Author Topic: Training Provider Accreditation - Criterion 1: Policy statement  (Read 1221 times)

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The organisation’s aims, objectives and purposes need to be spelt out.

The purpose of an organisation having a policy is to indicate the ways in which the organisation views itself, what it sets out to achieve, who it directs itself towards and, fundamentally, why it believes there is a need for it to exist.

However, given the need for a TQM approach and the existence of the NQF, organisations’ policy statements need to also clearly locate themselves within the values and principles articulated in the NQF. In terms of these, policy statements need to:

- Show how the organisation is located within the NQF;
- Show how democratic practices inform the structure, management and operations of the organisation;
-Clearly indicate the approach adopted in regard to teaching and learning activities; and
- Indicate how ongoing development of activities will be ensured through assessment, auditing, monitoring, research and review practices.

A policy statement is not necessarily a detailed explanation of everything an organisation does, but an expression of the principles upon which an organisation bases itself as well as the ways in which it intends to operate, with whom, and for what purpose.

The following questions may help providers to define their policy statements:
1. What are the organisation’s values and principles?
2. How do these values and principles link with those of the NQF?
3. What are the structures, systems and activities of the organisation that
attempt to apply such values and principles?
4. What is the aim of the organisation?
5. What does it offer?
6. To whom is the organisation directed?


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Re: Training Provider Accreditation - Criterion 1: Policy statement
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2015, 04:05:56 PM »
Criterion 2: Quality Management Systems

Identify processes and outline procedures that implement quality management in the organisation.

As was noted earlier, ‘quality’ in the TQM, SAQA and NQF senses of the term is intended to mean a holistic, integrated, democratic, process-oriented and flexible approach that would:

-Enhance learning in South Africa by increasing the number of learners, the frequency of learning, and the relevance and durability of what is learned; and
-Establish a framework of qualifications and standards that are relevant, credible and accessible.

In order for providers to meet the specification of criterion 2, providers would need to clearly describe the nature of operations within their organisation. How exactly is quality assured in the organisation, on all levels? A clear description of the workings of the organisation and how they assure quality needs to be provided.

The following questions may help the organisation to clarify its quality management processes:
1. How does the organisation, in practice, create and sustain a quality culture within the organisation?
2. How are the relevance, comprehensiveness and clarity of standards used in the organisation ensured?
3. How is information about the workings of the organisation collected, how often and by whom?
4. How are learners’ needs actually met?
5. How often are programmes delivered by the organisation reviewed?
6. How does the organisation ensure that its facilitators of learning actually possess  the competence to both facilitate the learning effectively and assess learners in ways that are consistent with the NQF?
7. How does the organisation ensure that learning and assessment activities are monitored and reviewed?
8. How does the organisation ensure that what is gathered from reviews, audits and/or monitoring in fact leads to improvements in the organisation’s activities?
9. What are the mechanisms the organisation uses to report back to people within the organisation?
10. How does the organisation ensure that resources available to it are utilised effectively and efficiently, and are used to good effect?
11. How does the organisation report to and generally relate to the ETQA under which it falls?
12. How does the organisation relate to other providers in the area that it works within, if this applies?

As can be seen from the questions above, this criterion requires a fairly comprehensive description of the workings of the organisation in terms of how they do or do not enhance the development of quality and ensure its sustainability within the organisation.
PLEASE NOTE: Accreditation will not be statutorily possible if such QM systems are not in place, or if the organisation (and the ETQA) involved does not have a concrete plan to establish these.
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Re: Training Provider Accreditation - Criterion 1: Policy statement
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2015, 04:13:36 PM »
Criterion 3: Review mechanisms

Outline the ways in which the implementation of policies will be monitored, researched, audited and/or reviewed.
In responding to Criterion 3, providers need to provide a detailed account of how, by whom, how often and for what purposes the activities of the organisation will be researched, monitored, audited and/or reviewed.

It has been emphasised that one of the important features of quality within the TQM approach is a developmental emphasis. This criterion is important because organisations can only develop if they monitor and review their own activities.

Various options exist in this regard, including external evaluations, the use of moderators, internal review and monitoring systems, assessments, appraisals, research, and auditing.

