Skills Development Providers (SDPs) & Training Providers

Extension of scope applications – help with clarification QCTO process

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    Please assist – with procedures for applications for extension of scope – via Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs).

    I have been asked a question I can’t answer – is the following correct?

    When applying to a SETA for extension of scope, once the SETA has approved and processed all that is required – the application must be forwarded for final confirmation to the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO).

    The statement made is that this is causing an extensive delay.

    Are any members able to confirm to me please:
    * is this the correct description of the process?
    * is there a delay in acquiring extension of scope, and as I understand that it has never been a fast process, is it now extended even longer than it was previously?

    I will appreciate the experience of members – that is preferably actual experience, not just an opinion.

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    Bernard Botha


    I think the correct answer to both questions would be: Yes and as far as the delays are concerned, also yes. To this I must add an update: There has been an improvement in the process and one can get hold of the staff by cell phone.

    Phineas Makhope says he does not find if we publish his cell number – he deals mostly with the ‘technical’ OC’s and can answer queries. His cell is 072-830-1588 and email

    May I counter the original question with another question? Why apply to a SETA? The published and registered Occupational Certificates are based on industry requirements and are the latest – while the historical qualifications are (were?) due to be replaced by Occupational Certificates by 2023-06-30.

    At the beginning this date was cast in stone but it seems as if the stone is crumbling.

    However i personally think that the person should have second look as to why he or she wants to use a SETA and not one of the QCTO qualifications

    Siboniso Nxumalo

    Good day ,

    As far as I know the process is as follows.

    – a SDP sends a statement of intent to the QCTO
    – QCTO will send back a recommendation letter for the Qualification the SDP intends to apply for.
    – The SDP would then need to engage with the SETA they want extension of scope from to request the relevant application form they need to complete and documents to send along with the form.

    The delay often times is on the below phases/steps:
    1. Response from the QCTO for a recommendation letter
    2. Application for Induction Moderation – this often takes place immediately after the Desktop Evaluation has been completed – I’d therefore recommend that the SDP send the Induction Moderation request with their EoS application.
    3. Recently, due to Covid 19, sourcing/appointing a Moderator and finding suitable dates & times for both parties (Moderator&SDP) has been comparatively difficult.
    4. Once a SETA has received the Moderation report (depending if it is upheld), it is then forwarded to the QCTO with all the other reports – a QCTO will then issue an Accreditation Certificate NB : note that this process is for a full qualification. SETA issues Accreditation Certificates for SP.

    I hope this helps Sylvia.

    Thanks and kind regards,

    Colette Tennison

    Thanks Sylvia for raising this.

    Thank you for the clarification Siboniso. It appears that currently the last step in your process (step 4) has become a bottleneck as the QCTO is closing the loop to issue the Accreditation Certificate. One of the SETAs commented that of 50 applications submitted to QCTO, they have only received 1 back so far.

    To answer Bernard’s question – not all qualifications have been replaced at this point and there are still a good number of SETA based qualifications that are actually accepted by industry as relevant. Industry cannot wait for the QCTO processes if they need the skills now and the current qualification works.


    Thank you to Bernard, Sinoniso, and Colette & my apologies for the delay in responding.

    It seems to me that we need very precise information on each blockage rather than just to use broadbrush criticisms of SETAs or the QCTO – or SAQA.

    & maybe the QCTO should set up an online reporting facility:
    Co name, whatever applied for, sent to, date submitted.

    & then the QCTO appoints someone who job it is to quite simply work through & follow up on each one. Then enter the date resolved.

    Fully visible to everyone, so everyone can see exactly who has the desk that is not responding.

    But not one of those automated systems that says we have received your complaint & it disappears.

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