Skills Development Facilitators in South Africa


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TRAINYOUCAN Accredited Training Network strives to deliver the highest level of service delivery and 100% compliance with SAQA and the ETQA’s (SETA) guidelines and policies. Not only does this add extra creditability to our brand, but also to the learner satisfaction and competency to perform the actual task.

We at TRAINYOUCAN Accredited Training Network do not want to be associated with any of the common Training Provider Scams and Fraud and will never entertain any related discussions at any point in time.

Don’t get caught with the most common training scams and fraud!

1. POE building (Portfolio of Evidence) in the class is against the SAQA policy [1] and the NQF Objectives [2] plus a “cheap” way to sell courses by compiling fraudulent evidence for certification. Providers should be reported to the relevant ETQA for investigation and possible de-registration including certified learners as the programmes are offered outside the scope of approval. [8][9][10][11][12][14][15]

2. Reduced classroom (contact session) as per the minimum guidelines of the Unit Standards NQF Credit allocation to save on catering, venue and facilitation cost. [1] [3] [8][9][14][15]

3. Falsely advertising, misleading learners with content or the inappropriate/unauthorised use of the SAQA or SETA logos or trademarks [6] with learning content that does not meet the NQF principles [2] where either the learning programme or the training provider is not accredited by the relevant ETQA for delivery. [4] [6]

4. Issuing of certification (mostly in class) without complete/any uploading of learner achievements and the confirmation of receipt (copy of the SOR – Statement of Results) on the ETQA/NRLD database, also known as “Selling Certificates”. [6][12][15]

5. Not providing the relevant supporting structures as defined by the SAQA policy for Accreditation of Training Provider[7][8][9] or limiting the supporting /enrolment period with sub-clauses of impossible/unreasonable timelines. [14]

Reference sources:

[1] SAQA Policy 2003: The National Qualifications Framework and the Standards Setting; reference to page 9, “Credit system”.

‘Notional hours of learning’ refers to the learning time that it would take an average learner to meet the outcomes defined, such as: contact time, time spent in structured learning in the workplace, individual learning and assessment.

The process include:

    1. Delivery. (Typical contact session + formative assessments).
    2. Workplace experience. (Outside the classroom before assessment can take place)
    3. Assessment. (Summative assessment)
    4. Certification.

[2] National Qualifications Framework Act, 2008 (Act 67 of 2008) – NQF Objectives.

The objectives of the NQF as outlined in the NQF Act No 67 of 2008 are as follows:

  • To create a single integrated national framework for learning achievements;
  • Facilitate access to, and mobility and progression within, education, training and career paths;
  • Enhance the quality of education and training;
  • Accelerate the redress of past unfair discrimination in education, training and employment opportunities.

The objectives of the NQF are designed to contribute to the full personal development of each learner and the social and economic development of the nation at large.

[3] SAQA Guidelines: Criteria and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Providers, 01 October 2001, page 25, section 3.D.iii in respect of: Policies and practices for learner entry, guidance and support systems.


[4] Understanding the different definitions of “accreditation”  including (a) a persons accreditation, (b) a Training Providers accreditation or (c) the Learning Programmes accreditation.


[5]  Notional learning hours are the estimated learning time taken by the ‘average’ student to achieve the specified learning outcomes of the course-unit or programme. They are therefore not a precise measure but provide students with an indication of the amount of study and degree of commitment expected.


[6] No reference on the SAQA policies or guidelines found, but general good  practices for operation and authentication should be used. The only reference found as the criteria SAQA provides on the information that should appear on the certificate that is in direct conflict of issuing certificate with reference to the in-appropriate use of NQF, Credits, Unit Standards and ETQA or SAQA logos.

SAQA Policy: Policy on Usage of SAQA Trademarks by Stakeholders

 The Trademarks lodged are the following:

  • South African Qualifications Authority
  • SAQA
  • South African Qualifications Authority together with the old and new Q devices
  • National Qualifications Framework
  • NQF
  • National Learners’ Records Database
  • NLRD
  • NQF support link together with logo
  • Khetha


[7] ETQAs are accredited by SAQA for “…the purpose of monitoring and auditing achievements in terms of national standards or qualifications and standards” (SAQA, 2001c:7). In turn, ETQAs are responsible for accrediting providers34 whose primary focus35 coincides with the primary focus of the ETQA, provided that the body seeking accreditation:


  • is registered as a provider in terms of the applicable legislation36;
  • has an effective and functional QMS as required by the ETQA regulations;
  • is able to develop, deliver and evaluate learning programmes, which culminate in specified registered standards and qualifications;
  • has the necessary financial, administrative and physical resources;
  • has the necessary policies, practices and reporting procedures as required by the ETQA regulations; and
  • has not already been granted accreditation by another ETQA.


