Quality Management and Accreditation Update – Dec ’23

By Anelle Rautenbach – Head: Quality Management and Accreditation 

Provider Accreditation  

The Council on Higher Education (CHE) in South Africa serves several important purposes in the Country’s tertiary education system. The key functions and purposes of the CHE include: 

Quality Assurance in Higher Education. The CHE is responsible for ensuring and enhancing the quality of higher education in South Africa. It establishes and monitors standards to maintain the quality and relevance of academic programs offered by the College. 

Accreditation of Programs and Institutions. The CHE evaluates and accredits higher education programmes and institutions. Accreditation is a process through which the CHE assesses whether an institution or a specific programme meets predetermined quality standards. Accreditation is crucial for maintaining the credibility and recognition of qualifications offered by the College. 

Promotion of Quality Teaching and Learning. The CHE works to promote quality teaching and learning practices in higher education. This includes supporting innovative and effective learning methods, encouraging research, and fostering an environment that enhances the overall educational experience for students. 

Alignment with National Priorities. The CHE aligns higher education with national priorities and goals. It plays a role in ensuring that academic programmes offered by institutions contribute to the development needs of the country and meet the demands of the labour market. 

Regarding the accreditation of training providers, accreditation is essential for several reasons: 

Credibility and Recognition. Accreditation from the relevant education authorities, such as the CHE, adds credibility to a training provider and its programmes. It signifies that the College meets established quality standards and is providing a recognised and valued education. 

Quality Assurance: Accreditation is a mechanism for ensuring that training providers like the College, maintain a certain level of quality in their educational offerings. This quality assurance process involves a thorough evaluation of the institution’s staff, student services, facilities, curriculum, and overall educational processes. 

Recognition: Accreditation enhances the recognition of qualifications. Certifications from an accredited institution are more likely to be accepted and respected by employers and other educational institutions. 

The task of the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) is the quality assurance and development of qualifications related to trades and occupations. It plays a crucial role in the development and maintenance of occupational qualifications and standards in collaboration with various industry stakeholders. The QCTO is more focused on job-related and occupational qualifications, including trades and skills development. It works to align qualifications with the needs of industries and the South and Southern African labour market. 

In conclusion, while the CHE deals with the quality assurance of higher education institutions and programmes, the QCTO is specifically concerned with the quality assurance and development of qualifications related to trades, occupations, and vocational skills. Both entities contribute to the overall education and skills development landscape, addressing different levels and aspects of the education system. 

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