Volume 4: No. 5
IN THE NEWS
SAQA’s National Standards Bodies (NSBs) endthree year term with good results
The NationalStandards Bodies, established in terms of the South African QualificationsAuthority (SAQA) Act (No 58 of 1995) have in three years registered 103Standards Generating Bodies (SGBs), covering the most important nationalpriority areas in education and training, in addition to registering 64 newqualifications and 1878 new standards.
Thisis according to the Chairman of the South African Qualifications Authority(SAQA), Dr Mokubung Nkomo, who thanked the representatives of SAQA’s 12National Standards Bodies for their enormous contribution to the development ofquality standards in education and training.
DrNkomo says that the NSB term of office is three years, allowing for renewal ofthe structures and for new ideas and persons to be introduced every three years.
“The representatives of the NSBs have now ended their three-year term with SAQA andnew representatives have been appointed to continue the good work started in thefirst cycle.”
“They have played a pivotal role in getting the process started and deliveringtangible results”, says Dr Nkomo.
The key responsibility of NSBs within the SAQA structure is to define and recommendstandards and qualifications to SAQA for registration on the NationalQualifications Framework (NQF).
“In the short three-year term these NSBs – who represent six stakeholder groups,i.e. government, organised business, organised labour, education providers,critical interest groups and community and learner organisations, haveregistered 103 Standards Generating Bodies (SGBs) covering the most importantnational priority areas. Examples of a few of these priority areas are,education training and development, management, security, financial management,project management, and early childhood development, to name but a few.”
“The 64 new qualifications and 1878 new standards that the NSBs have registered covereducation training and development, tourism, travel and gaming, early childhooddevelopment, schooling, mining, information technology, banking and insurance,adult basic education and training, language and communication and mathematicalliteracy.”
“The registration of these qualifications represents a significant achievement in thedevelopment and establishment of a national quality assured system that meetsglobal standards.”
“It is imperative that we set empowering and liberating standards that map viable learning pathways thatsupport life-long learning and produce thinking, productive citizens whoparticipate effectively in a vibrant economy,” says Dr Nkomo.
The NQF resulted from a need to broaden the effectiveness of the country’s educationand training system in order to redress the imbalances of the past, ensuringthat the country grows and remains competitive in the global economy.
SAQA, which came into being through the SAQA Act (No 58 of 1995), is responsible foroverseeing the development and implementation of the NQF. Its keyresponsibilities are to ensure that South Africa has an education and trainingsystem of the highest quality that is world class.
It is a means for transforming education and training in South Africa and was designedspecifically to combine education and training into a single framework bybringing together separate education and training systems to form a single,national system.
Policy Documents for ETQAs and Providers
The Authority has approved two documents, entitled Quality Management Systems for Education and Training Providers and Criteria and Guidelines for the Registration of Assessors, as policy and guideline texts.
Quality Management Systems for Education and Training Providers
This document unpacks the concept of a quality management system (QMS). To this end, two main areas are given extensive coverage, namely the broad QMS models and the core criteria of aQMS.
The following QMS Models are covered in the document:
Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
European Quality Management Award
Australian Quality Award
The Koalaty Kid Program
The Deming Prize
The ISO 9000/2000 Quality Management Code of Practice
Investors in People
The South African Excellence Model
The Balanced Business Scorecard
The Scottish Quality Management System
The attention of the reader is then drawn to the core criteria of a quality management system, which are described in detail. The core criteria explained in the document are as follows:
Management system policies
New SAQA Member
The Minister of Education, in consultation with the Minister of Labour, has in terms of Section 4(4) of the South African Qualifications Authority Act, 1995 (Act No. 58 of 1995), appointed Professor Thea L Voogt as a co-opted member of the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). Professor Voogt, who is a chartered accountant and associate professor in accounting at the Rand Afrikaans University, has been appointed specifically for her financial expertise.
National Learners’ Records Database – the "electronic NQF"
The document is in no way intended to be prescriptive to providers. On the contrary, it is designed to provide providers with broad guidelines on which to base their QMSs, irrespective of the QMS model or combination of QMS models they choose to adopt.
Criteria and Guidelines for the Registration of Assessors
This document provides broad guidelines on the registration of constituent assessors by ETQAs, a function that forms part of the ETQAs’ quality assurance mandate.
The issues covered in the document are as follows:
What is the rationale for registering assessors?
Who qualifies for registration as an assessor?
Who sets the requirements for the registration of an assessor?
What are the requirements for registration as an assessor?
The requirements for registration as an assessor, which are discussed quite extensively in the document, are as follows:
Achievement of the assessor standard: ‘Plan and conduct the assessment of learning outcomes’
Subject matter expertise
Contextual and/or occupational expertise
Education, Training and Development (ETD) expertise
Planning, administration and management skills
Finally, the document provides information on individuals who could qualify as registered assessors. ETD practitioners include teachers, trainers, and lecturers, while non-ETD practitioners could be colleagues, supervisors and managers.
Both documents are available on the SAQA website and the printed versions of these documents are expected to be available by November 2001.
At the 38th SAQA meeting held on 10 October 2001, she was appointed as the Vice-Chairperson of the SAQA Finance Committee. The Authority and the SAQA Office wish to congratulate Professor Voogt on her appointment and look forward to utilising her expertise in advancing the objectives of the National Qualifications Framework and ensuring good governance of SAQA..
Recognition of Prior Learning. Achieving the Objectives of theNational Qualifications Framework
What is Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)?
