By John Scarrott
A nurse training programme extends over several years but the existing legacy qualifications are simply being extended on a year to year basis and as a result institutions (and learners) are unable to plan with any degree of real certainty.
New qualifications are proposed but the published drafts for submission to SAQA are a mere outline of the competences necessary at the various levels of nursing practice.
The draft qualifications are not Unit Standard and Specific Outcome based and therefore do not encourage a detailed programme of learning that will reliably include all the essential elements of work in the nursing profession.
This will allow a range of different interpretations by different training establishments and limit opportunities for consistent assessment. It will also limit the opportunity of individuals declared competent against a particular Unit Standard to find employment where only the skills represented by that Unit Standard are required.
The DHET Green Paper on Post School Education clear shows the intention to include the profession of nursing within the scope of the QCTO but that appears to be in conflict with statement from the SANC (the relevant ETQA) that the draft qualifications are aligned to "the new higher education framework'.
A clear policy statement from SANC, SAQA and QCTO would eliminate the current uncertainty.