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Umalusi - Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training

Adult Education and Training FAQs

FAQ Related to Adult Education and Training FAQs

Do all private AET Institutions have to participate in Umalusi monitoring?
Yes. During the period of accreditation, Umalusi will monitor all accredited Institutions.
What are the costs associated with accreditation and monitoring?
For a guideline of the costs, as reflected on Umalusi's latest schedule of accreditation and monitoring fees please send your request to
Does our AET center have to pay an administration fee every time it is monitored?
Yes, monitoring fees are payable at the time of monitoring.
Is the provisional accreditation automatically extended?
No. The 2-year provisional accreditation is not automatically extended; This is a period of time granted to an Institution whose accreditation evaluation indicated that there are minor issues that the Institution was not able to meet at the time of application, and there is a clear indication that the Institution can be able to meet those within the 2-year period granted for improvement. If at the end of the 2 years, the Institution was not able to meet the outstanding requirements, the provisional accreditation will not be extended.
What is the purpose of post-accreditation monitoring?
The purpose of post-accreditation monitoring is to facilitate on-going improvement of the quality of teaching and learning. It is also to ensure that the accredited Institutions continue to meet Umalusi's accreditation criteria. In the main, the performance of Institutions is monitored against their improvement plans.
Who evaluates the accreditation application and monitoring report?
Umalusi appoints suitably qualified and experienced evaluators/ moderators/ facilitators and team leaders. Appointments are made in accordance with Umalusi's selection criteria. Evaluators are trained to conduct the evaluation against the predetermined requirements of Umalusi. The team's reports are submitted to the Accreditation Committee of Council (ACC), which is tasked with the recommendation of the final decision to the CEO. They apply their minds to the reports submitted by the evaluators and the moderators of the evaluation process and the recommendation from the secretariat, and make a final recommendation to the CEO.
Some providers have reservations about evaluators visiting and looking at their confidential documents like audited financial statements.
Appointed evaluators agree to and sign a confidentiality undertaking as well as a code of ethics as part of their contract with Umalusi.
For how long does Umalusi accreditation last?
The outcome of the accreditation application may be: a. Accreditation for 7 years, b. Provisional accreditation for 2-years, or c. No accreditation.
Does payment of the accreditation fee guarantee accreditation?
No. Accreditation depends on the eventual outcome of the evaluation of your submitted evidence and the site verification visit. Payment of fees does not guarantee granting of accreditation.
Can an AET Centre apply for accreditation at any time?
Yes. An AET Centres can begin this process at any time.
How long will it take to receive feedback from Umalusi after we have applied for accreditation?
This depends on the accuracy of the submission and the compliance level of the required evidence. The process of the evaluation of an application and conducting a site visit may take up to 12 months, however the applicant will continually be kept abreast of the progress of the application.
How does one apply for Accreditation?
The process for application and the relevant documents to be used can be viewed on the Umalusi website The application must be made online.
Why are providers offering the GETC required to register with an assessment body or PDEs as assessment centres?
Umalusi's founding act, the General and Further Education and Training Quality Assurance (GENFETQA) Act, 2001 (as amended in 2008) requires it to quality assure assessment of learner achievement at exit points. The Act further requires Umalusi to accredit private assessment bodies. As assessment centres are implicated in the quality assurance of assessment, they are required be registered by accredited private assessment bodies like the IEB, SACAI and Benchmark, and deemed-accredited assessment bodies like PDEs. This is so that their conduct of assessment may be effectively monitored as part of Umalusi's quality assurance of assessment.
Do providers offering short courses or only fundamentals also need to be accredited?
No, registration and accreditation is only associated with full NQF registered qualifications.
Can we request a consultant to compile our monitoring report or to develop generic policies for us?
Although it is the prerogative of providers to do so, in Umalusi's experience, policies compiled by consultants may not provide an opportunity for staff members and learners at the centre to take full ownership of the policies or processes. Umalusi also believes that the increased role of consultants limits the entrenchment of an internal culture of quality improvement. Consultants may not fully understand the modus-operandi of the Institution, and may prepare irrelevant policies and procedures, thereby negatively affecting the outcome of the application for accreditation.
What is a full qualification?
