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Quality Assurance in Local Government Training: Experiences from Higher Education and Local Government Training Institutions in South Africa. Exchanging African Experience in Sustainable Capacity Building for Local Government , Serena Hotel, Kigali, 10-11 July 2014.

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Quality Assurance in Local Government Training: Experiences from Higher Education and Local Government Training Institutions in South Africa

Exchanging African Experience in Sustainable Capacity Building for Local Government, Serena Hotel, Kigali, 10-11 July 2014

Gerrit van derWaldt(PhD)

North-West University



University of Johannesburg

South Africa

23 public universities 115 private higher education institutions
23 Public Universities115 private higher education institutions

He t at a glance
HE&T at a glance

  • Although subsidised by the state, universities are autonomous, reporting to their own councils rather than government.

  • Many of South Africa's universities are world-class academic institutions, at the cutting edge of research in certain spheres e.g. UJ top 4% globally.

  • Five South African universities in top 100 of new global rankings that assessed more than 700 institutions in emerging economies: Universities of Cape Town (3), the Witwatersrand (15), Stellenbosch (21), KwaZulu-Natal (45) and Pretoria (78).

The quaquarelli symonds qs stars worldwide university ranking rating system
The QuaquarelliSymonds (QS) Stars Worldwide University Ranking & Rating System

  • QS Stars designed as a means to objectively evaluate a particular university’s strengths and weaknesses, using more comprehensive indicators in addition to those used in a typical ranking exercise.

  • Member universities are awarded with a rating of between 0 - 5 stars

  • QS Stars Rating recognise tertiary institutions that deliver true international standards of excellence.

  • North West University (NWU) first university in Africa to join the ranks of QS Star-Rated universities.

Qs star rating 8 key areas
QS Star Rating: 8 key areas:

  • Research Quality (150 points)

  • Teaching Quality (150 points)

  • Graduate Employability (150 points)

  • Infrastructure (100 points)

  • Internationalisation (150 points)

  • Innovation & Knowledge Transfer (50 points)

  • Third Mission (50 points)

  • Specialist Subject Criteria (200 points)

Local government in south africa
Local Government in South Africa

  • System of Co-operative Governance and Intergovernmental Relations between three interdependent spheres of Government (national, provincial and local)

  • Developmental mandate for local sphere of government as autonomous entities

  • Wall-to-wall municipal boundaries

He t the skills deficit
HE&T: The Skills Deficit provinces

Various surveys:

  • National Enterprise Surveys

  • World Bank Surveys

  • Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) Survey of Skills and HSRC Human Resource Development Reports

  • Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETA) annual Sector Skills Assessments and Skills Development Plans

  • Department of Labour surveys; Framework for Identifying and Monitoring Scarce and Critical Skills

The need for training in local government core challenges
The need for training in local government: Core challenges provinces

Significant skills deficit in virtually all sectors of the economy, but most acute in local government, e.g. needs -

  • 25 895 health professionals

  • 57 865 managers

  • 205 370 technicians (DoL National Scarce Skills List)

    Four key challenges:

  • Discrepancies in statistics available

  • Lack of synergy between FET colleges, SETA’s, and higher education institutions

  • Educational model remains academically based; limited application/vocational orientation

  • Unemployment rate among 15-24-year-olds = 51%!

Quality assurance in higher education
Quality Assurance in Higher Education provinces

  • Notion of “self-regulated” university

  • QA two key purposes: accountability & continuous improvement

  • QA starts with self-assessment: Self assessment reports basis of evaluation by external committees, and peers: investigate quality through regular reporting and site visits/ inspections

  • Submit public reports

Qa typical mechanisms in he
QA: Typical mechanisms in HE provinces

  • Self-assessment: Annual Internal Programme Evaluation (IPE) & External Programme Evaluation (EPE) =International panel and reviews

  • Peer review of all study material and assessment instruments

  • Internal & external moderators (study material, assessment, examination)

  • Industry: Professional bodies

  • Advisory Boards

  • Critical readers (national and international experts)

  • External examiners (national and international experts)

  • Healthy student/lecturer ratio’s

Quality assurance purposes
Quality Assurance: provinces Purposes

  • ensure accountability for the use of public funds;

  • improve the quality of higher education provision;

  • inform funding decisions;

  • inform students and employers of conditions;

  • stimulate competitiveness within and between institutions;

  • undertake regular quality checks;

  • assign institutional status;

  • support the transfer of authority between the state and institutions;

  • assist mobility of students; and

  • make international comparisons/benchmarking.

