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What providers can do to make the NQF work

Heading: 

ALWAYS ONE JUMP AHEAD

Marietta van Rooyen

As a provider myself, and a licensor for over forty other providers,
I have a large responsibility to maintain the quality of education
and training of my own company and my licensees. The providers
quality of delivery was the first to be selected as a criterion for
quality assurance of the NQF system. The quality assurance was supposed
to be a reiterative and developmental process, driven by SAQA and
the ETQAs, in such a way that quality education and training delivery
will be established, nurtured and grown.

What
is the most important way for providers to make a real difference
regarding their own quality of delivery of education and training?
Will quality management systems guarantee quality of delivery and
assessment? It is about time that we start monitoring the results
and outcomes of education and training and not just the compliance
with quality assurance regulations.

Providers are expected
to:

  1. Set
    up their own internal quality management systems around the eight
    SAQA requirements

  2. Maintain and implement the QMS systems within their organisation

  3. Allow the ETQAs to monitor and audit the QMS systems on a regular
    basis and report to the ETQAs as required.

The eight headings
suggested by SAQA for provider quality assurance in A Phased
Approach to Quality Development for ETD Providers
are:

Table
1: Core Criteria for Education and Training Providers


Criterion
Elaboration
1. Policy
Statement
The organisation?s
aims, objectives and purposes need to be spelt out.
2. Quality
management systems
Outline
procedures that implement quality management in the organisation.
3. Review
mechanisms
Outline
the ways in which the implementation of policies would be monitored.
4. Programme
delivery
Outline
how learning programmes would be developed, delivered and evaluated.
5. Staff
policies
Outline
policies and procedures for staff selection,appraisal and development.
6. Learner
policies
Policies
and procedures for the selection of learners are outlined, and
learners are given guidance and support.
7. Assessment
policies
Outline
policies and procedures for forms of assessments that are used
and how they are managed.
8. Management
system and policies
Indicate
the financial, administrative and physical structures and resources
of the organisation, as well as procedures of accountability
within the organisation.


The SAQA documentation
on its own is not detailed enough for providers to be able to set
up a quality management system. Providers need to have access to
information about quality systems, moderation systems and accreditation
criteria. This must be explained in plain English and be freely
available on ETQA web-sites and in printed format. The ETQA also
needs to provide training opportunities to providers to assist them
to understand new concepts and new systems.

Providers require pre-audit
and pre-accreditation monitoring from the ETQA to assist them to
identify the gaps in their systems, both for accreditation and for
quality management systems. Here we need forums for providers to
learn from each other's best practices. Assessor, moderator
and QMS coordinator forums can also play an important role here.

Providers also require
regular audits to assist them to strive for constant improvement
in their quality systems. It must be understood that all providers
are not on the same level of provisioning and that they need to
grow towards total quality. Once the internal provider systems are
in place, the ETQA only needs to verify and evaluate these systems
and check that they are functioning properly.

Many a provider does
not really understand the role of the ETQA, never mind the importance
of the quality system implemented by the ETQA. In stead of taking
shortcuts and just complying, providers should take pride in being
leaders and strive to be institutions of excellence.

To my mind the
provider is essential to the entire learning process and needs to
be nurtured and developed into a quality provider. It is however
not possible to do this unless there is a relationship of trust
and respect between the providers and the ETQA.

Marietta van Rooyen - Assessment College

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