The South African Qualifications Authority or SAQA is the controlling authority, which regulates education institutions and the many different skills development providers or training providers around 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.
Below SAQA there are then several different Sectional Education Training Authority’s (SETA) to control the various different business sectors. Depending on the industry involved, will depend on what SETA South Africa the organisation would belong to. Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) training falls within the control of the Health and Welfare SETA (HWSETA). Private and independent training providers such as Absolute Health Services, register as accredited skills development providers with the HWSETA.
The government has established an integrated educational system, with critical institutions and departments of this system being QCTO (Quality Council for Trades and Occupations), SAQA, SETA, skills development providers, and NQF alignment courses, programs, and qualifications. The role of SETA, its accredited training providers, the courses, skills programs, and qualifications they provide, all form part of the building blocks of our country’s educational system.
The Role and Function of SETA
A SETA is the quality assurance body for training and education within a specific business sector, industry, or environment. Listed below are some of the functions of SETA:
- To ensure high-quality training and education standards within their sector;
- To accredit various training providers to enable them to provide training courses, programs, and qualifications to clients and the public;
- To approve individual trainers or instructors as facilitators, assessors, and moderators;
- To verify and endorse completed training courses, programs, and qualifications, in order for them to be uploaded onto the National Learner Database;
- To provide education and training grants and funding to upskill the South African public and community;
- To annually report into SAQA and QCTO on the numbers and stats trained and endorsed within their sector.
Accredited Health and Safety Training Providers
There are many health and safety training providers, but it is critical that clients ensure that their existing or future training provider is accredited by SETA South Africa, such as the HWSETA. Ideally, the training provider needs to be an HWSETA accredited health and safety training provider, such as Absolute Health Services, or at least be accredited with another SETA. The HWSETA quality assures courses, skills programs, and qualifications such as health and safety, home-based care, social workers, auxiliary healthcare, etc.
What is also critical is that the training providers’ health and safety courses and programs are all accredited, as well as the training company having full SETA accreditation. One of the functions of SETA is to accredit health and safety training providers, such as Absolute Health Services to offer different accredited OHS related courses such as:
- First aid NQF level 1 – 2 ½ days;
- Firefighting – 1 day;
- Evacuation planning – 1 day;
- H&S representative – 1 day;
- H&S supervisor – 2 days;
- H&S officer (specialist) – 10 days;
- SAQCC 1475 firefighting equipment servicing technician – 5 days;
- BLS for healthcare providers;
- Various other health and safety-related courses.
It is important to remember that First Aid NQF Level 1 courses and training providers must also be accredited by the Department of Labour, as well as SETA. Customers and clients must understand SETA South Africa and the function and role of SETA to ensure that their training provider of choice is appropriately accredited, as unfortunately many of the training providers don’t meet the SETA and Department of Labour minimum requirements.
A customer or client’s Human Resources, Learning and Development, Procurement or Operations management or department, must understand SETA training provider and accreditation requirements so that the correct checks and questions can be made and asked potential health and safety, training providers. There are many health and safety training providers in South Africa, but unfortunately, many of these providers are inappropriate or unaccredited. Always ask your OHS training provider to show proof of their valid and current SETA South Africa accreditation letter. This accreditation letter must list all the different individual OHS courses, programs, and qualifications, such as First Aid NQF Level 1, Firefighting, Health, and Safety Representative, Health and Safety Officer, etc. Absolute Health Services provides high-quality health and safety training, with state-of-the-art training facilities in Johannesburg North, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, but training can also be presented on-site at our client’s premises anywhere in South Africa. Training is also facilitated by professional and experienced paramedics and firefighters, with important practical training aids and equipment such as adult, child, and infant CPR manikins, automated external defibrillators, regulation 7 first aid kits, immobilization and splinting devices, fire fighting extinguishers, and equipment, evacuation chairs, etc. always ensuring that we meet the SETA South Africa skills development training provider requirements.