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Categories of provider accreditation

As indicated, there are two levels of accreditation — full and provisional accreditation. These are a measure of the extent to which providers are able to meet certain criteria. However, as a provider, you may also choose the category of accreditation that you wish to acquire. The category of accreditation relates to what it is that you are offering learners.

Category 1: Assessment only

Providers wishing to assess learners and RPL candidates only (i.e. not deliver learning programmes) should apply to fall within this category. This accreditation category excludes several criteria that would be required for programme delivery. This means that if you are an Assessment Centre that just focuses on assessment, you can select this option. However, you will not be accredited for the delivery of learning programmes. The criteria for the assessment only category are outlined in Section 3.

Category 2: Delivery and assessment

This category relates to those providers that wish to deliver learning programmes as well as assess learners — it includes criteria for both activities. The criteria for the delivery and assessment option are outlined in Section 3.

Important considerations for categories of accreditation

Delivery of learning programmes only

The SASSETA ETQA cannot accredit providers that do not perform learner assessments against unit standards (or outcomes where unit standards are not yet available). This explains why there is no ‘Delivery Only’ category available. Assessment is one of the primary mechanisms through which the quality of education and training can be monitored and evaluated. If learners are not being assessed by the provider, the ETQA is not able to quality assure the provision of education and training. For this reason ‘Delivery Only’ providers cannot receive accreditation status. ‘Delivery Only’ providers who would like accreditation from the SASSETA should make arrangements to partner with an assessment provider/practitioner and then apply for accreditation. Alternatively, you may wish to contract assessors to support the assessment of your learning programmes. These assessors could then work with you to support an integrated learning programme.

Workplace provision

Some workplaces may also be education and training providers. For example, there may be a security company that has its own education and training unit that has applied to the SASSETA ETQA for accreditation. This unit may provide education and training to the staff internal to the company, and may also sometimes provide education and training to the staff from other companies. In such instances, it is specifically the education and training unit (and not the entire organisation) which is accredited to provide education and training. In this way we avoid confusing the ‘‘workplace’’ with the ‘‘education and training provider’’.

However, certain workplaces primarily wish to act as hosts for the workplace component of a particular learning programme, such as the case with learnerships (and they may wish to offer very limited programmes such as ‘induction’ and ‘health and safety’). Some SETAs require that the workplaces become accredited to manage the workplace component of a learning programme, while others have taken the approach of encouraging best practice in the workplace, rather than requiring formal accreditation. It is anticipated that this will encourage workplaces to participate in the delivery of learnerships and skills programmes. The SASSETA has taken the latter position (i.e. the SASSETA does not require workplaces to be accredited in order to provide the workplace component of a learnership). SASSETA encourages workplaces to put certain systems or mechanisms in place to support learners. This includes encouraging workplaces to train mentors and coaches to assist and support learners, as well as assessors that can assess the learner at the workplace. These roles are seen as vital to developing quality provision, as well as encouraging workplaces to be learning organisations.

Responsibilities of providers

Providers are only required to submit select pieces of evidence in the application phase. These are indicated in the Criteria Table in Section 3 and in the application form. Providers, however, are required to keep the remaining evidence on site in an organised and easy-to-access manner. Only a few pieces of evidence are required in the application phase so as to minimise the amount of reproduction that has to be done. This also serves to focus the review of the SASSETA on those criteria that are critical to the accreditation process so that the SETA will be able to advise providers if there are any areas that appear to require attention prior to the verification visit. It is the provider’s responsibility to make sure that all the criteria and evidence requirements are in place before the SASSETA sends verification and programme evaluation team to the provider’s premises. If the provider declaresreadiness for the verification visit but then does not have the relevant evidence in place, the SASSETA hasthe right to penalise the provider. This is to ensure that providers do not ‘take chances’ and are adequately prepared for the visit before the time.

Provider registration

The Department of Education requires that education and training providers are registered with them. The SASSETA encourages providers to register with the Department in accordance with current legislation. However we recognise that this may not be currently possible. In this case the provider should submit a letter from the DoE indicating that they have applied for registration, but that the DoE is not yet undertaking this registration process.

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