Providers need to provide a clear description of what system they have in place, how it operates in practice and what its concrete achievements are. Also included here should be a clear indication of how such review findings get fed back into the organisation so that improvements are operationalised.

In order to generate such a description, providers may find the following questions helpful:
1. What are the review, monitoring, research and/or auditing mechanisms the organisation has in place?
2. How do these mechanisms work?
3. How often are they carried out?
4. By whom?
5. How are review findings reported back within the organisation?
6. How do the review findings inform improvements in the organisation?

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Re: Training Provider Accreditation - Criterion 1: Policy statement
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2015, 04:17:45 PM »
Criterion 4: Programme delivery

Outline how learning programmes would be developed, delivered and evaluated.

At the heart of providers’ activities are the programmes that they deliver. This, more than anything else, establishes the rationale for the existence of the provider in the first instance. A ‘provider’ is a ‘provider’ because it offers particular programmes to people for which they may gain qualifications. It is therefore critical that providers give a clear and coherent description of the ways in which the delivery of their programmes happen in practice.

Given that the establishment of the NQF is aimed at transforming the nature of education and training, particularly at the level of programme delivery, it is also crucial for providers to be able to relate their descriptions of their programme delivery to NQF principles.

The following questions may be helpful to providers to identify ways in which they can fulfil the requirements of Criterion 4:

1. What is the nature of the programmes the organisation delivers?
2. What is the NQF status of the programmes (e.g. NQF level 5)?
3. What are the components (for example, programme modules) that make up the programmes?
4. How often are the programmes delivered, and what is the duration in notional learning hours?
5. What are the modes used in the delivery of the programmes? (For example, the use of group work, opportunities to learn in the workplace, or the role of distance learning would be described at this point.)
6. To what extent is the delivery of the programmes flexible?
7. How is learner-centredness ensured in the delivery of the programmes?
8. How does programme delivery ensure that the programmes are relevant to learners?
9. How are learners assessed during the programme delivery? How often? By whom?
10. How are learners given feedback on their performance during the delivery of programmes and what forms does this take?
11. How are resources planned for the delivery of programmes?

An additional range of rather deeper questions is suggested in a recent research report relating to teacher education programmes:
1. The programme practices must develop in learners an applied and integrated competence:

! A programme should ensure that learners are able to integrate (horizontally) the knowledge and skills delivered through the different courses or modules that make up the programme.
! A programme should also ensure that learners are able to integrate (vertically) the following dimensions of competence:
  ♦ The ability, in an authentic context, to consider a range of possibilities for action, make considered decisions about which possibility to follow, and to perform the chosen action (a practical competence);
  ♦ The theoretical basis for and the knowledge which underpins and informs the action taken (foundational competence); and
  ♦ The ability to connect decision-making and performance (practical competence) with understanding (foundational competence) and use this to adapt to change or unforeseen circumstances, to innovate within one’s own practice, and to explain the reasons behind these innovations and adaptations (reflexive competence).

2. The programme should be conceptualised and delivered in a manner that integrates theory and practice, and strengthens provider-workplace linkages.
! A programme should work closely with relevant workplaces in order to develop learner skills.
! Relevant work experience should be linked to the rest of the programme, and students should be well prepared for it. Work experience should be integral to the programme and not an ‘add-on’.

3. The programme – and the programme ethos – should support lifelong learning in concrete ways.

! Learners, for example, might be involved in programme design and implementation, either formally (for example through decision-making structures) or informally (for example, by making decisions regarding the nature of their assignments).
! Relevant learner-initiated activity might be recognised towards the qualification.
! Assignments should be designed to encourage problem solving within authentic contexts.
! A programme should prioritise and teach critical engagement, reasoning and reflective thinking.
! A programme should ground teaching in a wider social, economic and political understanding and awareness.
! The provider should have a workable strategy for the recognition of prior learning (RPL).

4. The programme provider should adopt inductive rather than deductive approaches to programme design, or at least motivate why deductive approaches to programme design are justified:

! A programme should be designed on the basis of research, and some or all of this research should be conducted among target learners.
! Conversely, a programme should not be designed through an exclusively deductive ‘desktop’ exercise.

