QCTO Appoints Printing SA As Qualifications Development Partner


Printing SA has been appointed as the Qualifications Development Partner (QDP) of the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO).

The training legislative framework in South Africa has gone through much reform since the amendments to the Skills Development Act in 2008. These amendments have seen a revival of Artisan training and the establishment of the QCTO and the National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB). The role of the QCTO, which was finally established in 2010, is to oversee the design, implementation, assessment and certification of occupational qualifications.

Printing SA was appointed as the QDP of the QCTO in November 2014. This was due to the Industry having expressed their discontent, via Printing SA’s Training Council, that the pilot project to develop a QCTO format qualification for the trade of Sheetfed Lithography had taken over five years to complete.

Since this appointment, Printing SA has completed the qualification development process for the following Trades:
• Mechanised Hard & Soft Cover Bookbinding Technician.
• Electronic Pre-Press Technician.
• Heatset and Coldset Rotary Offset Technician.
• Corrugated Board and Container Machine Minder.
• Carton Making.
• Rotary Printing and Re-reeling Flexography Technician.

After reviewing the afore-mentioned qualifications during February and April 2016, the QCTO provided written confirmation that they meet their requirements and that the process of registering these qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) via the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), would now commence.

Printing SA has applied to the FP&M SETA for discretionary grants to continue with the important task of identifying a further five scarce and critical Trades that need to be developed during the 2016/2017 training year.

Another consideration in Printing SA’s QDP appointment is that agreement reached between the Printing, Newspaper And Packaging Industries Education & Training Board (PNPIETB) and the City & Guilds of London in the early 1990’s to provide Apprentices, who had successfully passed their Competency Based Modular Training (CBMT) Trade Tests, with ‘dual’ City & Guilds certificates, has lapsed.

The FP&M SETA approached Printing SA in June 2015 requesting that it engage with City & Guilds to establish whether such an agreement could be renegotiated. After due consultation with City & Guilds, it was established that City & Guilds no longer enters into such agreements and that the only means of obtaining a City & Guilds certificate, in future, would be for the Apprentice to complete the relevant City & Guilds examination. This in no way detracts from the validity of those City & Guilds certificates issued in the past.

Printing SA is required to establish, as part of the QCTO qualification development process, the International Comparability of the occupational qualification they are developing. To this end, Printing SA has drawn comparison to the various vocational qualifications that City & Guilds offers in the Printing Industry. Printing SA’s National Director: Training and Development represents the Printing and Packaging Industry on the National Artisan Moderation Forum that NAMB recently established.

This Forum is currently drafting a strategy for the implementation of the newly developed QCTO trade qualifications and the phasing out of the old CBMT trade qualifications. NAMB was established in November 2010 to fulfil their strategic objective to provide a dynamic interface between the workplace and learning institutions and to promote quality of learning at work and for work.

Printing SA has developed a close working relationship with the QCTO and NAMB to ensure that final external summative assessments (trade tests) may be timeously developed for the implementation of the new QCTO trade qualifications. Printing SA is committed to establish whether Apprentices, who successfully complete their National Theory and Practical trade tests and obtain QCTO Occupational Certificates, will be able to sit for the benchmarked City & Guilds examination in future.

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