What is a bogus qualification?

A genuine qualification must comply with three conditions. The higher education provider must be registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training; or in the case of an occupationally-directed qualification, the provider must be accredited with the QCTO or the entity that the QCTO has delegated this function to. Secondly, the qualification itself must be accredited by any of the three Quality Councils (Umalusi, CHE and QCTO). The third condition requires that the qualification must be registered on the NQF.

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What steps must be taken by a training provider to avoid a situation of being accused of offering of bogus qualifications?

There are no clear-cut answers to this as unscrupulous practice in the education, training and development system presents itself in a wide variety of forms. However, we could provide you with useful tips in order to detect possible signs of dishonest and misleading practices by a training provider. For qualifications in the Higher Education sector:

  • Make sure that you are registered as a Higher Education (HE) provider with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).
  • Submit the qualification to the Council on Higher Education (CHE) for accreditation.
  • If you (as an institution) and the qualification meet the requirements for accreditation, then the CHE will recommend the qualification to SAQA for registration on the NQF. You do not need to submit an application for registration to SAQA. The qualification can ONLY be offered once it has been registered on the NQF.
For qualifications in the Occupational sector, including Skills Progr

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What should I look out for on a qualification certificate to detect any possible unscrupulous practice?

Following are some signals that should raise your suspicion about the genuineness and validity of a qualification:

  • Qualifications certificates whose titles do not appear exactly as on the SAQA searchable database.
  • Qualification certificates obtained within the Occupational band being issued in the name of the provider. (Remember: The QCTO or any Quality Assurance body through delegation of the function by the QCTO is tasked with issuing of occupational qualification certificates)
  • Qualification certificates on which the ID number of the qualification is not shown.
  • Occupational type qualification certificates on which the number of credits do not appear.
  • Qualification certificates using qualification titles that are not consistent with qualification titles on the NQF and/or defined for the sub-frameworks.
  • Qualification certificates that have an NQF level that is different from the usual practice e.g. an Honours degree at Level

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What is meant by Quality Councils (QCs)?

QCs are sector-based structures responsible for the development and quality assurance of qualifications in their respective sub-frameworks of the NQF. There are three QCs for the three main sectors in education namely general and further education and training, higher education, and the occupational sector. Umalusi is the QC for General and Further Education and Training as provided for in the GENFETQA Amendment Act. The Council on Higher Education (CHE) is the QC for Higher Education as provided for in the Higher Education Amendment Act. The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations is the QC for occupations and is provided for in the Skills Development Amendment Act.

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What does Recognition of Prior Learning mean?

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) means the comparison of the previous learning and experience of a learner howsoever obtained against the learning outcomes required for a specified qualification, and the acceptance for purposes of qualification of that which meets the requirements.

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Why do we do RPL?

Here are some of the reasons why RPL is done:

  • To redress the historical disadvantages like exclusion of many people from education and training because of regulations used by institutions, exclusion from certain jobs of certain population groups, etc.
  • To validate people's skills and knowledge
  • For broader development of individuals
  • To facilitate access to jobs and progression in career paths
  • For recognition in terms of grading and pay/salary
  • For planning through skills audits
  • To promote employment equity

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