Strategic Role of the SDF
Skills Development Facilitator (SDF)
A Skills Development Facilitator (SDF) is responsible for the planning, implementation and reporting of training in an organisation, with Seta-related duties.
1.1 Appointment of an SDF
In larger organisations, a currently employed training or Human Resources (HR) manager may be appointed as an internal SDF. In smaller organisations there is often no dedicated training or HR professional fulfilling this role, and so a manager or company owner will assume the responsibility. The role can also be outsourced to a professional external SDF.
1.2 Function of an SDF
The functions of an SDF are to:
- Assist the employer and employees to develop a Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) which complies with the requirements of the Seta.
- Submit the WSP to the relevant Seta.
- Advise the employer on the implementation of the WSP.
- Assist the employer to draft an Annual Training Report (ATR) on the implementation of the WSP.
- Advise the employer on the quality assurance requirements set by the Seta.
- Act as a contact person between the employer and the Seta.
- Serve as a resource with regard to all aspects of skills development.
- Communicate Seta initiatives, grants and benefits to the employer.
- Communicate with branch offices, and all employees in the main office and branch offices, concerning events and grants being offered at the Seta.
1.3 Roles of an SDF
The employer must provide the SDF with the resources, facilities and training necessary to perform the functions set out above.
An SDF is a:
- Facilitator: To facilitate the development of an employer’s skills development strategy
- Expert: To serve as an expert resource for accrediting the employer as a training provider and for the implementation of appropriate learnerships and skills programmes
- Administrator: To complete and submit the WSP and ATR
- Advisor: To advise the employers and employees on the National Strategy (NSDS) and on the implementation of the WSP Skills Development
- Education and needs evaluator: To assess the skills development needs of the organisation
- Mediator: To serve as a contact person between the employer and the relevant Seta
1.4 SDF unit standards
The South African Board of Personnel Practitioners (SABPP) and the Education and Training Development Practices (ETDP) Seta are the accredited Education and Training Quality Authorities (ETQAs) for seven SDF unit standards. There is currently no full qualification for SDFs although this has been in the pipeline for some time. These unit standards fall under a number of qualifications, including:
- National Certificate: Practices (50331) Occupationally Directed Education, Training and Development
- National Diploma: Human Resources Management and Practices (61592)
The seven SDF unit standards are:
- Develop an organisational training and development plan. (15217)
- Conduct an analysis to purposes. (15218) determine outcomes of learning for skills development and other
- Provide information and advice regarding skills development and related issues. (15221)
- Promote a learning culture in the organisation. (15222) (OPTIONAL)
- Conduct skills development administration in an organisation. (15227) (OPTIONAL)
- Advise on the establishment and implementation of a quality management system for skills development practices in an organisation. (15228) (OPTIONAL)
- Coordinate planned skills development interventions in an organisation. (15232)
It is not a requirement that a SDF has to have any formal training to practice as an SDF. Some Setas however have enforced SDFs should have some training and show competence against relevant unit standards, and retain the right to reject the SDFs grant submissions.
It is important for SDFs to remain up-to-date with the latest developments in the field.