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Outlining your SETA or QCTO accreditation strategy

Organisations offering training or coaching services can add further value to their markets when accredited to deliver recognised occupational learning.

Why SETA Accreditation?

An accredited organisation offers credit-bearing training resulting in an industry relevant qualification or part qualification (skills programmes). Accreditation signals a stamp of credibility, compliance and accountability to the market.

By conforming to legislated levels of compliance, learners receive certificates of competence and organisations procuring accredited training can claim tax rebates and BEE points as reward for their contribution.

Accreditation Strategy Features

1. Align Target Markets

SETAs have a vested interest in the following markets:

  1. High school leavers market.
  2. 25-54 year old market.
  3. Business and industry training market.
  4. A vocational and lifelong learning market.

2. Scarce Skills

Many industries complain of skills shortages and voice concern over a lack of technical skills and expertise. Emerging and existing training organisations can identify business opportunities by linking their services to meeting scarce skill areas.

3. Select Registered Qualifications or Skills Programs

You must select qualifications, skills programs or unit standards that are registered on the National Qualifications Framework.

It’s advisable to select more than one qualification / component to be accredited for and maximise market advantage. Identify groups of qualifications e.g business administration NQF levels 3, 4 and 5 and pursue accreditation for all 3 so you can career path learners and provide greater scope for returning clients who adore your services.

Although the accreditation process requires that you attach training team contracts, CV’s and qualifications, you can advertise for these specialists and negotiate their involvement. Most require an upfront payment in exchange for their credentials, this is a fair trade-off as many complain that newly accredited organisations often scope the market for other facilitators and fail to contract those who submitted initial documents.

The following is a list of SETA qualifications published on my Keep Climbing blog, most lists contain hyperlinks to the SAQA qualification:

Qualifications in the Service Sectors

CHIETA Qualifications for Chemical Industry Careers

Qualifications for the Food and Beverage Manufacturing Industry

210 Qualifications for Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services

All Wholesale and Retail Qualifications and Accredited Training Providers

Wholesale and Retail Learnership Qualifications

Interested in Local Government Career Development?

Culture Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Qualifications

Arts, Tourism, Sports, Hospitality and Gaming Qualifications

Media. Advertising, Information and Communication Technology Qualifications

HWSETA Registered Qualifications

Qualifications in Health and Welfare

HPCSA Qualifications for Medical Careers

Financial and Accounting Scarce Skills, Qualifications and Training Providers

Qualifications for the Insurance Industry

85 Qualifications for Agriculture

  1. ETDP SETA Qualifications

4. Survey Your Competition

Identify existing training providers in your sector who are offering the same or similar qualifications.  Consider how you must differentiate yourself in order to compete in similar target markets.

Qualifications, unit standards etc contain lists of training providers. Most information is years out of date, possibly a decade plus, so don’t assume the list is complete and stop your competitive research there!

Google the qualifications you want to be accredited for as the market leaders will feature prominently – as you will need to. Identify typical qualification branding features, many organisations purchase content from the same providers which means their course structures and titling is often virtually the same. See what you can do differently.

Are there enough Wholesale and Retail training providers?

5. Funding

Although accredited providers are legible to apply and compete for funding, it’s never a good idea to set up a business that will require funding to deliver.  As a consultant I often receive calls from accreditation hopefuls who say they don’t have a budget for establishing their business or access the support services they require. Applying for accreditation requires a sustainable business model, applicants must thus seriously consider finance for their venture in the same way any other businesses do.

There really is NO reason why the SETA should entrust limited funds to new providers in the market. However, those new providers who are savvy enough to establish themselves correctly and target the right markets with required qualifications can access SETA support.

New providers are often high risk as they are inexperienced and still need to build an understanding of due diligence in this formal environment. If you can demonstrate this understanding then you could enter the market competitively.


Online Accreditation Coaching

Cheap, easy and accommodating. This service is for those who have tough days and insufficient hours.

6 accreditation coaching hours can be reserved during or after work, Mondays – Saturdays and wherever you are!


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