Skills Development Providers (SDPs) & Training Providers

Your comments on quality assurance urgently invited

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    Des Squire

    In the “Guidelines on Strategy and Priorities for the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) 2011/12 released by the Minister of Higher Education in September Dr Nzimande stressed the following:

    Of great importance and a priority for immediate action is the need for all QC’s to set out how they intend managing their standard setting and quality assurance processes in terms of – STANDARDS SETTING – QUALITY ASSURANCE – PROGRESSION AND INFORMATION.

    Agreement between SAQA and the QC’s on a full set of level descriptors is called for immediately. Policy and criteria for qualifications and part qualifications should be developed, approved and implemented. What is of importance is the need for the QC’s to establish “a suit of national qualifications and part qualifications” as soon as possible in order to “serve the nations education and skills priorities”.

    The QC’s must devlop and implement policy and criteria for QA within their respective sub frameworks if they do not already exist.

    Mechanisms for ensuring that competent learners and workers are able to progress within the learning system and along chosen career paths are seen to be particularly important. Policy and criteria for assessment, RPL and credit accumulation and transfer have strategic importance and must be given priority

    Attention is to be given to the quality assurance of information processes and in particular to the security and verification of source data on learner records. Timely and accurate information is to be made available to the public and other stakeholders especially on transitional arrangements

    SAQA has been entrusted to monitor and oversee progress of work associated with these priorities and to give timely advise to the NQF forum and the CEO Committee on issues that impact and impede progress and implementation.

    Do these issues need to be addressed – have there been problems?
    What other quality issues should be addressed?
    What quality issues are of concern and have been of concern in the past?

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    Good Day,


    I believe that the issue regarding Quality Assurance within all Providers should be re-address – on Paper many Providers does meet the criteria but in matter of fact a few does and the window-dressing is becoming a problem that influence the careerpath of the Learner directly. Learners normally pays the price for poor Quality Assurance.

    SAQA should start to play a more dominant role within Quality Assurance and I believe that the ETQA function should revert back to SAQA and taken out of the SETA’s since it is there where the process can falter since many staff within the SETA’s will push through friends, Associates and close connections and advantage certain Providers to the direct disadvantage of the Emerging BBBEE Provider. I believe when SAQA will ultimately control the Quality Assurance and monitoring of such that we will achieve a better Education and Training Sector.

    Currently the SETA’s is more content in helping their STAKEHOLDERS NAMELY the EMPLOYER that they tend to forget who the real stakeholders should have been namely the LEARNER. Luckily we have a few SETA’s that are more focus on Learners and that can pride themselves as best, even though they are not always recognised.

    Security and Verification should be taken to the next step and further mechanisms should be place in place to ensure that Facilitators, Assessors are real Facilitators, Assessors and not just someone trying to be … currently many assessments are being done by none-Assessors and a paper exercise is being done where a Constituent Assessor signs it off. This is not on. The LMS is not always functional within Providers, even though they pride themselves upon such a system. The Monitoring mechanism should allow Evaluators to actually test and go through the LMS to make sure it is compliant. And to audit all the systems within such as to see if they really compliant to what they said they are … go through the Systems, see that HR practices is in place, make sure they are really OHS compliant and go through all the criteria that is set out … make the Evaluation process more in depth.

    Quality Assurance is not a Adit Functional as many people think … a process at the end … but it is rather the whole process. But due to “old school” versus “new school” or rather say Training prior to 1994 versus the SETA system ideology should be addressed and Providers should accept that the “NEW SCHOOL” is the system that is going to stay, the old system did not work at all. QUALITY ASSURANCE SHOULD BE CONTROLLED.

    I believe our Minister is correct in what he is set to achieve and I support him 100% since I know his focus is on the Learners and not to the enrichment of the Employer / Training Provider. Training Programmes was not developed to enrich but to develop the skills levels of South Africa, to address the wrongs of apartheid and to correct the Bantu Education that ruined South Africa during Apartheid. If we can correct Education, the root where Apartheid was formulated, we will correct most of the ills in South Africa in general also. If you can root out imperialistic approaches within Education, I believe much of the Political issues and economical issues will lead to a place where we can find answers. The youth is angry since they don’t benefit from Skills Development / Education and Training when they were suppose to benefited out of it … much of them are products of abuse within the system … I believe that the time has come that dedicated people, the new generation rise up and take the Industry and transform it in the manner Skills Development intended. Skills Development is for the grassroots and should be closely monitored and controlled either by SAQA or directly by the Department of Higher Education.

    This is just my humble opinion.


    My survey results on this should be available soon – hopefully by the end of the weekend – some very interesting results are beginning to emerge.

    However my comments in the meantime esp to Bianca – the new system is NOT working and current policies are NOT correcting education – things are rapidly becoming worse! The whole assessor thing is a nightmare – our organisation uses university lecturers and highly qualified academics to carry out assessment and moderation – but they must still jump through the hoops of assessor and moderator unit standard training otherwise their applications are rejected because of “compliance” requirements. Puleese!


    Jacqui, when you are saying that your Facilitators and those doing the Assessments are University lecturers and Highly Qualified Academics … that proofs to me that your organisation knows the importance of Quality Assurance and this was not what I was refering to – I was refering to people taking anyone to Facilitate and to do Assessments, people that have no prior or REAL experience… that can’t even complete Assessments forms correctly.  

    I know an Emerging Provider in the Free State, Welkom – this guy specialize in training of those with disabilities. When he went through the Accreditation process, I could not find an Assessor and moderator for him since those registered on the Qualification were not willing to assist this emerging Provider. I did find someone in Gauteng that I assisted to register since this guy was willing and I could see had more experience as those that are already within the System … and this Provider in the Free State has a clear understanding of Quality Assurance much more than many I know. And he met the criteria of the Seta even though it costed him allot of time and resources but he was committed. He does not put 100’s of learners through but those he puts through does become exceptional in the learning field. He will spend many hours individually with a Learner and make sure that person is competent and the downfall is he needs to complete against GIANTS that does not allow the sun over his head, when he is doing a much better job, when his QUALITY ASSURANCE is more in line as those Giants or wanna-be-giants and then I do ask why does the Seta not see this or do they prefer not to see … It is a debate that can be argue to both sides effectively.



    Dear Bianca

    I understand. It seems to me that the SETA’s have double standards and they themselves carry out a tick-box exercise to accredit assessors and moderators and even QA. The whole SETA system is fatally flawed, in my opinion. 

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