Though this latter range of questions was developed through research into teacher education programmes, they are clearly relevant to any learning programme. The emphasis in this criterion is on the nature of the learning and teaching process itself, including the assessment process. This criterion is central to ensuring that education and training practices in the delivery of programmes by providers are in accordance with NQF principles.

PLEASE NOTE: Accreditation will not be statutorily possible if these principles are not followed, or, at the very least, if providers have not identified the need to locate their programme delivery in NQF terms and developed a plan for implementation.
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Re: Training Provider Accreditation - Criterion 1: Policy statement
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2015, 04:20:30 PM »
Criterion 5: Staff Policies

Outline the policies and procedures for staff selection, appraisal and development.

The emphasis in Criterion 5 is on the organisation’s relations with it own staff. Providers will need to indicate whether their staff members are competent to carry out their roles as facilitators, and how they know whether this is the case. They would also need to relate this assessment of competence to NQF principles.

With regard to employment procedures, providers may find the following questions helpful:
   1. What criteria are used in the staff selection process?
   2. Who selects staff in the organisation?
   3. What selection procedures are followed?
   4. To what extent are the stipulations of the Employment Equity Act of 1998 respected in the selection process?

In terms of meeting the requirements of staff in terms of the NQF, providers may find the following questions helpful:

1. To what extent does staff possess applied and integrated competences as education and training development practitioners? (See also references to applied and integrated competence in Criterion 4 above.)
2. How does staff ensure the integration of theory and practice in the delivery of the programme? (Here questions of work experience to develop practical understandings of relevant theories, or the use of simulated work environments, and, generally, strategies to ensure the development of applied competence among learners need to be addressed.)
3. To what extent does the provider ensure that all staff has access to ongoing forms of professional development and that they are themselves ‘lifelong learners’? (Here the emphasis is on the development and selfimprovement of staff and on the procedures providers have in place to ensure that this happens within the organisation.)
4. To what extent do organisations ensure that their staff members design their activities in ways that are informed by the organisation’s mechanisms of review, research, monitoring and/or auditing? (In other words, are teaching and learning methods informed by reflections on existing practices, or do activities continue unchanged despite the findings of reviews, research, monitoring and/or auditing in the organisation? Does staff decide on changes in programme delivery purely on the basis of intuition? Or is intuition informed by research into and feedback received on how well or how poorly a programme is being delivered?)
5. How does the organisation ensure that its staff is competent to carry out assessment activities in ways that are both applied and integrated? (Staff competence in assessment practices is key in the life of learners, since this is the basis upon which learners are qualified. It is, therefore, critical that facilitators are adequately skilled to carry out this function effectively and efficiently. Since, in NQF terms, assessment is cast within the framework of lifelong learning and integration, assessment here refers to ways in which continuous assessment can inform the teaching and learning process, through, for example, learner portfolios. See also references to the assessment of applied and integrated competence in Criterion 7 below.)

The purpose of Criterion 5 is clearly to ensure that policy on staff selection and appraisal should be informed by principles of increased access and respect for employment equity policy, as well as ensuring the transformation of education and training practices and adherence to NQF principles.
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Re: Training Provider Accreditation - Criterion 1: Policy statement
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2015, 04:21:49 PM »
Criterion 6: Learner policies

Policies and procedures for the selection of learners are outlined, and learners are given guidance and support.

The focus of Criterion 6 is on learners. Issues of selection of learners, the extent to which their needs are met and what support and guidance they are given need to be explicitly described. Here providers need to be mindful of the following key NQF principles with regard to learners:

! Learner-centredness
! Learner participation
! Relevance of the programmes to learners
! Recognition of prior learning
! Lifelong learning

In order to show how these NQF principles are being applied, providers may find the following questions helpful:

1. How are learners selected for the programme?
2. To what extent do such selection procedures recognise the prior learning learners have?
3. What is the demographic composition of the learner population? (Gender and race are clearly crucial, but attention should also be given to how learners from outlying areas are attended to, and to poverty indices.)
4. Is the organisation planning to diversify the demographic composition of the learner population, taking into account historical disadvantages and discrimination?
5. How does the provider ensure that the programme is relevant to the needs and aspirations of the learners?
6. How does the delivery of the programme encourage learner participation?
7. How does the organisation identify the nature of support learners require?
8. What support is given to learners?
9. What guidance is offered to learners? Why?
10. How are opportunities for further learning provided for by the organisation?
11. How, by whom and how often are learners given feedback on their performance?

