Where to go for accreditation

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You are a small training provider and your clients are starting to ask you whether your training is accredited. You have to find out more about accreditation but what is your first step?

The first decision to make is where to seek accreditation. Accreditation is given by bodies known as ETQAs - this stands for Education and Training Quality Assurance.

Each of the 25 Setas is an ETQA for the business sector it covers. There are two "band? ETQAs which cover levels of training rather than sectors. These are the Council on Higher Education (CHE), which covers universities and others covering higher education (NQF level 5 and up; and Umalusi which covers schools and other institutions providing training at school levels (Up to NQF level 4).

In addition there are eight specialist associations that serve as ETQAs. These cover nursing, human resources, security officers, pharmacists, health professions, health and skincare, chartered accountants and materials handling.

The principle is that each training provider will only be accredited by one ETQA which will save the training provider the time and expense of multiple registrations. So the training provider must choose which ETQA will be most appropriate. This would be the body that covers the majority of your training.

If you have some courses that fall under another ETQA, the body you are accredited by will strike a relationship with the other relevant body to accredit that particular course. In this way the training provider will continue to deal with only one ETQA body.

Once you have selected the appropriate ETQA you should contact the body and request accreditation. The process is complicated but is necessary to ensure high standards of education and training.

The ETQAs should not act as gatekeepers who won't allow providers in. The role is more one of an enabler who assists the provider in reaching the required standard. They should therefore highlight the areas in which you do not meet their requirements, if any, so you know which areas require attention.

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