SAQA (2001a) prescribes only two forms of  Training Provider Accreditation:


  • Provisional accreditation: “Granted for an agreed, limited period of time according to an agreed programme of development to enable full accreditation criteria to be met, provided the interests of the learner are protected” (SAQA, 2001a:11).
  • Full Accreditation: “The certification, usually for a particular period of time, of a person, a body or an institution as having the capacity to fulfil a particular function in the quality assurance system set up by the South African Qualifications Authority in terms of the Act” (SAQA, 2001a:17).


[8] SAQA Guidelines: Criteria and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Providers, 01 October 2001, page 26, section 3.D.iv in respect of: Policies and practices for managing off-site practical or work-site components.


[9] SAQA Policy: Criteria and Guidelines for Assessment of NQF Registered Unit standards and Qualifications; Principles of the NQF, namely:


  1. Integration; To form part of a system of human resources development which provides for the establishment of a unifying approach to education and training.
  2. Relevance; To be and remain responsive to national development needs.
  3. Credibility; To have international and national value and acceptance.
  4. Coherence; To work within a consistent framework of principles and certification.
  5. Flexibility; To allow for multiple pathways to the same learning ends.
  6. Standards; To be expressed in terms of a nationally agreed framework and internationally acceptable outcomes.
  7. Legitimacy; To provide for the participation of all national stakeholders in the planning and co-ordination of standards and qualifications.
  8. Access; To provide ease of entry to appropriate levels of education and training for all prospective learners in a manner which facilitates progression.
  9. Articulation; To provide for learners, on successful completion of accredited prerequisites, to move between components of the delivery system.
  10. Progression; To ensure that the framework of qualifications permits individuals to move through the levels of national qualifications via different appropriate combinations of the components of the delivery system.
  11. Portability; To enable learners to transfer credits of qualifications from one learning institution and/or employer to another.
  12. Recognition of Prior Learning; To, through assessment, give credit to learning which has already been acquired in different ways.
  13. Guidance of learners; To provide for counseling of learners by specially trained individuals who meet nationally recognized standards for educators and trainers.


[10] SAQA Policy: Criteria and Guidelines for Assessment of NQF Registered Unit standards and Qualifications; Principles of Assessment, namely:


  • Fairness
  • Validity
  • Reliability
  • Practicability


[11] SAQA Policy: Criteria and Guidelines for Assessment of NQF Registered Unit standards and Qualifications; Principles of OBET (Outcome Based Education and Training) with regards to Applied competence that consist out of:


  • Practical competence; The demonstrated ability to perform a set of tasks in an authentic context. A range of actions or possibilities is considered, and decisions are made about which actions to follow.


  • Foundational competence; The demonstrated understanding of what the learner is doing and why. This underpins the practical competence and therefore the actions taken.


  • Reflexive competence; The demonstrated ability to integrate performance with understanding, so as to show that the learner is able to adapt to changed circumstances appropriately and responsibly, and to explain the reason behind an action.


[12] SAQA Policy: Criteria and Guidelines for Assessment of NQF Registered Unit standards and Qualifications; Formative and Summative Assessment.


  • Formative assessment refers to assessment that takes place during the process of learning and teaching.


  • Assists in the planning future learning
  • Diagnoses the learner’s strength and weaknesses
  • Provides feedback to the learner on his/her progress
  • Helps to make decisions on the readiness of learners to do a summative assessment
  • Is developmental in nature
  • Credits/certificates are not awarded


  • Summative assessment is assessment for making a judgement about achievement. This is carried out when a learner is ready to be assessed at the end of a programme of learning.


