There has been a lot of discussion recently regarding the importance of Sectional Educational Training Authority (SETA accreditation) accredited training within South Africa in general, as well as specifically within the health and safety environment and accredited health and safety training providers.
Why SETA Accreditation
The South African Qualifications Authority or SAQA is the controlling authority or body, which regulates education institutions and the many different skills development providers or training provider company’s within the country. There is a National Qualifications Framework which all training providers need to adhere to and ensure that their training courses are approved and aligned to this framework, through offering qualifications or part qualifications, often referred to as skills programs which form part of a qualification and SETA accreditation.
SAQA released a media statement on 12 September 2019 which states that training providers that are not registered or accredited or do not offer qualifications or part qualifications now face closure! Such non SETA accreditation training companies, if found to be non-accredited and offering training to South African citizens, may face closure for up to 10 years and also face a fine and imprisonment, or both. The government and country are trying to build a solid and integrated educational system and a critical element of this system is SAQA, SETA and NQF alignment and accreditation. SETA accreditation and accredited courses, skills programs and part qualifications form part of and building blocks to a full Qualification.
The Health and Welfare SETA – HWSETA
The Health and Safety SETA (HWSETA) is the quality assurance body for health-related training within South Africa. Course such as health and safety, home based care, social workers, auxiliary healthcare, etc. are quality assured by the HWSETA.
One of the requirements to ensure quality health related training is that one of the directors of the training company needs to be a subject matter expert within the health care sector or industry, thus ensuring that the company management team makes appropriate and acceptable health care related training decisions.
The HWSETA has its head office based in Gauteng Bedfordview and has a provincial office in each province. All training providers must submit their training related accreditations, documents and course materials through their local HWSETA provincial office for processing. The HWSETA also has an on-line portal system where training providers, as well as assessors and moderators can submit their registrations and correspondence through.
Individuals are firstly able to register themselves on-line as assessors and or moderators against specific qualifications or skills programs. Depending on their individual certificates, degrees, experience and curriculum vitae’s, they apply on-line to assess or moderate against existing qualification or existing / already registered HWSETA skills programs. The individual must upload all their information and certified certificates onto the online system and an HWSETA employee or assessor from the provincial office will assess the online application and either approve or reject the application based upon the uploaded documentation and information.
HWSETA accredited health and safety training providers may not register individual unit standards with the HWSETA, but rather “cluster” or “group” unit standards together to form a skills program. The skills program may be 2-unit standards or more, such as 5 or 10, but not an individual unit standard. The HWSETA training provider also applies online on the HWSETA portal for accreditation against various listed qualification and skills programs that they wish to apply for. The training providers need to list or name the accredited assessors and moderators who have already been accredited for the qualifications and skills programs that the training provider is applying for. There needs to be signed service level agreements between the assessors and moderators and training provider, which also need to be uploaded with the online HWSETA application.
The on-line accreditation process and approval from the local provincial office, is a tedious process, but potential training providers need to be thorough and persistent and will eventually obtain their HWSETA accreditation, if they meet the requirements.
Accredited Health and Safety Training Providers
There are many health and safety training providers, but it is critical that you as a client ensure that your existing or future training provider or providers of choice, are accredited health and safety training providers. Ideally the training provider needs to be an HWSETA accredited health and safety training provider, such as Absolute Health Services, or accredited with another SETA if not with the HWSETA.
What is also critical is that the training provider has accredited health and safety courses and programs, as well as company accreditation. If the company requires health and safety representative training, then the accredited health and safety training provider, must have an accredited skills program with the health and safety representative unit standard within the skills program. If the company wants their delegates or students to have the health and safety representative skills program, verified by the HWSETA and endorsed so that the credits attached to that skills program can be uploaded against their attending delegates, then it’s critical that they choose an accredited health and safety training provider that can achieve this.
This endorsement process is a lengthy process and may take months to complete! There are many different achievement factors that need to be achieved before the endorsement process can be completed, such as:
- Accredited health and safety provider;
- Accredited health and safety skills programs or qualification;
- Accredited health and safety skills program assessor;
- Accredited health and safety skills program moderator;
- Correctly assessed and moderated completed course administration;
- Correctly completed workplace portfolio of evidence;
- Correctly completed online HWSETA upload for HWSETA to approve.
Once all the above bullet points have been achieved and the training provider has communicated with the HWSETA, then the HWSETA will be able to conduct a verification visit and endorse the skills program course that was completed by the delegates and learners. The credits attached to this skills program will then be up loaded to each delegate or learner on the National Learner Record Database (NLRD). Some clients do not require that their delegates courses and results are uploaded to the NLRD and they therefore do not need to be uploaded, but the training provider must still have the necessary accreditations.
The accredited health and safety training provider must be able to offer all the different health and safety course requirements through accredited HWSETA skills programs. Different accredited course options could include:
- First aid skills programs;
- Firefighting skills programs;
- Evacuation planning skills programs;
- Various health and safety skills programs.
- Other course requirements.
It is therefore important for customers and clients to understand the SETA, accredited training provider and various skills program courses requirements, before they approve any courses or business with health and safety training providers, as unfortunately many of the training providers don’t meet the minimum requirements.
Health and Safety Training in Gauteng
There are many health and safety training providers in Gauteng, so it is important to choose the correct and appropriately accredited provider. Google is a great tool to utilize, which will list a number of possible health and safety training providers in Gauteng. The client’s company Human Resources or Learning and Development Manager, must understand the content of this article, so that the correct questions can be asked to potential health and safety training providers or bidders.
Gauteng is one of the largest business generating provinces in South Africa and hence there are many potential health and safety training providers in Gauteng, but unfortunately many of these are un-accredited. The larger and more structured training providers tend to have national footprints, with training center offices in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town and they should have more accreditation structures and programs under their name.
A training company providing quality health and safety training in Gauteng should have a state-of-the-art facility, with quality training aids such as adult, child and infant CPR manakins, regulation 7 first aid kits, immobilization devices, firefighting extinguishers and equipment. If the training provider is accredited with the HWSETA, then they should have the necessary training equipment and facilities.
Absolute Health Services meets all the accredited health and safety training provider requirements and has a top-quality training center in Johannesburg North in Gauteng. Absolute Health Services is situated in Hammets Crossing Office Park, 2 Selbourne Road, Johannesburg North, 2060. Potential clients are welcome to come and visit and view our quality training center offering health and safety training in Gauteng.