Accreditation is the certification for a certain period or time of a body or an institution, as having the capacity to fulfil a particular function within the quality system set up by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) in terms of SAQA Act, 1995. SAQA accredits all Education and Training Quality Assurance bodies (ETQAs) who in turn accredit education and training providers.

Advantages of becoming an accredited provider

  • The overall quality of Education and Training in South Africa is raised and maintained.
  • Training providers comply with the required standards for learning and assessment services.
  • It also means that all learners can be assured of a quality learning experience and that the credits and qualifications they achieve through the education and training service may be nationally and internationally recognised.

Doing business with accredited providers

  • Only accredited Education and Training providers are able to deliver education and training that lead to nationally registered Unit Standards and Qualifications.
  • Accreditation therefore provides Education and Training Providers with a valuable tool with which they can market their services to potential clients.

Where do the Quality Council for the Trades and Occupations fit in?

There are three ETQA bodies: CHE (Council for Higher Education), Umalusi and QCTO. The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) will take over the role of accrediting training providers offering occupational programmes in the future.

The establishment of the QCTO will significantly increase the efficiency of the current ETQA system, merging twenty three Sector Education and Training Authorities’ (SETAs) ETQAs into one. This means that quality assurance activities can be better coordinated and managed. However, the ETQA function will be delegated to SETAs.

The QCTO will simplify the accreditation process, applying criteria which are stated in each

curriculum and are fit-for-purpose for each qualification. The process will begin with self-evaluation and will promote quality improvement.

Overlapping accreditation, registration and verification requirements currently causing major delays and frustrations will no longer apply.

A provider may only be accredited by one ETQA. Boland College is accredited as a training provider by the ETDP SETA. To offer any SETA programmes, Boland College has to obtain programme approval and these programmes are quality assured by the relevant SETA. Boland College’s main ETQA (NCV) is Umalusi.

Current process of Accreditation

Expressing the intent to be SETA/QCTO Accredited

Application to be SETA/QCTO Accredited

Site visit by the SETA/QCTO


  1. Boland College makes initial contact
  2. Boland College submits an application form to the SETA/QCTO
  3. Applicant compiles portfolio of evidence
  4. Portfolio of evidence received by SETA/QCTO
  5. SETA allocates the application to an Evaluator/ Subject Matter Expert (SME)
  6. Evaluator/Subject Matter Expert conducts desktop study of submitted evidence against set criteria
  7. Evaluator/Subject Matter Expert informs SETA/ QCTO of decision to conduct onsite audit
  1. SETA/QCTO notifies applicant of decision
  2. Audit team collects and verifies information
  3. Audit team identifies audit findings in a given report format
  4. Onsite closing meeting conducted
  5. The final decision is communicated to the SETA/ QCTO Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and is endorsed by the CEO
  6. The applicants are informed of the decision and if necessary further support is given for resubmission

The Process of Accreditation

  1. Boland College initiates the accreditation request
  2. Document review follows the preceding process
  3. Onsite audit activities are conducted
  4. Preparation for onsite audit activities commences
  5. Reporting on audit is completed

Process for Learning Programme Approval

  1. Boland College makes a request for extension of scope to include the new programme
  2. Provider sends application form and learning programme with short CV of facilitator, registered assessor as well as moderator to SETA
  3. IETQA receives and evaluates files and generates report and submits to the internal moderator for endorsement
  4. The moderator endorses and a report is submitted to the ETQA manager for approval
  5. ETQA manager approves or declines
  6. If approved: Approval letter is sent to Boland College
  7. If declined: Approval Support is provided