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What is a learnership, who qualifies and what are the requirements, roles and responsibilities of the various parties?

What is a Learnership?

A learnership can be described as a training programme that consists of both theory and practical elements. It offers a way for you to gain work experience, as well as an NQF registered qualification. This relates directly to an occupation or field of work, such as engineering or project management.

All learnerships are managed by Sector Education Training Authorities (SETAs). They were introduced by the government to help prepare learners for the workplace. This is done by providing them with the necessary skills.

How Does it Work?

You need to complete a theoretical course, along with practical training, to graduate. The practical training is done at a workplace and involves hands-on, practical learning under the guidance of a mentor. The theory part is provided by a training provider. During the learnership, you will be formally assessed in the classroom and in the workplace.

Who qualifies for a learnership?

Learnerships are available for those who have completed school, college or learning at other training institutions, or for those who are studying part-time. Unemployed South Africans can participate in a learnership programme if there is an employer who is prepared to provide the required work experience.

What does a learner receive on completion? 

During the Learnership, learners will be required to complete assignments, tasks and practical tests and projects. They will be formally assessed in the classroom and workplace.
If all the assignments are completed successfully, they will be awarded an NQF-registered qualification, which is recognized nationally. They will receive a certificate stating the qualification and the area of skill development.

How to find a Learnership

  • Plan a career path.
  • Identify the Learnership that supports the chosen career path. (The Learnership will share the name of the qualification so the educational institution can advise you.)
  • Find out as much information as possible about the Learnership from the educational institution, online and newspaper advertisements.
  • Look for Learnerships on the Career Planet website.
  • Enquire about the requirements for entering the Learnership.
  • Find an employer willing to provide practical work experience. The college or university offering the theoretical part of the training would be one source of this information. If you are at college already you must talk to the Programme Managers.
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SETA Accreditation Requirements

SETA Accreditation Requirements

The general requirements for SETA accreditation are the following:

  • The training provider must be properly registered in terms of applicable legislation.
  • The training provider must have a Quality Management System (QMS) in place.  In its application guidelines, FASSET defines a QMS as “the combination of processes used to ensure that the degree of excellence specified is achieved.” A QMS consists of the policies and procedures that determine how the training provider ensures the quality of its training.
  • The training material must be aligned with the unit standards on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
  • The training provider must have assessors and moderators that are properly registered to do assessment and moderation of the unit standards that are to be accredited.

The different SETAs may have their own accreditation requirements in addition to the general requirements listed above. These additional requirements can be found on the relevant SETA’s website, or can be obtained by contacting the SETA in question.

The SETA accreditation requirements set a high standard with which training providers must comply.  This is to ensure that a high standard of education and training will be maintained nationally, and that students are equipped with relevant skills. In order to comply with the accreditation requirements, a training provider has to be well-organised and must have all the necessary documentation, policies and procedures in place. This means that great value is attached to having SETA accreditation, and SETA accredited training is therefore in high demand.

Requirements to become a SETA Accredited Training Provider:

The document Criteria and Guidelines to become a SETA Accredited Training Provider sets out the requirements for accreditation.

  • The programmes (and/or assessments) offered by the education and training provider must culminate in unit standards and/or qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
  • The curriculum (design, content and learning materials) is aligned to the unit standards and/or qualifications.
  • There are suitably qualified staff (facilitators and registered assessors).
  • The learners have access to adequate learning support services.
  • The assessment methods and tools used to measure the requirements for the unit standard and/or qualification are fair, valid and reliable, and are used to enhance learning.

What is accreditation?

Accreditation is the certification, usually for a certain period of time of a body or an institution, as having the capacity to fulfill a particular function within the quality assurance system set up by SAQA in terms of the SAQA Act, 1995.

SAQA accredits all Education and Training Quality Assurance bodies (ETQA’s) who in turn accredit Education and Training Providers.

