Author Topic: SAQA Criteria for Training Providers - Accreditation  (Read 1326 times)

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SAQA Criteria for Training Providers - Accreditation
« on: August 28, 2015, 10:50:37 AM »
A body may be accredited as a provider by an Education and Training Quality Assurance Body whose primary focus coincides with the primary focus of the provider, provided that the body seeking accreditation –

(a) is registered as a provider in terms of the applicable legislation at the time of application for accreditation;
(b) has a quality management system which includes but is not limited to –
(i) quality management policies which define that which the provider wishes to achieve;
(ii) quality management procedures which enable the provider to practise its defined quality management policies; or
(iii) review mechanisms which ensure that the quality management policies and procedures defined are applied and remain effective;
(c) is able to develop, deliver and evaluate learning programmes which culminate in specified registered standards or qualifications;
(d) has the –
(i) necessary financial, administrative and physical resources;
(ii) policies and practices for staff selection, appraisal and development;
(iii) policies and practices for learner entry, guidance and support systems;
(iv) policies and practices for the management of off-site practical or work-site components where appropriate;
(v) policies and practices for the management of assessment which include appeals systems;
(vi) necessary reporting procedures; and
(vii) the ability to achieve the desired outcomes, using available resources and procedures considered by the Education and Training Quality Assurance Body to be needed to develop, deliver and evaluate learning programmes which culminate in specified registered standards or qualifications contemplated in paragraph (c); and
(e) has not already been granted accreditation by or applied for accreditation to another Education and Training Quality Assurance Body contemplated in Regulation 2 of the ETQA Regulations.


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Re: SAQA Criteria for Training Providers - Accreditation
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2015, 11:00:02 AM »
(a) Accreditation of registered providers
The ETQA Regulations require that the body or organisation applying to be accredited as a provider has to be so registered, in terms of the applicable legislation at the time of the application for accreditation.

(b) Quality management system
The requirement is that the provider has a quality management system which includes policies, procedures and mechanisms to review these.

In keeping with the ETQA Regulations, this can be summarised as a requirement that the provider must be able to demonstrate to the relevant ETQA that it has a quality management system which includes quality management policies and procedures as well as review mechanisms to ensure that the degree of excellence specified for provision and assessment is achieved.

The degree of excellence specified should be indicated and reflected in the mission statement and objectives of the provider. In essence, this requires that the provider has a purpose that is informed by national, sectoral, local and learner requirements within the context of accessible, affordable and cost-effective quality systems for delivery and assessment.

Elements linked to the purpose of the provider (“mission statement”)

• a clear and unambiguous statement of the goals and principles by which the provider operates;
• a clear statement of the areas of learning in which the provider operates and the services provided in respect of these areas. For example, this would include the NQF registered standards and qualifications and the range of services (tuition, tuition and assessment, etc.) to be provided as well as the learner audience the provider will direct these at;
• an explanation of how quality management and other provider policies and strategic plans are reflected in and driven by this purpose, including how these relate to national, sectoral and local contexts and are responsive to change requirements; and
• a clear and unambiguous commitment to learners.

Elements linked to the practices of the provider include

• strategic business and operational plans that give direction to the provider over the period of accreditation and clearly reflect the purpose of the provider;
• strategic business and operational plans that are realistic and designed to enable the provider to meet both quality improvement and sustainability requirements;
• procedures and methods for the implementation of plans and policies that are documented and easily available to staff, learners and other clients of the provider;
• mechanisms to monitor and review the implementation of plans and policies that are implemented, maintained and recorded; and
• mechanisms for ensuring that the evaluation and amendment of policies and plans are implemented, maintained and recorded;

Amongst the policies and practices that providers need to ensure they cover – depending on their type and form of provision – are the following:

• programme/course development and design;
• materials development;
• teaching and learning services and responsibilities;
• learner support, access issues including equal opportunities, authenticity of assessment evidence and appeals systems, as well as the use of tutors and mentors and learning resources;
• the language of teaching and learning;
• assessment;
• finances, fees and payment regulations;
• collaboration and partnerships;
• management and administration;
• marketing;
• evaluation and research;
• internal quality assurance mechanisms and reviews;
• quality assurance reviews and accreditation.

(c) Learning programmes: development, delivery and evaluation

A learning programme is defined as the process through which the learner achieves the standard/s or qualification.

In respect of programme development, the Draft Document on Criteria for Quality Distance Education in South Africa, summarises the criterion for programme development as:

Quote
Programmes are flexible and designed with national needs as well as the needs of prospective learners and employers in mind; their form and structure encourage access and are responsive to changing environments; learning and assessment methods are appropriate to the aims and purposes of the programme.

The elements of the programme include its relationship to the registered standard/s or qualification in respect of learning outcomes and purpose as well as assessment and accreditation requirements.

Also included would be the style of learning and teaching (including training), key features of the learning environment, learning and learning support resources and requirements,  assessment methods, policies and practices for the management of assessment including equal opportunities, authenticity of assessment evidence and appeals system and any other requirements necessary for the successful completion of the programme.

In respect of quality indicators such as relevance, programmes should be developed on the basis of a needs analysis of learners, the community or constituency which the provider services and should include an audit of existing programmes, market research, national and provincial priorities and liaison with other education and training institutions, occupational and/or professional bodies.

In respect of the integration quality indicator, programmes should be designed to include theoretical and practical learning components and, wherever possible and appropriate, experiential learning. The programme should be designed and outlined to reflect the integration of the relevant critical cross-field outcomes, particularly those specified in the standard or qualification.
In respect of the access quality indicator, entry requirements for the programme should be as open as possible and make provision for the recognition of prior learning and exemptions.

