Posted on: July 29, 2010 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

SAQA is drafting policy and criteria for professional bodies, and for registration of professional designations, on the National Qualifications Framework.

A SAQA-appointed Reference Group, formed at a conference hosted at Kopanong, is drafting policy and criteria for professional bodies, including statutory and non-statutory professions.

The Reference Group is chaired by the SAQA CEO, Dr Samuel Isaacs, comprising representatives from professional bodies, government and quality assurance bodies.

Several new statutory bodies were created in 2001, to register professions like architects, engineers, quantity surveyors and others, in line with time-honoured structures in the medial, legal and other professions.

Occupational health, hygiene and ergonomics practitioners are linked to the established medical registration structures, but some sheq professions remain unregulated, like occupational safety practitioners, and occupational environmental managers.

* For more information on the Professional Bodies Reference Group process contact Dr James Keevy on jkeevy@saqa.org.za

Training regulation

The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) is a statutory organisation responsible for population and conserving the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), and holding a database of information relevant to the NQF, named National Learners Records Database (NLRD).

Occupational health, hygiene and ergonomics practitioners are linked to the established medical registration structures, but some sheq professions remain unregulated, like occupational safety practitioners, and occupational environmental managers. Statutory bodies may only be instituted by the relevant minister.

SAQA registers qualifications and unit standards on the NQF and accredits Education and Training Quality Assurance bodies, ETQAs.  Most ETQAs are organs of Sector Education Training Authorities, SETAs, but some operate outside SETAs, such as the Council on Higher Education and Umalusi.

ETQAs will be replaced in due course. In the occupational sector the QCTO will take on this responsibility.

In 2009, the Master Builders Association of Gauteng, in association with Master Builder associations from other provinces, hired a consultant to generate a qualification for Construction Safety Officers, named National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety, ID 77063.

Qualifications check

To check qualifications of job applicants, or to check whether your own qualifications are listed on the SAQA database, email your full names, maiden names, ID number, qualifications, training provider/s, and year or approximate year obtained, to verifications@saqa.org.za

Employers are advised to accept original, unaltered diplomas and certificates, from accredited training providers. The status of training providers can also be verified via SAQA, or on the SAQA website.

If certain levels of experience are required for an appointment, employers should also verify the employment records of applicants by calling former employers, supervisors, and referents.

SAQA verifies qualifications of one year or longer, usually of 120 credits or more, provided the qualifications were obtained at accredited training providers, and loaded onto the SAQA database.

There are currently Health and Safety qualifications which are offered by Unisa and other training providers registered on the National Qualifications Framework.

Some private training providers also offer qualification and experience checks, either on behalf of employers, or as part of a recognition of prior learning (RPL) process.

Short courses of less than one year are not listed on the NQF, but retain their validity as part of a learning pathway or career plan. Short courses are mostly registered with SETAs.

PHOTO; The Reference Group is chaired by the SAQA CEO, Dr Samuel Isaacs, comprising representatives from professional bodies, government and quality assurance bodies.

* To check qualifications of applicants, or listing of your own qualifications, mail your full names, ID number, qualifications, training provider and year or approximate year obtained, to verifications@saqa.co.za

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