What is accreditation?
SAQA defines accreditation as:
“The certification usually for a particular period of time, of a person, a body or an institution as having the capacity to fulfil a particular function in the quality assurance system set up by the South African Qualifications Authority.”
Accreditation is awarded to providers who offer outcomes-based learning programmes aligned to the NQF registered unit standards and qualifications. It is given to a provider, usually for a period of three years.
Accreditation must also be seen as an audit process of the provider’s quality system and the learning programme which will be offered. It ensures that learning and assessments result in nationally recognised credits, and ultimately in the achievement of a formal qualification.
Definition of a skills development provider
A skills development provider is a body which delivers learning programmes that culminate in specific National Qualifications Framework standards or qualifications and manages the assessment thereof.
Accreditation: “one provider, one ETQA”
All providers, regardless of the sector in which they are active, may be accredited by only one ETQA. Where a provider offers learning programmes across more than one sector, it is a requirement that at least 51% of that provider’s offerings must fall within the scope of Services SETA ETQA (SETQAA). The provider is responsible for determining and providing evidence of primary focus in its application for accreditation to SETQAA. If the provider has applied to SETQAA for accreditation, but has other programmes that do not fall within the SETQAA scope, the provider must contact the SETQAA department, to have their non-primary focus programme(s) evaluated through a MOU intervention.
Against which programmes can I apply for accreditation?
Providers can apply for accreditation against unit standards and/or qualifications registered on the NQF and allocated to Services SETA ETQA (SETQAA) for quality assurance purposes.
The main steps in the accreditation process
- The provider determines primary focus
- The Services SETA ETQA requirements are compiled by the provider
- The provider completes and submits an online application form for accreditation
- A compliance check is conducted by Services SETA and the provider receives a notification of compliance / non-compliance
- The provider responds to the notification if necessary
- A site visit is scheduled and conducted by a Services SETA ETQA evaluator
- The evaluator sends his/her report to Services SETA
- The evaluation report is quality assured and the report indicating the status of accreditation is sent to the provider. Where applicable, areas of remediation will be detailed in the report.
- The provider is required to respond to areas of remediation if necessary, and make the relevant submission.
Length of time to achieve accreditation
We anticipate the accreditation process to take ten weeks. A provider will achieve provisional accreditation if the minimum (against SAQA’s eight core) criteria are met, their learning programmes are aligned to NQF registered unit standard/s and/or qualification/s and their assessors and moderators have been awarded constituent registration for the learning programmes to which they are linked.
Cost of accreditation
Services SETA does not charge for accreditation. To help providers understand the application for accreditation documentation, the SETQAA has trained a group of internal and external consultants who will sit with providers at their premises for a maximum of two hours to answer questions. The consultant will not complete the documentation for the provider, but will assist the provider in understanding the requirements of the SETQAA. There is no fee charged to the provider.
If you use an external consultant to help you achieve accreditation the cost thereof will be privately contracted between you and the consultant.
Extension of accreditation
Should you decide to diversify at a later stage, you need only apply for an extension of accreditation for those qualifications, skills programmes or unit standards you wish to add.
Should the extension means that another ETQA must get involved, the primary focus ETQA will still manage and administer the extension of accreditation through a memorandum of understanding with the secondary ETQA.
Provisional accreditation means that the provider meets the eight core criteria stipulated for accreditation. It also means that the learning programmes are aligned to NQF registered qualifications and unit standards.
What does "not yet recommended" mean?
Not yet recommended means that the provider does not meet the eight core criteria stipulated for accreditation and/or the programmes are not outcomes based or aligned to NQF unit standards.