In addition to entry requirements, there should be a stated language policy for the programme that is based on national language policy, on the language profile of the learners and on career and further or higher learning contexts. This policy must be reflected in the learning materials, assessments and learner support services.

(d) (i) Financial, administrative and physical resources

A critical aspect of quality is the governance for and management of provision. Within this, the key relations would be clear lines of responsibility and accountability within the provider – for example, staff-management chains – and between the provider and the governing body of the provider. The structure and composition of the governing body would depend on the type of provider. For example, a university, technikon, college or school may have a governing council whose composition is laid down in national policy while an in-company training centre may have an executive or board structure whose composition is laid down in company or enterprise policy.

A key feature of the administrative resource requirements would be the database of learner information and learner records. Policies and procedures for the accurate capturing, maintenance and regular updating of learner information and records will be required and monitored.

Facilities, equipment and learning materials must support the learning process and must be appropriate to the learning services that are provided. Suitable policies and procedures for the management, maintenance and upgrading of facilities, resources and materials are required.

Staff and learners must be trained in the use of the materials, equipment and facilities as well as the provider’s communication and information systems.

In respect of adequate financial resources, the provider will be required to demonstrate that they have the necessary financial resources to sustain the learning services throughout the period of accreditation. In addition, the provider should demonstrate that proper budgetary and financial management processes are in place including the allocation of resources adequate to the requirements for providing and developing quality learning services. An important element of this criterion would be the evaluation of the financial policies and procedures in respect of the goals and mission of the provider as well as the relationship of the financial system to the attainment of the provider’s goals and objectives.

(ii) Staff selection, appraisal and development

The organisation will have to provide details of its staffing policies and procedures, including recruitment, selection, appointment, promotion and termination. Sufficient staff (full-time or contractual) suitably qualified in the subject or sector and assessment will have to be shown to be available to ensure the quality of the learning experience and achievement of the specified standards and qualifications.

Evidence of policies and procedures for staff development and staff development opportunities will be required. These policies and procedures should allow both for the needs of the organisation as well as individual and professional development requirements to be met.

(iii) Policies and practices for learner entry, guidance and support systems
This must link to motivation for reporting requirements: learner information is used to design programmes, courses, materials, learner support, and guidance services that are flexible and learner-centred.

In respect of ensuring a quality experience for all learners, learners’ special needs need to be considered in the design of course and learning support materials, assessment arrangements and communication with teachers, tutors, lecturers, educators or trainers. Learners with special needs also need to be taken into account in the design of the institution which should be relevant to the form of delivery of learning programmes.

Learner guidance is a form of learner support that should be available at a minimum of three points in the learning process, unless the learning programme dictates otherwise. Learners need to have access to reliable advice and information before they enrol in a particular programme, during the period they are engaged in the learning programme and when they complete the programme. Considerations of age, race, gender and language should be made in order to render this service as accessible as possible. The Draft Document on Criteria for Quality Distance Education in South Africa captures this as follows:

Quote
Before they enrol, learners need guidance about choice of course or programme. Once enrolled, they need information and guidance about payment of fees, registration procedures, requirements of the course, contact sessions and assessment procedures. … In addition, learners need advice on matters of learning management – such as choice of courses and learning pathways, how to work with the course materials, how to tackle assignments, how to plan their study; they need academic support to develop the skills of reading, writing and study that are required for successful completion of the course. Learning management counselling can be written into the course materials or provided on an individual or class basis. ... After the learner completes the programme, s/he may need career advice or advice about further learning opportunities.

For the term tutor, there are a number of alternatives, including teacher, lecturer, trainer, educator, practitioner and mentor. In the same way, the words programme and course can be interchanged with assessment or assignment for recognition of prior learning purposes.

(iv) Policies and practices for managing off-site practical or work-site components (where appropriate)

In respect of components of learning delivery which do not happen under the direct management of the provider, it is expected that the provider should give evidence of how they will assure the quality of the “practical” or “experiential” element of the learning programme.

Mechanisms for ensuring valid “off-site” learning experiences and for safeguarding the rights of learners in this process will be required. As part of the system for practical or experiential learning, the provider will need to give evidence for managing assessment across sites and for the maintenance of learner information.

(v) Policies and practices for the management of assessment

The education and training system is one in which learning attainment is based on achievement through appropriate assessment of learning outcomes specified in NQF registered standards and qualifications. Assessment can thus be defined as a measurement of the achievement of the learning outcome/s.

The following elements, amongst others, need to be taken into account in designing, implementing and maintaining the assessment system:

• the assessment strategies must be in keeping with the aims and outcomes of the learning programme or course as these relate to the outcomes specified in the standard or qualification.
• a range of parties is involved in the assessment of learners. This can be designed appropriate to context and outcome and can include self-, peer and other forms of group assessment.

Moderators for assessment and even assessment monitors can be included in this grouping.

• a range of assessment instruments is used in the assessment of learners. This can be designed in accordance with the context and outcome.
• The timing of assessment must be flexible in order to accommodate the various and peculiar needs of learners.
• Assessment information, including learning outcomes, assessment criteria as well as assessment procedures and dates, should be provided to all learners and assessors.
• Records of assessments must be kept and learners must receive detailed and accurate feedback on their progress and performance.
• The processes and results of assessment must fulfil the requirements of the NQF standards and qualifications for which the provider has been accredited and must meet the requirements of the ETQA
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