Questions about accreditation and training


By alanhammond, 11 February, 2010

I received this enquiry from a Skills Universe reader but don’t have an email address to reply. So I have posted my response in a blog and would welcome any comments from other members who could assist Angelique.

Hi there,

First of all, I must congratulate your group for such an informative site. I have recently returned to SA from Canada with a host of certifications / lecture / seminar experience that seem to be required here in SA. The reason I mention this is that I have been contacted by a few Skills Training Companies about whether I'm registered in SETA or affiliated to a FET College? I am neither and therefore not planning to teach unless specified as an Unaccredited Training Provider. As you would well imagine, this option is not well received in today's labour market. I have been told that to get SETA accreditation is a 2-year process? Anyhow, I was wondering whether you could direct me to one of your Consultants who could help me through this process (I understand through one discussion that there is a fee involved) or just general info would be great.

Thank you so much for helping me in this regard.
Kind regards,

Angelique Silberman

Hi Angelique

Welcome back from Canada and thank you for your feedback on the Skills Universe site. I didn’t get your email address with you message so I will have to post my response on the Skills Universe and hope that you see it.

It will also give others on the site to contribute their opinions.

The first thing I would say is that currently it is ‘companies’ that are accredited by Setas to deliver unit-standard-aligned training, not the individual trainer/facilitator.

The second thing is that not all training has to be unit-standard-aligned and leading to qualifications. Usually it is better if it is, but it doesn’t have to be. And there are definitely times when it is not appropriate.

There are many larger companies who take a blanket view on training and simply say that all training must be delivered by accredited trainers. This would be a company policy and isn’t a legal requirement. If unaccredited training is suitable then the trainer/facilitator would need to explain/convince the company that they should use their services.

I would think that your options are:
1: work as a contract trainer/facilitator for a training company (they would be responsible for the accreditation.
2: Partner with a currently-accredited company to add new courses to their portfolio
3: Set up your own company and seek accreditation with a Seta
4: Set up your own company and offer training that is not accredited (As long as you are clear that this is the case and the client or learner isn’t confused about what they are getting).

There is no set time for the accreditation approval process to take – but it certainly could take two years or more. It depends on the company concerned and how many of the necessary processes they have in place. If you are starting a company from scratch it is likely to take longer rather than shorter!

It can be frustrating to think of the time and effort this takes but the objective is to ensure that training of a high standard is delivered. So in principle it is an important process to have and probably shouldn’t be too easy!!

Most Setas don’t charge a fee to become accredited so if you decide to manage the process yourself the only cost is your time.

Many training companies would prefer to pay a consultant to assist them with the process to save their time, and probably speed up the process.

I would mention that this is the current arrangement but we are in a transitional phase where a new body called the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations is being setup. This will probably have a big impact the way that accreditation works in South Africa. So if I was in your position I wouldn’t be keen to enter into a long process such as gaining accreditation when the goal posts might change along the way.

It is very possible that the goal posts will change to a system which is easier for you so it might make sense to wait.

So my summary is, please do teach and share your skills and don’t be discouraged by the accreditation issues. Work out what approach will be best for you.