What is Accreditation?


According to the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) Accreditation is the certification, usually for a particular period of time, of a person, a body or an institution as having the capacity to fulfil a particular function within the quality assurance system setup by SAQA.

To offer nationally recognised training, all training providers must be accredited by their relevant SETA (Sector Education and Training Authority). This designation indicates that the provider gives transferable, outcomes-based and relevant training and assessment.

By using accredited training providers you will be assured that the training given to your learners are aligned to the national/industry standard. Accredited training ensures that each learner gains valuable knowledge which they can competently apply in their workplace. Accredited training providers help to build the skills level in our country thus raising the quality of workers in our workforce.



  • Nationally recognised training
  • Structured industry aligned knowledge
  • Credible high quality training


SAQA is the South African Qualifications Authority, the apex body responsible for monitoring and reporting on the effectiveness of the NQF’s implementation by the three Quality Councils who have executive authority for its implementation.

  • Umalusi
  • CHE
  • QCTO

It is also responsible for the registration on the NQF of qualifications and their components, and professional bodies and their professional designations.

SAQA remains the custodian of the values of the NQF and reports to parliament on the effectiveness and impact of the NQF. It develops and revises an implementation plan for the NQF in consultation with the QCs, and oversees implementation.

It continues to represent South Africa in the international communities of NQF agencies and support qualification framework agencies in Africa.

One of the key functions of SAQA is to advance the objectives of the NQF by facilitating the co-ordination of its sub-frameworks. It does this through a system of collaboration which guides the interrelationship between SAQA and the Quality Councils and settles disputes amongst them.



What is the NQF? The purpose of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) is to ensure the fairness, quality and flexibility of learning opportunities across all the different sites and types of learning in the country.

The NQF is the system we have developed to standardise, within certain limits, our entire education and training system right from Grade R to PhD level. It came into being in 1995 with the passing of the SAQA Act and underwent a major revision in 2008 with the NQF Act.

The NQF applies to both public and private sites of learning such as schools, training providers, workplaces, FET colleges, universities and universities of technology.

It covers formal learning programmes such as those certificated by diplomas, degrees, doctorates and post-doctoral wards, as well as work related (occupational) forms of skills development such as vocational learning, apprenticeships, Learnerships and internships.



Sector Education and Training Authorities are bodies operating in each of the economy’s key 23 economic or social sectors, in order to guide and encourage effective skills development for that sector.

SETAs are state-owned entities and are governed by the Public Finance Management Act, but their governance is through boards that are appointed by employers, labour, government, and if appropriate, professional bodies or bargaining councils from the sector.

What do SETA’s do?

  • Develop a Sector Skills Plan aligned to the National Skills Development Strategy
  • Implement its Sector Skills Plan by:
    • Establishing learning programmes including Learnerships
    • Approving workplace skills plans and annual training reports
    • Allocating grants to employers, education and skills development providers and workers
    • Monitoring the quality of education and skills development provision in the sector
  • Promote learning programmes by:
    • Identifying workplaces for practical work experience
    • Support the development of learning materials
    • Improving the facilitation of learning
  • Assist in the conclusion and registration of agreements for learning programme
  • Receive skills development levies and pay mandatory grants to employers
  • Perform any functions delegated to it by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO)
  • Liaise with the QCTO regarding occupational qualifications
  • Liaise with the National Skills Authority on national skills development policy, the NSDS and its SSP
  • Report to the Director-General of the Department of Higher Education & Training on its income and expenditure, the implementation of its SSP, and strategic plans and reports on the implementation of its service level agreement
  • Liaise with provincial offices and labour centres of the Department of Labour and any education body to improve information about placement opportunities, and to improve information between education and skills development providers and the labour market
  • Liaise with provincial skills development forums
  • Promote the national standard for people development

The 23 SETA’s

AGRISETA Agriculture Sector Education and Training Authority
BANKSETA Banking Sector Education and Training Authority
CETA Construction Education and Training Authority
CHIETA Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority
CTFL Clothing, Textiles, Footwear and Leather Sector Education and Training Authority
ESETA Energy Sector Education and Training Authority
ETDP SETA Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority
FASSET Financial and Accounting Services Sector Education and Training Authority
FIETA ForestIndustries Education and Training Authority
FOODBEV Food and Beverage Manufacturing Industry Sector Education and Training Authority
HWSETA Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority
INSETA Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority
ISETT Information Systems, Electronics and Telecommunication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority
LGSETA Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority
MAPPP SETA Media, Advertising, Publishing, Printing and Packaging Sector Education and Training Authority
MERSETA Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority
MQA Mining Qualifications Authority
PSETA Public Service Sector Education and Training Authority
SASSETA Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority
SERVICES SETA Services Sector Education and Training Authority
TETA Transport Education and Training Authority
THETA Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Education and Training Authority
W&RSETA Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority



An accredited training provider is a provider who has registered with an appropriate Quality Council related to the kind of learning they deliver, and is in the process of, or has completed final accreditation.

With the revisions of the NQF brought about in the NQF Act (2008), there are increasingly clear divisions between providers in the three different sectors of the NQF:

  • Skills development providers refer to training providers of occupational learning programmes whose accreditation is the responsibility of the QCTO
  • Educational institutions refer to providers of academic or discipline based learning in the General & Further Education & Training sector of the NQF and the Higher Education & Training sector.
  • Education institutions are accredited by Umalusi or the CHE