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Re: Training Provider Accreditation - Criterion 1: Policy statement
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2015, 04:24:10 PM »
Criterion 7: Assessment Policies

Outline the policies and procedures for the forms of assessment used and how they are managed.
Assessment policies are more than assessment practices. They include assessment practices but go beyond them as well. Assessment policies describe the approaches that are used by an organisation in its assessment practices. For example, are assessment approaches mainly examination-based? Do assessment policies recognise principles of lifelong learning, recognition of prior learning and integration of theory and practice? Are assessment policies informed by understandings of notions of failure and deficits or do they work in developmental, supportive and continuous ways? As such, assessment policies need to indicate what approach the organisation adopts with regard to assessment and whether this approach is in line with NQF principles.

Assessment policies also outline how the processes of assessment will be managed: – by whom, how and how often. They include internal assessment, external assessment, moderation, provision of feedback to learners and maintaining records of assessment.
They also include ways in which support that learners may require are identified and ways in which support is provided. Thus, assessment policies should not be conflated with assessment practices, although they include them.

In order to meet the requirement of Criterion 7, providers may find the following questions helpful:
1. What is the organisation’s approach to assessment?
2. Is the organisation’s approach consistent with NQF principles?
3. How does the organisation’s assessment policy incorporate principles of lifelong learning, recognition of prior learning and integration of theory and practice?
4. How are assessments conducted, by whom and how often?
5. What are the mechanisms that the organisation puts into place to assure the quality of assessments conducted? Are moderators used for assessments?
6. Are policies and procedures for possible appeals in place?
7. How are learners given feedback on the ways in which they have been assessed? How does this occur? Who does it, and how often?
8. How does the organisation ensure that assessments are used to identify and provide for the support and guidance learners need?
9. How are assessment results fed back into programme development?

Finally (see also the references to the development of competence in Criterion 4), the assessment practices of a programme must be applied and integrated. Therefore:

! A programme should assess whether learners are able to integrate (horizontally) the knowledge and skills delivered through the different courses or modules, which make up the programme.
! A programme should also assess whether learners are able to integrate (vertically) the dimensions of competence referred to in Criterion 4. In brief, these are:
  ♦ Practical competence;
  ♦ Foundational competence; and
  ♦ Reflexive competence.
! The assessment strategy should assess the extent to which learners have the ability to apply what they have learned in authentic and changing South African contexts.
! Assessment should be ongoing and developmental.

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Re: Training Provider Accreditation - Criterion 1: Policy statement
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2015, 04:25:42 PM »
Criterion 8: Management Systems and Policies

Indicate the financial, administrative and physical resources of the organisation, as well as procedures of accountability within the organisation.
Criterion 8 refers to the managerial capacity of the provider to carry out its functions. The provider would need to indicate its capacity to deliver the programme effectively and efficiently and in an accountable manner.

However, given the enormous differences in size, type and focus of providers, this criterion must be carefully contextualized, taking into account, for example, the management of partnerships in the delivery of programmes. In the Criteria and Guidelines for Providers document, different types of providers are identified, i.e. ‘delivery only site; assessment only site’, etc. In addition, there is also an awareness of SMME providers, which may include an individual as a provider.

 In this regard providers may find the following questions helpful:

1. What is the management and administrative structure of the organisation?
2. How are decisions taken in the organisation, by whom and in relation to what?
3. What is the financial resource base of the organisation? What are the sources of funding? Does the organisation have a plan to become selfsustaining, if it is not already?
4. Does the organisation have adequate human and material resources to carry out its intended functions?
5. What are the systems used by the organisation to manage and be accountable for its finances?
6. More generally, to what extent is the organisation run in ways that are transparent and accountable?
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