Higher education act 101 of 1997 as amended
Higher Education Act 101 of 1997 (as amended) provinces

  • Regulate higher education

  • Provide for the establishment, composition and functions of a Council on Higher Education

  • Governance and funding of public higher education institutions

  • Appointment and functions of an independent assessor

  • Registration of private higher education institutions

  • Quality assurance and quality promotion in higher education

Qa core institutions
QA: Core Institutions provinces

  • South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and the National Qualifications Framework (NQF)

  • Nat Dept of Higher Education & Training (DHET)

  • Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC)

  • Local Government Sector Education Training Authority (LGSETA)

  • Education and Training Quality Assurance (ETQA)

  • Dept of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta)

  • South African Local Governmental Association (SALGA)

  • National School of Government (former Palama)

1 south african qualifications authority saqa
1. South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) provinces

  • Registering of all qualifications

  • Registering accredited service providers

  • Regulates all educational programmes in terms of registration, standards, outcomes, and assessment

  • Makes provision for the NQF (Bands and Credits)

The national qualifications framework nqf
The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) provinces

  • Purpose: Access, mobility, progression, career path, and full personal development.


  • To create an integrated national framework for learning achievements

  • Facilitate access to, and mobility and progression within education, training and career paths

  • Enhance the quality of education and training

  • Accelerate the redress of past unfair discrimination in education, training and employment opportunities

  • Contribute to the full personal development of each learner and the social and economic development of the nation at large.

Nqf levels
NQF Levels provinces

2 dept of higher education training dohet
2. Dept of Higher Education provinces & Training (DoHET)

  • All providers of education and training offering full qualifications must be registered with the DoHET

  • Universities submit application for the new qualification via its internal committee for academic standards to the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC)

  • Must specify type of qualification, level, outcomes, & modules

  • Upon approval of HEQC, application is referred to DoHET for registration based on the Programme Qualification Mix (PQM)

  • Qualification then registered by SAQA and university may commence offering it (18-24 month process)

3 higher education quality committee
3. Higher Education Quality provinces Committee

  • Council of Higher Education (CHE) responsibility for quality assurance in higher education

  • Mandated to advise the Minister of Education on all matters of higher education (HE), so as to bring equity and quality into the system and help it respond to economic and social development needs, provide effective and efficient management; and contribute to the public good.

  • This responsibility is discharged through its permanent sub-committee, the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC).

  • The mandate of the HEQC includes quality promotion, institutional audit and programme accreditation

  • HEQC ensures academic quality as a means of quality assurance by the implementation of institutional audits on teaching and learning, research and service learning at higher education institutions.

4 local government sector education training authority lgseta
4. Local Government Sector Education Training Authority (LGSETA)

  • The Local Government, Water and Related Services SETA was established in terms of the Skills Development Act (1998).

  • The LGSETA has aligned its contributions to the implementation of National Skills Development Strategy lll (NSDS lll) primarily to support the achievement of OUTCOME 9 of the Cabinet Programme of Action, which aims to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of skills development system within the local government sector. The strategic outcome of the SETA will therefore produce a skilled and capable local government workforce

    Primary focus of the LGSETA:

  • Local Economic Development

  • Public Finance Management and Administration

  • Ward Committee Governance

  • Leadership Development

  • Fire and Rescue Operations

  • Road Traffic Law Enforcement

  • Environmental Practise

5 education and training quality assurance etqa bodies
5. Education and Training Quality Assurance (ETQA) bodies (LGSETA)

  • Providers of education and training must be accredited with an ETQA body under SAQA

  • ETQA audits compliance with unit standards per NQF band and level

  • The curriculum design, content and learning material must be aligned with the registered Unit Standards

  • There must be suitably qualified facilitators and registered assessors

  • Learners must have access to adequate learning support services

  • The assessment methods and tools used to measure the requirements for the unit standards and/or qualifications must be fair, valid and reliable, and be used to enhance learning.

  • The education and training provider has to offer unit standards and/or qualifications that fall within the primary focus area of the ETQA body of the relevant SETA or professional body.

Etqa unit of the local government sector education training authority lgseta
ETQA Unit of the Local Government Sector Education Training Authority (LGSETA)


To ensure that education and training systems, processes, procedures and qualifications are in place to ensure that high-quality education and training is available in the education sector as per the relevant pieces of legislation.


  • Ensuring continuous quality improvement of education and training through the accreditation, monitoring, auditing and moderation of work-based, public and private providers;

  • Registering assessors and moderators;

  • Undertaking capacity-building interventions for accredited providers to meet the LGSETA, NSDS and NQF objectives;

  • Maintaining a learner management system compatible with the National Learner Record Database (NLRD), which is administered by SAQA

  • Certification of learner achievements. 

6 dept of co operative governance and traditional affairs cogta
6. Dept of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs ( Authority (LGSETA)CoGTA)

  • National department responsible for local government

  • Issue policy directives, strategy development, and programmes for municipal capacity-building

  • Provide political leadership

    Main programmes include –

  • Community Work Program

  • National Disaster Management Centre

  • Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) Transfers

  • Local Economic Development

6 dept of co operative governance and traditional affairs cogta1
6. Dept of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs ( Authority (LGSETA)CoGTA)

Strategic Objectives:

  • To oversee the implementation of the IGR programme of support to the Institution of Traditional Leadership to perform their constitutional mandate.

