QCTO and the Changing Landscape in Skills Development
Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) is one of the three Quality Councils – alongside the Council for Higher Education, and Umalusi. It was established in 2010 in terms of The Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act No. 97 of 1998). The QCTO is required to take over the Quality Assurance functions for trades and occupations, which were previously conducted by the Sectoral Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) through their ETQA divisions. This is the 2018 vision.
Expected changes in the new skills development landscape, post-2018 are:
- The QCTO will oversee the design, implementation, assessment, and certification of occupational qualifications on the Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework (OQSF).
- Development Quality Partners will manage qualification design and development, with input from industry through Communities of Expert Practice (CEPs).
- Assessment Quality Partners (AQPs), comprised of industry experts, will be formed by the QCTO. One of their key functions will be to develop, organise and implement final External Integrated Summative Assessments (EISA) for qualifications within their scope.
- EISA will be a national, external, standardised assessment system, replacing the final summative assessment currently in place, where competency must be proven to receive a national certificate.
- Qualifications will comprise three components: Knowledge, Practical and Workplace, with a minimum of 20% for each component, depending on the requirements of the qualification.
- Learning modules will replace unit standards, as modules are more substantive, allowing for better integration, portability and transferability.
- Fundamental Learning Components [FLC] replace fundamental unit standards for qualifications at NQF levels 3-4.
- There will be two entry points onto an occupational qualification, either through the workplace, or via an accredited skills development provider.
- Recognition of Prior Learning remains an integral part of the new qualification framework and that RPL learners will write the same EISA as a route to competence.
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