Many of our donors, partners, and students ask us about our accreditation status and what it means for the College as an institution. Like most requirements relating to compliance in businesses and non-profit organisations, our accreditation forms the foundation of the College and its successes.
Without our accreditation, we would not be able to offer the kind of valuable needs-driven programmes that equip students with the tools to become anything from field rangers to future conservation managers across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and beyond.
The Academic team, made up of our quality assurance and policy specialists, strive to ensure that we achieve what we pledge to do. In our case, being legally compliant is only the beginning in our quest to realise our role as a leader in the conservation education and training sector.
Every year we have to report on our education and training activities in order to keep our accreditation as a Higher Education institution. This annual report draws on all our departments work; from our annual financial statements, our corporate governance, health and safety compliance, through to our website and, of course, our students’ learning experiences and successes. For our team, it is our opportunity to show the education authorities the evidence of our commitment to high-impact learning as the leading applied conservation education and training institution in the region. Secondly, it provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the College’s systems and methodologies, where we can improve, and what stands out as best practice in our conservation education and training programmes.
This year’s annual report to the National Department of Higher Education and Training was exceptional. Last year we attained full accreditation and the subsequent standards that we strive to maintain are just as exacting as public universities, such as the University of Cape Town, Wits University and others, for example. This year’s reporting requirements easily exceeded a thousand pages with over 66 annexes and supporting documents; all in all, it required two months of dedicated work and contributions from various College departments, from Finance to the office of the CEO and Vice-Chancellor.
A big thank you and well done to everyone, including our students, whose valuable feedback and input continue to help our academic team craft new and improved strategies to enhance their learning experience and build on their academic journey with us.