The year 2018 is a time of great change in the South African Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector. The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) has over the past years built extensive capacity to formalise its operational procedures whilst working closely with Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETA) and Quality Assessment Partners (QAP) to achieve legislated mandates. All stakeholders working towards one purpose: The QCTO’s vision of qualifying a skilled and capable workforce. Talented youth who are practical and skilled and not entirely academic studying through TVET colleges are building a workforce supply for jobs that require technical or practical skills that cannot be obtained through university equivalent qualifications.
How can such a young learner studying towards a professional or vocational qualification be assured that their qualification deems them competent, skilled and capable? The answer is simple: Accredited and Quality Assured! South African learning and development legislation as well as South African businesses demand for greater accountability in education and training. We have moved from traditional practices and approaches of quality assurance towards those of increased bureaucracy and control favouring external auditing and interventions thus placing the emphasis on quality assurance and consistency. Accreditation of the learning provider and associated facilities, a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) registered qualification and a QAP are the three most important factors that learners entering the TVET band need to investigate.
The primary aim of Quality Assurance is to protect and empower the youth with credible qualifications ensuring that learning and assessment principles are adopted and implemented throughout the qualification roll out process. This is done through extensive and in-depth evaluation of learning material that will be taught or conveyed to the learner, the expertise of the facilitator and the quality and quantity of physical resources available. An accredited training provider offering a registered qualification lays a solid foundation for lifelong learning and progression. The bottom line is the ethos of commitment to the highest standards and continuous development and improvement.
Derisha Pillay is Learning and Quality Assurance Officer for SABPP.