It is the formal recognition of the achievement of the required number and range of credits and other requirements at specific levels of the NQF, determined by the Quality Councils namely, Umalusi, Council on Higher Education (CHE) and Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO). In the case of AET that will be a full GETC at AET level 4.
If a provider is currently offering SETA qualifications/ programs, and only wants to offer the GETC fundamentals, do such providers have to apply for Umalusi accreditation?
Yes, the GETC fundamental learning areas are part of the GETC qualification, which is an Umalusi qualification, therefore providers interested in offering them need to apply to Umalusi.
Why does a provider accredited by another ETQA (SETA) and wants to offer a GETC, have to apply for accreditation with Umalusi?
According to the National Qualifications Framework Act, 2008, the GETC is registered as part of Umalusi's sub-framework of qualifications. The qualification is therefore quality assured and certified by Umalusi as a Quality Council. Therefore any provider who seeks to offer that qualification needs to seek permission (accreditation) from Umalusi to do so.
How will we know that the evidence we provide with our application will sufficiently support our compliance with the criteria?
By ensuring that the evidence is consistent with the minimum standard required for each of Umalusi's accreditation criteria and the requisite supporting evidence, the centre will be able to provide sufficient support for their claims of full compliance. The Guideline document on Umalusi's website provides in-depth information about the evidence requirements. Umalusi also hosts quality promotion workshops and information sessions during the year.
What is an improvement plan?
A comprehensive plan indicating the areas needing improvement and the time frame within which the areas will be addressed.
What if we are unhappy with our evaluation feedback from Umalusi?
The provider could apply for a review of the application. However, there is a non-refundable administration fee. Please contact Umalusi for the latest schedule of accreditation review fees.
When can our Centre expect a site visit?
Providers are site-visited when it is established through a desktop evaluation of evidence submitted, that this evidence meets Umalusi's requirements for accreditation. The site visit is conducted to verify the evidence and to evaluate the standard of provision. A site-visit is part of the application process. The outcome of the site-visit, together with the desktop evaluation, will form part of the accreditation report. The consolidated report will be presented to the ACC for consideration and a final decision.
What is the duration of a site visit and what does it cost?
The duration of Umalusi's verification site-visit is currently over two days. The first day is conducted at the Institution's head-office, and the second day is at a site of delivery. The site verification team is set up in such a way that every member of the team will be able to verify various critical aspects of the verification process. The cost of the site visit depends on the size of the Institution visited and the number of learning areas offered by the Centre.
Who is responsible to assess ABET Levels 1-3?
Umalusi is mandated to assess the exit point of the qualification which in this case is ABET level 4 (GETC NQF 1). The provider is responsible to assess AET levels 1-3 and to recognize the achievements obtained at those levels.
The clients we offer AET to, require us to provide the learners with Umalusi certificates for ABET level 3. How does one go about getting such certificates?
Umalusi is mandated to assess, in the case of ABET, level 4. The providers need to clarify this with their clients at the time of signing the contract for such provisioning. There should be a clear understanding at that point, of how the achievements are going to be recognized. Umalusi-accredited providers are required to register with accredited assessment bodies as assessment centers. One of the reasons for this, is for the Assessment Bodies to provide guidance and support to providers in the assessment of the lower levels of the qualification. If you need further assistance, please email : call 012-349 1510.
Are public AET Centres also required to be accredited?
No. Public AET Centres (PALCs) are established by the State, and they are registered as such. In accordance with the provisions of the GENFETQA Act, public providers are deemed accredited and therefore do not have to apply for accreditation. However, in an effort to ensure that there is a common standard for private and public provision, public providers are required to demonstrate compliance with Umalusi's accreditation policy and criteria.
Is it compulsory for private AET centres to be registered and accredited?
According to the ABET Act (Act 52 of 2000), all AET Institutions offering the GETC for adults must be registered with the Department of Education. However, to date this process is not in place, hence AET providers currently do not have to register with the Department of Education.
Which AET providers are required to apply for accreditation with Umalusi?
All private AET Institutions seeking to, or currently provisioning the GETC for Adults (The General Education and Training Certificate) must seek accreditation from Umalusi.


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March 2019
Official Newsletter of Umalusi

Annual Report 2017/2018

Annual Report 2017/2018

Official Annual Report of Umalusi



Issue -6 - May 2019

Basic education
Higher education & training
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