Accreditation Woes

Accreditation is the most essential part of establishing a standardized training environment.  But what happens when the accreditation process falls apart or too many fingers gets poked in the pie?


There has been alot of talk, especially in Amanzimtoti, surrounding who is and who isnt accredited. The problem with the new accreditation is that there are too many role player to start off with.  These include:

  • Department of Labour (Custodians of the OHASA under which First aid requirements falls)
  • Department of Higher Education and Training (Custodians of the Skills Development Act)
  • Health and Welfare SETA (Training Regulatory body for the Health and Welfare Sector)
  • Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (The new regulatory body)


Then there is the other SETA’s including the MERSETA, TETA, SASETA, Food and Bev SETA all of which was drawn into the process at some point.


To allow you to understand the mass confusion in this stages, you first need to understand the background on how we arrived at this point. And please note that I am paraphrasing…

  1. Past regulations were that a training provider was required to be accredited with the Department of Labour only
  2. A notice was issued by the Department of Labour during 2017 that training providers would be required to be accredited by the HWSETA (the QAP) and approved by the Department of labour IF the provider was accredited.
  3. A short while post the aforementioned notice, another notice was issued stating that Additional QAPs were now considered including the other seta’s mentioned.
  4. A new notice was then issued that training providers needs to register with the QCTO, who will appoint a QAP, and then with the department of labour to be considered as accredited.

Now here are a few concerns that we would like to make people aware of.

  • There are a lot of discussions happening on several different levels and platforms surrounding this process.  Each and every person we have spoken to claims that they understand and is completing the process. HOWEVER, when inquiring on the details of the process that they understand, there are very few similarities between the different understandings. Thus we are asking people NOT TO BELIEVE a training provider who is talking about the accreditation process as it seems like most of what we are discussing is speculative.
  • Upon contacting the QCTO, PDA was telephonic advised that the QCTO has not yet developed the criteria or materials for the First aid and therefor training providers need to submit their application to the QCTO whom will the instruct the HWSETA to do a site visit and inspection and provide a report to the QCTO who will then do the accreditation.
  • This doesn’t seem like a problem but the issue comes in 2 sections. 1. According to our understanding, First aid Level 1 and 2 will “remain” with the HWSETA (no talks on the level 3 yet) till the QCTO has developed the unit standard but once that happens the provider would have to seek re-accreditation.  This will happens even if the original application was submitted to the QCTO who delegated to the HWSETA.  2. there are costs involved with each of the separate processes, either directly or indirectly, and if the criteria of the 2 organizations isnt aligned the training provider will have to spend all the money again which will have a roll over effect on that of the costs of the courses
  • According to several speculations, there wont be any individual unit standards like first aid level 1 (US119567) but the first aid will have to be completed as part of a entire qualification.  This will mean that candidates will have to complete several modules before receiving a certificate which would have included first aid.  Others have stated that at this point First aid will still be a stand alone course but the time frames will be adjusted.  If the latter stands true, candidates would be required to receive 15 hours of classroom training (for level 1)PLUS an addition 35 hours of nominal hours which could include workpieces, assessments, practical training etc etc.  So, yes, instead of spending 2.5 days with PDA you will have to spend approx 50hours to complete the course.  If the full qualifications are considered, we have heard numbers being thrown around like 3months of full time training.  This in itself would be financially problematic for the providers and clients as course prices would be around R9800-R15200 approx just to allow the client to comply with the GSR3.
  • We have also been told by another service provider that only people with relevant degree’s will be allowed to register for the relevant qualification.  E.g. Fire training would require someone with some sort of Fire related degree, First aid would require a medical degree etc etc. Now although this would be AMAZING in the ideal world, one has to consider the cost impact of having to pay a doctor for the training.


There are several things also happening surrounding this whole process, We are lead to believe that SAIOSH has established a subcommittee to establish some contact with the CI to halt or postpone the process or at least establish a final guideline without any more changes.  Further to this there can been a call for training providers to submit “section 40” applications which would, if approved, the provider from the notice issued by the Chief Inspector.


So to conclude, as matters are standing at this very moment, and if another notice is not issued again, Training providers are to be accredited by the HWSETA and approved by the Department of labour. This may , or may not, be with a requirement of registration by the provider, with the department of higher education and training as a college.  PDA is still seeking clarity on this part of the process.  The rest will ONLY change once the QCTO has concluded their processes and issued their materials and criteria.


We would, however, like to clarify that PDA does support the notion of standardized quality training as we have been requested to retrain several other providers’ candidates due to lack of quality training and non-conformance to recommended time frames, procedures and SAQA training outcomes.  We are however opposed to requiring our candidates to spend 50hours-3/4 months to obtain a certificate.


Till there is another Notice from the department of labour or the QCTO issues their documents, it will be businesses as usual here at PDA and the issued certificates will still be accepted by the Department of Labour.