  • At the end of a learning programme (qualification, unit standard, or part qualification)
  • To determine whether the learner is competent or not yet competent
  • In knowledge and inputs-based systems, this usually occurs after a specified period of study.
  • In OBET, learner-readiness determines when assessments will take place
  • Is carried out when the assessor and the learner agree that the learner is ready for assessment


[13] SAQA Policy: Criteria and Guidelines for Assessment of NQF Registered Unit standards and Qualifications; Formative Assessments leads to Summative Assessments.


Results initially collected as results for formative assessment, can be used for summative assessment with the agreement of the learner. This will prevent having to assess outcomes twice.


The organization of the learning programme will inform decisions on when summative assessments can take place, e.g. a learning programme can be organized around one outcome or a set of outcomes, depending on what is appropriate in terms of ensuring learner success. Summative assessments are administered when a learner has gone through such a programme and is ready to be assessed. On declaration of competence, credit is then given, recorded and reported.


[14] SAQA Policy: Criteria and Guidelines for Assessment of NQF Registered Unit standards and Qualifications; Quality of Evidence that consist out of:


  1. Validity of evidence

Does the evidence relate to the specific outcomes and criteria to be assessed? Evidence is not automatically valid (or invalid) – evidence should be appropriate to hat is being assessed.


  1. Authenticity of evidence

Can the evidence be attributed to the learner? Is the evidence the learner’s own work? In written assessments, safeguards against dishonesty have long been in place. In  BET, there is no difficulty in checking authenticity where the assessor is observing the learner directly. However, where indirect evidence is produced, or where group work was undertaken, the assessor has to verify that the evidence is the learner’s own work, and in the case of group work, that he/she has made a fair contribution to the end-result.


  1. Sufficiency of evidence

Is there enough evidence to meet all the criteria needed to certify the learner as  competent? Is the assessor confident that the performance can be repeated? The use of various sources of evidence and a variety of assessment activities assist in ensuring that the evidence is sufficient. This will ensure that enough evidence is provided to meet all the criteria and the applicable range statements.


  1. Currency of evidence

Is the evidence related to current competence? Currency refers to the applicability of skills, knowledge and understanding in the present circumstances. In some fields of study, currency of experience and training is of the utmost importance.


[15] SAQA Policy: Criteria and Guidelines for Assessment of NQF Registered Unit standards and Qualifications; Steps in the Assessment Process, namely:


Preparatory phase, with reference to the section of:


Decide on the timing of assessment

The timing of assessments will depend on the following factors:

  • the rationale for assessments at certain points in the learning programme (formative or summative), i.e. will learners be at a logical end-point of learning, or at a point where diagnosis needs to be made?
  • the sharing of facilities with other assessors
  • the extent to which workplace learners will be able to undertake assessments


ETDP SETA Policy Changes 2015/2016

During the recent ETDP SETA workshop held in Durban in November 2015 the following changes was discussed.


In an effort to line-up with the QCTO procedures the ETDP SETA will differentiate between Internal, External and Verification procedures in the future. This means that the learning process from start to end will be broken down in the following stages, namely:


  1. Enrolment
  2. Delivery of learning (contact sessions)
  3. Workplace experience (practical)
  4. Assessment
  5. Internal Moderation
  6. External Moderation
  7. Verification
  8. Certification


The ETQA Manager also emphasized during the workshop that all queries/complaints received by the ETDP SETA will be handed over to the Quality Assurance Committee that will advice on any changes in any policy or procedure in the future.


DATANET, the current online data system used by the ETDP SETA will be taken offline in January and replaced in April 2016 by a similar system designed for the SERVICES SETA. During January and April all Training Providers will submit verification request to the SETA via Excel Sheets, similar currently been used by the SERVICES SETA, during the move over process. (January to April 2016)


More changes in January are expected with the Verification process. Verifiers will during External Moderation review the Training Providers entire Quality Management System, Legal documents such as the SARS TAX Clearance certificates and implementation strategies such as the use of Notional Hours and support. Adverts for new verifiers will be placed shortly in all regions to enable the ETDP SETA for implementation these new procedures.


Filing of learner Portfolio of Evidence files by Training Providers for a period of 5 years was also discussed and re-enforced. This impossible task that will result in additional storage space that will add additional cost to learning programmes in the future.


