We often have questions regarding Accreditation:
- What does it really mean?
- How can I confirm that someone or something is accredited?
This falls into two different categories, namely a) provider accreditation b) programme accreditation.
These are two totally different processes, meaning that a Training Provider must be Accredited with one of the ETQA’s (SETA’s) and each programme they use must carry its own accreditation.
“Provider accreditation can only be with one SETA, but they have the approval to train different programmes in different SETA’s. These programmes has been approved by the relevant SETA who gave them the approval to train these programmes”
Lets see what SAQA say about Training Provider Accreditation:
A body may be accredited as a provider by an Education and Training Quality Assurance Body whose primary focus coincides with the primary focus of the provider, provided that the body seeking accreditation –
(a) is registered as a provider in terms of the applicable legislation at the time of application for accreditation;
(b) has a quality management system which includes but is not limited to –
(i) quality management policies which define that which the provider wishes to achieve;
(ii) quality management procedures which enable the provider to practise its defined quality management policies; or
(iii) review mechanisms which ensure that the quality management policies and procedures defined are applied and remain effective;
(c) is able to develop, deliver and evaluate learning programmes which culminate in specified registered standards or qualifications;
(d) has the –
(i) necessary financial, administrative and physical resources;
(ii) policies and practices for staff selection, appraisal and development;
(iii) policies and practices for learner entry, guidance and support systems;
(iv) policies and practices for the management of off-site practical or work-site components where appropriate;
(v) policies and practices for the management of assessment which include appeals systems;
(vi) necessary reporting procedures; and
(vii) the ability to achieve the desired outcomes, using available resources and procedures considered by the Education and Training Quality Assurance Body to be needed to develop, deliver and evaluate learning programmes which culminate in specified registered standards or qualifications contemplated in paragraph (c); and
(e) has not already been granted accreditation by or applied for accreditation to another Education and Training Quality Assurance Body contemplated in Regulation 2 of the ETQA Regulations.
So how can I check if a Training Provider is accredited?
Firstly we must understand/use the correct terminology. There is a big difference between “Accredited Programmes” and “NQF Accredited Programmes”.
|Accreditation / Accredited is a process in which certification of competency, authority, or credibility is presented. In most cases by a higher authority.
|Nowhere does it mention SETA, SAQA or NQF! The terms “higher authority” can also mean your Head Office.
|NQF Accredited is stipulated in the SAQA and the Skills Development ACT as SETA / NQF Accredited courses. You cannot use these terms if you do not have an approval letter from the relevant ETQA (SETA) for the specific programme.
|There is also a big difference between “Unit Standard Aligned” and “NQF Accredited”. Question: Why would I want to offer “Unit Standard Aligned” programmes and don’t use the words “NQF Accredited”? Makes you think. Most companies use this as a “sales technique” to sell their course to learners.
How to confirm that a Training Provider or Programme is accredited?
Here are some guidelines on this process:
- You can ask for their Accreditation Number or Certificate from the SETA. They should also have this on their website or programme correspondence including manuals. Most of the SETA’s do not allow the use of their logos on Websites, Emails or Learning Programmes. Don’t be fooled with a SETA logo!
- Contact the relevant SETA (ETQA) directly (click here for a full list of contact details). These SETAS approved the Training Providers and Training Programmes, so why not ask them directly? Alternative you can also check on the SAQA website on this link by confirming the providers name at the bottom of the unit standard or qualification. We had several reports in the past where this information was not 100% correct, so once again, rather check with the relevant SETA directly.
- Contact the local SETA and ask for any feedback from the Training Provider. (Did they receive any serious complaints about the provider in the past?)
- Ask for referrals directly from the Training Provider.
- What is the process or duration till I receive my Final Certificate?
- Ask about their supporting structure and possible re-assessment fees.
- Do they provide ongoing support?
- Do they ask for “registration fees” that is normally used as commission for the middle man between you and the provider?
- Do they make mention of their supporting structure on their website or communication?
- Do they make mention of their fee structure on their website or communication?
(It’s always easy to change the terms and conditions if you haven’t confirmed this in writing)
So what are my rights?
Looking at the above criteria it is clear that the SETA / NQF Accredited Training Provider must have all the required documentation, processes and supporting structures in place. Not providing the necessary support during the learning process must be reported directly to SAQA or the relevant ETQA (SETA).
After all, it is one of the key criteria provided by SAQA for Provider Accreditation.