The Accreditation Minefield

If you were to have to navigate yourself across a minefield, would you opt to chance it alone or would you choose to follow a big set of size thirteen boots across the forsaken land?  It sounds like a given but in fact, trainers often opt to chance the minefield – in our case, the accreditation minefield.

The majority of trainers thank me for all the information I’ve provided during their free introductory consultation and then choose to go their own way.  I respectfully wish them well, however, I’m all too aware that the likelihood of them returning defeated in a year or two of the solo navigation is great.   The treacherous system trips most up along the way.

The accreditation process has numerous aspects which if not precisely followed upsets the entire process.  My experience in assisting trainers obtain accreditation over the past six years has allowed me to pinpoint a number of telling reasons providers don’t obtain accreditation.

Firstly and most importantly, training material is incorrectly aligned.  The alignment of training material to the correct SAQA unit standard or qualification isn’t a simple copy and paste exercise that many trainers assume it is.  SAQA training material is mostly designed by competent Assessing and Moderating professionals who have also excelled in designing and developing training materials.  Furthermore, they are competent overseeing any of the changes that the SETA verifiers may require (due to each SETA having their own specific criteria – in the case of our experience at least).  SETA requires that they approve the full pack of the trainer’s training programme in order for the Training Provider to receive Programme approval for this training pack.  Should anything in the pack be omitted or fail to satisfy the SETAs expectation, the Training Provider trainer will not receive the necessary SETA approval.

A second aspect is the implementation and management of a comprehensive Quality Management System (QMS).  In order to be awarded and thereafter maintain SETA accreditation, a provider is required to prove that they are capable of successfully managing a quality focused company providing a high level of training.  The achievement of this exceptional level requires purposeful implementation daily of documented plans of policies and procedures (known as a QMS).  It’s required that the QMS be constantly updated and adapted according to each company’s uniqueness.  Lip service and a flashy document won’t make the grade with SETA either; they will require proof of implementation.

Thirdly, and I’ve made mention many times of the importance of Assessors and Moderators and their role in the accreditation process.   I’ve been disappointed on many occasions when seeking competent Assessors and Moderators for clients due to the lack of knowledge and poor delivery of those available in the market place.  Despite our stipulation of the requirement of a SAQA ID constituency, candidate hopefuls mostly forward their ETDP statement of results to us.   It’s concerning and apparent that many providers offering training to Assessors and Moderators aren’t making it clear that once the Competence Certificate and SOR is attained that registration with the relevant SETA is required in order to thereafter assess or moderate against a SAQA Qualification ID.  The completion of an Assessor and Moderators course does not permit the assessment or moderation of any SAQA qualification, a further step is required.   Furthermore, SETA registrations expire after a specified period.  Assessors and Moderators are thus required to keep their status up to date.

That’s enough for today – as you can see it really is a minefield!  We are the size thirteen boots in this accreditation minefield; let us get and keep you SETA accredited!