Temporary withdrawal of the Revised Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework

The QCTO has announced a temporary withdrawal of the Revised Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework that was published in March 2020 just prior to the Covid 19 Lockdown.

This was announced in Government Gazette No. 43732 24-09. on 24 September 2020.

This means that the initial Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework Policy published in Gazette No. 37879 of  31 July 2014 remains in force for now.

This also brings to an end the situation where qualifications that have already been submitted to the QCTO need to undergo extensive and mindless retrospective revisions – for a short while at least!

Revised OQSF

The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations has published its revised policy document for Occupational Sub-Framework of the NQF. It was published on 2 March 2020. You can download it from here.

There have been a number of significant changes.

  1. The requirement for the Foundational Learning Competence for occupational qualifications at NQF Levels 3 and 4 has been removed. While originally intended to be an enabler the FLC has become a blockage in the implementation of occupational qualifications.
  2. Qualifications at each level of the NQF now have a different name.

The nomenclature of these occupational qualifications is similar to the nomenclature in the Higher Education Qualifications Framework, e/g. higher certificate, advanced certificate, diploma, advanced diploma etc.


  1.  minimum credit levels are now defined for each qualification type and for the level of the qualification:

For NQF levels 1 – 5

  • Minimum total credits: ranging from 240- 280
  • Minimum credits at Exit Level: 60%

For NQF levels 6 – 8

  • Minimum total credits: ranging from 240- 280
  • Minimum credits at Exit Level: 60%

For one-year qualifications this poses no difficulties but for multi-year qualifications this becomes a challenge. A three year occupational qualification means that only 20 % of the credits can be allocated to the first level of learning, 20 % of the second level of learning and 60% has to be allocated to the final year of learning, if we strictly apply the ratios.  It my view this creates a top heavy approach. It destroys a careful a meaningful build-up of knowledge and skills from foundational through intermediate to the practitioner level. Scaffolding in the curriculum becomes a numbers driven game. Conformance to this requirement will increase the difficulties in the implementation and assessment of occupational curricula.

4. Soft skills are now required to be included explicitly. Most occupational qualifications have included soft skills as part of the overall package. “… an occupational qualification must now contain between 5% and 10% of soft skills which may include personal development, self-learning, workplace preparation, personal finance management, basic entrepreneurship, emotional intelligence amongst others.”

The revised OQSF document took effect on the day it was published int he Government Gazette.

New BEE Codes for employing young people

The Codes of Good Practice for the Youth Employment Service (YES) were published on Tuesday.

You can download them from here

Companies can lift their levels of BEE recognition by meeting targets as laid out in the gazette.

The purpose is to create jobs for young black people.

[4.1 Only individuals who meet the below criteria are eligible for participation under the Y.E.S Initiative:
4.1.1 are between the ages of 18 and 35; and
4.1.2 meet the definition of “Black People” as defined in the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act 53 of 2003 as amended by Act 46 of 2013]

You can find out more about the YES campaign here.

Proposals for revised SETA Landscape

DHET has published a call for comments on a proposals to revise the SETA landscape. Download here.

In brief, a number of SETAs have been left as is, but there are proposals to consolidate a number of other SETAs:

  • Agri- and FoodBev
  • All three financial SETAs, Bank, In and FASSET
  • P, LG and EW SETAs
  • the two manufacturing SETAs, MER and FPM.

Comments are due by 20 September 2018.

Dual System Pilot Project workshop

We had a two day workshop addressing issues that have been plaguing this project for some time. But we also a look ahead. How do we track progress? What are those indicators that will help us measure impact. And what do the indicators we are measuring mean for the project.

At a deeper level we were examining how the various role players  meshed to deliver something of value: Quality Council for Trades and Occupations; Department of Higher Education and Training; National Artisan Moderating Body; TVET Colleges; Industry associations/registration bodies and employers who take on the apprentices and, of course, the the key target population the apprentices themselves. Do not forget the last – they are highly critical, politicised and focused in getting value from the system

At the heart of all the discussion was a central point – How do we restructure education and training systems to provide employment opportunities for young people?

Comment on DHET’s Artisan Development plans

DHET published the Artisan Development Strategy and Implementation Plan 2017 for comment on 15 June 2018. You have until 16 July to submit comments Mboweni.F@dhet.gov.za

I only just found out about this by chance.

If I have comments I will do that in a follow up post.

Picture: A Mechatronic Technician at a World Skills event. Source

Request to SAQA – Please now register the Mechatronic Technician qualification

Call for Comment on National Skills Development Plan 2030

DHET has a history of releasing important documents late in the year when so many are out of office. They’ve done it again with a call for comments on the proposed National Skills Development Plan 2030. The document was published on 15 December 2017!

It’s a long and intricate document with much to take in and digest. Seems SETAs still have a future.

—More to come, I’m still working through it. —

You can download it from: http://www.gpwonline.co.za/Gazettes/Gazettes/41332_15-12_HighEducation.pdf

Comments are due by 31 January 2018.


Demand Driven Training Toolkit Launch


Over the past year Making Cents International has collaborated with the Rockefeller Foundation‘s Digital Jobs Africa (DJA) Initiative to conduct research and develop resources to support the successful adoption and scaling of Demand-Driven Training (DDT) for employment programs. This work is designed to address the mismatch between employer needs and youth skills by strengthening the capacity of youth training providers and institutions in South Africa and globally, and follows over 5 years of effort under DJA to catalyse new jobs for youth.


As a result of this work they have now released their Demand-Driven Training Toolkit. The toolkit provides how-to information, tools, and resources so that education and training providers can better align education and training programs with employer needs. The Toolkit was developed with input from leading South African and global institutions which tailor their interventions to address employer needs. It is an easy-to-read, practical resource that can help institutions and their partners become more effective. The Toolkit is intended to support workforce education and training providers in adopting more labour aligned programs through a practical approach.

Download the toolkit

You can download the tool here or here.

The toolkit is an interactive PDF with clickable links. There are also links to many additional resources.

Contact us

We and our partners are launching a programme to promote the Toolkit in South Africa and perhaps even beyond.

If you want to discuss it further, feel free to contact us here – DDT Toolkit Response Form. You can also email ddt-toolkit at xasa.co.za.


The global launch of the toolkit took place on Thursday 19 October at Emoyeni Conference Centre, Parktown, Johannesburg.

See more here:

Photo: Liz Moore
DDT Toolkit Launch

ESCO – the European OFO

The EU has launched ESCO V1.

This is the first full version of the European classification of Skills, Competences, Occupations and Qualifications (ESCO).

It identifies and categorises skills, competences, qualifications and occupations relevant for the EU labour market and related education and training. It systematically shows the relationships between the different aspects.

This what we (Dept. of Labour Task Team) envisaged the OFO could become when we started developing it in 2005/6. We were ahead of the curve then. We were sharply criticised at the time for trying to create an alternative NQF (i.e. an alternative to the NSBs and learning fields).

The EU tool shows what  rigorous development can achieve. ESCO is  based on ISCO ’88, as was the OFO from version 2010 onwards. It seems to have been developed at unit group level (4 digits) rather than at occupational level (6 digits). So each group contains quite lengthy lists of related occupations and specialisations

What seems to be really well done is how the skills, competencies, knowledge etc have been cross- referenced across occupations and how it deals with transversal skills.

For those who are interested in skills development this is an immense source of information. The should speed up the development of occupational qualifications –  Qualification Development Facilitators and working groups can use this as one of the starting points.