Skills Development Providers (SDPs) & Training Providers


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    David Loubser

    Dear All

    My experience tells me far too much energy has been placed on assessment and almost nothing on training. (Assessors get registered and trainers do not!) In fact the original SAQA philosophy of “low on inputs and high on outputs” encourages this! My programmes have never been evaluted on instructional methodology. They all check for theory (Match outcomes to content) and they all check for assessments but they do not check for training techniques. Most verifiers confuse formative assessment with training activities and learners spend their time creating portfolios out of class activities-time that is meant to be spent on instruction. Assessment is shocking, hence  no valid feedback on the instructional part. No-one that i know of is trying to address the behaviourist implications of OBE in industry training. I believe that quality must begin to focus on instruction and on workplace transfer in particular. We are dealing with very complex issues. The basics are horribly wrong and being endorsed by ETQA’s! Maybe what is happening in industry is a natural result of bad practice and the professional providers will surivive all of these changes? Now we can begin a new life cycle.

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    Hi David, you have hit the correct nail!


    Exactly, people tend to think Quality Assurance is a auditing tool such as moderating what has been done; when Quality Assurance should start from day 1 when the Learner is inducted. And that includes the Trainers. An Auditor and an ETQA and an ASSESSOR is different people with different roles.

    I have seen people doing training on matters they have no idea on! They train on a matter that is so foreign to them they hardly understand the Unit Standard themselves. They have no background on how to facilitate and make provision for learners with special needs since they hardly know what is going on themselves. And yet they will be the very same person that is going to assess the learners on the crummy training they provided and think they did a good job, not understanding why the Learners is struggling to grasp what is going on … When the very unqualified Trainer are not even a CONSTITUENT Assessor on that subject matter.  

    With these practices, Providers still think they the best and tend to ask  … “why is education in such a mess”. Pointing fingers at our elected Government and blame the Government for the failed education system, when they directly to be blamed cause they have not done the Training part sufficient. If the Training part fail, the assessments fail and even though all learners can be “competent”, they are really just creating havoc. All about the money and nothing about the principles of Education.

    I also strongly believe Trainers should undergo the Facilitators Unit Standard as compulsary requirements and those training without such or those doing assessments that are not CONSTITUENT ASSESSOR on the matter – that Provider and Assessors should be taken on by the applicable SETA or better taken on by a higher Quality Assurance body.

    And when a person start talking about accredited Assessors then I know : “silly” since you don’t get an accredited Assessor ONLY A REGISTERED CONSTITUENT ASSESSOR, only the Unit Standard the Assessor underwent were accredited within the Provider, NO ASSESSOR OR MODERATOR CAN BE ACCREDITED BY A SETA. And I think it should be in place for Facilitators as well. Facilitators should be Registered Constituent Facilitators – Today every person want to be a Trainer, persons with no idea or experience want to train just because they worked in an Industry or thought it is quick money (since it is quick money). And even worse ex-teachers want to Facilitate in matters they have no clue on and believe since they were teachers they can teach anything … when the ‘game’ has totally change and the rules is not the same as for teaching … that makes me CRAZY… Facilitation is not Teaching. 

    Quality Assurance start from the beginning and should be monitored and a qualified ETQA knows that – anyone that believes that Quality Assurance is an auditing tool does not know what is going on in the new SETA system (started in 2000) and if they referring to an older system, it has been replace by what we have a good system that needs to be implemented corrected. The only fault is currently it is not implemented, monitored and sanction correctly. I share your feeling. 

    Here we have to look at our reflection in the mirror and admit the fault is not with the Government but with Providers allowing non-qualified people to facilitate since they were ‘cheap’ enough. Here we need to look at ourselves and admit that is why Education is failing…

    This is my opinion and I stand with that.

    Zerelde Uys

    Bianca, I agree with all of the detail that you list, but I would be careful to place the blame squarely on the provider allowing ‘non-qualified’ people to practice. Don’t you think that there should be better guidelines on what best practice in private provision should be – from the design and development of learning material and assessments through to contact session practice AND workplace coaching? Maybe a closer ‘quality relationship’ between the ETQA and the provider will then ensure continuous practice. Would it not be great to have the opportunity to join a community of practice where I can measure and evaluate my own practice against others, without becoming just a cookie-cutter practitioner? And if all could be facilitated by my SETA coordinator….But this means synergy between all role-players in this process in terms of interpretation of guidelines from legislation (different ETQA’s, procedure designers, verifiers, administrators etc.)  And maybe this is the same problem mentioned by various reponsees in other disussions posted in these past weeks on the matter of Quality. Or maybe it’s a whole different issue again.

    I often think that there is such a lack of communication between the policy makers, the administrators and enforcers and the guys having to make things work on ground-level, it’s no wonder we have such conflict in the industry. Maybe some providers really believe that they are doing a good job? How would they know that it’s not?  

    Jennifer Williams

    I agree with the Davids comments.  Training companies sell their services/products to clients and then look for “freelance facilitators” to deliver.  The facilitators may have experience with content but very few have a qualification and also lack experience in process facilitation and in particular the principles of adult learning.  As private providers we need to own our own demise if we focus on selling training courses without qualified professional facilitators to deliver and ensure that quality learning takes place.  My recommendation is that we all take personal responsibility and honour our learners by ensuring that we are qualified and that we invite regular feedback and peer review so that we ensure that we deliver quality learner focussed courses.


    Zerelde, both are at fault the Facilitator that sign up for Training that he/she has no experience in and the Provider that allows such a person to practice. And your way of thinking is the way things should be … Also like Jennifer said we should take the responsibility to ensure Learners receive Quality Training by people that are qualified or have sufficient knowledge to provide such training. If the quality was compromise during the Training, the paperwork can be corrected and seems okay when the SETA evaluates and monitored but the essense is the Quality was compromised and we are sending such people into the Workplace, knowing what we did and those learners will not be able to perform and in the end the Learner is blamed but truthfully the Provider should be accountable that a Learner has no idea what is going on. But sadly many Providers take on more than what they can actually handle. And then you get that little Provider hidden away due to their EMERGING STATUS that have better control mechanisms in place, does not operate in chaos and can actually do the job but no one ever pays attention to them cause they just emerged. You have the bad and you have the good and I think the SETA’s should step up to the plate to do better evaluations and monitoring of all Providers, and not judge Providers on ‘windowdressing’ but on what is really in place and not.

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