RPL is the process whereby someone is given credit for skills, knowledge and capabilities that he/she may already have, regardless of where these skills have been learnt. It is recognised throughout the world that people never stop learning. They learn in their workplaces, in their communities, in their leisure activities and in any other situation that they may find themselves. However, these forms of learning were never previously recognised formally in South Africa.
RPL – a priority in the emerging education and training system of South Africa
In education and training in South Africa, RPL is considered to be an integral part of the new system. This is true to the extent that with every new qualification registered on the National Learners Records Database (NLRD), an indication must be provided as to whether it can in part, or wholly, be achieved through Recognition of Prior Learning. Some of the reasons for this are:
The educational policies of the past prevented millions of people from accessing formal education and training – RPL has been introduced to recognise the expertise and experience of these people and to award credits towards the achievement of qualifications or part qualifications.
Others have never completed their formal education. RPL gives these people a second chance to access education and training and become the qualified citizens they ought to be.
Yet others have undergone in-house and workplace training, but do not have full qualifications. RPL will acknowledge the parts of qualifications that people already have and identify what is outstanding so that they can complete qualifications should they wish to do so.
RPL – a SAQA priority
The South African Qualifications Authority considers RPL as a priority. For this reason there are currently three RPL processes under way:
- The development of a national RPL policy
The Joint Education Trust (JET) has been contracted to research and formulate proposals for a national RPL policy. To date, progress is as follows:
- A narrow consultative workshop was held on 26 September 2001
- A broad consultative workshop is planned for 7 November 2001
- A draft RPL policy will be ready for public comment early in 2002
- Implementation of RPL
SAQA is investigating various projects and pilots across education and training bands where RPL is being implemented, with the purpose of:
- Testing the emerging policy against practice
- Determining the sustainability and practicability of RPL, and
- Informing the policy development process
- Scoping of RPL pilots and projects
In order to get a sense of RPL practice in South Africa, SAQA has undertaken a scoping of pilots and projects that are currently under way. This information will be used to establish a ‘help desk’ at the SAQA offices.
For any further information or inputs, please contact the following:
News from the Resource and Information Centre
SAQAhas a resource and information centre, located in its Brooklyn offices inPretoria.
TheCentre owns a collection that focuses mainly on national qualificationsframeworks, including those of other countries such as New Zealand, Australia,United Kingdom and more, and education in general. More specifically, it includes works on assessment, curriculum,outcomes-based education, and lifelong learning. There are also books onmanagement, leadership and customer services.
Thecollection includes books, periodicals, conference proceedings, reports andaudio-visual material. There are tapes for the blind, carrying information onthe SAQA Act, NQF: An Overview, and the ETQA and NSB Regulations.
Whilethe Centre provides a support service to SAQA staff and its stakeholders, it isalso open to members of the public for use as a reference library.Researchers, students, government departments, and other interested parties arewelcome to use it.
Shouldyou wish to obtain more information on the Centre or to make an appointment tovisit us, please contact Ms. Ntsiki Gumbe at (012) 482-0836.
In order to disseminate information to all its stakeholders and the public ingeneral, SAQA has a website - http://www.saqa.org.za.The website carries information on the history of the NQF, its objectives, thedifferent directorates at SAQA and their functions, SAQA publications andinformation on the SAQA sub-structures such as the NSBs, SGBs, and ETQAs.Notices that are published in the government gazette for public comment are alsoposted on the website.
The site has a What’s New page. Here you will find the latest documents that havebeen placed on the website. This information presently includes the SAQA2000/2001 Annual Report, and the papers that were presented at theQualifications Africa conference. This page also leads to pages with pressreleases, speeches and events related to SAQA.
Wewish to make our services as useful and effective as possible and we wouldtherefore appreciate your comments, concerns, suggestions, etc. on the websiteand its contents. A feedback form is available from most of the pages for thispurpose. You can also contact the website manager, Ms. Ntsiki Gumbe at (012)482-0836 or e-mail her at email@example.com.
Please pass on any comments or suggestions to the SAQA CommunicationsOfficer, Ms. P. Baloyi;
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or
at fax number: 012-482 0966 or
at toll-free number: 0800 20 11 50.
Qualifications and unit standards that have been approved by the SAQA Authority forregistration.
National Certificate in Conservation Resource Guardianship NQF Level 2
National Banking Certificate in Farming at NQF Levels 2,3,4, and 5
National Professional Education Diploma in Education
Standards for Mathematical Literacy NQF Level 2
National Certificate in Tourism: Reception (Level 4)
National Certificate in Surveying Level 4
National Certificate in Natural Resource Management (Terrestrial) NQF Level 5
National Certificate in Insurance NQF Level 3
Certificate in Education at NQF Level 5
Standards for Mathematical Literacy NQF Level 3
National Diploma in Service Management (Level 5)
National Certificate in Photogrammetry Surveying Level 4
National certificate in Farming at NQF Level 1
22 x Core and Elective Insurance Standards at NQF Level 3
Professional Diploma in Education at NQF Level 5
Standards for Mathematical Literacy NQF Level 4
National Certificate in Hydrographic Surveying Level 4
Bachelor of Education at NQF Level 6
National Diploma in Surveying Level 5
Post Graduate Certificate in Education at NQF Level 6
National Diploma in Hydrographic Surveying Level 5
Advanced Certificate in Education at NQF Level 6
Bachelor of Education (Honours) at NQF Level 7
Masters Certificate in Education at NQF Level 8
Masters Degree in Education at NQF Level 8
Doctor of Philosophy at NQF Level 8
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