Important 8-Core Criteria for Training Accreditation

Education and training 8 core criteria for accreditation. Use these criteria to prepare your organisation for accreditation in South Africa.

Accredited education and training organisations have proven that they understand the Quality Context described in the legislation’s 8-core criteria.

CHE, QCTO and SETAs use the 8-core criteria to make accreditation judgements

The 8-core criteria are nuanced and added to by the Quality Councils.

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Understanding ‘nuances’ in the 8 Core Criteria for Accreditation:

If you apply for accreditation using the same set of evidence (based upon the 8-core criteria) to each of the quality councils, you will satisfy MOST criteria specific to them.

Many ‘nuances’ relevant to specific quality councils or SETAs are logical. For example, if you provide NQF L7 programs, learners require access to a library as the NQF level descriptors require learners capable of self-directed study and research.

A provider applying for an NQF Level 3 programme, won’t have this challenge, but they must show how they provide resources to learners.

If you provide training where learners work with hazardous chemicals, your OHS policies will be more vigorous than a training organisation providing Business Administration skills.

Apply this thinking to the various SETAs, and you will see that each SETA and different Quality Councils, have both subtle and obvious differences.

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The 8-Core Criteria for Accreditation

The core criteria were defined in the ETQA Regulations (R 1127 of 8 September 1988) and also in the Quality Management Systems for ETQAs and Criteria and Guidelines for Providers.

If you want to know how to meet the core criteria, sign up for the accreditation seminars. 

The Accreditation Core Criteria Table

The table below lists and briefly explains each of the 8-core criteria for education and training accreditation in South Africa.

8 Core Criteria for AccreditationDescription
1. Policy statementAims, objectives and purposes are communicated
2. QMSThe procedures that implement quality management
3. Review mechanismsProcedures for ways in which the implementation of policies would be monitored
4. Learning programme deliveryThere is a process for how learning programmes would be developed, delivered and evaluated
5. Staff policiesPolicies and procedures for staff selection, appraisal and development exist
6. Learner policiesPolicies and procedures for the selection, guidance, and support of learners are present
7. Assessment policiesPolicies and procedures for forms of assessments and how they are managed exist
8. Management system and policiesThere is evidence of financial, administrative and physical structures and resources, and procedures of accountability within the organization
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Accreditation Core Criteria Consultation or Seminar?

8 Core Criteria Consultation

Book a consultation based on specific accreditation issues or invite Leonie to unpack diverse topics intuitively with your team.

  • Online consultations available  (week days 2pm-9pm; Saturdays 8am-11am)
  • Offline consulting
  • Bespoke seminars tailored to your requirements

In South Africa, the accreditation of higher education and training institutions follows a rigorous process guided by the Council on Higher Education (CHE).

For Occupational Education and Training, accreditation is obtained through the QCTO and a SETA.

This process is essential for ensuring that educational programs meet national standards and produce graduates equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary for the workforce.

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Permanently Adopt the Core Criteria for Accreditation Once Successful

The accreditation criteria encompass various aspects, often summarized into eight core principles:

1. Legitimacy and legality:

Accreditation requires institutions to operate legally within the framework of South African laws and regulations governing education.

This includes adherence to standards set by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and compliance with the Higher Education Act.

2. Quality assurance:

Skills development providers must demonstrate a commitment to maintaining high standards of quality in all aspects of their educational programs.

This involves rigorous internal quality assurance mechanisms and adherence to external quality assurance processes facilitated by bodies like the CHE and QCTO.

3. Academic integrity:

Don’t be Educor, beat Educor!

Accredited institutions are expected to uphold principles of academic integrity, including honesty, fairness, and transparency in all academic activities.

This includes preventing plagiarism, maintaining standards of assessment validity and reliability, and promoting ethical research practices.

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4. Relevance and currency:

Programs seeking accreditation must demonstrate relevance to the needs of society, the economy, and the labour market.

This involves regular review and updating of curricula to ensure alignment with industry trends, technological advancements, and societal demands.

5. Equity and access:

Accreditation criteria emphasize the importance of promoting equity and access to education for all segments of society, including historically disadvantaged groups.

Institutions are expected to implement policies and practices that support diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunities for learning.

6. Resource adequacy:

Accredited institutions must possess adequate resources, including qualified staff, facilities, equipment, and financial support, to deliver high-quality education and training programs effectively.

