Author Topic: Criteria for the accreditation of providers as defined in the ETQA Regulations  (Read 1612 times)

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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.

The ETQA Regulations essentially provide for SAQA to accredit Education and Training Quality Assurance bodies who, in turn, are responsible for the accreditation of providers.

There are a number of criteria that emerge from the Criteria and Guidelines for ETQAs that assist in identifying providers within ETQA sectors. These include the identified ETQA sector and the concept of primary focus

What are the frequently asked questions?

There are still issues pertaining to the accreditation of providers that need further clarification. These have been included and possible solutions put forward. The inclusion of these issues should not, however, be perceived as an impediment to beginning implementation in the first phase of accreditation.

Registration and accreditation

(a) Do all providers that offer whole qualifications, including company training centres, have to seek registration with the DoE? The South African Airways training centre is an example of this group.
(b) How do providers who do not offer whole qualifications attain registration?
(c) How do workplace learning sites attain registration?
(d) Is DoE legislation the only means of attaining registration?

Accountability for extension of accreditation

(a) Which ETQA does the provider pay for quality assurance services?
(b) Which ETQA issues the accreditation certificate?
(c) Which ETQA manages and administers the extension of accreditation?
(d) Which ETQA does the evaluation, monitoring and auditing of the provider?
(e) To which ETQA does the provider report on the extension of standards and qualifications?
(f) Which ETQA reports to SAQA on those standards and qualifications that are affected by the extension?

Possible solutions

Registration and accreditation

Perhaps registration needs to be defined so as to include regulations under acts other than DoE legislation. One would imagine for instance that the SAA Training Centre or any other pilot training centre would be registered in terms of the Civil Aviation Authority Act.

SAQA therefore needs to spell out what registration means so that it encompasses compulsory registration under all legislation. Attaining registration for providers who do not offer whole courses is an issue that needs to be looked at. Primarily the definition of registration needs to incorporate short courses into the system.

Currently company or sector–specific training sectors do not have to seek registration with the DoE if they can provide evidence of registration covered by other acts.

Another suggestion that has been mooted from time to time relates to a type of one-stop shop where the primary ETQA does everything. ETQA regulations actually contain provisions pertaining to issues such as financial viability and management capacity.

Accountability for extension of accreditation
The suggestion is that the primary ETQA should have the final accountability and that it should manage and administer the extension of accreditation. Where two ETQAs are involved, they would naturally have to agree on the framework for their collaboration or partnership. Such collaboration could mean that:

• The provider would pay its primary focus ETQA for quality assurance services;
• The primary focus ETQA would issue the accreditation certificate that has the endorsement of the other or secondary ETQA;
• In terms of the framework of partnership and collaboration, the two ETQAs could have discussions about how the money paid by the provider is to be utilised. The primary focus ETQA would then issue the accreditation certificate with an endorsement signifying approval by the secondary ETQA;
• The extension ETQA would evaluate, monitor and audit the provider. However, this would be under the management and co-ordination of the primary ETQA;
• The provider reports to its primary ETQA;
• The primary ETQA reports to SAQA on all standards and qualifications delivered by its providers, including the ones affected by extended accreditation. It would also submit information to its partner ETQA on the standards and qualifications affected by the extension. Providers whose primary function is to facilitate learning, could in all likelihood, be exempted from this report-laden option.

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