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Short Course Policy

RSA Policy on Non-credit Bearing Short Courses

4 April 2007

UCT obtains accreditation for its qualifications through the Higher Education Quality Committee of the Council on Higher Education (HEQC of the CHE), as the Education and Training Quality Assurance body (ETQA) with the primary responsibility for quality assurance for the whole higher education sector, as recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). (See the Higher Education Act, 1997, as amended, Section 7(1A)).  SAQA stopped recording short courses in November 2001. 

Since then SAQA's policy is that all short course providers are required to initiate the accreditation process with their ETQA - in our case this is the HEQC. SAQA has specifically requested the HEQC to develop criteria for the quality and standards of short learning programmes, and to include short learning programmes in the institutional audit system for the higher education sector.

The HEQC intends to delegate the responsibility for the accreditation of short learning programmes to higher education institutions themselves, provided that they have adequate systems in place to assure the quality of their short learning programmes.  

The HEQC has not yet finalised the policy framework for delegating the function of accrediting short courses to institutions. Public Higher Education institutions are not allowed to get courses accredited by any other ETQA. In the meantime public higher education institutions are only able to provide credits for short courses which are aligned to approved full qualifications. However, companies are able to claim money from their skills levy when their employees attend short non credit-bearing courses offered by public higher education institutions if these courses are incorporated into their companies' skills plans which they submit to the SETAs.