The imminent move away from Sector Education Training Authority (SETA) based unit standards will assist adult learners with access to more affordable, quality occupational-based training going forward.
Dekra IOL’s head of training, Christopher Mörsner, explains the changes taking place in the local adult education sector, as the industry is moving from ‘legacy’ unit standards that are run by the 21 local SETAs to standards that are run by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO).
“Some adult education skills development providers are having difficulty moving over from these SETA-based unit standards and legacy qualifications to the QCTO environment. Dekra IOL is able to assist skills development providers by running workshops that will explain and clarify the benefits of these pending changes, and how to navigate the way forward,” says Mörsner.
‘Closing the gap’: from SETA to QCTO
Training consultant Lynel Farrell comments, “I have found during my extensive experience that there is always the ‘missing middle’ where the skills development providers do not completely understand the requirements of the QCTO. Together with Dekra IOL, our aim is to fill in the gaps, ensuring that skills development providers completely understand the requirements and compliance aspects for the provision of quality occupation-related training in South Africa going forward.”
She notes that over the past 10 years, she has seen adult education skills development providers experiencing real difficulty in moving from the SETA landscape to the QCTO environment.
Farrell clarifies: “For example, within the SETA landscape, learners are able to combine modules in order to achieve their final legacy qualification. This has played a role in creating a situation in which there can be substantial differences in the same legacy qualification in various regions of the country – legacy qualifications are not standardised. Under the new rules within the QCTO environment, this will not happen – all recorded modules within the occupational qualification are compulsory, in order to register and write the External Integrated Summative Assessment (national examination) at an approved assessment centre.
“The learner will have to complete all the modules – including knowledge, practical and workplace experience modules – in order to achieve the final occupational qualification in its entirety. This leads to standardisation and equivalency within an occupational-based qualification.”
Dekra IOL is certified with the QCTO for a number of occupational qualifications, including the following:
- Occupational health and safety practitioner
- Training and development practitioner
- Compliance officer
- Organisational risk manager
- Organisational risk practitioner
Farrell clarifies that there is a phasing-out period during which skills development providers must change over from the legacy SETA-based units and legacy qualifications to the QCTO occupational qualifications and skills programmes. “If they do not do this timeously, they will no longer be able to enrol learners after a certain date, and this is of course a business risk,” she notes.
Mörsner confirms: “As the legacy curriculum format involving unit standards run by the SETAs changes to new occupational standards under the QCTO, Dekra IOL is proud to play our part in facilitating understanding and best practices of the new order. We look forward to promoting the new learning and training framework, compliance criteria and best practices; and to playing our role in empowering both training service providers and learners alike.