The QCTO invites public comment by 6 June 2011, under authority of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the SA Qualifications Authority, Saqa, on these news statutory sub framework implementation draft policies;
• Curriculum and Assessment
• Delegation of Qualification Design
• Assessment to Development Quality Partners (DQPs)
• Assessment Quality Partners (AQPs)
• Code of Conduct for Quality Partners
• Fee Structure Policy for AQPs and DQPs
A SAQA workshop in May 2011 outlined occupational qualification types according to the Occupational Qualifications Framework, that distinguishes between National Occupational Qualifications (120+ credits), and National Occupational Awards (25 to 119 credits).
Qualification title example
Qualifications could be awarded on all 10 levels of the National Qualifications Framework, NQF. Qualifications would follow a naming or labeling or titling convention, for example, ‘National Occupational Qualification: Chemistry Technician (Chemistry Laboratory Analyst) Level 5’.
SHEQ practice may be allocated to Cluster 2, designated as ‘Business Administration, Information Services, Human Resources, Teaching and related occupations’, among nine occupational clusters.
‘Particular’ and ‘general’ qualifications
Employers are recognised to have have unique and particular skills needs, due to their processes and products. National qualifications could not cater for this variety, except in large employment sectors like mining, the QCTO said in the presentation in May 2011.
“QCTO requires applicants to map their particular needs within the national occupations framework, in a standardised occupations ‘language’. Qualification and curriculum development processes must be expressed in standardised terms.”
Occupational clusters and fields
NOPF pathways would link occupations at different levels that share related knowledge bases and that are commonly grouped together for career guidance purposes, because they are associated with similar working environments and relate to different learner aptitudes and interests.
There are nine occupational pathways or ‘Clusters’, each cluster being subdivided into ‘Fields’, making for 54 Fields, each Field again being divided into ‘Families’ of closely related occupations, as SHEQafrica.com reported during development of these policies last year. NOPF occupational clusters are;
1. Finance, Insurance, Sales, Marketing, Retail, Logistics
2. Business Administration, Information Services, Human Resources, Teaching
3. Accommodation, Food Preparation, Cleaning
4. Farming, Forestry, Nature Conservation, Environment
5. Medical, Social and Welfare, Sports, Personal Care
6. Security, Law
7. Visual Arts, Design, Installation, Maintenance, Extraction, Construction
9. Transportation, Materials Moving, Mobile Plant Operating.
Training quality assurance
For each ‘occupation’, the QCTO will produce an:
• Occupational Qualifications Document; to define required learning for competence to practice an occupation or occupational specialisation. QCTO will submit this document to SAQA.
• Occupational Curriculum Document; to enhance quality and consistency of learning and internal assessment of each component of learning. National occupational curricula will be registered with QCTO.
• Occupational Assessment Specifications Document; to guide annual external assessment that is nationally standardised, integrated, and summative.
DQPs to facilitate training development
The occupational training process will be facilitated by two types of delegated agents, for training development, and for training quality assurance, respectively.
Development Quality Partners (DQPs) will be recommended by stakeholders in a QCTO scoping meeting. The QCTO will ensure their credentials with the interested community and prescribe processes for development.
Once DQPs are agreed to by an occupational community, it must fund and convene a process, appoint a Registered Facilitator, convene Expert Practitioners to undertake a development process, verify this with their occupational community, and submit four documents to QCTO.
AQPSs to assure training quality
Quality assurance will be rendered by delegated agents, named Assessment Quality Partners (AQPs). These will be recommended to the QCTO, which would establish that they are ‘fit for purpose’, including interrogation of their financial model.
AQPs will oversee External Summative Assessments of each occupation, like trade tests, and trade qualification panels, or professional registration boards, and recommend assessment centres to the QCTO. AQPs will also recommend certification to the QCTO.
The QCTO will then issue certificates for external summative assessments of occupational qualifications, or part qualifications, on the recommendation of an AQP.
Trade and professional boards and certification bodies, or membership bodies offering professional registration, would also have to follow a separate Saqa policy on professionalisation, and prove general acceptance within their occupation, as SHEQafrica.com reported a year ago. That policy would also apply to established professional bodies like engineers.
Occupational training draft policies published
QCTO draft policies are available for downloading at http://www.skillzhub.co.za/articles.php
Explanations of the draft policies are available at http://www.saqa.org.za/list.asp?key=QCTO%20Presentations
* Comment to the QCTO council by 6 June 2011, via QCTO CEO, either by hand at SAQA House, Room 513, Fifth Floor, 1067 Arcadia Street, Hatfield, Pretoria, or by mail to Postnet Suite 248, Private Bag X06, Waterkloof, 0145, of by faxc to 012 431 5144, or email firstname.lastname@example.org