the move from Naspers to its new owners may have exacerbated some of the issues in transitioning into the new quality assurance regime, although I am not entirely sure about that.
For me the situation has provided Damelin (the franchisor) with the perfect opportunity to positively address the issues and actually take its reputation forward more positively. From my perspective it should try and do the following in conjunction with its franchisees, its students, the public and its other stakeholders:
- Ensure that its centralised quality assurance system detects these kind of unethical issues in advance. Develop an early warning system that allows it to address any non-conformance’s to the Damelin code of conduct and franchisee requirements. It needs to up its Quality Assurance game and also look at its ethics, brand values and how those should be role-modeled by it staff and franchisees.
- Provide structured career guidance (utilising a range of criterion-referenced tools, quantitative and qualitative in nature combined with good counselling) linked to specific qualifications, learning programmes and short courses (I know that some franchisees do this, like Damelin Krugersdorp, but not all). This is where most of the issues emanate from, students wanting to get into a career as quickly as possible and then making inappropriate choices about the foundational qualification that should assist them in accessing the formal labour market. Its about linking people to qualifications that set them on the right path and hopefully decent work, not constraining them, when there are ever greater challenges that abound such as a general lack of employment for the youth. Damelin has several unique selling propositions that should be leveraged more strongly and this is one of them. For me it makes absolute sense that the franchisees provide structured and evidence-based career guidance
- Be explicit in its marketing communications and one-on-one interactions with potential students, parents and organisations with regards the accreditation status or credit-bearing nature of all its programmes. I have heard in my professional network that people believe that Damelin’s marketing is misleading (even if it is not). Perceptions have power, for good or bad.
- That leads me to my last point is that Damelin (the franchisor) should consider a public statement on the record regarding its accreditation, programme approval and related status. This would go a long way in rebuilding its credibility and reputation.
Just some food for thought. Good luck with it all Elsebie.10th Oct 2012 at 5:32 pm #36817
Ashwell, thank you for comments, I do not see them as offensive at all.
Yes I agree with most of what you are saying. We follow a specific process at our site and students/potential students sign a document (fact sheet) explaining exactly what the course is all about and what it means when it is a “non-credit-bearing” short programme, and that will also be clearly stated on the certificate that is a Short programme (no credits or NQF level) and not a skills programme or qualification, which could then bear some credits and be linked to a NQF level.
We have a fulltime career guidance professional employed and he is on site at all times, and students have the opportunity to partake in a variety of “tests” to assist them in making a more accurate and appropriate career choice based on these tests and the career guidance.
With regards to accreditation, Damelin Franchisor and some of franchisees, are accredited with a variety of Seta’s, DOE etc, and this is unfortunately sometimes mis-interpreted as well. Not all courses are accredited by these bodies, and unfortunately, it is this very fact that can be confusing to potential students/parents when it is not properly explained to them.
Thank you again for your input!!10th Oct 2012 at 5:40 pm #36816
Thank you for your input, very valid point. Rebuilding a brand name and gaining the trust of the public is a tricky one. Us humans tend to generalise easily and it does not matter how well any franchise is managed, the bad strand seems to be pulled through every single one.
I do agree with both you and Ashwell, something drastic needs to be done to protect the brand.
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