This ensures that students have access to the necessary resources for learning and development.

7. Learner support:

Accreditation criteria prioritize the provision of comprehensive learner support services to facilitate student success and well-being.

This includes academic advising, counselling, mentorship, and access to support structures for students with special needs.

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8. Continuous improvement:

Accredited institutions are encouraged to engage in continuous self-assessment and improvement processes to enhance the quality and effectiveness of their educational programs continually.

This involves soliciting feedback from stakeholders, conducting regular evaluations, and implementing changes based on identified areas for improvement.

By adhering to these eight core criteria, education and training institutions in South Africa can ensure that their programs meet national standards, contribute to societal development, and produce graduates who are well-prepared for the challenges of the modern world.

Contact 7Sundays for Accreditation Support

Email Leonie Today for The Best Strategic 8 Core Criteria Evidence Trail

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We understand how to embed and reflect an organization’s commitment to excellence and quality in education and training.

We are here to guide you through the rigorous process of accreditation, ensuring that you not only meet but exceed the 8 core criteria set forth in the legislation.

Here’s how our consulting and support services align with each criterion:

1. Policy Statement for Accreditation:

Our accreditation seminars and management policy consultations ensure that your organization’s aims, objectives, and purposes are not only clearly defined but effectively communicated throughout your institution.

Your Policy Statement is critical as it spells out your overarching approach to Quality, which should be holistic and entrenched throughout your documentation.

Let us help you create an illustrated Policy Statement to share with all your stakeholders, especially your marketing team.

Because your Policy Statement is at the very heart of your quality management system, you want to make it pop!

2. QMS (Quality Management Systems):

With our expertise in QMS design and customization, we help you implement robust procedures that drive quality management, ensuring consistency and excellence in every aspect of your operations.

We build an operational quality management system that is tailored to your implementation model.

We cover everything, and when we say “everything” we really mean it!

We incorporate the following:

  1. Democratic communication principles such as an Open Door Policy and a Chalking Policy for brick-and-mortar institutions.
  2. Game theory approach to assessment for institutions forging ahead in digital innovation.
  3. Learner-led facilitation methods.
  4. A robust policy framework for entrepreneur development for contact or e-learning institutions.
  5. Policies and procedures supporting project, product and problem-based learning.
  6. Our quality management system expands empowerment and engagement by offering policies and procedures containing practical solutions.

3. Review Mechanisms:

Our comprehensive approach includes developing procedures for monitoring the implementation of policies, providing you with the tools to continuously evaluate and improve your practices.

4. Programme Delivery:

We offer guidance on how to design, develop, deliver, and evaluate learning programmes, ensuring that your delivery process is efficient, effective, and aligned with accreditation standards.

5. Staff Policies:

Through our tailored consulting services, we assist in the development of policies and procedures for staff selection, appraisal, and development, fostering a culture of professionalism and growth within your organization.

6. Learner Policies:

Our expertise extends to the development of policies and procedures for learner selection, guidance, and support, prioritizing the success and well-being of every individual under your institution’s care.

7. Assessment Policies:

We work with you to establish clear policies and procedures for various forms of assessment, ensuring fairness, accuracy, and integrity in the assessment process.

8. Management System and Policies:

We help you establish evidence of financial, administrative, and physical structures and resources, along with robust procedures of accountability, demonstrating your organization’s commitment to transparency and sustainability.

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Email Leonie at 7Sundays

At 7Sundays, we are more than just consultants—we are your partners in success.

With our expertise and support, you can navigate the accreditation process with confidence, knowing that you have a dedicated team behind you every step of the way.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve accreditation excellence.


  1. Request More information about Quality Management:

    30 Policies and Procedures for your CHE, SETA or QCTO accreditation

    12 Questions for designing Training Quality Management Systems

    Setting up your Quality Management System for SETA, CHE or QCTO accreditation

    QCTO Accreditation Policy Statement for Skills Development Providers

    Education, Training and Marketing Management

  2. More about Quality Management:

    30 Policies and Procedures for your CHE, SETA or QCTO accreditation

    12 Questions for designing Training Quality Management Systems

    Setting up your Quality Management System for SETA, CHE or QCTO accreditation

    QCTO Accreditation Policy Statement for Skills Development Providers

    Education, Training and Marketing Management

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