Accreditation Process

The following documents and equipments are required to get accreditation with PSETA:

Company CK documents

Tax clearance certificate

Company profile with Objectives, Mission and vision statements, quality control measures and services offered

Learning materials consisting of: Learner, Facilitator and Assessment guides, rollout plan and programme strategy

Quality Management System (QMS), which are your policies and procedure documents including working tools (templates). Policies to be submitted are:

Management of assessment

Management of impact assessment

Learner entry, guidance and support

Learning programme development and delivery

Physical resources

Certification

Financial Management

Recruitment, selection and appraisals (HR)

Health and Safety

Management of workplace learning

Names of Assessor/s and Moderator/s linked to the applied unit standards or qualifications

CV’s of facilitators (if different from above)

Office and training resources:

Office with desk, Working computer, fax line and machine, telephone, printer and lockable cabinet/s

Training rooms (If Provider is intending to train at own premises) with comfortable desks, desk tables, writing equipment or projector, properly ventilated/heating equipment when cold, clean toilets and proper access for disabled persons

OR Lease agreement if Provider will be utilising rented space for training

OR and indication if Provider will be training at clients premises

2. What are the advantages of being an accredited training provider?

Advantages of becoming an accredited provider:

To provide quality training and development to learners

To receive support from the relevant authority

To be able to deliver education and training that leads to nationally registered Unit Standards and Qualifications. Accreditation therefore provides Education and Training Providers with a valuable tool with which they can market their services to potential clients.

3. What are benefits of attending accredited training?

Learners, departments and private companies who use the services of an accredited training provider are assured that the accredited training offered complies with the required standards for learning and assessment.

All learners are assured of a quality learning experience and that the credits they acquire will be nationally and internationally recognized.

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Requirements to become a SETA Accredited Training Provider:

Requirements to become a SETA Accredited Training Provider:

The document Criteria and Guidelines to become a SETA Accredited Training Provider sets out the requirements for accreditation.

  • The programmes (and/or assessments) offered by the education and training provider must culminate in unit standards and/or qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
  • The curriculum (design, content and learning materials) is aligned to the unit standards and/or qualifications.
  • There are suitably qualified staff (facilitators and registered assessors).
  • The learners have access to adequate learning support services.
  • The assessment methods and tools used to measure the requirements for the unit standard and/or qualification are fair, valid and reliable, and are used to enhance learning.

Provider Accreditation with an ETQA can often be a daunting process, best left to the professionals.

SETA Accreditation Services offers ETD Providers a fully encompassing accreditation service and/or guidance with the process.

Having in excess of 30 years HR, Labour Relations, Training, Development and Education as well as Administration experience and knowledge, we have the generalist and specialist knowledge required to streamline the Accreditation process and ensure that Providers are accredited by their relevant ETQA as effectively and efficiently as possible, with little or no fuss to the Provider.

Take a moment to look at our site, send us an e-mail or call us, and we will set up a meeting with you to get the process started.

Providers of education and training must apply for accreditation with an Education and Training Quality Assurance (ETQA) body under the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)(link is external). All providers of education and training offering full qualifications must be registered with the Department of Education.

The education and training provider has to offer unit standards and/or qualifications that fall within the primary focus area of the ETQA body of the relevant Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA)(link is external) or professional body.

Requirements for accreditation:

  • The programmes (and/or assessments) offered by the education and training provider must culminate in unit standards and/or qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
  • The curriculum (design, content and learning materials) is aligned to the unit standards and/or qualifications.
  • There are suitably qualified staff (facilitators and registered assessors).
  • The learners have access to adequate learning support services.
  • The assessment methods and tools used to measure the requirements for the unit standard and/or qualification are fair, valid and reliable, and are used to enhance learning.

The main steps in the accreditation process to become a SETA Accredited Training Provider:

  1. The Training Provider determines the primary focus
  2. The SETA Quality Assurance Management Division requirements are compiled by the provider
  3. The Training Provider completes and submits an online application form for accreditation
  4. A compliance check is conducted by SETA and the provider receives a notification of compliance / non-compliance
  5. The Training Provider responds to the notification if necessary
  6. A site visit is scheduled and conducted by a SETA ETQA evaluator
  7. The evaluator sends his/her report to SETA
  8. 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.
  9. The Training Provider is required to respond to areas of remediation if necessary, and make the relevant submission.
  10. Confirm registration with the DHET