Kinds of accreditation
The SASSETA offers both different levels as well as different categories of accreditation, based on the provider’s aims and criteria. One of the implications of this is that new providers will find it easier to get going — it’s not a simplistic pass/fail situation but rather a system of continual growth and development.
Levels of accreditation offered by the SASSETA
The SASSETA requires providers to meet a series of criteria in order to achieve accreditation status. These criteria have been developed to ensure that education and training providers are able to deliver a quality education and training service. These criteria are determined in a manner that protects the rights of the learner and the public. The SASSETA does acknowledge, however, that some providers may require a period of time to meet certain criteria— and will give providers who meet basic criteria ‘provisional accreditation’ status while they achieve the more extensive criteria required for full accreditation. The SASSETA has undertaken to ensure those providers have access to support that will help them meet the objectives of ‘full accreditation’ during their period of provisional accreditation. The two levels of accreditation are discussed in more detail below.
All providers are ultimately required to meet the criteria for full accreditation. They may not remain provisionally accredited indefinitely and a clear timeframe for meeting the accreditation requirements will be agreed upon with the provider and the ETQA. In order to achieve full accreditation, you need to comply with all the necessary criteria outlined in Section 3. The accreditation agreement will indicate which programmes you are accredited to offer and, this will take place in terms of the programme evaluation process of the SASSETA ETQA. According to the SASSETA, full accreditation is defined as follows:
A provider, who, in the sole discretion of SASSETA, has complied with all criteria, will be accredited for a period of five (5) years. During this time a relationship will be established with the SASSETA in terms of which a programme of continuous audit and quality improvements will be implemented.
The Renewal of accreditation is considered upon receipt of the application form. Note that renewal of accreditation is not automatic — the SASSETA will need to take into consideration the outcomes of the periodic audits conducted, as well as the provider’s willingness and ability to implement the changes recommended in these audits.
Provisional accreditation status is a temporary status given to providers that have not met all the criteria for full accreditation. The SASSETA has outlined a set of critical criteria (outlined in Section 3) that you need to meet to obtain provisional status. The provisional accreditation criteria have been identified as those baseline requirements you need to have in place to ensure the protection of learners and the quality of provision. If applicants do not meet the minimum criteria for provisional accreditation, they will not be given this status. They will instead be supported to meet these criteria, and they can then reapply for provisional accreditation when the minimum requirements are in place. During the specified time that a provider is provisionally accredited, the organisation is required to develop and implement a plan to ensure that the remaining criteria for full accreditation are met. As mentioned earlier, the SASSETA has adopted a developmental approach to accreditation and will assist and support you where necessary to achieve full accreditation status. If a provider has not met the criteria for full accreditation at the end of the specified provisional period, the provider’s provisional accreditation may be revoked. This is to ensure that providers continue to improve their practices and systems, as required by full accreditation status, instead of just limiting themselves to the absolute minimum criteria for quality provision and protection of learners. The maximum duration of provisional accreditation status is one year, but providers will be individually reviewed in order to determine individual timeframes, as some criteria may take a shorter time to implement than others.
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