The ETDP SETA will also place more emphasis and checks in 2016 on the implementation of Notional Hours, especially for Training Providers offering Assessor and Moderator courses in the same week, including public tenders that does not have the capacity to deliver the programmes according to the guidelines stipulated by the SAQA policy. This will also include support to learners during the learning process and appointing of 3rd parties through MOU’s by Training Providers that allows individuals to make use of their learning programmes on a commission based process.


The lack of the ETDP SETA’s Head Office in Johannesburg to communicate and answer their telephones was as also raised, including the new learning programme approval process that is currently an impossible task to follow through the ETDP SETA. More templates for learning programme design will be placed on their website in January as guidelines that will hopefully streamline the approval process. It was also emphasized during the workshop that all learning material should be returned by the SETA’s Head Office to the Training Provider on completion of review.

Proposal for the New National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) and Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) landscape

“Proposal for the New National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) and Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) landscape within the context of an Integrated and Differentiated Post-School Education and Training System (NSLP-2015)”

The DHET – Department of Higher Education and Training has called for public comments on the future of skills development in South Africa. Minister Blade Nzimande has released his proposals for the Setas and members of the public and interested organisations have until 20th January 2016 to submit their comments.

The proposals is that the Setas would be renamed and re-purposed so that they would become departments of the national Department of Higher Education and Training and renamed as Sector Education and Training Advisory Boards. It is also proposted that instead of their current 5-year life spans as determined by the relevant Minister, the proposal is that these Setabs (!) would be permanent structures.

This new move could suggest that DHET have more power over the SETA’s having questions over the future role of SAQA and the QCTO. One of the other major benefits for DHET would be to have more control over the Skills Levies Fund that could result in major issues for the private sector including skills training on lower levels, also the future of private FET colleges and Training Providers.

During 2013 with the amendment of the Skills Act the allocation of funds to levy paying organisations was reduced from 60% to 20% that resulted in an estimated 40% drop in training statistics between the SETA’s in South Africa. This year, DHET excluded annual training statistics from the different SETA’s in the DHET annual report. Why? Is this part of a cover-up process or a simple strategic move to change the allocation of the Skills Levies Fund to other priorities.

Another change in the 2013 Skills Development Act allowed the DHET to allocate more funds paid by the private sector to Universities and FET’s. Would this last move from DHET mean that Skills Development South Africa especially in the private sector would come to a total stand-still?

Readers can download a copy of this document below.






What you need to submit a Learning Programme for approval through the SETA.

The following steps are followed in order to submit a learning programme (unit standards) for approval through the ETQA (SETA).

Note: We make reference to the ETQA (Education Training Quality Authority) and not the SETA. The reason for this is because the ETQA Department/Manager within the SETA will review your programme and issue approval. (SETA has different departments who are responsible for different task. The ETQA manager will ultimately approve your programme.)


 Download the SETA application forms from their website, or contact their ETQA Manager and request the documents.

These documents may include:

-Application document that must be submitted with the programme in order to be processed.

-Include personal and Training Provider contact detail.

-Flow process, summary and matrix copy.

-Checklist that must be completed by the application to ensure all the documentation is correct and in order.

-Administration process (flow processes from printing to uploading)




List of the Assessors and Moderators must be attached.


-Must have at least one (1) qualified assessors that is (2) registered with the specific SETA and (3) have a valid letter from the SETA that allows the Assessors to assess in this unit standard.

-Must have at least one (1) qualified moderator that is (2) registered with the specific SETA and (3) have a valid letter form the SETA that allows the Moderators to moderate in this unit standard.

-The Assessors and the Moderator cannot be the same person.



This is “optional” for those individuals who purchased the programme from a third party or developer directory. (Did not develop their own material.)


The following information will be required additional with your submission:

-Copy of the purchase agreement that highlight the printing and usage rights.

-Internal moderators report to confirm you have the scope and resources to deliver this programme.

-If this material was previously approved for another training provider, copy/full details of this must also be supplied.



Full matrix that include at least the following fields.


  1. Unit Standard Number
  2. Unit Standard Description
  3. Purpose of the Unit Standard
  4. Credits with a breakdown of the Notional Hours.
  5. NQF level
  6. Entry Level requirements.
  7. How the CCFO’s was covered and where it is covered in the learning programme.