  • To build and strengthen the capability and the accountability of Provinces and Municipalities to implement their constitutional mandate.

  • To monitor, evaluate and communicate the impact of government programmes in municipal areas in order to enhance performance, accountability and public confidence.

  • To strengthen organisational capability and performance to deliver on its mandate.  

7 south african local government association salga
7. South African Local Government Association (SALGA) Authority (LGSETA)







A Multi-dimensional Approach

to Capacity Building

SALGA’s Skills Authority (LGSETA)Programmes

  • Co-ordinate  the  programme.

  • Source  funding.

  • Market  the  programme.

  • Assess  impact  of  the  programme.

  • Monitoring  and  evaluation.

Executive Leadership Development



  • Intensify  capacity  building  programme for Councillors.

  • Revise existing  material.

  • Impact  assessment.

(LODLOG): Capacitate  Senior Leadership

  • Ensure  participants  prepare  micro projects.

  • Develop  selection  tool  for  participants.

  • Select  provinces.

Traditional Leadership Capacity Building

  • Ensure traditional leaders understand their role in local governance.

  • Form  partnership  with  relevant  departments  and  institution.

  • Secure  funding  from  LGSETA.

  • Develop  training  programme.

8 national school of government nsg
8. National School of Authority (LGSETA) Government (NSG)

  • Replaced the Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy (PALAMA)

  • Mandate to professionalise the public service as means to realise the national development objectives of the country and thereby support sustainable growth, development and service delivery through the provision of relevant, mandatory training programmes.


  • The Government Leadership Summit which is a summit for the political and administrative leadership from all three spheres of government.

  • The Compulsory Induction Programme (CIP) which targets all new employees to the public service. It is aimed at ensuring that all public servants are oriented to the public sector and to their respective job responsibilities.

  • In-service learning and development programmes. The NSG will ensure that public servants routinely have access to effective, high quality learning and development, making an impact on public sector performance and service delivery that is monitored and evaluated.

  • In-service learning and development programmes, aimed at impacting on public sector performance and service delivery including Strategy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Problem Solving and Analysis, Financial Management, Human Resource Development and Communication.

The executive development programme edp
The Executive Development Programme (EDP) Authority (LGSETA)

Strategic Planning & Management (SP&M)

Communication and Customer Focused Strategies (CCFS)

Finance Management & Budgeting (FM&B)

Leading Change (LC)

Research Methodology for SMS in the public sector (RM)

Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM)

Leadership for Good Governance (LGG)

South African Economy in a Global Context (SAEGC)

Policy Formulation and Implementation (PFI)

Programme and Project Management (PPM)

Qa in hei core issues
QA in HEI: Authority (LGSETA)Core issues

  • Excellent policy framework, various institutions and mechanisms for quality assurance, but lack of co-operation, alignment and synergy – overcome duplicity and turf battles; clear mandates, ToR(roles & responsibilities) of each institutions required.

  • Senior officials in oversight institutions political appointments, rather than technical experts.

  • High staff turn-over – lack of institutional memory and continuity in core quality programmes.

  • LG Unions often block performance appraisals of staff (currently only performance contracts for senior managers; needs to be cascaded down to lower levels)

Core issues
…Core issues Authority (LGSETA)

  • Theory (academic) vs vocational (practice) healthy balance in educational programmes (NDP 2030, MDG)

  • Concepts “quality” and “standards” remain value-laden; “interpretation” of quality reports: standardize standards, KPIs, quality measurement metrics, etc.

  • Be careful for “legal compliance” culture (a mere paper exercise to tick the boxes); inculcate continuous process improvement and total quality mindset

  • Incentivize performance, high quality, excellence

  • QA in universities well-entrenched, institutionalized, and adheres to international best practice

Case study university of johannesburg higher cert in municipal governance
Case study: Authority (LGSETA) University of Johannesburg – Higher Cert in Municipal Governance

  • Composition (needs analysis, SALGA, LGSETA)

  • Expert module developers

  • Expert facilitators

  • Moderators for material and assessment

  • Assessment by learners

  • Quality Assurance Reports

  • Certification: quality assurance (Univ processes)

  • Impact assessments (in places of work/external panel reviews of career progression)

  • Annual review of content (revisions/updates)

  • Articulation into Higher Cert and eventually Masters

Higher cert in municipal governance modules
Higher Cert in Municipal Governance: Authority (LGSETA)Modules

  • Regulatory and Institutional Framework for Local Government

  • Municipal Policy-Making and Analysis

  • Integrated Development Planning for Municipalities

  • Integrated Local Economic Development Strategies for Municipalities

  • Municipal Project Management

  • Municipal Financial Management

  • Municipal Human Resource Management

Thank you Authority (LGSETA)

Gerrit: Gerrit.vanderwaldt@nwu.ac.za

Christelle: christellea@uj.ac.za