  1. Unit Standard Number
  2. Specific Outcomes + Numbered
  3. Assessment Criteria + Numbered
  4. Range Statements + Numbered
  5. CCFO + Numbered
  6. Learning Outcomes + Numbered
  7. Theory Notional Hours
  8. Practical Notional Hours
  9. Timeline in classroom
  10. Formative Activity methods
  11. Reference to Formative Activity numbers
  12. Summative Activity methods
  13. Reference to Summative Activity numbers.
  14. Resources, equipment required.
  15. Facilitation method (delivery strategy)



Detailed facilitator guide that include the following:

-Background of the learning programme.

-Who should attend/minimum entry level requirements.

-Strengths and weaknesses for implementing the programme.

-How feedback will be provided from the learner and from the Facilitator to the Training Provider.

-Sequence/process flow.

-Quality Assurance procedures/legal requirements/safety requirements.


-Methods and activity instructions.

-Resources required.

-Formative and Summative instructions.



Detailed learner guide that include the following:

-Unit Standard/Programme detail.


-Purpose of the programme

-Range Statement

-Learner entry level requirements

-Learners with special needs

-Training methods that will be used.

-Tools and resources required for this programme.

-Credit and notional hour’s breakdown.

-Learner support.

-Assessment strategies.

-Formative and Summative activities.

-Navigation through the learner guide.

-Learner rights and responsibilities

-Learner agreement

-Learning map/process flow

-Copy of the unit standard.

-Learning outcomes.

-Assessment Criteria + learning content.

-Learner feedback.



Learner workbook that include the following:

-Unit Standard/Programme detail.


-Appeals policy

-Purpose of the programme

-Range Statement

-Learner entry level requirements

-Learners with special needs

-Training methods that will be used.

-Tools and resources required for this programme.

-Credit and notional hours breakdown.

-Learner support.

-Assessment strategies.

-Formative and Summative activities.

-Navigation through the learner guide.

-Learner registration/CV/ID copy

-Learner rights and responsibilities

-Learner agreement

-Learning map/process flow

-Copy of the unit standard.



Reference to unit standard 115755

The complete Assessment guide that consist out of the following sections:

  1. Plan for Assessment.
  2. Preparation of the learner.
  3. Conduct Assessment.
  4. Judgement of the Assessment.
  5. Feedback to the learner.
  6. Review of the Assessment process.



–Create a separate document calling it the Assessment Memo Cover Page that makes reference to your Unit Standard details, and maybe give it a “confidential” watermark, footnote or disclaimer of some sort.

–Include model answers for each activity/assessment activity in this guide – we’re not recommending any particular format. You may also want to include the following, depending on the topic or structure of your activities:

*Support material and/or references that were provided to the learner – which he/she can use as resources (we mean

resources and references that were given to the learner during the induction or facilitation).

*Observations sheets – these should be in the Assessment Guide already if used previously

*Checklists – to check if the learner’s response is complete or that all required activities were handed in.

*Possible or required sources of evidence – or of course your model answers, or guidelines on how learners were asked or could answer the question.

*Expected quality of evidence – maybe include the amount of pages, size of response, number of words, how many points will be allocated to this activity and so forth.



Depending on the type of programme, NQF level and the target group of learner, may the SETA also request a mentoring guide.

Mentor guide is similar to the Facilitator guide, but intended for the supervisor or manager in the workplace to guide them on the instructions and type of exposure the learners should get.

The mentor guide will also be a summary of all the guidelines and instructions given to the learner during the contact sessions for all the summative assessment instructions.

-What the leaner is busy with?

-Instructions provided to the learner during the delivery?

-What the learner should do?

-Period and level of experience required?

-What end-result is expected on completion?



The credit calculation of the unit standard is based on a formula (multiple by x 10) that = to the total number of Notional Hours that must be achieved at the end of the learning programme.

Notional Hours consist out of (a) Theory and (b) Practical = Notional Hours.

In order to achieve the “practical” hours, the learner needs to demonstrate how he achieved this, (mostly in the workplace) by means of evidence. (Logbook).

Logbook can be in any form that can provide evidence that the learner (a) had the opportunity to practice the tasks in the workplace and (b) ensure that the minimum notional hours was completed.

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